Linda Hall: Vetting procedures   

Linda Hall: Vetting procedures   

Image - shutterstock/SeventyFour

VISITING a Costas vet is unlikely to be hindered by non-communication.

Practically all of them understand and can make themselves understood in English because foreign residents make up a large part of their clientele.

Even so, you will share a waiting room with Spanish clients with a wailing cat carrier on their knee or an unhappy dog shuddering at their feet.

A cat (gato) was formerly tolerated as a mouser while a dog earned its keep as a hunter (perro de caza) or a herder (perro pastor).  Anything else was dismissed un perro faldero or a lapdog, scornfully used in both languages for a subservient person who idolises, or is controlled by, somebody else.

Instead, cats and dogs have now earned the affectionate label of animales de compañía or the twee-sounding mascota which sounds less twee to a Spanish-speaker.

Meanwhile, back at the vet’s….. la consulta del veterinario/de la veterinarian:

He/she is off-colour… está bien

He/she is off his/her food… come bien

I think he/she has a temperature…..creo que tiene fiebre

I’ve noticed that he/she has weepy eyes…..veo que tiene los ojos llorones

He/she has a runny nose…..está moqueando

He/she is scratching his/her ears… rasca mucho las orejas

Depending on your speech patterns:

I want to sterilise/spay/neuter/doctor my dog/cat…..quiero esterilizar/castrar mi perro/mi gato

I would like to microchip my dog/cat…..quiero poner un microchip a mi perro/mi gato

I want to vaccinate my dog/cat…..quiero vacunar a mi perro/gato

I want to get rid of fleas /ticks …..quiero un producto para eliminar piojos/garrapatas

There will be things you might not want to hear:

He/she has distemper/mange/fleas/worms…..tiene moquillo/sarna/

piojos/lombrices or parásitos internos/

We need to operate…..hay que operar

And something you might have to accept:

We need to put your dog/cat to sleep…..hay que sacrificar, dormir, practicar la eutanasia a tu perro/gato

Having ended on an unhappy note, bear in mind that miseria in Spanish means poverty, not misery, although both conditions are pretty miserable, whichever way you look at them.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at