Finding and choosing a good vet is very important
A good vet should first of all exercise his profession with a passion, and what goes without saying, a love for animals. He should be attentive, and listen to the cat owner, as it is they who will transmit all of the symptoms, all the clinical signs of the cat. There should be co-operation. The vet should take time to examine the cat, so as not to miss something which could be key to healing him. Good contact and goodwill are essential! Examining the cat should be done in a very serious manner.
What a good vet should do during a clinical exam
- take the temperature
- look in the mouth (the gums, the teeth, the tongue, the tonsils)
- look inside the ears to detect an ear infection, or scabies
- look to see if the mucus membranes in the mouth are pink, in order to detect anaemia
- look into the corner of the eyes to detect dehydration or anaemia
- look at the folds of the skin to detect dehydration
- palpate the stomach
- listen to the heart
From my own experience I know that unfortunately, there are too many vets who give up too soon. There are very complicated diseases for which it is difficult to find the causes, but putting a cat to sleep without finding out what he’s suffering from, is in my opinion not acceptable. This especially concerns cats who are FIV+ and FeLV+. These cats fall ill in the same way as others, but you must remember that their being ill is not necessary linked to being positive to the virus. To say “the virus has been diagnosed, there’s nothing left to do” before doing complete analyses, is completely unacceptable! When we take care of a positive cat (high quality food, and food supplements to increase his immunitary defence) he can live for a long time in good condition.
It’s essential to take charge of the situation. Prescribing corticotherapy and antibiotics without knowing the cause of the disease is a serious mistake. It’s better not to do something, or even not to do anything, rather than risking doing more harm than good, ”Primum non nocere” : ”First, do no harm” Hippocrates.
Here is a fine quote from Hippocrates which explains what it is to be a good doctor (or vet):
“To be a good doctor, find the cause and treat it; to be a better doctor, find the cause of the cause and treat it; but to be a real doctor, find the cause of the cause of the cause and treat it.” Hippocrates.