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CH Community Responds: What Has Your Experience Been With Your Vet & CH Cat? (Part 2)

July 27, 2013

Today’s post is a continuation of the last – a look at your experiences with your CH cat and vet.

So many of you responded (thank you!), that I wanted to share as many as possible. If you’d still like to share your experience, please leave a comment. And of course, if you’re looking for a CH-friendly vet in your area, please check out this map. (All recommended vets will be added to the map soon.)

Photo courtesy Paul L Dineen.

Colleen: I go to Animal General in Edgewater, NJ. My vet immediately recognized my CH kitty’s condition and spent 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.

Emily A:  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!

Tari: 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.

Photo courtesy cattoo.

Lauren T: I have mixed feelings about my vet. Luckily the vet I take her to 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 and 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.

Meagan: One of my old-school vets, which I don’t use anymore, said my last one should be euthanized.

Robert: Vets are like doctors; pick and choose and DON’T TREAT THEM LIKE THEY ARE A GOD. I had to explain in tears what CH was to three young stupid vets at the Berwyn Animal Hospital. I guess they missed that day at DeVry.

Rosie: My vet is great with all my Kitties. He knew what CH was and knew all about it. When I got my one CH kitty Jasper neutered he even used a special anesthesia for him because of the CH. I was so happy with this vet and would recommend him to everyone in (Langhorne) Pennsylvania.

Elise: I was in the market for a new vet because of two horrible past experiences with vets and my special needs (non-CH) kitty when Nanako was found and I started fostering her. Because she could not walk at all when she was young our regular vet and low-cost clinics refused to spay her out of fear and ignorance of her condition. When she was about 6 months old, a local vet clinic donated some free surgeries to our shelter and gladly ordered to spay her. The vet knew all about CH, and the whole clinic loved her. They even sent her home with a special cat bed and some toys  I started taking all my cats there and highly recommend them!

I go to Animal Medical Center of Chicago in the city off Ashland and Diversey. We see Dr. England.

Photo courtesy Kara Reuter.

Elizabeth: I live in Los Angeles, and the vets I’ve been going to for 15 years are absolutely superb. They know all about CH (I have a moderate/severe CH girlie), and they were also extremely interested and supportive when I adopted a kitty who was not CH but had complex neuro and skeletal issues resulting from a variety of maladies from inbreeding to abuse.

They’re the kind of vets who take pleasure in educating themselves on their own time, researching even the most esoteric and rare conditions or diseases on behalf of their patients. In that sense they’re as much detectives as vets. (Did I mention I adore them?) I know that I, and my furkids, are very very fortunate to live in a place where I have access to this quality of veterinary care… I know we are very spoiled. (Don’t get me started, I’ll rant about my nightmarish experiences with other vets.)

On the other hand, when back in Maryland visiting relatives, I encouraged my stepdad to consider a CH kitty when he was looking to adopt; his vets, who were otherwise perfectly competent, were unenthusiastic and uninterested, advising that instead he get a “nice young healthy normal cat without weird problems.” Once he did adopt her, his vets got on board soon enough, partly because she has only very mild CH. But I realized all over again how vulnerable CH’s are to being suspect/misunderstood even by veterinary professionals. I actually think it’s a disgrace.

Janine: My relationship was not good. I was told my cat was lame and no time was spent discussing what it might be. The second vet was a little better in that after I told him what I thought it might be, he actually took the time to find out what it was and the tests that needed to be done to get a definitive diagnosis. Of course the vet had no idea, but the fact he did take the time to learn and plan a course of action to find out was a big plus. I don’t expect my vet to know everything no one does, what I do expect is to be listened to and get the best for my two cats and two dogs. I trust this vet because I respect him and know that we are on the same page for treating Cloey and my other dogs and cat.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Monika permalink
    July 27, 2013 8:56 am

    I have to agree with Robert – Do not treat Vets (or Drs. like a god). Ask plenty of questions and if you get a gut feeling that something doesn’t sound right go with your gut and get another opinion. It would also be prudent to check your state’s Veterinary Board to check for licensing, sanctions, disciplinary actions etc. There have been several instances in Ohio, where I live, of non-vets posing as Vets or incompetent Vets that have harmed or killed animals . Do your homework -if a Vet doesn’t have time to talk to you or brushes your concerns off then do not take your furbaby there. Unfortunetly in the case of Emergency Clinics/Hospitals you do not get a choice, but prior to any emergencies check out any in your area to see the satisfaction rate so you know something about their reputation.

  2. Stacey permalink
    July 28, 2013 7:14 pm

    I had a not great experience followed by a great one. I first took my kitten to a vet that the rescue I work with uses, and their response was “probably an infectious disease, but whatever it is, it’s not good…” They went on to do a bunch of tests, blood work, and xrays and ruled out infectious diseases. I took him to my own vet immediately after and she said, “how do you feel about having him for 18 years…because I have one just like this who is 18”. Love her.

  3. Janice permalink
    July 29, 2013 7:25 am

    We go to Fox Chapel Animal Hospital.Our Dr. is Dr. Uhl. She is just terrefic with Clarence.

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