Vets and pets on the Cape
Queensland’s Road Muster tour kicked off recently in Cairns, with Cooktown, Hope Vale and Lakeland firmly in our sights.
In beautiful Cooktown in Tropical Far North Queensland, we met the local vet clinic team, Dr Duncan and Dr Kate Smith, from SeaDog Veterinary Services.
Not only do Kate and Duncan, her husband, look after the furry and feathery inhabitants of Cooktown, but they also care for animals in remote towns and settlements throughout Cape York.
Despite the challenges of developing a successful business in a small community, SeaDog Vets are progressive and looking at innovative ways to treat the animals on Cape York.
Kate says that at present, they need to make do with field trips, phone technology, photos, video and social media sites to assess patients and provide veterinary solutions.
A big part of their work is teaching locals how to care for their own animals, but our intrepid Cape York vets also liaise with the Aboriginal Council Officer at Wujal Wujal, who is often the primary liaison between the community and the vet team.
This officer is also the one who is usually required to treat sick or injured animals when SeaDog Vets aren’t there.
Wujal Wujal is a massive success story. Since starting regular vet clinic visits to the community, Seadog Vets have treated every one of the 100 plus dogs in the community and removed active scabies from the dogs, which is a first for a Queensland Indigenous community.
Because of the success of the Wujal Wujal Clinic, Seadog vets are speaking with other Indigenous Councils, such as Hope Vale and Bamaga. Bamaga itself has five indigenous communities in the surrounding region and can only be accessed by light aircraft.
As you can imagine, the logistics of covering a large remote area are enough to give anyone a headache. But Kate feels that when the Sky Muster™ service is up and running in these communities, her team will find caring for the Cape’s animals easier.
This is because SeaDog Vets believe that the key to improving animal welfare lies in the education and empowerment of local community members.
With this, they believe that there will naturally be an improvement in human health by reducing the transmission of disease from animals to humans.
We’ve all heard of telehealth, and what we’re talking about here is telehealth for pets. Just think of how much easier and more efficient it could be for the SeaDog Vet team to check over a sick pet with a communication app like Skype and diagnose a course of action.*
With the right technology in place, they can even remotely monitor and measure an animal’s vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure and weight.
With Kate, Duncan and their team at SeaDog Vets, the Sky Muster™ Satellite service can help to improve the health outcomes for the pets of the Cape.
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Last updated on 18 August 2016