The Five Welfare Needs


  1. Somewhere suitable to live
  2. A proper diet, including fresh water
  3. The ability to express normal behaviour
  4. Any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  5. Protection from, and treatment of, illness and injury


This is a very important point of interest as I realised after reading in the Veterinary Times that the annual PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report has highlighted a worrying drop in welfare needs awareness. One of the key findings included only 7% of children having heard of these five welfare needs.

The Olfactory Vet

just a point of interest.


Vets need to be diverse individuals, using many different techniques throughout practice to assess conditions, make a diagnosis and consequently a course of action and prognosis.

When doing work experience, I have particularly noticed how vets can effectively put their olfactory organs to use by smelling their way through a problem.

Here are some uses to which a vet can put their nose:

  • bad breath – indicates bad teeth and gums, possible gingivitis, can also suggest diseases such as kidney disease or diabetes
  • anal glands – the pungent, fishy smell of anal glands is a clear indicator for when they need emptying
  • infection – if a wound has a foul odour, it suggests a bacterial infection
  • flatulence – excessive gas/wind can indicate intestinal problems
  • skin condition  – a poorly kept coat will begin to smell, this could be because of conditions such as seborrhoea or cheyletiella
  • welfare – welfare issues could become apparent very quickly through the pungent smell of stale urine, suggesting a problem with care


Just a point of interest.


Scope – instrument for viewing and observing

Endoscopes: illuminated tubular instrument for visualising hollow organs, often with a channel to pass instruments through.

  • Encephaloscope – cavities in the brain
  • Laryngoscope – the larynx
  • Esophagoscope – the inside of the oesophagus
  • Angioscope – the blood vessels
  • Nephroscope – the kidneys
  • Arthroscope – the interior of a joint
  • Rhinoscope – for nasal examinations
  • Bronchoscope – the interior of the bronchi
  • Gastroscope – the interior of the stomach
  • Laparoscope – the peritoneal cavity (the abdomen)
  • Amnioscope – the foetus through the cervical canal before the membrane is broken
  • Cystoscope – the urinary tract
  • Hysteroscope – the canal of the uterine cervix and the uterine cavity

Anoscope – anal canal

Colposcope – magnifies vagina and cervix

Otoscope – auditory canal and ear drum

Ophthalmoscope – interior of the eye

Microscope – making enlarged images of minute objects

Stethoscope – listening to sounds made in the body


To name just but a few!