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Stamford woman calls for better emergency weekend cover from vets after pet dog dies

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A distraught dog lover has called for vets to offer weekend home services after her dog Axel died after much suffering.

The eight-year-old German Shepherd suffered osteoporosis and was in agony, despite a visit to the vets one recent Friday.

Early next morning, the dog’s suffering intensified as its ‘back end collapsed’, which is typical in the breed.

Axel the German Shepherd (17551541)
Axel the German Shepherd (17551541)

Its owner Shirley Stockton, 69, telephoned her vet at 8.30am Saturday, telling them her dog was too heavy for her to carry to her car and bring in.

They said they could not come out to her home and when she contacted several other vets that morning, they also said the same.

After a few hours, Shirley was able to get her elderly brother to carry the dog and taken them both to her regular vet in Stamford, where Axel was put down.

She said: “It was traumatic. He was in so much pain.”

The dog lover, who lives in Stamford, says she is not complaining at the vets individually, believing they all do a good job, but they should have some way to help out in such emergcncies.

She continued: “I found it so distressing that no-one was able to help but there should be a back-up service. I am complaining about the lack of an emergency service.”

The Mercury sought comment from animal welfare and veterinary bodies, who said they could not comment on specific cases.

A spokesman for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals said vets had to take steps to ensure there was an out of hours emergency provision, which could include a different practice as long as it was within a reasonable distance.

Daniella Dos Santos, President of the British Veterinary Association, agreed.

She added: “Some vets are able to provide home visits out of hours, but this isn’t always possible or practical, especially as staffing levels vary and it could mean leaving critical cases alone.”

She added: “The veterinary regulator’s code of practice says that owners are responsible for transporting their animals to a vet, including in emergencies. We always recommend that when pet owners register with a practice they find out about the out of hours provision and make sure they have a plan in place should the worst happen.”

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons said vets must “take steps to provide 24-hour emergency first aid and pain relief according to their skill and specific situation”.

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