Greatest Vet Ever…
Quite a few years ago I lost my trust in vets when I lost my beautiful black Burmese X due to him being allergic to penicillin. He suffered a terrible death. I had to rush him off to the Fourways Emergency Clinic which at that time I lived in Klopperpark. Time ticked so slowly as I made my way, speeding over 120kms, towards someone somewhere who could perhaps save his life. Oscar, as we named him, was adopted from the Edenvale SPCA and he was simply a gorgeous talkative boy. I got him to keep my female cat company. As Oscar walked in the door, it was love at first sight. My female feline and him rubbed noses and never were apart.
I was frantic because whilst driving to the Fourways Vet Oscar was vomiting up blood and more bruising began appearing all over his body, whilst my daughter, who was 10 years old at the time, held him gently wrapped up in a towel. He was literally melting internally. The vets at Fourways tried to stop the bleeding by administering clotting Factor K but by the following afternoon he had only 9% blood left. It was an unforgettable experience that I did not want to experience ever again. The attending vet put him to sleep. He suffered a horrendous amount of pain. That is the day that I lost all trust in Vets. No one had called me that morning to report on his prognosis. I had to phone. No one put their arms around us as we lost a precious brief member of our family. No one called us the following day to see if we were okay. I realised that, like some general practitioners, some have lost their passion and have developed a de-sensitivity to what we see as urgent or devastating situations. The Vet who had performed the dental surgery on Oscar and who had administered the penicillin nonchalantly stated that there was no way to tell when a cat is allergic to penicillin and it was a rare occurrence. I now tell all Vets not to administer injections or meds that contain penicillin to any of my cats.
After that, I became very wary of Vets and tried my hardest to keep my cats healthy by giving them homeopathic medication to strengthen their immune systems and also the best food on the market until my beloved female cat “Ma Se Kind” became ill. I found a great Vet called Dr Banardi at the Blue Cross Vet in Cape Town. He was great and after many blood tests and sonars he had to perform an operation on her at her tender age of 10 years old. He discovered her intestines were full of bacteria and after giving it a good “cleaning” she was on her way to leading a healthy life, without any runny tummy. Dr Banardi also gave her a tummy tuck whilst she was under, which unfortunately grew appeared again as she put on more weight.
All was well with my 2 beloved kitties – PT and Ma Se Kind – until we moved back to Johannesburg from Cape Town and I had to find new vets – again. They were left in Cape Town for 2 months whilst I was trying to sort my life out up here. They soon arrived on a plane and we were reunited as a happy family until my Mom became ill soon after. She stopped eating and drinking, hid under the bed and slept all day. She became very depressed. I remembered that she was afraid of lightning and other loud noises. It was December and the fireworks demonstrations at Bruma stressed her out so much that is accelerated her symptoms and worsened her condition. Previously I had taken PT to visit Dr Larry Kraitzick who runs the Bruma Vet because of PT’s blocked anal glands which had to be surgically cleaned and stitched so when my Mom fell ill I wanted him to see her but he was unfortunately away so I had to take her to another vet. After many blood tests and thousands of rands later they could not tell me what exactly was wrong but they suspected FIP, which all cat owners know is fatal.
I was devastated – I knew what was coming – but I had hope. I took her Dr Larry, who told me that if she had FIP I was only trying to fight the inevitable – my Mom didn’t have much time left. I remember giving Dr Larry “the look” and that is when I realized that Dr Larry is an extremely caring and dear doctor who has both passion and empathy for both the pets and their owners. He bowed his head down, thought for a while and then looked up and said “I will try my best to make her better – come let’s try out a few things”. That was the best words I have ever heard. Here was someone caring enough to give my precious Mom some more time with us and at least was trying something else that might work. He also told me that should it not work then we should prepare ourselves for the worst. Dr Larry also told us that she would have good days and bad days.
On her good days, she would eat and drink on her own and her eyes would shine and her bad days she wouldn’t eat or drink and her eyes would lose their spark. She was with us for an extra 2 weeks only and then her bad days were more than her good ones until the inevitable happened. We put her in her cat basket and drove to Dr Larry. He was very sad to hear that her prognosis was not good and he prepared the anaesthetic. He said he would give her just a little to make her sleep and then once she was sleeping heavily he would administer the rest. Her soul was reunited with Oscar in Feb this year at the tender age of 15. Dr Larry left the room and allowed us our private goodbyes with Mom. He found it hard to keep a straight face and I could see he felt a deep loss for his patient, even though he knew for just a little while.
This is where Dr Larry’s real compassion and love for animals comes to the fore. During PT’s recovery a day didn’t go by without him sending an email or giving a call to see if he was doing okay and if his bottom was healing well and if I needed anything else all I needed to do was give him a call and during Mom’s last two weeks, he did the same. He asked how his patient was doing and how we were doing too.
Dr Larry has gained my absolute trust. I will entrust all my little four legged members of my family to him because I know that he really does care for his patients and that it isn’t his job or his practice but his passion and his love of animals.
Even now I receive an email to ask how we are doing and if PT is still missing his companion. We have just recently adopted a beautiful Calico female, who we have named Fiona, who will be meeting Dr Larry soon and who we know will be in good hands.
Thank you so much for all the kindness, compassion and care you have shown both me, my daughter and PT and the loving, caring and peaceful way you let Mom receive her wings and fly up to heaven and reunite with all the other beloved pets I have lost in the past.
Their hearts are very grateful for all you have done for them – they know that even though some cases were not successful, you didn’t stop trying.
Thank you so much for all you have done.
Keep on loving and don’t lose your passion – a doc like you is hard to find.
Lara and Malisa and PT
Great vet! Thank you very much for allowing me to shadow and helping gain valuable experience!!!
My husband, Andre, saw him in a urban animal shelter. His sad face was pressed against the wire of his kennel. His body was curled up as if he were trying to protect himself. I don’t know why Andre stopped by the shelter that day. We only wanted to get a dog once we were settled. My husband phoned me “I have found our dog! You need to come see him at the animal shelter. With trepidation I went to the shelter where my husband met me and guided me to, “Maverick”, the Doberman who had stolen his heart. He was one year old, with soft sad brown eyes. That evening while looking on the internet for dogs, we say that Maverick had been posted on the watch list. His count-down to euthanasia had begun. That night I hardly slept. I was waiting at the phone early the next morning. I called the SPCA 8am sharp to tell them that we wanted Maverick to be with us forever. We drove to the SPCA where the paper work was completed and then the waiting game began. Our house had to be inspected before we were officially allowed to adopt him. These were the longest 10 days of my life. When the call came saying that we had been given the all clear, my husband and I could not wait a moment longer and we rushed off to fetch him.
It was very important for us to find a great vet near us so that Maverick did not have to go far for treatment. More important though was to find a kind caring vet. We really lucked out. Dr Larry is the most caring and proficient vet ever. The added bonus is that his practice, Bruma Lake Vet, is just down the road. He is one of a kind- has excellent knowledge, loves pets and is dedicated to his profession. From the moment I met him, I knew that Maverick was in safe hands.
He adores Maverick and Maverick adores him. He has benefited from Dr Larry’s excellent veterinary care. With good food and affection he has blossomed into a beautiful, shiny, bouncy and happy young dog. When firework season was upon us, Dr Larry gave him tranquilizers which calmed him. He then developed an unusual skin infection which Dr Larry was quick to diagnose and treat with excellent success.
Today Maverick is a handsome, strong and confident dog with happy soft brown eyes. He is a gentle natured dog and watches me constantly as we walk around the property, always standing between me and the gardener. His way of saying “I’m protecting you, Mom”.
When Andre comes home and sits down on a garden chair, Maverick jumps up, moves in close. It is as if he is saying “Don’t worry dad, I kept mom safe. Now I will keep you safe too”.
I know every pet owner says this, but I can’t imagine my life without him. I’m so glad that Andre walked into the shelter that day and this “reject” became part of our family. I am also glad we have Dr Larry as our vet and friend.
Thank you Maverick and my wonderful husband Andre. Thank Dr Larry for giving us the piece of mind that you are always there to take care of our special boy.
And so ends my happy story
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