Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finding The Right Veterinarian


Dr Erin Holder, DVM and our cat Hush Puppy

When my husband and I moved from New York state to Florida, one of the biggest challenges with which we were faced was finding a good local veterinarian. With the huge abundance of hanging shingles in our neighborhood coupled with advertisements galore in our local newspapers, how were we going to make the right choice in getting the best practioner for our cats?

We checked with friends to get referrals, but after after a few visits to a few of these local veterinarians, it became obvious that the scope of their practices were quite limited. Having cats with chronic conditions necessitated our finding someone who could handle them without having to send us to specialists on a regular basis.

So what exactly were we looking for? We were looking for someone who could perform not only yearly checkups and administer vaccinations. We wanted someone who could provide veterinary care for their life stages and any medical issues which our cats might encounter.

In addition to a practitioner who can provide excellent care, here are some additional things to consider when looking for the "right" veterinarian for you.

  • Is the clinic clean and organized?
  • Are the waiting rooms inviting?
  • Does the clinic provide separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs? Is the staff friendly and helpful?
  • Do the technicians answer your questions and get demonstrate interest and concern for your pet?
  • Is the administrative staff friendly? The best veterinarian in the world counts on the supportive staff to be able to provide the most appropriate care for your pet.

Since most cats don't enjoy traveling if you are owned by felines is there a house call veterinarian available in your area? While the house call cost will generally exceed one which is clinic based, often this is well worth the added expense. When we were searching for a veterinarian, we wanted to find one who was mobile as well as having clinic hours.

Our cats are much happier not having to travel for routine visits so this convenient service is very valuable to us . . .   less stress for the cats, and an opportunity for the veterinarian to observe their behavior and interactions in our home.


I am happy to say that after a considerable search  we found a skilled, caring and committed veterinarian, Dr. Erin Holder,DVM of Florida Wild Veterinary Clinic, in DeLand, Florida, whose practice exceeds all the above requirements. In fact, when I come back as a cat in my next lifetime, I dearly hope that she is still in practice.

Taking the time to research thoroughly, visiting clinics and talking with the staff, will give you an idea of the kind of services that are offered.  Since your veterinarian will be the second most important person in your pets' lives, making the right choice is critical.

Visit finding the right veterinarian for more information and resources.

What kinds of experiences have you had in locating an exceptional veterinarian? Please share them with us by leaving a comment.


Astaryth said...

Oh my... I'm not sure if I didn't know (or did and forgot!), but you live practically around the corner from me. We are up near Gainesville. Many of the zoo pictures you see on my blog are from Lowry Park Zoo (Tampa) and Jacksonville zoo! LOL!

fourhorsegal said...

Finding the right Vet is very important. I had a vet once that I took my Boxer to. After spending two weeks in the clinic and $1200, I still lost her.

The person that found out what was really wrong with her was his son in law, who was a vet at another clinic.

Just because they are older and have been around longer, means nothing.


Sheila said...

You know your life is different than most people's when your primary care physician is an orthopedic doc and most of your medical bills are veterinarian! Having had horses for most of my life, that is the case with me! The vet that I totally love is Ben Brown in Northeastern Colorado. I knew Ben before he was a vet, and he carried his loving, compassionate nature into his practice. He has been called upon numerous times to take care of our dogs, cats, and horses, as well as our cows and sheep. He will always have a special place in my heart because of how he handled the day that I had to help my T-bred Casey cross that Rainbow Bridge. He prayed with us first before doing the sad job at hand. Great vets like Ben are hard to find.

donna9331 said...

We were blessed for almost 20 years with a vet, Bill Loomis, whose hands I would have put my own life in. He was compassionate...he gave me discounts when I couldn't afford to pay full price. He told me straight up when it was time to let a cat go "If it was my cat, I'd do it now". Every time I went out of town, if an emergency came up with the cats, my daughter was told to follow Bill's instructions.

Bill retired about a year ago (sniff) but most of his staff remain. The doc that bought the practice (Kevin) is very sympathatic and spent over 1/2 hour on the phone with me the first time Wheezel had peepee problems.

My favorite though, is Ann Manhearth, she even got Toey to purr last week (She's the doc that diagosed the ocular herpes)... I just love her. She talks to your pet more than you most of the time and has a real soft spot for cats.

Having to make the transition from Bill to new vets hasn't been easy, but Bill chose well. Prices are up (but aren't they all) and both Ann and Kevin truly care about the animal in question.

Anonymous said...

Finding the right vet has been an on going problem. We finally found a good vet and she let us down. We are now looking for someone else. We don't mind having the current vet doing routine things for the cats but if we need something more advanced we need to find someone else.
Trust is so very important. A vet is treating a family member. We wouldn't think twice about searching for the best doctor for our human family and our fur kids are no different. Thanks for a great article.

Reno said...

Well said, Jo. The only thing that I might add is to pay close attention to your pet wheter it be cat or dog when the vet interacts with him. Not all animals like all people and no matter how great the vet is, if your pet doesn't take to the vet the relationship just won't work. But, also keep in mind that animals are individuals, just like we are. Just because one of your pets doesn't get along with this particular vet doesn't mean that you can't take any of your pets there. My thought is that a trip to the vet is stressful enough without subjecting your furry friend to a purrson he doesn't like. Just my two cents. :)