Dr. Stewart Christie is from Orkney (a gold mining town in the North West province) and has wanted to become a vet since he was 10 years old. He has been the head of Eastern Veterinary Hospital in Kempton Park for 26 years, focusing on small animals and cats in particular.

Dr. Stewart Christie of Eastern Veterinary Hospital

We spoke to Dr. Christie get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep your pets and felines feelin’ fine.

1. September is Pet Insurance Awareness Month. Why do you think pet insurance is important?

If more pets were on pet insurance there would be less need to not offer them the best treatment due to financial constraints, or to make the awful decision to put your pet to sleep because you cannot afford to treat it.

2. September is also Rabies Awareness Month. Can you give our readers some insight into what rabies is, how to prevent it, etc?

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the brain, causing paralysis and death in humans and animals.  There is no treatment after the symptoms appear, but it can so easily be prevented by vaccination of pets.

It is spread through the saliva of infected animals. If you are licked on an open wound or by being bitten from an affected animal, there is a high chance you may become infected.

The common symptoms include a complete change in personality i.e. a friendly dog becomes very aggressive.  They may salivate as they are unable to swallow their saliva due to paralysis. They may have a fear of water.

3. Why is it important to regularly take your pet to the vet?

To ensure your pets are always healthy and to prevent deadly diseases, it is advisable to vaccinate annually and at the same time your vet will do a thorough clinical examination of your pet.

Dr. Christie and his team

4. Do you have any general healthcare tips for pet parents?

Prevention is always better than cure. Please sterilise and vaccinate your pets.  It is heart-breaking seeing cases that could so easily be prevented.  It is always cheaper, and safer for your pet’s health, to prevent a disease than it is to treat one.

5. A fun one – what’s your favourite holiday spot and why?

Mauritius – it’s relaxing and out of the country, but close to fly to.

6. Do you get involved in any charitable work?

We are very involved in working with charity organisations in Kempton Park.  We do a lot of sterilisations for Kempton Ferals, the Namaqua Dog and Donkey Foundation and our Kempton Park SPCA.

7. How can people get hold of you?

Eastern Veterinary Hospital and Comfy Cats Boarding are at 26 Monument Road in Kempton Park.  Telephone 011 970 1684 or e-mail reception1@easternvet.co.za and admin@easternvet.co.za.

Our website is still under construction but can be found at easternvet.co.za

Looking for a vet like Dr. Christie? Get peace of mind with pet insurance that suits your lifestyle and budget.