Thursday, June 18, 2020

Veterinary Appreciation Day™

Today is Veterinary Appreciation Day™. It continues to amaze me how much veterinarians do for our furry companions to help them stay well since our cats cannot verbally tell them what is wrong. 

vet holding persian cat

Veterinary Appreciation Day™, founded by Trupanion® in 2015, was created to recognize veterinary professionals—from the front desk to the exam room. This day was set aside to "celebrate veterinary teams around the world and thank them for helping the pets we love live long, happy lives" (Trupanion, 2020). 

Being a veterinarian can be both a wonderful and yet, extremely difficult occupation. I remember asking our previous vet, as she was assisting with end-of-life care for Sweet Praline, how she stayed so strong during difficult times like this. Her response to me was, "Believe me, we lose it in the back." Her response made me think about what veterinarians actually go through and how emotional and stressful their job can be and I wondered if we truly thank them enough for what they do for our furry companions.

Praline being examined by her vet

Veterinarians are the problem solvers, the ones who welcome a challenge - big or small- and the compassionate professionals to work with worried pet parents when their furry companions are sick, injured, or just monitoring their health. The last four months have been even more challenging for the veterinary hospitals and staff because of COVID-19 and all of the restrictions. Thankfully, the veterinary hospitals in our state were considered "essential" so they were still open, but had to work with restricting access between the veterinary staff and the pet parents. Both Truffle and Brulee became ill in April and I had to stay in my vehicle while the staff came and took them into the examination room without me and the veterinarians had to call me on the phone to tell me what was happening. This was so hard for me because I like to see what the veterinarians are doing and ask a lot of questions.

veterinarian visiting vehicle during COVID-19
 Dr. Macaulay visiting after Truffle's examination

Truffle and Brulee had their 6-month wellness checkup two weeks ago and thankfully, I was able to go with the girls this last time into the examination room. Everyone was wearing a mask in the hospital. Both girls were doing great with the veterinarian (shots, bloodwork, urinalysis, physical examination, etc.) but towards the end of the examination, Brulee became visibly upset. It surprised all three of us in the room because neither of my girls have ever reacted that way over the 8 1/2 years they've seen the vets at this hospital. It really surprised Dr. Boyette and he said "I didn't feel anything that wasn't normal" and as he continued to examine her, she hissed two more times. I put Brulee back into her Sleepypod® carrier while Truffle was getting a urinalysis completed and when the vet brought her back, I asked Dr. Boyette if he would put some alcohol on Brulee's belly so they would smell the same (he's done this in the past with success). As I pulled Brulee out of her Sleepypod, Dr. Boyette walked towards her with the alcohol-soaked cotton ball, Brulee hissed again. Dr. Boyette and I were confused why Brulee was acting this way. He told me that maybe she was freaked out with everyone wearing masks. Neither of my cats have even seen me wearing a mask. Dr. Boyette was very patient and attentive to Brulee while she was stressed and expressed true concern that she was so upset. 

veterinarian and vet assistant with persian cat
Brulee getting a little hissy during her examination

I'm so thankful for Dr. Boyette, Dr. Keisler, Dr. Strom, Dr. Macaulay, and all of the other veterinarians and staff who take care of Truffle and Brulee. Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital  was the first vet hospital I selected when I knew Truffle and Brulee were coming to live with me. I'd called several local hospitals a month prior to their "Gotcha Day" to see if I could visit the clinic and talk with the veterinarians to help me choose the right place for both my cats and me. Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital was the only one to call me back and offer a tour of the facilities. I remember asking the office manager at the time, "I know what answer you are going to give me, but which vet is best with cats?" The office manager told me that all of them were good. Then I asked, "no, which one really likes cats and shows it?" Her words were, "You would probably like Dr. Boyette. You should see the care he takes with the cats, even when he is carrying them to their cages after surgery." So, as you can expect, Dr. Boyette became their official veterinarian.

vet holding persian cat
Dr. Boyette tenderly holding Truffle

You can see in the photo above how comfortable Truffle is in Dr. Boyette's arms. Truffle gets a little more nervous at the vet now since her bladder stone surgery and subsequent infection and numerous urinalysis tests, but everyone says Truffle is so calm when they work with her. Dr. Boyette and Dr. Macaulay are partners in the ownership of Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital. Under their guidance, the hospital is American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited, is a Cat Friendly Practice Gold, and is asking all staff to become Fear Free certified. Cherokee Trail now offers a wellness plan for dogs and cats that includes two wellness checkups a year, flea and tick treatment for a year, bloodwork, and the doctor's fee. The hospital is open 6 days a week until 6:00 pm (except Saturday until 1:00 pm) and they always go out of their way to "work me in" when one of my cats get sick.

female vet examining persian cat
Dr. Keisler examining Brulee

Dr. Keisler has gone above the "call of duty" and even provided me research about health and diseases of cats that I can't get access to on my own. She's taken the time to sit down with me (even without an appointment) and talk to me about various issues and once even looked up several research studies on the computer while I was in the examination room with the cats. All of the veterinarians are patient with me as I ask questions about the girls' health and other current issues about felines such as microchips, vaccinations, bladder stones, and feline herpes virus.

vet examining persian cat
Dr. Strom examines Truffle

Dr. Strom is the other veterinarian that sees the girls usually when they are ill. I tend to joke with Dr. Strom a lot because he's one of the newest and youngest vets at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital. I even kidded him last year, telling him that he grew his beard to look older. He just laughed with me. Dr. Strom is very patient with my two cats and is always willing to answer my questions and call me back when I have concerns. 

Dr. Macaulay has only examined the girls a couple of times over the last 9 years, but she did sit down for an interview with me about their veterinary hospital and talked with me in length recently when we had some concerns about Brulee's bloodwork. She strongly recommended that I get Brulee to the vet as soon as she show signs of illness because of some of her number values from the bloodwork. Dr. Macaulay has also helped me with some research for this blog.

There are other veterinarians who are no longer at this facility, but they were also wonderful with my cats. There are two new veterinarians I haven't met yet, but I trust they are as empathetic and compassionate as the veterinarians who've worked with my cats.

We're also happy to tell you that we have been with Trupanion Pet Insurance since the day Truffle and Brulee came to live with me. If you have any questions about Trupanion, please let us know in the comments and we'll get back to you. I am 100% satisfied with Trupanion. Last year, Trupanion set the theme of Veterinary Appreciation Day as The Importance of Vaccinations. This year, they are focusing on celebrating your local veterinary hospital and thanking them for all they do to keep your pet healthy. Trupanion invites all pet owners to consider doing the following to thank veterinarians:

  1. Post a video to Twitter or Instagram of you saying "thank you."
  2. If videos aren't your thing, simply post a photo of your pet with a caption offering thanks.
  3. Be sure to tag @Trupanion and include the hashtag #veterinarylove in the caption, along with the name of your veterinary hospital or its social handle.

Trupanion is also going to select one post each day and send a dozen Collettey's cookies to the veterinary hospital that's mentioned in the caption.

What's something special about your veterinarian?

Would you like to comment?

  1. We love our vet! They do so much for us! Today we were thinking about you and your sweet Praline and wanted to check in and see how you all were doing <3

  2. Our Vets are all very, very special too and we can't imagine doing without them.

  3. Great post. I am so thankful for my vet and that she is still letting pet parents inside with their pets during this virus.

  4. It sounds like you have a really good vet clinic! My human wishes she was more enthusiastic about ours - they're good, but not really special or at all cat centric.

    1. That’s pretty much where I am with mine. They’re fine and I appreciate the hard work - and the trade off of location and reasonably priced is worth it. But still...

  5. Our Vet and his staff are super! We're also lucky because he's only three blocks from our house so we don'have a long car ride.

    The Florida Furkids

  6. We're on our fourth vet since Dr. Plotnick retired. So far we're liking the one we have. She's really nice. And they only see cats there!

  7. I didn’t realize there was a Veterinary Appreciation Day, but I think it is a great idea. The veterinary practice has changed so much since I was a kid. The things they can do now to help our beloved pets are amazing. Plus a good vet is worth their weight in gold.

  8. Mom really likes the V-E-T she takes me to. I call him Mr. Frick n' Frack, but that's not his real name. He gives me belly rubs and likes my eyes. Mom says, "We've been taking our pets the McKenzie Animal Hospital--now also a VCA hospital--for years. Vet and staff know us by name and they always give thorough care. I especially appreciate the followup calls they give after each appointment.

  9. I am so blessed to have a wonderful vet clinic and the vets there are amazing, patient with me also which really helps

  10. A good veterinarian is worth their weight in gold. And they don't even have to be skinny for that.

  11. I hadn't considered the confusion and anxiety that the masks may cause for our pets. We've been lucky, none of ours have had to see the veterinarian during this time. The only contact we've had with them was to purchase the standard flea/tick medication as well as to pick up the cream for Daviana's ear infections - However, they are a reaction to her spring allergies and we're all SUPER familiar with that process, so they didn't even ask me to bring her in for that. However, they will be coming due for vaccinations soon. I'll keep the potential confusion with the masks in mind!

  12. You definitely found a gem of a vet clinic! You can see the care in that picture of Truffle in her vet’s arms. I got a laugh out of the angry furball picture of Brulee. Plush is usually good - but Musette and Katie both have a note in their charts about bite risks.

  13. I'm conflicted about this topic. I hate when people complain about what vets charge - I'm relatively sure our vet doesn't make nearly as much as he should. But I constantly question my impressions. When Bear had the tumor, our vet was great. With Bear's recent troubles, our vet has spent A LOT of time answering questions and listening to me. But they see mostly dogs and aren't going toward Fear Free. Our current vet also saw Kitty - but her decline wasn't on their watch - it was a new vet in Virginia where I lived for a year (the new vet being AAHA accredited AND cat-centric). I guess I just find it tough because I want to get Bear the best care and how do you really know if you are without visiting a bunch of different vets? Either way, I am grateful for our vet. More and more, he's trusting me to suggest courses of treatment - presented with my research. That makes me happy.

  14. It sounds like Truffle and Brulee are getting top notch care! You found the perfect veterinarian for them. :) Our veterinarian has been very helpful. The office is design specifically for cats, which I love. I will never forget how our veterinarian gave me a hug and told me that everything would be okay when Cinco went to the Rainbow Bridge.

  15. Great job for publishing such a nice article. Your article isn’t only useful but it is additionally really informative as we provide Vancouver Animal Emergency, for more info visit our site pointgreyvet.com


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