We’re excited to present to you our Vet of the Month, Dr. Lara Brown, a dedicated animal doctor at the Pinetown Veterinary Hospital, in Durban.

We’ve asked Dr. Brown to answer a few questions and to share some valuable pet healthcare tips.

Let’s dig right into getting to know our top dog better with a few personal questions.

Did you always know you wanted to become a vet?

I knew from a young age. I grew up spending a lot of time on a smallholding learning to milk cows and catch chickens. I had a menagerie of pets growing up, so I started my training young.

What made you want to become a vet?

I enjoy spending time with animals and I have always had an interest in science and biology. Being a veterinarian gives you the opportunity to be a scientist and work with all kinds of animals. What could be better?

Do you have pets?

Yes, I have 4 pets. Penny, a very pretty and talkative cat; Abby, a little Jack Russel and total princess; Rigby, a three-legged dog with a passion for food; and a rescued mouse.

Now let’s learn more about her vet practice…

Where is it based?

The Pinetown Veterinary Hospital is based in Durban.

Tell us about your patients?

We are a small, family practice with an amazing team. We treat dogs and cats and aim to maintain a close relationship with our clients and our patients. Many dogs who have been coming to us for years know exactly where the treat jars are and where to visit all the staff within the practice. Our staff love working with animals and our dog and cat patients get lots of love when they visit us.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen or treated a patient for?

I once performed a leg amputation on a Madagascar three-eyed lizard.

Here are Dr. Browns top 5 healthcare tips:

1. Proper pet maintenance is key. If you maintain the basics, generally your pet will be healthier and happier
2. Never stop with tick and flea control and deworm regularly. Parasites never go away and prevention is typically a lot cheaper than cure.
3. Vaccinations should be taken very seriously. South Africa has a high prevalence of diseases such as rabies. Pets should have their vaccinations updated yearly (even if they never leave the yard).
4. Regular vet visits are essential in detecting problems early. Take your pet to the vet at least once a year; twice a year is advisable for geriatric dogs and cats.
5. Pet Insurance is a must-have. For most pet owners, their dog or cat is considered a family member and they want the best care for them. With modern diagnostics and medications available, top quality care can be costly. Pet insurance gives pet owner’s peace of mind that if their pet gets themselves into trouble, they will be able to give them the care they need.

Thank you, Dr. Brown, for answering our questions and such giving helpful advice to our pet parents.

You can reach out to the Pinetown Veterinary Hospital on Facebook, call them at 031 701 7870 or pop them a mail at pinetown@ashvet.co.za for pet medical emergencies.