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The Edge: It’s a vet’s life

Dr Kelly Yeo, head vet and co-founder of The Gentle Vet, a clinic that aims to provide a fear-free vet experience.

Article by: Felicia Tan, Associate Editor, The Edge

Date: 22 February, 2024 

Much like humans, animals go through the journey of ageing. Naturally, as animals get older, a heightened need for care and attention is required. Despite the language barrier between humans and animals, the onus is still on humans — especially pet parents — to make the lives of animals easier.
This is where Dr Kelly Yeo, head vet and co-founder of The Gentle Vet, comes in. Founded in 2022, The Gentle Vet, which is located along Tanjong Katong Road, focuses on caring for elderly and chronically ill pets. To be sure, the clinic is one of the few to have a niche in geriatric pet care. It is also one of the rare few to have special services and facilities for elderly pets that are undergoing hospice and palliative care.
The Gentle Vet is one of the few to have a niche in geriatric pet care.
“Pet owners will know how precious and profound this bond is. Our pets change our lives when they come. When they eventually leave us, the loss of their presence is staggering,” says Yeo in an interview with The Edge Singapore. “Our motto is simple: to help pets live better and longer,” she adds.
Yeo heads a team of nine, including two other veterinary surgeons. After graduating with a Veterinary Surgeon Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Melbourne in 2009, Yeo was a General Practice vet and had also worked in a 24- hour hospital before opening The Gentle Vet.

A stress-free environment

The Gentle Vet is committed to creating a stress-free environment for pets and owners. While it is common for pets to exhibit anxious behaviour at the clinic, The Gentle Vet aims to create a welcoming experience for its patients.
In addition, according to Yeo, most of the clinic’s operational protocols centre around the bond between humans and their pets.
For instance, the clinic has private suites that are available for families to stay with their critically ill pets. Pet parents are permitted and encouraged to stay with their pets should hospitalisation be required.
“No child likes to be left alone in a hospital; the same goes for our pets,” says Yeo.

“We also provide intensive communication support for our chronic illness patients so that families are not left wondering what to do if their pet is not quite right,” she adds.

Yeo also derives satisfaction from treating her elderly patients, especially when the team manages to give its geriatric patients with terminal diseases like cancer or facing imminent organ failure additional years of quality lives.
“Many of these patients cannot be cured of their medical condition. However, we always aim to get more time by trying to preserve their remaining organ function or control their cancer,” says Yeo.

The role of caregivers

Much like caring for elderly members of the family, many of the geriatric pet owners Yeo meets have silently taken on the role of full-time caregivers for their elderly pets, especially as looking after a geriatric pet can be similar to looking after a baby, she says.
Cost is another important consideration for Yeo and her team.
“We teach owners to administer medications and how to nurse their pets at home so that the pets can stay at home with their families. We offer this service because it means that once our patients are stable, they can be discharged into home care,” she says.
“A shorter hospital stay means pets can go home sooner and be more comfortable. It also helps our owners save on hospital fees which can be a source of financial stress if an extended hospital stay is involved,” she adds.
As a pet owner myself, I appreciate Yeo’s fear-free approach to treating pets. To me, what stands out is her unwavering commitment to helping animals find comfort in an otherwise, well, uncomfortable situation and through a compassionate haven for pets and owners alike.

Full article can be read here.

Get Help from The Gentle Vet

Chronic conditions in pets, such as dog epilepsy, cat kidney disease, or allergies in your furry companion, require attentive, ongoing care. By understanding these conditions, adhering to prescribed treatments, making dietary adjustments, and maintaining open communication with your veterinarian, you can significantly enhance your pet’s comfort and quality of life.
Remember, at The Gentle Vet, we’re here to support you every step of the way in your pet’s journey through their golden years. For specific concerns — like cat arthritis treatment, dog arthritis treatment, or for a pet cancer vet  — don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are committed to providing compassionate, comprehensive care for your beloved companion, through it all.
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