HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Vicky McClure, Barry Mufford and Pickles the cat invite everyone all to the birthday celebrations of CHVH are celebrating 50 years with an open day on Sunday, September 24.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Vicky McClure, Barry Mufford and Pickles the cat invite everyone all to the birthday celebrations of CHVH are celebrating 50 years with an open day on Sunday, September 24. Rachel Vercoe

All creatures great and small

FROM family pets to whales, camels, cattle and snakes, the team at Coffs Harbour Veterinary Hospital has seen it all.

Vet Vicky McClure took over the hospital from vet Barry Mufford 25 years ago.

"A lot has changed in that time,” she said.

"Diagnostically there's no comparison now since the introduction of digital and dental x-rays. Also medically so much has changed with vaccines and preventative medicine. I remember having to give dogs daily tablets for heart-worm and if you missed one it could be fatal. Now we have annual treatments.

"One thing that has remained the same for me is relating to people and seeing the relationships they have with their pets. Some pets are bed buddies, some are exercise companions while others are members of the family.”

The small street frontage is not indicative of what goes on at 4 Lyster St.

"It's a lot bigger on the inside than people realise. We are a large hospital and, in 2010, were instrumental in creating the shared after- hours emergency veterinary service.”

In 1970 when Mr Mufford was at the helm, CHVH was the only veterinary surgery between Grafton and Kempsey and had almost 200 clients from the dairy industry on the books.

"In those days you were kept so busy with cattle you did small animals in your spare time,” Mr Mufford said.

"Back then we looked after the marine animals at the Pet Porpoise Pool, we also had some ostriches and I even had a tiger once with a tooth problem.

"We would often see banana farmers who would bring in snakes they had macheted for me to stitch up.”

Mr Mufford will be visiting the hospital on Sunday to help Ms McClure and the team celebrate 50 years of operation.

Also on hand will be Pickles and Cracker the resident cats. Everyone is invited to pop in for birthday cake, face-painting, a barbecue and a peek behind the scenes.



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