I had a mobile vet come over and do checkups for Sparkle and Boodie last week, and it was night and day, compared to an in-clinic exam.
I’ve always had problems with these two when I take them to the clinic. Sparkle gets very stressed out and trembles from fear when I bring her in. She’s so scared that I’m almost positive each veterinary visit takes months off her life. Boodie is fearful too, but even worse, when I bring her home, Sparkle reacts aggressively towards her. That’s right – on one hand Sparkle is deathly afraid of the vet, and on the other hand, she will beat up any cat who has been there. Boodie is already the timid, non-dominant cat in the household and doesn’t need this kind of bullying. So, at Sparkle’s most recent checkup, when it was suggested I find a mobile vet to do heart and blood pressure readings on her at home, I figured it would also be a good idea to have Boodie checked out too.
To help the visit be its most productive, I did a couple of things. First, I shut the door to the bedroom the moment the assistant called to let me know the vet was on his way, to keep either cat from diving under the bed at an inopportune moment. I also set up the appointment for mid-morning, not long after the cats’ breakfast and during their usual naptime. This way, they were all sleepy and not wholly aware of what was to come. Sparkle didn’t even get up from her sun puddle when the vet team came into the living room. Boodie went into my office, which is off the living room. Binga, well, she greeted them! She greets all visitors, even those wearing scrubs.
It was a simple matter to just pick up Sparkle from her lounger and hand her over to the vet, who was sitting on the rug. While she was not happy with the checkup and squirmed quite a bit, it was much better than taking her to the clinic, where she would roll up into a tiny, quivering ball of fear. She bolted away when the checkup was finished … but that did not stop her from returning a little while later to see why the vet and his tech were still there and to give them the airplane ears of disapproval. She was not frightened of them once they were done with her.
I was really glad I had Boodie checked out. Even though she went to my office when the vet came up, she wasn’t hiding behind the desk and I just picked her up and brought her over. The last time I took her into the clinic, she cringed so much that my regular vet couldn’t give her a proper eye examination, which she badly needed because she has eye issues. The mobile vet was able to give her a thorough eye check. It turned out her eyes were very irritated – the vet was able to lift up her eyelids and show me how red the area around her eyes was. Since he was able to give Boodie’s head the thorough examination she had denied the regular vet, he was also able to diagnose her with sinusitis. He gave me medication – eye drops and amoxicillin – to address her more obvious issues, along with some suggestions on further avenues to pursue, depending on how effective the meds were. Boodie also dashed off when her checkup was done and somehow managed to get the bedroom door open. But when I looked in on her, she was on top of the bed and not hiding. She almost immediately returned to her normal self.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well both Sparkle and Boodie dealt with their examinations. While they didn’t enjoy the process, neither of them was traumatized, and even better, no one got beat up after the checkups were done. Binga hung out in the living room the whole time and seemed downright bored, probably because she was not the center of attention.
Having a mobile vet come over was not cheap but it was totally worthwhile. For my vet-fearful cats, it made a great supplemental visit, and I came away with a lot of helpful information for my regular vet.