At Donaldson’s Vets we deal with all creatures great and small. Although the majority of the animals we see in the surgery are cats and dogs, we have a busy schedule of farm and horse visits and there is always plenty of variety which makes every day different.

I was reminded of this the other day when I opened the door of my consulting room to usher the next patient and owner in and was met with an unexpected surprise.

A deep throated warbling was coming from a cardboard box in the corner of the waiting room. When the box was placed on the consulting table and the top unfolded, suddenly, I was face to face with a turkey!

It turned out that the turkey was a pet and was not destined for the Christmas Dinner table – its owned is a staunch vegetarian.

While outside with her turkey companions, this unlucky bird had managed to catch the thin tissue under her wing on a sharp piece of wire and a 2 inch long cut through skin and muscle resulted.

A vets training is broad based and comprehensive but there is little time in the syllabus for lectures on Turkey repairs so it is a matter of applying first principals.

The wound was cleaned with an antiseptic solution and the few sparse feathers around the wound were trimmed. A local anaesthetic was applied to the area and then the skin edges were drawn together. The skin edges were secured with metal skin clips which work similar to staples. Antibiotics were given to ensure that bacterial infection was treated and the Turkey was returned to the cardboard box.

10 days later, the metal clips were removed and the wound had healed well.

Through the process, the Turkey warbled softly but did not complain once and she has now gone back with the other Turkeys without a ruffled feather in sight.