Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As all caring pet lovers know, the vet time is usually an unwelcome event in our lives. Being an expat just adds to the anxiety. Being unable to communicate about complex medical things while concerned about our beloved pets is a stress cocktail that I've imbibed way too often. So, thinking that others may be combing the internet for solutions, I'd like to share a bit of my experience with vets in Amsterdam. I have two cats, and I visited three different clinics before deciding that Dierenkliniek de Jordaan was my favorite. I love the neighborhood, and I find the vet there very caring yet cautious, an open-minded traditionally trained vet. I'm not keen on treatment-happy vets. I also am a believer in natural raw meat diets and am now back to making my own cat food.
A recent visit required a tooth extraction for my cat, and my vet recommended a specialist for this, Magnus Soeverein of Dierenkliniek Hoofdweg, a state-of-the-art facility in a nice area of De Baarsjes. The tooth extraction appears to have been done extremely well, and the clinic was very attentive about follow-up.
Dot vexed me greatly by taking a very long time to begin eating after the tooth extraction, longer than normal. The Dr. Soeverein was getting anxious about her lack of feeding, and beginning to consider a feeding tube in the side of her esophagus for a few weeks to make sure her food got down. I was against this, knowing that Dot processes everything super slowly, and wanting to let her natural hunger be the motivator. I did not want to put her through any more stress. My husband rightly assessed that her troubles were more psychological than physical.
Teeth act as hands for a cat in many cases. Tooth removal is huge for a cat, especially the canines, and Dot had both her front canines removed. Cats might not understand that they are still able to eat. Finally, going from feeding her with a syringe to a baby's nose cleaner to my own fingers going from the bowl to her mouth and encouraging her, she finally started to understand that she could still eat.
I am a huge fan of Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Health for Dogs and Cats and the raw chicken diet I am using on Dot now is based on his recipes. Today she ate a meal without any coaxing, which is huge, and I'm finally starting to breathe a little easier.
So, if you are wondering about vets in Amsterdam, I can tell you that I am still happy with my regular vet in the Jordaan. It showed a lot of humility for her to say, "this case is beyond my expertise," and I appreciated that she she knew who to turn to. The Hoofdweg clinic was professional in every way, including the bill, which is one reason I'll be returning to the Jordaan for my routine visits.
I think Dot has a lot of cuddles left in her, and I thank everyone for your good wishes and prayers!
UPDATE with good news: December 09 ... Dot is recovering nicely and chowing down once again, sleepin' by my side every night. Go Dotster! Go Dotster!!