This week we are more than happy to welcome a true Furmey professional. Someone who's destiny has always been to work with animals and to help them. Someone who has helped our own office dog tremendously; Manon from Dierenkliniek Rivierenbuurt.
Q: We know you as our CSO Scotty is a client of yours, but for our readers please tell us about yourself.
A: I am now 48 years old and a veterinarian for 22 years. I grew up in Apeldoorn with my parents, 2 brothers, a dog, and a cat, and 2 rabbits. And I rode a pony at a riding school. I now live in Amersfoort with my family and have 2 cats and my own horse. On the Rijnstraat in Amsterdam I have a successful practice for dogs and cats.
Q: That’s so nice, a true animal lover. Your own practice, our own Scotty is a loyal client. How would you explain your profession? How did you come to this interesting profession? How long have you been doing this?
A: Since I was 7 years old, I wanted to be a veterinarian, and this has never really changed. For a moment I had doubts about a creative profession, but the medical field where you are somewhat all types of doctors in one; surgeon, internist, dentist, oral surgeon, radiologist, dermatologist, endocrinologist, etc. combined with being surrounded by animals all day long, has won. I am still so glad about this!
Q: We are glad too. What do you like most about your profession?
A: The most obvious thing I would say is that I work with animals all day long, that is still the most fun! Seeing patients come in as a kitten or puppy and guide them 10-15 years later when they have to be put to sleep is special and very emotional. You have to keep learning and you must have good communication skills with people as well with animals. Now, as a practice owner, I also have to be able to lead and run a business.
Q: You sound like a true all-rounder. At Furmey HQ we love passion, what is your passion?
A: My passion is 100% my practice. Keeping it running and giving my employees a fantastic job where they can develop and of course satisfied animals and their owners. But my other great passion is horses! When I grow up, and have enough money I want to have a farm and raise my own foals. That seems fantastic to me!
Q: Sometimes you have challenges in the profession, how do you deal with them and what are the most difficult challenges?
A: The biggest challenge in my profession is to give the best care to an animal and get the owner to trust andfollow my advice.
When you start as a veterinarian, you are mainly focused on figuring out what is wrong with an animal and how to make it better. I see it as putting puzzle pieces together through questioning, physical examination, imaging and laboratory studies. If you have enough puzzle pieces, you can see the picture and think about what makes an animal sick. Only if you know the diagnosis you can start a good treatment.
However, there are many things that we do not know and cannot know. Medicine continues to develop and a body is very complex. A diagnosis can often not be given with certainty and many owners do not understand this. Many of my classmates have really started doing something else for these reasons, but I was lucky enough to have found my way into this. I wouldn't want anything else now!
Q: On your site we saw that you are expat friendly, what does this mean?
A: Expats often don't know how everything works when they come to a new city. Not only do we speak good English but we take the time to explain how animal insurance works here, where dog schools are, which food is suitable if they cannot get a certain diet and sometimes we email a vet in the home country if there are any uncertainties. are about treatment.
Q: What are the most common complaints for dogs in hot weather? How come?
I think most people know the stories of dogs overheating in a car, but luckily, I see that very rarely.
This can especially be the case in all brachycephalic dogs, they become short of breath and overheated because they cannot breathe properly. If your dog snores when he sleeps, there is a good chance that the roof of his mouth is too Dogs are now required by law to have a minimum muzzle length, but unfortunately, we still see many dogs that die in the summer because they suffocate. In our practice we regularly perform this BOS operation.
Q: That’s good to know, is there something that people can do from home to prevent this?
Our advice is also to keep short-snouted dogs calm when it is hot and certainly not to let them run excessively or, as is also the case, to take them to the beach. The same goes for overweight dogs, as they also overheat faster
If it is above 30 degrees, it is better not to do sports such as agility with your dog. When it is warm we see that all animals become lethargic and eat less. Chronically ill animals, such as kidney patients, can get into trouble as a result. Always have plenty of fresh water at home and on the road and if in doubt contact your vet!
Q: What about hot spots? How do they form and how can we prevent that our dogs get them?
A: Skin problems and respiratory problems are the 2 most common problems we see when it gets hot.Often the skin problems in dogs start when it is not even that hot. By swimming in fresh water, many dogs get problems with their ears, for example, and we also see hotspots, especially in dogs with a thick undercoat such as retrievers. If the skin remains wet when it is warm, you will get more bacteria and yeast growth. This causes ear infections and often itching, which causes the dog to scratch andbite and create bloody painful spots.
This can be prevented by bringing a towel and drying the dog right away. Also, when you come home immediately washing your dog with a good dog shampoo can make a difference. Treating the ears once a week with an oil-based ear cleaner (dermo scent pyoclean oto) has a preventive effect against ear infections.
Q: We see, are there more particular problems for light coloured dogs that we need to keep in mind? Just like fair skin with humans.
A: Absolutely, the dogs that wear clothes (your target group) usually have a thin coat, without undercoat and almost never suffer from hotspots. However, light-skinned dogs in particular can burn. We sell sunscreen for these dogs.
Since we are talking about burns, we also often see burnt front soles. People often do not realize that the asphalt is very hot when they wear shoes or slippers. If you must walk a lot on the street in the city, you could put shoes on your dog.
Q: Your advice is so useful. Keep it coming! Do you perhaps have any recommendations for specific products or exercises in general?
A: For sure. Stress, obesity and dirty teeth are the biggest culprits when it comes to health. So don't let them get too fat! Most animals are overweight. Regular exercise is important and fewer snacks!
In our practice we have a feedwise nutrition program where we can calculate how much of a diet you should give. This can be done with any brand of food, fresh, chunks and cans. If you have to let your animal lose weight, he can eat less than for his target weight. Not every diet is suitable for giving so little of it. There is a chance that protein or other deficiencies will develop. With Feedwise we can calculate that completely and, if necessary, choose a different diet. Often we also need the help of the physiotherapist and sometimes pain relief to make a dog move more.
Q: That’s so useful. We interviewed an animal physiotherapist a few weeks ago! What about the teeth?
A: Yes, brushing your teeth is important! Most people know this, but have not trained their dog so well that this is easy. Daily brushing is best and for that your dog really has to cooperate voluntarily. We have an advise letter on our website.
In addition to brushing your teeth, you can also give chews. Every dog chews differently, the bone should not damage the enamel but should be hard enough that it can be chewed longer. Also, never give a bone unsupervised as some dogs swallow too large pieces that can get stuck.
Q: On another note, you are not only a great veterinarian, but you are also a practice owner! What is the best (business) advice you have ever received or what you would like to give that other entrepreneurs could benefit from?
A: Don't give up when things go wrong. Think in possibilities that are always there, but don't close your eyes to things that are not going so well. Keep an eye on your goal. Where do you want to be in 10 years. Then think about what it takes to get there and what that means for you personally. Go meditate or for me, I go to my horse. Make some time for it and see what your company will look like in the future. Not everything is about growth quality and fun is also important! Furthermore, keep enjoying your free time! It's so easy to work 7 days a week. Relaxing is very important and when there is stress, letting go is not always easy!
Q: Keep an eye on your goal, we love it! Tales – we love a good story, what is a crazy/fun story that you have experienced in your practice?
A: I must say, find this question difficult. Maybe it's the Great Dane we operated on on the floor because he didn't even fit on the operating table!
Q: Oh wow, impressive! We have the habit to share our Furmey Facts with our readers. What is a fun fact you would like to share with us?
A: Well… As a child I used to think that jackets and sweaters for dogs were a bit ridiculous!
Q: You used to, we hope you don't think so any longer! Is there anything else you would like to share with the Furmey Family?
A: Yes! Now I would like to share that dogs with a thin coat and little fat are very happy with a jacket or sweater when it gets cold! Cooling down undermines the immune system and a dog can get an infection more quickly when they do.
Q: So true! Thank you so much for your time and great advise Manon!