Sally asks a few very good questions.
Here is Dr Harry’s official website. Basically, he is a TV vet. Australian only and I believe he is based in Tassie.
I am sure I’m not the only person who hates him. But you might be able to count us on one hand. He is cheerful, and jovial, and he “loves animals”. Most people thing he is like their favourite uncle, or grandfather. But he makes my flesh crawl. Like a pedophile. I am not suggesting that he rapes children, but I really wish the man would shut up, or get a clue.
My feelings for him are not new. I’ve disliked him since I first saw him on TV talking about rabbit care.
Most vets don’t have a clue about rabbit care. It’s not their fault – even the “best” vet school in Sydney (Sydney Uni) has bugger all training in rabbits and guinea pigs. As a vet in Australia, you can specialise in large animals, or small animals. Large animals = horses and cows, small animals = dogs and cats. In the UK, rabbits are the third most popular pet, after dogs and cats – the vets that I see in Sydney have invariably done training or residency in the UK, and understand current best practice in lagomorph care.
I forked out a few hundred dollars on Amazon a few years ago to buy the latest “Textbook of Rabbit Medicine”. I will admit that I need to look up every second word to follow the text, but I do have the resources to find out if a vet has a clue or not. I’ve also used the book to convince a shelter vet that pain relief was a lifesaver for rabbits after spay surgery. Any woman could tell you that pain relief is absolutely necessary after a hysterectomy, but some vets need convincing that rabbits feel pain. The book was worth every penny, and every time I know that the shelter desexes a bunny, I think about the value of good information.
So why post now? I saw him on an ad. And I was reminded that I hated his ignorance, and hated his wholesome image, and hated that his word is never questioned.
I just want people to ask questions. And demand a better quality of care for their long eared friends.
Once upon a time, a friend lost her beautiful bunny. From what she told me of the care he received over about a week, I strongly suspected that the rabbit died as a result of veterinary malpractice. But I couldn’t say anything to my grieving friend. Not then, not ever. But I can encourage people to get more educated about best practice.
2 thoughts on “Who is Dr Harry?”
I am so glad that you have put your feelings about Dr Harry out there… I have long disliked his condescending (spelling?) manner, and I have been surprised on a few occasions about his dietary advice for various animals. Being a crazy-cat-man, I can’t comment on the quality of his bunny advice, but the thing that really annoys me about him is the way that he constantly promotes breeding of “pedigree” animals and talks about “desirable” and “undesirable” features of a breed. To my way of thinking, the only real desirable features your pet cat/dog/bunny/rat/bird/gautamalan mountain cow of paradise needs is good health and some social manners. And appropriate desexing whenever it is beneficial to the creatures wellbeing. Since becoming a pet parent, I have had three beautiful cats over the last 20 years, all of which were rescue/RSPCA animals, they are loving, pretty and hilariously entertaining to hang out with, and I couldn’t give a shit about their lineage – in fact I don’t give it a thought as my two current rulers Mistral and The Lion Thing lounge about demanding food, massage and attention, but when I catch Dr Harry on the TV spouting on about yet another breed of animal and the breeding there of, I remember all the beautiful faces I have seen at the RSPCA and Cat Protection Society who end up dead because of human laziness (forgot to desex parent) or vanity (it crapped/pissed somewhere or damaged some bit of furniture). And don’t get me started on the number of simaese cats that are dumped simply because they are too hard to look after. Anyhoo. my point, and I do have one, is this: number 11 on the list of reasons to hate Dr Harry is his irresponsible promotion of so called pedigree breeding.
I read in the papers a year or so ago of an overheard conversation in a pet shop where a father and young son were looking at a rather expensive pedigree cat. They told the assistant that they were “planning to upgrade their cat”. Maybe they’d been watching too much Dr Harry.