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Compassionate Care

Making a decision about the end of life for our beloved pets is never easy. At Valley Veterinary, our staff cares for each case with sensitivity and expert guidance.

Last spring Amy Wilson and her husband, Mike Sheehan, adopted a young cat from a local animal shelter. They named him Nigel and fell in love with the black cat who quickly made himself at home. Even their 15-year-old cat, Tally, soon welcomed the playful new addition.

So when he came down with a high fever in July, Amy and Mike brought Nigel to Valley Veterinary Hospital. “They were running tests all through the weekend,” remembers Amy. “I would get updates from Dr. Shreiber several times a day and they even let us come in on the weekend to visit him.”

Nigel had contracted Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) a viral disease of cats caused by certain strains of a virus called the feline coronavirus. There is no simple diagnostic test for FIP and, sadly, no treatment. “FIP is a syndrome in which an individual cat’s genetics cause a mutation of a mostly routine virus,” says Dr. Shreiber. “The combination of the virus and the patient’s immune response then develop into severe disease. Often times, veterinarians can only suspect FIP, to have it confirmed only as signs and symptoms of the disease progress.”

The couple had to make the painful decision to have Nigel euthanized. “It was traumatic,” says Amy. “The Valley Vet staff was with us through all of it. They were really great.”

“Families like Amy and Mike’s,” says Dr. Shreiber, “inspire us to do what we do. Our staff recognizes that our patients are some of the most important parts of people’s lives.”

Even though he had only been with them for a few short months, they had bonded with Nigel. But Amy and Mike were open to adopting another cat. Now Milo, adopted from Main Line Animal Rescue, is sharing their home and helping them heal. Milo, also a black domestic short hair cat, likes to roll on his back and beg for a belly rub. “We don’t have kids,” says Amy. “These guys are our kids.”

Amy and Mike say they love the fact they live just a few short blocks from Valley Veterinary. If Milo or their senior cat, Tally, feels under the weather, Amy is quick to check in with the staff. She orders prescription cat food there, too.

“It’s so convenient to have them right up the street,” she says. “They are always willing to take my calls and talk me through any questions I have,” she says. “They are wonderful.”

Milo: Treated at Valley Vet, adopted from Main Line Animal Rescue

Photo of a black cat