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What Has Your Experience Been With Your Vet & CH Cat?

July 7, 2013

This is going to be a rather short post today, because I was hoping all of you could take a few moments to share your experiences.

Photo courtesy Chika.

Lately a CH cat parent reached out to me with a few concerns about the quality of care her CH cat has received at the vet. She was curious about others’ experiences, and I was hoping you could share some of them.

Over the years, I’ve heard stories that have spanned the spectrum. Some folks have found fantastic vets who love CH cats and who have the knowledge, creativity, and wisdom to provide excellent care. Others have visited vets with their CH cats only to be told that the cat should be euthanized. So here’s your prompt:

What has your experience been with taking your CH cat to the vet?

Feel free to respond in the comments below or to email me. I’d like to then compile your responses and share them in another post so we can get a good idea of our relationships with our vets.

And as always, if you know of a fabulous CH cat vet, please let me know so we can add them to this map of CH cat friendly vets. Also consult the map if you’re looking for a good vet in your area. Thanks!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2013 11:30 am

    I must say I never had a vet say my CH cat should be euthanized but I have found care that is better than another. The first vet said our cat would live a full life but I thought the care was a bit perfunctory. When I came back from overseas and Poppie had some health issues, I decided to try an all-cat vet recommended on the CH kitty FB page. I think he was more responsive and thorough. I really recommend such a vet if that’s available. They usually have experience with CH kitties and more experience with cat specific health issues.

  2. natsera permalink
    July 7, 2013 12:54 pm

    My vet, who specializes in cats, recognized her CH the moment I set her down on the ground and he saw her take a couple of steps. And immediately assured me that it wasn’t ever going to be life-threatening, and while it wouldn’t get better, it definitely wasn’t going to get worse. She has mild CH, and is therefore able to do most of what she wants to do, although it took much longer for her to figure out how than a non-CH cat would take. And there are some things she will never be able to do, but I’m willing to help her when she needs help. She is also a primordial dwarf (yes, I looked that up) — has finally reached 4 lb. at 9 months. But my vet is aware of that too. If anyone lives in Reno, Nevada, and needs a really good cat vet, it’s the Feline Medical Center.

  3. July 7, 2013 4:42 pm

    I go to Animal General in Edgewater, NJ. My vet immediately recognized my CH kitty’s condition and spend a lot of time educating my husband and me on his condition. Not once did he ever suggest that I euthanize Prometheus. All the vets at Animal General provide thorough examinations, never rush you out of the exam room if you have questions, and are very reasonably priced. They network with specialists in NYC and NJ, so it gives patient guardians options as far as where go next (if a specialist is needed). I will never go to another veterinary practice with my cats.

  4. July 8, 2013 11:35 am

    My husband and I just took Sophie, our mild-moderate CH kitty, to our vet for the first time last week. We’ve had her for about 5 months, and she had already been previously diagnosed and was up to date on all her shots and everything when we adopted her, so there hasn’t been a reason to take her until recently – she has an ear infection. Anyway, we were very pleased with our experience. We have two non-CH cats that have both seen this vet before, and we have always loved him. We only love him all the more now, knowing that our Sophie receives top-notch care as well. From the moment she arrived, everybody in the vet’s office loved her. Everyone wanted to hold her and pet her and kept going on and on about how special and awesome she is (I’m sure all of you CH cat parents know what I’m talking about ;). She received a very thorough examination, and while the visit was just a simple check of her ears and prescribing of antibiotics, I am confident that she would receive great care for something more serious as well. Dr. Caldwell is very knowledgeable, and NEVER mentioned or even hinted at euthanizing.
    I’m from Macon, Georgia and the vet’s office is called Caldwell Veterinary Hospital in Forsyth, Georgia. I would recommend him to anyone.

  5. July 8, 2013 12:07 pm

    My vet (Dr. Szacki at Park Slope Veterinary Center in Brooklyn) has been fantastic – I brought Wolsey in to her the day we found him on the side of the street (wobbling, head-butting, and purring away). She immediately suggested it might be CH but also went through other potential medical causes and put me in touch with a great specialist. The eventual verdict was mild CH. I’m really glad to hear that there are so many other good vets out there, too!

  6. Kelly permalink
    July 8, 2013 9:09 pm

    I have 2 CH cats. siblings. 1 is severe, the other is moderate/severe. I have seen 3 different vets thus far with my CH kitties. First one tried to talk me into euthanizing Otis. I went to them more for confirmation diagnosis. Luckily I had done a little research on my own so I didn’t take his advice thank goodness. The second one, we took Mandy in because she bit her lip. The vet techs didn’t want to listen to me telling them what was wrong with Mandy. They were just VERY insistent that she had poisoning from flea treatment. Wouldn’t listen to my explanation of what was going on with her no matter how many times I told them she was born with it. Finally after loosing my patience the Dr came in, looked at her lip and basically said “good luck with that one” 3rd times a charm. We took Mandy in for spay and Phoenix Road Animal Hosp in Michigan was great. They had never really seen it before, but the vet listened to me about what she had and then did all the research she could possibly do to know how to treat her. They were a little more expensive but well worth it.

  7. Selena permalink
    July 8, 2013 9:14 pm

    I’ve been seeing my vet for many years prior to my adopting my first CH cat and she specializes in cats and small animals. Bunnies mostly but rats too, which is how I actually started seeing her in the first place. While she wasn’t super experienced with CH cats, she has definitely seen a few and was more fascinated than anything when I started bringing my Roxy, then later on Kiro and Shinju to see her. I’ll say my girls were immediately “accepted” just as any other cats would, there was never a hint of doubt or questions on whether or not they should be kept alive.

  8. Tari permalink
    July 8, 2013 10:47 pm

    We actually adopted our CH cat, Forest, from our vet. (Mary Felt at DuPage Animal Hospital in Villa Park, IL) A local pet shop had found him and his brother in their dumpster. They took them to our vet to see what was wrong. Our vet recognized them as having CH and decided to rescue them. She kept them as fosters at the office until she could find the right forever homes for them. It took six months, but both cats found their homes within a few days of each other. She’s always been terrific with him and will research and learn anything she doesn’t already know. The staff there loves him, and one of the techs even cat sits for us when our family can’t do it.)

  9. Lauren T. permalink
    July 9, 2013 5:47 pm

    I have mixed feelings about my vet. Luckily the vet I take her too was aware of CH and was somewhat familiar with the condition. The vet and the staff are very nice but I think my concern stems from the level of care she receives in general, not just because she has CH (although sometimes that makes me extra concerned). We take Mimosa in for her yearly checkups. The first times they barely gave her a cursory glance, other than asking to see her walk so they could see her stance & gait to see if she really was CH, because they didn’t seem to believe me. They then threw her on scale and gave her shots and that was about it. This last time they spent more time checking her out, especially her teeth, but it was because I went in for specific concern about vomiting (and I had a late appointment). That being said, I’m always curious what types of things the vet should be doing at the yearly checkup, other than shots and weight? Like what is the normal “routine” for a yearly checkup? Mimosa is my first cat so I don’t know what to expect in that regard. Anyone have any thoughts? If she should be getting better care, I’d definitely look into a new vet.

  10. July 9, 2013 9:54 pm

    Hi, Lauren,

    A couple of things you can check is whether a veterinarian is a member of American Association of Feline Practitioners and through AAFP, whether the practice has been certified as a “Cat Friendly Practice”. That will at least tell you that they are people who are truly interested in cats. There is also board certification/specialization in feline medicine/surgery through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

    It’s most important to find a practice where you feel comfortable asking questions. Some veterinarians “talk through” their exam; others may be palpating the liver while talking to you, and if something is normal, s/he may not say anything about that. So, I don’t know how thorough the exam your vet is doing, but if you have doubts, you should be able to ask. We also discuss preventive care things like nutrition, environmental enrichment and other things owners can do at home to keep cats healthy.

    I think you get a good general impression of a practice from entering the building: do you like the staff, is the hospital clean? And, ask about getting a tour of the hospital (sometimes best to call in advance, ie not during surgery times). I hope this helps!

  11. Monika permalink
    July 17, 2013 8:29 pm

    Interesting -tried to just contact “Dale Rubenstein DVM” but his web site kept telling me my phone number was “invalid”. ???
    Just wanted to say thanks for his info. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area and he is in MD so I will not be able to take our kit to him LOL. Furthermore I would not be asking for free info – but maybe a little verification of info that is floating around, and what to ask/ tell our vet.

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