World Veterinary Day: What You Need To Know About Vets by Layla Morgan Wilde
World Veterinary Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of April each year. This day is dedicated to recognizing the important role that veterinarians play in protecting the health and wellbeing of animals, as well as their contributions to public health. This year, World Veterinary Day falls on April 29th, 2023 and the World Veterinary Association’s theme this year is diversity and inclusion.
In honor of World Veterinary Day and the many vets I’ve known over the years, I’d like to share some tips and thoughts about the importance of veterinary care and the role pet owners play to keep their furry friends healthy. I’ve never thought about it until learned about this year’s theme but my vets have been incredibly diverse. Black, brown, gay, Jewish or Muslim, to me they have all been simply animal lovers.
So here’s a tribute to our vet
Whose skills we will never forget
For keeping Odin in tip-top shape
And making sure his life is great
Odin has had many vets since kittenhood. Can you imagine it’s been 12 years since this blog started and he’s grown into a healthy geriatric boy.
I’m a huge fan of wellness visits: regular veterinary check-ups before any acute illness or symptoms appear. Just like with humans, prevention is key. Regular checkups allow pet owners to stay on top of or catch any potential health issues early on. With everything Googleable online, it’s tempting to self-diagnose but it can be dangerous. Only a trained professional can make an accurate diagnosis.
It’s easy to forget cats age differently than humans. Cats become seniors @ age 7 and need more care. How To Tell Your Cat’s Age in Human Years
In addition to regular checkups and vaccinations, there are several other things pet owners can do. This goes for cat and dog parent’s too!
- Keep your pet at a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems in pets, including diabetes, joint pain, and heart disease. Make sure your pet is getting enough exercise and is on a healthy diet.
- Practice good dental hygiene. Dental problems can be a major source of pain for pets and can also lead to other health problems. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly and consider providing dental chews or toys. More dental tips
- Be mindful of your pet’s mental health. Just like humans, pets can experience stress and anxiety. Make sure your pet has plenty of opportunities for exercise and playtime, and consider seeking professional help if you notice any signs of anxiety or depression.
Provide plenty of love and affection. Pets thrive on love and attention, so make sure to give your furry friend plenty of snuggles and playtime.
Finding a good veterinarian
Like any profession, there are good practitioners, extraordinary ones and not so good ones. I’ve known all kinds and I’m partial to a feline-only vet. After we moved and during the pandemic, I found curb-side service difficult and opted to see another vet nearby for the convenience. In multiple cat households, you may have more than one vet plus a specialist as needed. Moving house usually means having to find a new vet. During a busy time of packing, moving and settling in, it’s easy to forget to find a new vet. Don’t wait until there is an emergency.
As a cat owner, finding a good veterinarian is crucial for maintaining your cat’s health and wellbeing. However, the process of finding the right veterinarian can be overwhelming, and it’s important to know what to look for in a veterinary practice. Finding a good veterinarian for your cat is the first step but just as important is how to maintain a good relationship with them, and how to be a good client.
When searching for a veterinarian, there are several factors to consider:
- Recommendations: Start by asking friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations. You can also check online reviews or ask for recommendations from local cat rescue organizations. Drop in to a clinic to get a feel of the practice. How clean, busy, noisy and friendly is it.
- Location: Look for a veterinary practice that is conveniently located and easily accessible in case of emergencies.
- Services: Make sure the veterinary practice offers the services your cat may need, such as routine checkups, vaccinations, dental care, and surgical procedures.
- Staff: Choose a practice with knowledgeable and compassionate staff who are experienced in working with cats.
- Pricing: Check the veterinary practice pricing and policies, such as payment options, insurance, and emergency fees.
Veterinary medicine is a vast field with many specialized areas of expertise. While all veterinarians receive general training, some choose to undergo additional education and training in a particular area of focus. If you have concerns about your pet’s health, talk to your veterinarian about whether a veterinary specialist may be appropriate for your pet’s needs.
Needless to say, the focus of this post is about cats. There are vets who focus on exotic pets, reptiles, aquatic and fish, birds, rabbits, hamsters and pocket pets. In rural areas, vets are generalists but some focus on livestock and equine specialists focus of horses of all kinds including thoroughbred race horses.
- Veterinary Surgeons: Veterinary surgeons are trained to perform surgical procedures on animals. They may specialize in a particular area of surgery, such as orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, or neurosurgery. Veterinary surgeons may perform routine procedures, such as spaying and neutering, or more complex surgeries to repair injuries or treat medical conditions.
- Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists: Veterinary internal medicine specialists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions that affect a pet’s internal organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. These specialists may perform complex diagnostic tests, such as ultrasounds and endoscopies, and develop treatment plans to manage chronic conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.
- Veterinary Oncologists: Veterinary oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals. They may use a variety of treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, to manage cancer and improve the quality of life for pets with this condition.
- Veterinary Neurologists:Veterinary neurologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. These specialists may diagnose and treat conditions such as seizures, spinal cord injuries, and degenerative neurological disorders.
- Veterinary Dermatologists:Veterinary dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions in animals. They may diagnose and treat conditions such as allergies, skin infections, and autoimmune disorders that affect the skin and coat.
- Veterinary Ophthalmologists: Veterinary ophthalmologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions in animals. They may diagnose and treat conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal ulcers.
- Veterinary Dentists: Veterinary dentists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dental conditions in animals. They may perform routine cleanings and dental procedures or treat complex dental conditions such as periodontal disease.
Maintaining a good relationship with your vet
Once you’ve found a good veterinarian, it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them. Here are some tips:
- Communication: Keep an open line of communication with your veterinarian. Ask questions, share any concerns you have about your cat’s health, and keep them informed of any changes in your cat’s behavior or appetite. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion with treatment options in extreme cases.
- Follow-up: Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for follow-up appointments, treatments, and medications.
- Trust: Build trust with your veterinarian by being honest and transparent about your cat’s health history, diet, and lifestyle.
- Respect: Respect your veterinarian’s time and expertise. Arrive on time for appointments, be patient during busy periods, and listen to their advice and recommendations.
Be a good client
As a client, there are also some things you can do to be a good client and make your veterinarian’s job easier:
If a mobile vet or home vet visits are an option where you live, I highly recommend it for nervous or aggressive cats.
- Come prepared: Bring your cat’s medical records, vaccination history, and any medications they are taking to every appointment. Use a proper cat carrier. Let the vet know if you have an aggressive “monster client”.
- Cleanliness: Keep your cat clean and groomed, especially if they are going to the veterinary practice for an exam or procedure.
- Payment: Be prepared to pay for services rendered and respect the veterinary practice’s payment policies.
- Feedback: Provide feedback to your veterinarian or their staff about your experience, both positive and negative, so they can continue to improve their services.
- Be kind, patient and respectful. It’s easy to lose your temper in stressful situations but working in a vet clinic can be stressful too. Call the staff by their names. Cats pick up on emotions so staying calm benefits everyone. Send a holiday card or note of appreciation.
Odin is not the best vet patient but far from the worst.
Whenever Odin has a health scare,
His vet is always there to care,
With a healing touch,
And knowledge as such,
Odin’s vet is beyond compare.
To my cat’s veterinarian,
I must confess
You are a true lifesaver, nothing less
My feline friend, with his curious ways
Is always in good hands, thanks to your grace
You listen with patience to all my worries
And never make me feel like I’m in a hurry
You examine him with care, and always explain
The diagnosis, the treatments, and what to expect if there is pain
Your expertise is evident in every detail
From vaccinations to surgeries, you never fail
To provide the best care possible for my cat
And I am grateful for that
So here’s a heartfelt thank you from me
For being the best veterinarian, you can be
You are a true hero, in every sense
And I appreciate all your hard work,
with immense reverence
For the love and care you provide
To my feline friend, by your side
Thank you for being the one
Who keeps him healthy, and his life full of fun.
In the heart of every feline friend
Lies a bond that shall never end
For their health and wellness we do tend
To the one who makes their ailments mend
The veterinarian, a healer so divine
Whose hands bring ease and comfort feline
With every touch, a spark of light
Illuminates the soul, so pure and bright
Their knowledge, a treasure beyond compare
Their compassion, a love in every lair
For the joy they bring, we must declare
Our gratitude, with love and care
For they are the ones who heal our cats
With skills and grace that go beyond mere acts
And we are forever in their debt
For the love and care they never forget
So here’s to the veterinarian, our friend
Whose love and care never end.
So this World Veterinary Day, take a moment to appreciate the important work that veterinarians do to keep our furry friends healthy and happy. And remember, by following these tips and working closely with your veterinarian, you can help ensure your cat’s wellbeing. Remember HEALTHY CAT =HAPPY CAT = HAPPY LIFE.
I’d love to know in the comments if you have a good vet that you love or not.
xo, Layla and Odin who usually loves his vet.