Jen, Tim, Duke, Zorro, and of course Gonzo
(James Family, Palmerston North)
Just prior to Christmas our tiny Yorkshire Terrier, Gonzo became extremely ill. All of a sudden, he couldn’t walk properly, couldn’t find his food, water, or how to get outside to toilet. It was extremely distressing and we were referred to Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (MUVTH) by our local veterinarian who was very worried about Gonzo.
At MUVTH we were lucky enough to meet Matt, who took our emotionally confused and tearful descriptions of Gonzo’s symptoms in his stride. On our initial consult, Matt pinpointed the most likely cause, and subsequent tests confirmed it - granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis, or GME.
Matt’s knowledge of veterinary science was astounding, his ability to explain complex subjects impressive, but it was his empathy for not only animals, but their people that made all the difference to how we coped.
I have developed a professional relationship with Matt over the past couple of years during his time at Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Matt has provided valuable advice and support whilst dealing with several referral cases for me over this time and always showed a very practical and knowledgeable approach to these difficult medicine cases. In addition, Matt has always provided sensible phone advice on in-clinic cases where guidance has been needed on the best approach to further diagnostic steps in attaining a diagnosis.
He has an easy-going, approachable and friendly manner and was well liked by our clients that dealt with him. I found him incredibly helpful in every case he was involved in.
I would highly recommend him to anyone who requires specialist veterinary medical advice.
Dr Charlie Georgetti BVSc
Senior Veterinarian and Director Vets On Riverbank
(Vets On Riverbank)
Girl first presented to us for further investigation into anaemia in June 2018. Her packed cell volulme (PCV) got as low as 12, prompting a blood transfusion. We suspected immune mediated haemolytic anaemia, and treated her accordingly. Her PCV did increase but then she developed a distended fluid filled abdomen, weight loss and inappetance.
At this stage the decision was made to refer her to Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital to see Matt where a thorough work-up was done and she was diagnosed with protein losing nephropathy due to glomerular disease, and suspected systemic lupus erythematosus in July 2018 and has been on medication for this since.
Since this diagnosis Girl has been doing amazing, much to her owner’s delight. I am still in regular contact with Matt regarding her medications as we are trying to wean her down to the lowest effective dose for the various medications.
I have found Matt so approachable and always willing to answer my questions. It is also great for the owners to still have Matt involved in Girls care.
I will certainly be using Matt in the future for any other complicated medical cases as I have found his service very thorough and approachable.
Dr Nicky Papps BVSc
(Island Bay Veterinary Clinic)
In September 2017 our 9 year old Jack Russell Terrier, Millie, went from a vibrant, hyperactive, loving dog to a lethargic and sick animal losing weight at an alarming rate. Over the course of three weeks she lost more than 25% of her body weight, despite treatment implemented by our local veterinarian. At that stage we were referred to Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (MUVTH).
Right from the first moment we met Matt Kopke at MUVTH, we were put at ease by his very caring concern for Millie and the effect this illness was having on us. At the conclusion of the initial consultation Matt spent a lot of time with us discussing what he had and had not found and various alternatives to go forward. Millie was left in his care for the next week for ongoing diagnostics and treatment. We were provided with updates during that week and at the second consultation he discussed with us his testing regime, diagnosis (myenteric ganglionitis and intestinal leiomyositis), the unusual and serious nature of the issue, patient studies to date and some ways forward. The enormity of testing that Matt went to in order to ascertain a full diagnosis was incredible, as was the obvious genuine concern for the care of Millie.
We cannot thank Matt enough for what he has done for Millie, she is now back to great health and happiness and 2 years older. Matt is an outstandingly intelligent and caring veterinarian who through his ongoing interest and guidance, has changed what is the normal life expectancy for animals with this condition from 6-7 months, to 2 years so far, and still going strong.
Jan, John, and of course Millie
(Wilson Family, Havelock North)
Heather, Giles and of course Alfie
(Dodge Family, Wellington).
We cannot recommend Matt highly enough after the amazing work he did with our beloved Alfie.
Alfie is a beautiful ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. When Alfie was just 7 months old we noticed that he was developing a misshapen jaw,
and was having difficulty opening his mouth. When this progressed to an inability to open his mouth, our local veterinarian referred us to Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. As you can imagine we had grave fears as the lack of movement was so severe. Within hours of being in the ICU, a diagnosis of what the most likely cause was, was made by Matt, despite this condition being somewhat rare in Alfie's age group. He had masticatory muscle myositis. The course of treatment was decided on, based on Matt's skill at determining what was wrong - this started early to maximise Alfie's chances. 36 hours later Alfie's jaw movement began again.
Since then Alfie has become progressively better to a point where he's now living a normal, happy and healthy life. Matt demonstrated not only expert skills but tremendous warmth towards Alfie the patient, and of course ourselves. It's clear to see Matt is 100% dedicated and passionate in his job with incredible knowledge and empathy for his patients. He saved Alfie's life, for which we are eternally grateful and cannot thank him enough.
While travelling in the U.S. in October, 2017, my husband and I boarded our then four-year-old Weimaraner, Maya, at a local Kapiti kennel. The kennel was well known to us, and Maya and our other dogs had happily stayed there before.
However, during the 2017 stay at kennel, Maya came down with a very serious illness, the cause of which has still not been determined. It was diagnosed as meningoencephalomyelitis and affected Maya’s ability to walk and stand. At one point, she was completely unable to walk. She also lost her appetite and became very thin. She was near death. My husband and I were still in the U.S.
and were informed of this via email from the kennel. Needless to say, we were terrified.
The kennel did tell us that after consulting some local veterinarians, they took Maya to Massey University where she was treated by Matt Kopke. Matt was in regular phone contact with us in the U.S. and, after weeks of his expert and tender care, Maya recovered her ability to walk and stand. After many months under Matt’s care and with the help of medication, Maya made a complete recovery.
We attribute this recovery to the care she received from Matt and remain endlessly grateful to him. He is not only a thoroughly knowledgeable and gifted Veterinarian, he is also an extremely caring and empathetic human being. We and Maya consider ourselves very lucky to have Matt in our lives and would recommend him highly to anyone wanting a veterinarian who is not only incredibly good at his job, but is also a wonderful person.
Barbara, Graeme, and of course Maya
(Robinson Family, Kapiti)
Our practice has referred several tricky medical
cases to Dr Kopke over the last few years.
We have been very happy with the level of service and communications have been very good. Our clients have all been very pleased to have been referred to him and we had nothing but positive reports back.
I am especially grateful to him for giving me his time in advising me on treatment of my own bitch who was very sick post-whelping, but has since made a full recovery.
I have known Matt during his Small Animal Internal Medicine Residency at Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (MUVTH). He dealt with several cases I referred to MUVTH. As a Resident he was exceptional, I was impressed with his attention to detail and the compassionate way he dealt with cats and their owners.
Dr Pru Galloway BVSc (Distinction), MANZCVS, FANZCVS (Feline Medicine)
Registered Specialist in Feline Medicine
Dr Alastair Ferguson BVM&S
(Crofton Downs Veterinary Clinic)