Pet cam keeps watchful eye on sick pets

Alfie the cat puts the spy camera to the test at Springlands Veterinary Centre.
RICKY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Alfie the cat puts the spy camera to the test at Springlands Veterinary Centre.

With infrared vision and remote-access spy capabilities, a pet cam in Marlborough is helping on-call vets keep a watchful eye on animals.

Staff at Springlands Veterinary Centre have installed a hi-tech surveillance camera at their Blenheim clinic.

The gadget-like technology enables on-call vets to check on, and talk to, patients without having to leave the house.

It is thought the small animal practice is among the first in the country to have adopted this monitoring method.

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Vet Nigel Nesbit says the remote-accessed system helps provide the best care possible for people's pets.

Springlands Veterinary Centre staff have installed a new surveillance camera to keep a watchful eye on hospitalised pets.
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

Springlands Veterinary Centre staff have installed a new surveillance camera to keep a watchful eye on hospitalised pets.

The pet cam lets the on-call vet scan the clinic's hospital room and feeds directly to a smart phone. The vet can also reassure the pets through a built-in microphone. It also has night vision.

Nigel stressed the system did not replace hands-on care but was an extra security measure.

Surveillance cameras have become a popular way of watching over babies in their cots, but are also used by some pet owners to keep a virtual eye on their furry friends.

Alfie the cat with vet nurse Trelise Combe put the new surveillance camera to the test.
RICKY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Alfie the cat with vet nurse Trelise Combe put the new surveillance camera to the test.

Vet nurse Tash Luxton says the system means an on-call vet can easily check on the condition of an animal in a stable condition.

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"It will never replace human care but it will save the vet having to go back and forth several times a night to check an IV line, for example. They would be able to see if an animal had managed to pull the line out or if they'd got a kink in it somehow and go and fix the problem.

"They can also hear if an animal is in any distress. It works both ways and animals may well be comforted if spoken to in a soft, gentle voice."

The clinic looks after all breeds of small animals as well as caring for animals under the care of SPCA Marlborough. A vet is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"We have animals in most nights for monitoring," Tash says. "Any really sick animals are checked personally by the vet but for those in a stable condition this is a great way to make sure there's nothing wrong."

The clinic is giving away a surveillance camera to someone in Marlborough. For more information and to enter, visit Facebook.com.

 - The Marlborough Express

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