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Milk Bones for everyone

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, October 03, 2007

RANKIN INLET - Doggie bones replaced apples for two days in Rankin Inlet this past month as the Winnipeg-based Tuxedo Animal Hospital sent two staff members to the community for its annual pet clinic.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Dr. Pat Dorval examines Al Peyer's pet, Frankie, who was suffering from a serious eye problem, during a pet clinic performed by the Tuxedo Animal Hospital in Rankin Inlet this past month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Veterinarian Pat Dorval and animal-health technologist Jennifer Dakin made the trip to Rankin.

It was a busy weekend for the two with a record number of surgeries being performed in addition to the usual array of check-ups, vaccinations and overall preventative care.

Dorval said 16 surgical procedures were performed under anaesthetic and two minor procedures were done under local anaesthetic.

She said about the same number of pets were brought in as during their 2006 visit for vaccinations and examinations.

"We were kept extremely busy in Rankin, but it was also a lot of fun to be back again," said Dorval.

"We've (Tuxedo Animal Hospital) been sending people to Rankin for about eight years now.

"This was my fourth visit to the community and I always look forward to it because we see so many good people with healthy pets.

"If I had to name one thing I'd like to see more of in Rankin, it would be more spaying and neutering."

Dorval said spaying and neutering reduces the number of unwanted pets in a community, and the procedures also provide other benefits.

She said spayed or neutered animals tend to make better pets because they have gentler dispositions, stay healthier, rarely roam or run away and don't like to fight.

"The demand for surgery this year meant we had to stop taking appointments days before our visit because we were afraid we were going to run out of time.

"If we'd been able to stay for an extra day, we probably would have seen a lot more animals.

"There's the potential to see more pets in Rankin and we have talked of increasing our visit to twice a year."

Dorval said she was impressed by the fact the vast majority of dogs she examined had strong, healthy teeth.

She said overall, the Rankin pet population appears to be extremely healthy.

"People in Rankin are taking better care of their pets these days, and the dogs in the community are slim compared to the ones we see in the south.

"In fact, it's almost like I have to get used to what a normal appearance is when I visit Rankin because the dogs are so slim.

"The dogs here tend to be outside more, don't get as many treats and are fed a more-controlled amount of food.

"That, plus the dogs tend to be bigger breeds here - you don't see many fat huskies - combine to keep them a relatively fit lot."