I've been a frequent visitor to various veterinary clinics and hospitals for the past few years. This blog post is mainly to share my experience as a parent of 7 furkids.

I had my first furkid when I was in primary school. My mom picked up strays from the food court near our house. We had zero knowledge about taking care of dogs, let it alone to know the importance of spaying our dogs. One of our female dogs got pregnant and gave birth to 5 puppies, 2 died during the process and 3 lived with us since then. Then another black female dog came into our life soon after that, we named her Tum Tum/Toto.

Toto passed away when I was in college. My mom broke the news to me early in the morning, I went home right after my lecture studies. Toto was buried with the help of my sister's boyfriend and my boyfriend. We never able to find out what was the cause of death, we got no information on animal forensics. Toto was perfectly fine the day before, she had good appetite and show no sign of fatigue. She has gone too soon I don't get the chance to say goodbye.

Mumble came into my life about 8 years ago. She was the love of my life. I got her from my neighbours who had a lovely pair of married dog parents, gave birth to many puppies, and one of them is Mumble Chan. Mumble lived with us for 4 years, she died of tick fever. I was deeply in sorrow and regretful for not able to realize any sign of the deadly sickness. When Mumble was still with us, I brought home a Belgium Shepherd, then a Pug, soon after that an Alaskan Malamute.

Roche, the Belgium Shepherd is well protected by Mumble. Roche is an obedient and smart dog thanks to Mumble. My boyfriend and I are no-expert in dog training, we are able to teach them normal things like sit, down, stay, no and more, but Roche and Mumble are smarter than that. They know when is appropriate to bark, they able to identify which one is harmful food (such as chocolates and garlics) and more. Mumble was a guide for Roche until she passed away on a random Wednesday night.

My other furkids, Pumba, Kitto and Nala never met Mumble. Penguin was with her for 2 days only. That was the first time I've seen my boyfriend cried in silence and had hard time committing his love to another furkids until Pumba came into our life.

Penguin, a pug was once treated badly by her breeder-owner, lived with us since 3 years ago. We never get to know her past medical records, how many times has she gave birth, what's her age and more. I still remember we both already have 3 furkids, Penguin was obviously need medication and extra care from us. The boyfriend hesitated as he was not confident with himself to provide this poor pug a better life. Well, despite we are only moderately affordable for (extra) commitments, we both decided to bring this pug home and named her Penguin.

She has bad skin condition, almost hairless. She was lack of confidence and can tell she hates to mix with other dogs. She had vaginal infection and need special nutrition. Boyfriend and I were thinking to neuter her, but judging from her health condition, we are advised not to and should opt for medication to stop the bleeding from vaginal.

Recently, she was admitted to UPM Veterinary Hospital for 4 days last week. Before that, she had minor bleeding which I thought just a menstrual period, it lasted for more than 2 weeks. Nobody thinks it's a major issue until she vomited at night. We rushed her to Animal Medical Centre instead of Gasing Veterinary Hospital (which I prefer) because when we called GVH and mentioned that we're coming from Seremban, the person in charge was hesitated (sounds hesitated). Because of that, we brought Penguin to Animal Medical Centre. We are given a (quite) long list of tests and medications, the total charges approximately 1,200.

Well, we brought Penguin home that night.  Frankly speaking, the boarding rate per night is 60rm. For me to drive back and forth plus the toll, it definitely cost more than that. As what the doctor consulted us, Penguin will be put on drips the first night, then in the afternoon Penguin will go for ultrasound and X-ray. Don't get me wrong that I'm trying to indicate that the hospital is doing unnecessary thing, but why the drips because there isn't an operation next day? Just a normal ultrasound and X-ray, dripping is not necessary at all.  Meaning, it's pointless to leave my emotional pug at a strange place. Period.

I've done my homework before deciding to neuter Penguin. Many doctors advised me that Penguin falls under higher risk breed compared to other dogs, due to her flat face and uncommon-sized kidney, we as her owner can opt for medication and avoid operation at all cost. But, if Penguin is neutered, I meant, if any dog had been neutered, such bleeding or inflammation will never happen. I've called in to Gasing Veterinary Hospital and UPM Veterinary Hospital for an early-stage consultation regarding the medical tests. First, the facilities, the necessity of treatments and the last, the costs of treatment. All about the same, we still can't decide which to go. Gasing Veterinary Hospital doesn't offer Ultrasound and some certain blood tests. Some of the charges is higher in UPM Veterinary Hospital.

Fast forward to present, the Dogathon 2014. It wasn't my first time attending Dogathon in UPM, we all love Dogathon. Joker did have heat stroke attack 2 years ago, never thought it is a life-threatening condition where your dog might died of drowning (of the lungs). Hyperthermia (heat stroke) occurs when dogs are exposed to a high temperature environment. Dogs do not tolerate hot environment, when the body-cooling mechanism fails, body fluids rushed to the surface of skin (sort of sweating) and eventually drown the lungs with fluid.

Dr Lim is treating Joker with clean water to cool her down

Joker get treated with water to lower down the body temperature at the mobile clinic. Heat stroke cases are treated as emergency, many dogs have minor heat stroke and it sounds common especially when your dogs are exposed under the hot sun. Not until Joker's tongue turned blue after the event ended.

One of the students urged me to send Joker to the faculty clinic, she offered to lead me with her motorbike when I told her I don't know where is it. Trust me, the student was as worried as I already am, she made a call to inform the doctors beforehand, once we reached the clinic, she immediately opened my car door and rushed Joker to the ICU, looking for the doctors, although the clinic is closed for the day but there are few doctors on duty to take care of sick animals.

Put on drips

I shouldn't make fun out of the photo above but I just couldn't. I showed this to my sisters and told them that Joker ran until leg broken also can't win a consolation prize. Actually, she fell asleep in the ICU while receiving good treatment from the doctors on duty. While Joker is still in the ICU, the doctor explained to me that heat stroke can bring permanent damage to the brain and internal organs, it is a serious condition.


I am impressed with the facilities provided in the clinic. Surprisingly that the ward we entered is clean and tools are properly arranged. Unlike other hospitals I went, this clinic has no terrible odours (of poo and pee). The whole place are well organised, it's like a hospital for human. There are wards specially for large breed with an open air garden at the back, normal ward for smaller dogs and cats, dressing rooms for minor injuries, and not forgetting to mention, ICU and operation rooms.

I never been to UPM Veterinary Hospital. I am highly satisfied with the facilities and the positive attitude from the doctors after bringing Joker here, I decided to let them treat Penguin. Most importantly, I trust the hospital.

Waited for 90 minutes in the lobby

It took a very long time from registration lobby until we get to see the doctor. The first doctor we met is Dr. Lim, room 13. I don't know how many patients and annoying-over-reacted owners she meets in a day, undeniably she is a lovely resident who patiently answer all my questions and calmed me down with her soft voice.

UPM Veterinary Hospital
Penguin waiting for her admission form
Their passion and professionalism are highly regarded. Despite I showed my reluctance of letting Penguin stays overnight in the ward, she talked to me softly about the risk of delaying the treatment, and assured me that she will talk to the surgeon about Penguin, to see if they are able to put her at the top in the list. On a side note, I reluctant to admit Penguin to the ward because if they are not able to schedule an operation for Penguin tomorrow, we will need to wait another two days as the day after tomorrow was Deepavali holiday.

UPM Veterinary Hospital

Penguin was supposed to be put into a patient cage and push to this Radiology department. I carried her in my arms instead, at least she will feel better. It only take about 10-15 minutes to get the X-Ray films.

UPM Veterinary Hospital

UPM Veterinary Hospital
Having that Dr-Grey-feeling looking at this film

Before sending Penguin to the normal ward, a paper was shown to me, all the treatments needed and estimated costs are stated clearly. I agreed with the costs immediately (it's affordable!) without further discounts.


I told them that Penguin is emotional. They are kind enough to provide a big cage for Penguin with no neighbours. Food and water are provided in a minute after all the documentation is done. Operation was scheduled in the afternoon the next day. Soon after that, an Anesthetic Specialist, Dr Benedict met me in the ward and started asking questions relevant to Penguin's behaviour and health conditions. Don't take these easy people, I don't take this for granted thinking it was just a normal questionnaire. Dr Ben needs to know all of these to avoid any complication that might be caused during the operation. If your dog has some sort of health conditions or show any special behaviours, it might be a sign of discomfort or any underlying health issues.


I am told that Penguin's operation is scheduled in the afternoon. The doctor advised me not to visit her in the morning as it might excites her and it's no-good for operation. I went to the clinic anyway, initially thinking to see her from far, giving her spiritual supports to go through the big operation. When I reached there at 10.30am, Penguin is already in the operation room. They put her first in the list.

Took this photo from outside

Postoperative care following her surgical procedure. The first 6 hours is the critical time frame for her. Penguin is an old dog with breathing difficulties. Proper postoperative care aids healing, recovery and also to avoid preventable corrective surgeries.


As you can see in the photo above, Penguin has a oxygen mask on her. She wasn't awake by the time, the doctor gave her injection repeatedly; it was to keep her sedated throughout the 6-hours time frame. They need her to stay still but not totally unconscious, sedation that is.


I visited Penguin the next day, in the morning. It was the Deepavali holiday and the clinic is closed. I accessed to the ICU from the staff entry, yay there she is in the ICU. Penguin was obviously feeling lonely and down (look at her face!).


Penguin was still on drips, water and food are served around 8am. Before we get to open the cage door, a doctor came and update us with her current condition. Her appetite is good, vital signs are stable and within normal limits, conclusion, she's doing good after the operation.


Before the operation, they fed Penguin with solid food (biscuits) and I thought it's the same for after-operation, so we bought a small can of meats for her. Penguin wagged her tails for the food!


After feeding her the whole small can, the boyfriend said that we should bring more. He then asked from the veterinary staff if they are able to sell a can to us. A doctor came with a Pedigree and a pink spoon. He also offered to write a name on it, and allowed us to store the food in a fridge in the kitchen. The staff assured us that this can is specially for Penguin's feeding only.


Penguin wanted to go home with us! As I mentioned earlier, Penguin is an emotional furkid, he hates to be hugged sometimes. That day, she climbed up and tucked her face into boyfriend's arm and asking for a hug. Aww.


Her face when we told her that it's not time to go home yet. The pink pillow was for her to kill boredom, provided by the vet students.

Next day, Penguin is discharged! The doctor on duty is happy for her speedy recovery. The boyfriend took care of the medication and bringing her out from the ICU, while I drove our car straight to the entrance. I was thinking to tuck her into the bed I've put on the car seat, she will be very tired and painful from the operation. It surprised me when Penguin rushed out from the ward when I opened the ward door. She is completely fine with the running! She shows no pain and fatigue at all. Guess what the doctor said to my boyfriend? "Congratulations on Penguin's speedy recovery, these are the medication, goodbye and I hope not to see you here again." Aww, I love this.

After bringing my pugs for treatment in UPM Veterinary Hospital, I am highly satisfied and I thrust them. Honestly speaking, the charges are way economical compared to other clinics/hospitals I visited before. Besides that, your furkids are in a good hand of a group of passionate veterinary doctors and kindhearted caretakers. There are doctors on duty until night time. As in Penguin case, Dr Benedict skipped his lunch on the operation day and stayed late to make sure Penguin is completely recovered from the anesthetic. The caretakers did not put a water bowl in her cage too just in case she accidentally drown herself, they put her on glucose drip instead.

Feel free to email me or PM me in Facebook if you feel like asking questions about how to take care of furkids. Signing off!

P8311979 All the photos are taken using an Olympus EPL-1. Passionate in lomography and traveling. Appreciate your supports and thank you for reading this post, kindly leave footprints at my facebook page. Roslyn Kong at Instagr.am. Let me hear from you on Twitter too at @roslynkong!!