Dr. Amato saved my cat’s life …. but that’s just part of it.

Written by Caroline | Roslindale, MA Hospital: Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

By and large, veterinary medicine is altruistic. Veterinarians don’t go into it for the money. Indeed, many find it challenging to find a balance between working with clients to develop the best plan for their pet while bringing in revenue to make a living. I have been a veterinary technician for over 10 years and see doctors struggle with this almost every day. Routinely, veterinarians invest a considerable amount of time [often their personal time] developing treatment plans, tirelessly researching the ideal therapy/ medication/ procedure, consulting with colleagues or specialists and reaching out to pharmacies and manufacturers for product information and cost. That said, what I find most striking is the sincere and heartfelt relationships between doctors and clients – an area of medicine that is not academic but intrinsic. I see it in the countless phone calls and emails that are always returned [sometimes at home during ‘off hours,’ or weekends]; I see it in the extra time spent listening, or talking to clients while lunchtime slips away. Most importantly, I see it in the sincere, joyful connection doctors share with their patients; they genuinely care and it shows. More than anyone, Dr. Nicole Amato IS this veterinarian! Dr. Amato saved my cat’s life …. but that’s just part of it.

Jake is my ginger cat and my problem child. Long and lanky with a disproportionately large head and giraffe legs, his looks are only rivaled by his personality. A bold, naughty, confident, naughty, goof ball of a cat,who’s completely unflappable. Out of my four cats, he’s my favorite [shhhhhh!] He’s also my most challenging. At four years old he’s had a broken toe, two abdominal exploratory surgeries for foreign bodies, bi-lateral ureteral stones, a urinary obstruction due to stones and …. drum roll, please …. a Cystotomy to remove said stone. He’s averaged one surgery/ year with the most recent one performed by Dr. Amato.

When Jake blocked at 10:00 at night [naturally, after my clinic was closed], I took him to Angell Memorial Hospital. Angell is a state-of-the-art 24 hour hospital which has some of the best doctors and veterinary specialists in the country; it’s also only about 1 mile from my house. I was able to get Jake there and seen quickly. I’m extraordinarily thankful for this. However, going to Angell can be costly – both literally and figuratively. It was close to $1,000 for Jake’s procedure, treatments and 7 hour hospitalization which, I am more than happy to pay as long as I have the money! Additionally, once you enter the ER, it kind of feels like being on a conveyor belt, talking to various department personnel, nurses and doctor each time… a little impersonal. That said, the medicine practiced at Angell is superb. Jake was unblocked and sent home with me in the morning to monitor at my clinic …. where he proceeded to re-block requiring an emergency cystotomy.


I met Dr. Amato a few months ago at a luncheon, right around the time Jake’s ureter stones were discovered. In passing, I mentioned Jake’s condition and my subsequent concern about the surgical procedure needed to fix it. Right away, Dr. Amato was engaged, asking questions, offering insight and solutions, doing something that, up until that point, hadn’t successfully been done by other doctors I had spoken with – she LISTENED, acknowledged and assuaged my fears. There wasn’t anything in this for her – this wasn’t a paid surgical consult. It was a Dr. who just wanted to help. That’s it. I was so grateful and appreciative, the experience stayed with me. So when Jake needed a Cystotomy and I needed someone to talk me off a panick-stricken ledge and offer an opinion, I called Dr. Amato at IVG Metrowest. I was able to get her on the phone immediately and we had a lengthy discussion about what to do next. She went above and beyond, collaborating with various departments at her hospital, calling colleagues at Tufts and talking to the doctors I work with, all in an effort to get Jake his surgery – something that realistically wasn’t an option for me until then. During the surgery Dr. Amato fielded my questions – so many questions – with unyielding patience. The surgery was successful; the stone was removed. Afterwards, we stayed in touch and she tirelessly responded to all my, admittedly, inordinate number of emails.

Jake’s life was saved by a doctor who chose this profession with the intention of helping people exactly like me. While it’s challenging, Dr. Amato is able to find that balance and never loses sight of the importance of cultivating both human and human-animal relationships. Thank you Dr. Amato, and everyone at IVG MetroWest, who helped save Jake’s life!

5 Strathmore Road,
Natick, MA 01760



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