Real wild life: Manhattan veterinarian to the stars dishes on client affairs, private jet secrets — and a naked Cher

The animals are tame, but her stories are wild.

In her new book “Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian,” animal doctor Amy Attas dishes on what she’s learned about the lives of New York’s wealthy and well-known by visiting their homes to care for their four-legged family members.

Attas launched her mobile practice, City Pets, in 1992. Joan Rivers, whom she had impressed with her no-nonsense approach to treating the comedian’s Yorkie, Spike, at Park East Animal Hospital, was her first client.

Attas’s first VIP client was Joan Rivers, who appreciated how the vet dealt with her Yorkie. Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Attas’s first VIP client was Joan Rivers, who appreciated how the vet dealt with her Yorkie. Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Other notables, including Billy Joel, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Wayne Gretzky, Erica Jong and Steve Martin, followed.

One night in the early 2000s, the vet got a call from Cher — Rivers had recommended her — who was on a plane from Italy with a stray dog she’d adopted there, named Pippo.

Attas diagnosed him with mange, gave him with an injection and warned that the dog’s skin condition was very contagious.

Cher was aghast.

“Well, that explains it. Does the rash on humans look like this?” the superstar exclaimed as she flung open her robe to show, Attas writes, “her iconic body in its naked entirety.”

Other clients revealed themselves to Attas in different ways.

Twice a week, she would give a cat named Sophie a medicated bath, sometimes letting herself into the multi-million dollar apartment on East End Avenue where the pet lived.

When Attas treated Cher’s dog for a skin condition, the singer opened her robe and asked if a rash on her naked body might be the same issue. Getty Images
When Attas treated Cher’s dog for a skin condition, the singer opened her robe and asked if a rash on her naked body might be the same issue. Getty Images

One day, when she went to retrieve Sophie from the cat’s favorite hiding place under a bed, she found her client’s husband in the sheets with another woman. She felt obligated to tell the wife, a down-to-earth mother-of-two who was one of her best customers.

“It was a really, really awful experience,” said Attas, who has caught clients in affairs at least a half a dozen times over the decades. “It’s happened more times than I ever wished it would have.”

She’s learned that the rich play by different rules. Billionaire oil heir Gordon Getty and his late wife Ann once summoned her to their apartment to vaccinate their cats before they moved to London.

She advised the Gettys that the international move would require complicated paperwork and a quarantine, but Ann said it wasn’t a problem. They were flying private — and their jet had a bedroom they could lock the cat in to avoid immigration officials.

Attas diagnosed Billy Joel’s pug Fenula with a dislocated kneecap and went on to become friendly with the singer. Getty Images
Attas diagnosed Billy Joel’s pug Fenula with a dislocated kneecap and went on to become friendly with the singer. Getty Images

Despite clients’ wealth, payment can be an issue.

Valerie, whom Attas describes as the “vampy second wife of one of the most successful Italian restaurateurs in Manhattan,” always paid cash.

One day, she suggested they arrange a barter, which Attas assumed meant exchanging her medical services for restaurant meals.

Attas racked up $2,500 in credit and went out for a luxe Italian dinner at the husband’s place. Assuming Valerie was taking care of the $800 bill, she left a tip and left the restaurant. A waiter came chasing after her, saying she needed to pay.

It later emerged that the husband had no knowledge of the deal. He had been giving his wife $1,000 in cash to pay Attas every time she came.

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky summoned Attas when his toy poodle puppy Liberty had kennel couch. WireImage
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky summoned Attas when his toy poodle puppy Liberty had kennel couch. WireImage

“He now figured out,” Attas writes, “she instead spent that money on cocaine.”

Some famous clients have been reluctant to take Attas’s advice.

One example of that was a “Fifth Avenue doyenne” the vet calls Mrs. Beach.

Ivana Trump hired Attas on multiple occasions to look at her pets, but she typically didn’t proceed with the recommended treatment. Getty Images
Ivana Trump hired Attas on multiple occasions to look at her pets, but she typically didn’t proceed with the recommended treatment. Getty Images

The woman was frantic after her after her heirloom sapphire ring went missing. She presumed her West Highland terrier Tricky had eaten it and wanted to operate on the dog immediately.

An X-ray showed that the ring was halfway through Tricky’s colon and likely to just come out on its own. But, Mrs. Beach couldn’t stomach the idea of the dog pooping out the family jewels and insisted on an unnecessary surgery.

As she and Attas were arguing about it, Tricky did her business and the ring emerged, covered in excrement.

Joan Rivers initially resisted when Attas told her the only way to treat her Boston terrier Lulu (left) for bone cancer was a leg amputation. Attas cared for many of Rivers’s dogs over the decades, including Yorkies Spike and Veronica (right). Joan Rivers/ instagram
Joan Rivers initially resisted when Attas told her the only way to treat her Boston terrier Lulu (left) for bone cancer was a leg amputation. Attas cared for many of Rivers’s dogs over the decades, including Yorkies Spike and Veronica (right). Joan Rivers/ instagram

Mrs. Beach was disgusted, declaring, “I may never wear that again.”

Meanwhile, Joan Rivers was hesitant to put her pup under the knife. The plastic surgery-loving comedienne was obsessed with appearances and didn’t want to amputate the leg of her beloved Boston terrier Lulu when the pup was stricken with bone cancer.

“I’m not going to look at her Frankenstein stitches every day!” Rivers told Attas, which whom she grew quite close with over the years.

Attas has written a book about being a house call veterinarian called “Pets and the City.” It’s to what Man
Attas has written a book about being a house call veterinarian called “Pets and the City.” It’s to what Man

Attas and Rivers’ staff teamed up to make tiny tutus that would cover the incision site with colorful tulle and convinced Rivers to go through with the surgery.

Lulu lived for several more years.

“Rich people love their pets as much as we love out pets,” Attas told The Post. But “their behaviors are markedly different.”

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