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A lovable larrikin: Wigram Vets

Max is a lovable and excitable chocolate Labrador. Young and unruly, Max had no respect for vehicles and enthusiastically ran amok on the farm until one day he got a little too close and disaster struck as he went under the front wheel of the farm ute.



Max was initially treated by his local vet in Hokitika but he proved to be a tricky case. Max had some nasty scrapes and bruises, but his main problem was a dislocated hip. Despite attempts to replace it using a closed reduction technique, the hip kept popping out. A closed reduction technique involves manually replacing the hip while the animal is under sedation and massaging it into place. At this point, because of the ongoing luxation, the clinic chose to refer Max to Wigram Vets.

With surgical exposure it became apparent why the hip was so unstable. The joint capsule was completely shredded and acetabular ligament ruptured. The ball and socket joint were a mess. Max underwent a surgical reconstruction of the joint capsule and a replacement of the acetabular ligament with a synthetic ligature and anchoring toggle.


Max bounced back from the surgery quickly, weight-bearing the very next day, and was looking forward to getting back to his regular routine, but his other injuries held him back. Max had sustained a few scrapes in the accident. The largest one on his opposite leg began to break down. He had a minor surgery to investigate and clean the wound and a few small pieces of gravel were found deeply embedded in it, despite the rigorous flushing this wound had previously received at the initial incident.

As his wounds began to heal, Max went from strength to strength. He quickly became the clinic favourite, carrying his bone in his mouth with a big goofy grin. When the time came for his departure, he had a large farewell with lots of hugs and kisses.

Now he is back to his old self, still quite the larrikin but you really wouldn’t want him any other way.

Find Wigram Vet & The Good Dog Spa at 155 Corsair Drive, Wigram, phone 03 929 0987. For more information, email or visit



A day in the life of a vet nurse: OurVets

The role of a Veterinary Nurse is a varied one which includes (but is not limited to) receptionist, lab technician, nutritionist, anaesthetist, kennel hand, grief counsellor and pharmacy assistant. To celebrate Veterinary Nurse Appreciation Week in October, we caught up with some of Ourvets’ most important team members, the Veterinary Nurses, to get an insight into how an average day looks.



“Arriving to work before the clinic opens, we check on any hospitalised patients that may be in. This involves a full examination of the pet – checking their heart and respiration rate, taking their temperature, checking their pain levels, administering any medication and cleaning out their cage, with lots of hugs and attention too! Then we check our emails, in case we have patients coming from the Afterhours Hospital that will need immediate attention on arrival.

As patients start arriving for the day’s surgery, we talk with owners about their pets’ procedures and answer any questions they may have. We then fully examine their pet and take blood tests to make sure vital organs are functioning as they should be.


If all is well, we work out an anaesthetic plan that is tailored to the individual pet’s needs. Next, we set up and check the anaesthetic equipment and gather the medications for the procedure. Lots of hugs and reassurance are required whilst we gain IV access prior to the procedure. Once smoothly asleep, we keep them snuggly warm and comfortable during their procedure. We constantly monitor how they are doing under the anaesthetic by taking their vital readings and adjusting the anaesthetic accordingly.

On recovery, we stay with your pet and reassure them until they are fully awake and happy. Once recovered, we will give you a call to let you know how your pet is doing, answer any questions you may have and arrange a time to go over discharge instructions.


During the day, we help the vet with a variety of tasks: we medicate animals, prepare medications, toilet animals, then clean, clean, and clean some more! We answer phone calls, console owners and are there when vets, clients and pets need us. While no two days are ever the same, we love our jobs as veterinary nurses!”

For more information on Ourvets, visit or