Former beauty queen says she comes across bizarre cases treating animals

Former beauty queen says she comes across bizarre cases treating animals
Veterinary surgeon and director of medicine, Dr Cheryl Tay with a young stray kitten at the Animal Recovery Centre.

Animals eat the strangest things.

Dr Cheryl Tay has treated dogs who have made themselves ill thanks to eating sanitary pads and G-strings.

Or in one particularly memorable case, a 1.5 carat diamond engagement ring.

Says Dr Tay: "The couple came home to find items from her dressing table on the floor, but they couldn't find her ring. When their labrador came in for an X-ray, it all made sense.

"Thankfully, the dog eventually passed the ring out. The owner had to look for it in its poop every day," she says with a laugh.

Some readers may recognise Dr Tay as a former Miss Singapore Universe. Dr Tay, who took the crown in 2005, has been working as a veterinarian for 10 years.

While clients occasionally recognise her from her pageant days, they usually resist the temptation to ask for a photo.

"But they sure are enthusiastic about taking photos of their pets, even if they are on the examination table," she says, with a chuckle.

Now in her early 30s, she is the director of medicine and veterinary surgeon at the Animal Recovery Veterinary Referral Centre in Serangoon Road.

She has also treated exotic animals during her time overseas, including skinks (a type of lizard) and axolotls (a type of salamander).

Once, she even had to remove a bullet from a cockatoo's chest while she was working in Australia.

"I'm not sure how it got shot, but the bird was brought in by a concerned member of the public . It may have been an accident."

Despite her experience, Dr Tay confesses that it is always difficult witnessing animals die.

"I can usually keep it together enough to speak to the owners as many have questions about the cause of death and options for cremation.

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