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Dr. Sikule visits Just Cats in Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Sikule visits Just Cats in Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Susan Sikule, founder of Just Cats Veterinary Clinic in Guilderland and Saratoga Springs, recently had the pleasure of visiting Just Cats Veterinary Clinic in Dublin, Ireland while she was vacationing there with her family. (Just Cats Dublin is not affiliated with our clinics in upstate New York.) We asked her to take a few minutes and tell us about her visit and trip.

Q: You work with cats day in and out. People might think you’d want a break while on vacation! Why did you decide to visit Just Cats in Dublin?

A: I travel a lot for continuing education conferences to advance my medical knowledge and am part of a small group of feline-only practice owners in the United States. We share best practices in veterinary cat care and are a resource for each other when we’re presented with unique cases. I thought it would be nice to meet and connect with a cat-only practice in another country. Just Cats in Dublin often comes up when searching in Google for our Facebook page so I was familiar with their practice.


Q: What similarities did you notice between the Just Cats clinics?

A: Like us, Dublin Just Cats has a strong focus on providing a quiet, fear-free environment for cats. Their waiting room has shelves to put cat carriers on instead of placing them on the floor and their staff and veterinarian on that day were all friendly and welcoming. Medically, we shared common philosophies on anti-parasite protocols, prescription diets and how we face the same challenge… when clients wait too long to get treatment for a cat’s urinary blockage, which can make it too late for us to save them.


 Q: What was the most memorable moment in Ireland?

A. Seeing the small villages and sheep grazing in the fields bordered by rock walls. I grew up in southern Albany County on a small farm. My childhood was spent reading James Herriot’s books about a country vet in England. It was Herriot’s famous books, like “All Creatures Great and Small”, that inspired me to want to be a veterinarian at an early age and to fulfill my dream. Traveling in the Irish countryside brought back fond memories of my own life, my love of animals, and the impact it had on my lifelong veterinary vocation, though I hadn’t thought much about it before this trip. And, as they say in Ireland, “everything was smashing”!



Q: What was your favorite drink, food and castle?

A. Guinness, Irish stews and soups, and “our” castle – the one where we stayed (Lisheen Castle in Tipperary).

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Q: Was it difficult to go away on vacation for 10 days and leave the clinic you founded?

A. We have an amazing team behind Just Cats in both Guilderland and Saratoga. We recently brought a new veterinarian, Dr. Kurzel, on board. With Dr. Tommell, Dr. Petersen, and the rest of the staff, I felt completely comfortable and relaxed knowing my patients would be in good hands. I did check in a few times, but that’s because I was curious about how they were doing – not worried. Just like our clients can have peace of mind when they board their precious cats with us and go on “holiday”, I was able to do the same!


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