PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats
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PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine
devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

How Did You Find Your Veterinarian?

If you are a cat (or dog) owner, one of the questions you will be asked from time to time is “How did you find your veterinarian?”. If you are a cat breeder, finding the right vet is critical. Finding the right vet begins with deciding what you need in a vet. Oftentimes, it is not until you have the wrong vet that you discover the vet is not the right one for you.

My Story

I was living on the 27th floor of a condominium building in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was the center of a bustling urban lifestyle. Coming into the lobby one day, I found a tiny Persian kitten huddling in the corner. Ours was a “no pet” building so I I was surprised to find a kitten in the lobby. It was obviously a purebred Persian. It couldn’t be a stray from the street. I took her up to my condo and by the time I located her owner, I was hooked. Before long I had purchased a Persian show male. When I received my kitten, I wanted to have him checked out by a vet. I went to the nearest veterinary office. Technically, it called itself a clinic. The difference between a hospital and a clinic is that the clinic had little medical equipment — they did not even have an x-ray machine. That wasn’t going to be very handy if one needed to x-ray a pregnant female or check the lungs on a cat with an upper respiratory infection.

My Requirement # 1: I needed to find a better equipped facility.

Next I went to a “Cats-Only” practice, figuring this vet would have more experience with feline ailments and would be experienced at handling recalcitrant feline patients. And she did. But (and there is so often a but), there were 4 “clinic cats” wandering around the waiting room. These cats greeted every new person and their kitty with purrs and nose-touches. While it was all very sweet, I couldn’t help but think that if any patient in that waiting room had an infectious problem — fleas, an upper respiratory, feline leukemia, etc, — there was a possibility that those friendly feline greeters could pick up the problem and pass it on to the next patient, including my cat.

My Requirement # 2: No Cross-Contamination With Other Cats

Then, when I went into the examination room, I found it did not have an examination table. The client sat in a chair and the vet sat cross-legged on the floor while the kitty walked around. My cat loved the friendly approach, but I also wondered about all the cats that had sat under that chair — and how it would be impossible to disinfect the underside of the upholstered chair.

My Requirement # 3: Cleanliness & Disinfection

I asked and was allowed to go in the back room with my cat while her blood was taken for testing. The tech staff were friendly. The blood was taken. I would be called with the results the next day. When I was called with the results, I was told everything was negative. One of the tests I had requested was a corona virus titer. I asked about it and was told by the receptionist that is was negative. Now, not only was I a dog breeder early in my life, I also was a vet tech at one point. Added to these experiences I had done intense research in to cat breeding prior to deciding to do it. I was knowledgeable.  I told her that that the result of that particular test was a number, not positive or negative. Eventually I spoke to the vet who indicated the test was never done and I would have to return my cat for more blood to be taken (since I had already been charged for the test). Hmm… This was not the right vet for me.

Requirement # 4: Conscientious, Reliable & Honest

Before I had the opportunity to check out the next vet on my list, my cat became very ill. I went to the nearest vet but they sent me to the emergency vet where twice a day they gave my kitty sub-Q fluids. I had experience working at a veterinary hospital and asked that they provide me with fluids and the IV kit so I could give the fluids at home. They said no. So twice a day in the middle of a freezing cold winter, I would take my very sick kitty to the emergency vet for sub-Q fluids. This wasn’t working for me, and certainly wasn’t best for my sick kitten.

Requirement # 5: Willingness To Trust My Abilities

Next I sat down and made phone calls to various vets asking what equipment they had. I found one with top facilities including ultrasound and in-house bloodwork. I took my sick kitty to this vet hospital. There I met a junior vet, and there was immediate accord. I was allowed to accompany my kitten while she was given fluids and then I was sent home with everything I needed to give her sub-Q fluids at home. This was the vet for me. I was content.

Requirement # 6: Chemistry With The Veterinarian

Eventually I moved. I was now an hour away in a different city. My junior vet also moved about an hour away in the opposite direction to open her own practice. One again, I had to look for a vet. I tried multiple different vets in my new area. They just weren’t up to scratch — so now I travel almost two hours to my old vet. I must pass 40 vets on the way, but it doesn’t matter. When you find a good vet, when you find the right vet for you, they are worth the drive.

Option # 7: Local

Ideally, I want my veterinarian to be close to my home. However, if the convenient local vet doesn’t fulfill Requirements #1-#6, I realized being close to home was the preferred option, but not a requirement.

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“Cats choose us; we don’t own them.”
*Kristin Cast (author, House of Night vampire-themed fantasy novels)

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