That was an action packed chat with Eleanor Flynn! She was so close to neatly missing her calling as a vet! Then she got saved by a little tiny kitten. They saved each other and found the right path.
Eleanor now lives in the UK and has dedicated her veterinary career to the love and care of cats only.
It was great to speak to our first cat only vet we have had on the show. She shared how important it can be to see a vet who knows and understands cats so completely. All of her extra training time, that all vets have to do, is dedicated to learning more about cats. They are a tough animal to treat as they are so secretive and hide their pain and worries.
Eleanor went on to give us her top tip with dealing with pain. She said to understand that 90% of cats aged 12 have arthritis. Be open minded that they might be in pain and perhaps do pain trials with meds as it can help you see if they have been painful but its been such a gradual change that it isn’t obvious. Also remember to maintain a comfy stress free life for the cat as that will also reduce pain.
Eleanor was so interesting that we didn’t even get through all of our questions!
Thank you for the Cuppa Eleanor!
What Eleanor Loves About Physio:
Yeah, so, you know, I think there’s a lot of parallels between what you do, and I do, right. So, for a long time, I think the veterinary profession was a one man band, and it was a man, you know, he was doing everything and it was just… I can do everything and that’s it. And human medicine has not been like that for decades. You know, there’s, there’s a specialist for everything, there’s GPs, and then a GP knows to refer out to do various things. But we’re just getting to that point in veterinary, but still: a little bit behind. But you can’t be all things to all animals and healing so we’re very good at prescribing medication, but healing is so much more than just treating pain and prescribing medication.
I can see a physiotherapist: I have this prolapsing disc in my neck. And I mean, the pain is indescribable. It’s not only pain, but it’s like loss of function in my arm. And I can take painkillers. So if I was a cat or a dog with this, I would take painkillers, but that doesn’t help the function of my arm, it doesn’t help the problem. So I need more than that.
And I think that we need to recognise that that there are so many more solutions. And maybe it’s partially ego invest that you don’t want to let it go. You don’t want somebody else doing it. But we need to let that go and have the very best care for our pets, because that’s what our owners want. And we can do that because so many pets are insured. So we want the very best care, so we should be using everything. It’s not just one drug or one treatment. We should each be using everything that we have to make sure that that animal is as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
I have worked as a vet in cat-only practice since 2013. My main interests are pain management and disease prevention. I am passionate about helping cat owners to navigate the difficulties of having a cat with a chronic illness, as I have my own cat with a chronic illness. I started an informational website for cat owners called All Cats in 2021 in response to the surge in pet ownership, an increased desire from owners for more information about their cat’s condition, coupled with massive veterinary staff shortages resulting in shorter consultation times.
You can find out even more about Eleanor and the work she does with cats at: www.allcats.co.uk
Enjoy the show! And if you want to nominate your vet or know any vets who would like to Join Donna for a cuppa, then email [email protected] and we will do our best.