Puck’s grooming problems have not gotten any better since his vet visit visit a few months ago. I hesitated bringing him back to the vet because I did not want to subject him to more drugs that would not help the problem.
I did some research and even though holistic vets are rare in this area, I did find a veterinary practice that understands natural medicine. It is called the Animal and Bird Medical Center in Palm Harbor, Florida. They were pretty highly rated and my only concern was comments about how expensive they are but I figured that a little extra money would be worth it if I could find the root of Puck’ problem.
I made an appointment for 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. As usual, I put the carrier out early so the cats would get used to it being there. Of course, everyone has to smell it or get inside of it first. When it was almost time to go Puck knew something was up and got nervous. He led me on a big chase around the house. Fortunately I closed our bedroom door so he couldn’t hide under the bed. That would have been a nightmare. As it was I had a hard time catching him.
The car ride was not bad. Puck did not cry or make any attempt to get out of his carrier. He just quietly accepted his circumstance.
We got to the vet about 20 minutes early and I started filling out the paperwork right away. Before I was finished, Puck’s name was called and we were ushered into a nearby examination room. A couple of vet techs were there and they helped get Puck out of his carrier. It was a much quicker start then our last vet visit where we waited a long time for someone to show up. They weighed Puck and did whatever else vet techs do. They then left saying the doctor would be in soon.
We waited about 5 minutes or so before the vet came in. While we were waiting, Puck didn’t know what to do with himself.
He eventually settled in under a chair.
I thought it would be better if he wasn’t under the chair when the doctor came in so I picked him up and put him on my lap.
When the vet came in, he asked some questions and then examined Puck. He also looked at the records from the last vet. He said that he thinks that there is a few things going on. It, could, in part, be a psychological problem, he told me, but he also had said there is a physical aspect to the problem as well.
Puck has small bumps on his body that is some kind of skin condition and I don’t remember what the vet called it. He did indicate it is probably an allergic reaction to something. He also said it could be the result of mites and wanted to eliminate that possibility so he suggested doing a test for mites.
Looking over the previous vet records, he notice they gave Puck steroids and antibiotics. He said steroids can be effective but they are like using a nuclear bomb when all you need is a gun. He also said the effects do not last very long so he was not a big fan of recommending steroids for Puck. He did, however, suggest that antibiotics might help him. His main concern was finding the source of Puck’s allergy. He suggested a limited ingredient diet that consisted of limited proteins. In other words, a cat food that not only has limited ingredients but also has protein from only one animal that is not likely to be in his current food, such as rabbit or bison. He also suggested getting a Feliway plugin to help with the psychological end of this problem.
He left for a while to work up his recommendations. Puck just stayed on the exam table. I picked him up to put him on my lap but Puck decided he would feel better behind my back where it was safe.
When the vet returned with his recommendations I agreed that he should do the test for mites but I said I would prefer to wait on the antibiotics to see if we can find the problem naturally. He left and came back a short time later with one of the techs and scraped a few of the bumps from Puck’s skin.
When he returned he said that there were no sign of mites. That was good news and bad news because if there were mites at least we would know how to treat the problem.
When I went up front to pay, I was pleasantly surprised to find the bill was less than $85, about half of the last vet. That is because drugs are expensive and solving problems without drugs is usually healthier in the long term and cheaper too. The expensive part is the special food I have to buy. The vet had it for $64 for an eight pound bag of rabbit food and about $2.50 a can for the wet food. The wet food was actually reasonably priced but I needed to find a cheaper source for the dry food because I needed to feed three cats for three months. Feeding Puck one food and Chris and Frankie another is just too difficult.
The ride home was better for Puck. He seemed less nervous and even seemed interested in looking around.
When we got home Puck was the center of attention for a little while.
But ultimately it was his carrier that got the most attention.
All in all, I am happy with this vet and would go back again. We were there for a long time, perhaps an hour and a half, but I never felt ignored. The vet and techs spent more time then usual (at least more time than I am used to) with us and most of the rest of the time was spent waiting for recommendations or test results.
What do you think? I’d like to hear about your vet.