Monday, October 05, 2009

Sam’s Saga

I took Sam to the vet on September 13 that was the Sunday before I left for Springfield (note to self never do that again). He was supposed to get his rabies vaccine. In the course of his examination the vet said he probably should have four teeth pulled. A quick little back ground on this for the past several years the vet has been pushing to have Sam get his teeth cleaned. I have a problem with that mostly because of his age. Also because I know of one person who did that and the cat died. Another one said their cat was never the same after they had it done. My reaction the first time this was suggested was he seems a little old for this to be done to him. And my reaction this time, several years later no less, was why are we doing this to a cat that’s going to be 14 in a few weeks.

The vet recommended that it be done at a specialist. The cost some where around $1,200 or more. I have to say I have a little problem with the cost because in all likelihood it is going to cost more than that. But what are credit cards for. The vet said it probably needed to be done in the next few weeks. She seemed to think he might be some sort of pain. I have to say I notice no difference in his behavior at all. In fact Sam seems to be doing just fine. He saw a cat on the front porch the other night, at least I assumed it was a cat because of the way he reacted, and went nuts. Puffing up and hissing and all that.

Also the vet drew blood for all sorts of test since he is now an older cat. It is funny Sam’s a gray cat going gray. After they were all done and I had him back in his carrier, they decided they needed a urine sample. Well Sam was all empty. There’s more to this but more on that later.

It’s interesting the reaction I’ve gotten from people. My dad was well maybe you need to get it done. My brother said that his vet has brought this up about his cats cleaning their teeth. My brother says he just changes the subject when it’s brought up. He seemed to think this is a way for vets to make additional money. He said his one cat that lived to be 18 never had her teeth cleaned at all. My friend Mark was like hell no way. He said if Sam was in pain or had an infection or was loosing weight then maybe you consider it. He added there’s very little reason except when the cat’s at risk to put a 14 year old cat under anesthesia (oh and Sam has a heart murmur too so how does that complicate things).

The vet called with the results of the blood test the next day. Sam is essentially in fine health. I raised my concerns about having the teeth pulled. The vet said well if it was my cat I’d have it done. I felt like saying all right Sam’s your cat take care of this. I said I needed to think about this. There was nothing I could do because I was going to be out of town for a week. The vet added she did want to try and get a urine sample. I could do this be either bring Sam in or I could pick up something called No Absorb. I said I’d figure this out when I got back.

Last Monday I got a call from the vet. It was a follow up. They wanted to know if I’d made the appointment with the cat dentist (which I had not) and about the urine sample. I decided to try and use the No Absorb stuff.

And here’s the tale on that. I go and pick this stuff up on Friday. It is in a small container maybe about a cup in size. And cup is the way to describe it. The idea is to empty out the litter box and pour the contents in . The idea is to mimic cat litter. The cat will then use the box as normal. With no litter the pee isn’t absorbed. You can then pour the urine into the cup and then refrigerate it until you can get it to the vet.

Well here’s how this worked. I got home on Friday night and emptied out the box. I emptied the litter into a garbage bag and just put it near the box (litter is not exactly the lightest of things to tote around also I wasn’t sure where to put it). Sam did indeed pee and poop but he peed and pooped on the carpet not in the litter box. First he peed. I cleaned that up. I thought maybe since the garbage bag of litter was near by he tried to use that. So I moved the bag of litter carefully out of the room and must stuck it in the bathroom. A little while later I went up and saw that Sam had pooped. I decided that was enough. I put the regular litter back in the box. At some point in the not too distant future I’ll see if I can take Sam to the vet and see if they can get a sample. But then again there are no guarantees on that one either.

Now back to the issue of the teeth. I’m going to make an appointment with the specialist and see what they say and also how much it is going to cost. But I’m not in any hurry to do it. I feel like I’m in a no win situation here. I feel no matter what I do no surgery/surgery it will be the wrong thing. So I need to do some thinking on this.

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