DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: I get asked what it feels like to be that close to a big cat. It’s
intimidating and scary. COMM: Unlike most vets, Dr. Justin Boorstein spends much of his time looking after cats that are a little bit bigger than your average furry feline. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: Yeah, so when I do a procedure comparing a small cat to a big cat,
they are almost identical. The biggest difference is if the big cat wakes up, it can kill me
and kill people around me. So, it can be a very dangerous job and one you don’t want
to make a mistake at. COMM: Justin started working as a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue ten years ago before he
was even qualified as a vet, and now fully trained comes in throughout the week to look
after the cats at the sanctuary. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: So my basic tasks at Big Cat Rescue are not only surgery but also
basic wellness care. So, going from vaccines all the way up to some of the most common
things we deal with are dental disease. COMM: And the job is full of twists and turns as the big cats at the sanctuary prove consistently
to be full of surprises. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: Today we sedated Hoover. For the past 24 hours, he has had his penis
stuck out of the sheath, which is a very serious condition for animals, this can lead to it
drying out and even dying in some cases so immediate sedation was definitely needed.
We decided to go ahead and neuter him. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: So, one of the other things we had to do was put his penis back
into the sheath, but there is always a risk of it popping right back out so I placed a
suture called the purse string and basically it just makes that hole smaller. That suture
will dissolve and hopefully whatever caused it to come out in the first place, will have
resolved by that point and it shouldn’t get stuck out again. COMM: And if that wasn’t enough for Justin, there have been other issues some might find
even harder to swallow. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: So, today we sedated Zeus. He has been having some episodes where
he seems uncomfortable, mainly in his abdomen. He kind of walks a little bit funny. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: This is his stomach and this is kind of the end part of his stomach
and there is a lot of material in there and he hasn’t eaten in about a little over 24 hours.
So he shouldn’t have anything in his stomach, but there is a lot of something in his stomach.
Upon exploring him, we found actually mostly just leaves and hair in his stomach and a
whole lot of it. Probably close to a softball size amount, or more. We’re just going to
let him recover in the hospital and we’re definitely going to keep a count on him in
the future, we’ll see if he’s eating a lot of plant material, and if he is we may
have to figure out a way to keep him from doing that. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: There is a case right behind me. This is probably one of the by
most of rewarding cases. This is Mr. Claws, he was hit by a car, he is a bobcat, wild
bobcat and he had a broken femur. Unfortunately, the place that he was at wasn’t getting
it fixed and they ended up giving him to us and so we did complete diagnostics and found
out he did have a broken femur, we put a big bone plate on him and it did very well and
I think the they after I put that on, he was walking without a limp, which terrified me.
And I hoped that he wasn’t going to break or bend the plate and then I think it was
about two and a half months later after intense rehab, keeping him in a confined enclosure,
he was able to be released outside and he ran jumping and ran right into the woods and
never to be seen again. COMM: And whilst being a dedicated vet has its rewards for Justin, there are some that
will never appreciate all his hard work. DR JUSTIN BOORSTEIN: Some people ask do I go back and revisit the cats that I have helped
out. All my cats that I have dealt with, that I have had to sedate a lot, fixed and now
they are doing better, they hate me, probably more than anyone on the property. So, unfortunately,
you would hope that they would be appreciative, but they are not appreciative at all. I think
they just want to eat me.