If you have animals in the Sacred Valley, it’s essential to know the best vets for your pets!
By Chere Di Boscio
Luckily, in a rural area with loads of animals, there’s no shortage of vets in our Sacred Valley.
But that being said, there’s not much demand for anything beyond ‘please keep this beast alive’. So you’re unlikely to find anything but the most basic grooming services. And as for organic or natural pet food – well, forget it.
If you have a pet in the Valley, chances are, you will need a vet at some point. Cats and dogs are prone to illnesses due to parasites and other animals, and could suffer wounds from fighting or worse, being hit by a car. Which, sadly, is far from uncommon.
To keep your pets safe and healthy, you should follow some basic protocols.
Here’s some of advice, as given by one of the most well known vets in the Sacred Valley, Dr Fabrizio.
Essential Care For All Animals
It’s vital to sterilise your pet. Whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit or other, male or female, this is essential. If you fail to do so, your pet and other animals suffer.
Well, females are likely to be violated by males, and will produce babies that are likely to go unwanted and unhomed. Male dogs are likely to run into traffic following females in heat.
Uncastrated male cats are more likely to fight other males, resulting in injuries for both. And unsterilised female cats can produce several litters a year.
Sterilisation isn’t expensive. There are many vets that do campaigns where the cost is below 100 soles.
Vaccination is another essential. If you don’t vaccinate your animals, dogs are likely to die of distemper, and cats of feline leukemia. All vets in the Sacred Valley will tell you both diseases are common here.
Essential Care For Dogs
To keep your dog safe, always walk him or her on a leash. This will prevent your pet from getting into fights, and even being killed by larger dogs.
It will also prevent your dog from being injured or killed by a car. Even the most well-trained animals can run onto the pista when they see another animal. And the results can be tragic. I have personally known many pet owners whose dogs have left their side suddenly, run into the pista, and have been killed or badly injured.
It’s also advisable to keep your dog in your garden instead of letting it run around loose. Poisoning, though illegal, is very common in the Sacred Valley. Some even whisper that the municipalities themselves do this to cull street dogs every few months. For that reason, your dog should always be guarded by either staying in your garden, or walked on a leash.
Dogs need to be washed regularly as well as receiving anti-flea and parasite tablets every few months. They should also have their teeth checked regularly.
Essential Care For Cats
There are many myths around cat care. Many colleague vets in the Sacred Valley have told me, for example, that local people will literally starve cats, thinking if they are fed, they won’t catch rats. Well, that’s just wrong. Cats have a natural hunting instinct, no matter how well they are fed! In fact, a starving, weak cat is probably less likely to be up to the task of hunting. So cats should be well fed with a good quality cat food.
Cats are pure carnivores, so they must eat meat. Not many good cat food brands exist here, so vets in the Sacred Valley will recommend going to the butcher’s to get off-cuts of chicken. This is often cheaper than cat food anyway, and cats love chicken necks, hearts and livers.
Because cats do hunt, it’s best to keep them indoors. This not only saves the decimation of local wildlife from being killed, but will also protect your cat from injuries from cars, dogs and other cats. It’s a myth that cats should be outside. They can be perfectly happy in a house, especially if they have other ‘friends’ like other cats or dogs to keep them company.
If you insist on letting them outside, then they should be in a contained garden. Additionally, if they are outside hunting, they will need to be de-flead and de-parasited around every 3 months.
Some of the best reputed vets in the Sacred Valley are listed below, and most will make house calls.
Ursula Boza: +51 997 538 060 – based in Urubamba
Anggela Harms: +51 936 822 056 – based in Urubamba
Patitas Blue: +51 930 194776 – based in Urubamba on Av. Mariscal Castilla 474
Goofy Vet: +51 982 074 210 – based in Calca
24 Hour Emergency Vet, Cusco: +51 984 765 805