Tag Archives: vet

More Health Issues for Chris


Chris will be ten in a few months and up until recently, he never went to the vet for a health issue. I think the first time was from an eye infection that Floki passed on to Frankie and Chris when we adopted Floki a couple of years ago. The next visit was a couple of weeks ago after The Catfight of the Century. Last week I reported that Chris had a cold. By the end of the week the sneezing and sniffling had mostly ended but then the vomiting started. All weekend Chris ate very little but threw up a lot. I called the vet first thing Monday morning and made an appointment for him that afternoon.

When we arrived there was a women there with a small dog that looked somewhat like a Pomeranian but not exactly. This dog was a major barker. She barked at me when we came in and then she discovered Chris in his carrier and started barking at him. I was annoyed so I can imagine how Chris felt. She did bring the dog outside for a couple of minutes but then brought her back in and the barking continued. Thankfully, we got ushered into an exam room before too long.

I immediately opened the door and let Chris out.

The vet tech then came in and asked several questions about Chris and then weighed him. He weighed 17.3 pounds. Down from 18 pounds two weeks ago.

The vet came in and asked several of the same questions and examined Chris. He couldn’t immediately tell what was causing the vomiting but he did point out that Chris’s teeth were inflamed and he would need to have his teeth cleaned and probably some would need to be extracted. He also said he had an ear infection. This was a different vet than the last one who also saw the problem with Chris’s ears. That vet cleaned his ears but she didn’t offer a plan to get rid of the problem.

I vaguely remember shortly after we adopted Chris a vet told us some cats are prone to these ear polyps and indicated there wasn’t much that could be done about them but gave us a cleaner for them. Since then we have been cleaning Chris’s ears periodically. I told the vet that the other vet said that it couldn’t be cured but this vet said that wasn’t true. I did just look it up and the first thing I read said it could only be cured with surgery so perhaps Chris has something different.

The vet wanted to do the same blood test over again and a couple of other tests along with a test on his ear bugs. I didn’t understand everything he was saying but I do remember one test was related to his pancreas. He left the room to work up a plan, so we waited.

After a while someone came in with a plan and I decided against paying for more blood tests that we just took. I did agree to the other tests and I said it was okay to give him a shot for nausea but I did not want to bring home pills for that. I have personally experienced cats going downhill after starting medication so I like to keep that to what is absolutely necessary. I did get a medication for Chris’s ears. If the vet is right and this could cure him then I think it is worth a try.

I asked if they could clean his ears and give him the first round of ear drops while they were doing their tests and they agreed. They took Chris away and it wasn’t long before I heard loud sounds of a cat in distress coming from the other room. The tech came back in with Chris a minute or two later and said they were only able to clean one ear and didn’t put in the medication because Chris was resisting too much. They sad they would clean his ears when he came in for the teeth cleaning.

We waited around for a little longer, for what, I don’t know.

We were then cleared to send the vet’s kids to college pay our bill. I did that and brought Chris home. I forgot to make an appointment for his teeth so I called and made it for next Wednesday.

When I got home I let Chris out of his carrier outside. I figured I would do something good for him after what he went through.

Rose was upset that I didn’t make an appointment for his teeth this week but the vet wanted to give him time to feel better. Plus all the test results are not back yet. Despite that, Chris has eaten almost nothing since returning yesterday so Rose called the vet to try to get him in as soon as possible. We are waiting for a call back from the vet who is probably in surgery this morning.

Rose’s sister, Felice, works for a vet and the two of them talked about Chris last night. Felice said that at ten years old Chris would be considered a geriatric cat and these teeth issues are quite common in older cats. I thought it was not uncommon for cats to live fifteen years or more so geriatric seems a bit premature to me. At least I hope it is. I do understand why these teeth issues are common though.

Some people believe that dry food is good for a cat’s teeth. Even the vet said so when I said I would need to try harder to get Chris off the dry food after his teeth are gone. He said dry food is good for their teeth. I don’t believe that. I think what is good for a cat’s teeth is what nature intended, chewing on bone. Unfortunately, since our cats don’t eat live mice, their opportunity to chew on bones is virtually non-existent. I suppose I could give them raw chicken wings (cooked bones are dangerous) but they have become such dainty eaters that I don’t think they could handle it.

I won’t lie, I am worried about Chris. I know anytime you give someone anesthesia there is a risk. I also know he will be given antibiotics which will kill off his good bacteria and cause problems down the road. I did order probiotics for cats so hopefully that will help when the time comes. In the meantime, I will try to look on the bright side and hope this is the beginning of Chris getting better, not worse.

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The Lucky Unlucky Cat


This is a story about a cat I called Lucky. At the time I did not realize how wrong I would be about choosing that name and also how right I would be.

It started on a Saturday Night, October 8, 2005. Our neighbor across the street, Doug, called and said there was an injured kitten under my wife’s car and it was hissing when he tried to get close. Of course, the last thing we needed was another cat (we had six then) but we couldn’t leave it there.

I went outside and tried to coax the kitten out from under the car but she was not going to budge. I didn’t know the sex of the kitten at the time but we found out later it was a female. Her front paw looked broken and she had a hard time moving. She hissed at me a few times, probably because she was scared, but she never tried to bite me.

I put some dry food near her and she ate it all, so I gave her some wet food and a little water. She was very hungry and thirsty. Since I couldn’t get her out from under the car, I decided to move the car. I very carefully backed it up while Rose and her son’s girlfriend watched for any movement. Rose threw a towel over her as soon as the car was clear and we very carefully moved her to the garage.

We got her into the garage and put her on a couple of towels. That’s when we noticed a chunk of skin about the size of a quarter, maybe bigger, missing from her hind quarter. She also had cuts on one of her ears and it looked like her jaw was slightly out of alignment. We suspected right away, but we knew then, that a car hit her.

Lucky

Rose put some antibacterial ointment on her wounds and we moved her near the door and made a make-shift barricade around her so she wouldn’t hurt herself further in the garage. I gave her some food and water and checked on her a few times before we went to bed.

At the time we were raising two boys and six cats and did not have money to spare so a large vet bill for a stray cat was not in our budget. Because of that, we decided to bring her to the SPCA in New Port Richey, Florida, which opened at noon the next day. We got there when they opened and they turned us away before we even got to the door. They said they had no vet on duty and they were full. Vet or no vet, full or not full, they were still in a better position to help an injured cat than I was and should have done something. Since then I have not been a fan of the SPCA, even though I know I shouldn’t judge because of one incident.

Rose was very upset and said to the person at the SPCA, “What are we supposed to do, put him back on the side of the road?” They did give us a list of vets in the area and I called a place called Little Animal Hospital, which was named that because they were on Little Road. They told us to bring the cat in, which we did.

When we got there they took the cat in the back while we waited in the front. We noticed there was a big window showing a room full of cats that needed to be adopted. It was nice to know that they cared enough to do that. A few minutes later we were called to the back where we spoke to the vet.

She told us her foot was broken and would need to be amputated. There was also unknown internal injuries. We didn’t even ask about the cost because we knew that the surgery, combined with all the other rehabilitation costs, as well as the costs of getting her spayed and immunized would be way more than we could afford. Our other choice was to have her put to sleep. I didn’t like that idea but there seemed to be no other choice so we agreed to that, paid the $73 bill and left feeling horrible.

On the way home I told Rose we made a mistake. This little kitten needed us to save her and we failed. We should have arranged to make payments or something. Rose agreed with me but it was too late.

Around the same time, Rose’s Mom was looking to adopt a cat so Rose told her about the cats at the vet’s office that were for adoption. She found a Maine Coon cat there that she adopted and named Monkey.

Monkey

She also came back with a story that we were very happy to hear. Our little girl lucky was not Euthanized. The vet decided to try to save her. They did not amputate her paw either. She did require a lot of rehabilitation. Just using the litter box required human help for many weeks until she healed. I do not know what happened to her after that but I was very glad that the story had a happy ending.

After the Fight


We had a major fight yesterday morning between Chris and Frankie. If you didn’t see the post you can find it here. Since Frankie was the aggressor we decided to bring him to the vet but after making the appointment we thought Chris should go instead. That decision came because Chris has seemed slightly more lethargic lately and because Frankie was getting along fine with Floki and with me so I doubted that a physical condition was making him irritable. 

Since moving, I haven’t found a new vet. When I looked for one yesterday morning none stood out above the others so I just picked the one that was the closest to home. I made a 3:30 appointment at The Animal Care Clinic of Largo

I put Chris in Floki’s carrier, which wasn’t easy, and made it there five minutes early. After a short wait someone put us in an exam room and an assistant, or vet tech, came in and asked a few questions and then took Chris away to weigh him. She came back with Chris in one arm and the carrier in the other. I guess she knew better than to try to shove him back in there. She told me he weighed 18 pounds, which was just over the 17.9 pounds on his last vet visit. 

While we waited for the vet, Chris did some exploring. 

He then settled down next to me.

The vet then came in with her assistant and we talked for a bit before she examined Chris. She did a lot of squeezing around his stomach, which Chris did not like. She also tried to look in his ears but Chris has always had a problem with some kind of black gunk that grows in his ears. Another vet gave us an ear cleaner for him which we don’t use as much as we should because he is such a pain to work with.

She did say that when cats lose a sense, such as hearing, they become more defensive. She offered to clean his ears and when I found out she would do it for only twelve dollars I said go ahead. It wasn’t easy. They had to wrap him in a towel and he kept breaking free so they had to keep rewrapping him. 

After the exam, she thought Chris was okay. She didn’t think he had diabetes because of his weight. I said that I thought diabetes was associated with weight gain but she said that cats lose weight and then gain it again after they are put on medication. She offered to do blood tests to rule out certain illnesses but she also seemed to doubt they were necessary so didn’t push them. She said basic blood work was $88 plus more for additional tests. Since I didn’t know what my cost was up to already I thought it would be better to save the money and bring Frankie in.

The vet spent a lot of time with us, more than any other vet in recent memory. That is why I was shocked when I saw the bill was $54. It seemed we could never leave our last vet for less than $180. If I had known, I might have said to go ahead with the blood tests. I might still bring him back after Frankie goes there.

Many of you were concerned about my injuries and I appreciate that. I can tell you that all my wounds seem to be healing fine except for my left index finger which is swollen right now. I am keeping an eye on it. 

When Chris got home Frankie seemed fine with him and almost five minutes passed before a fight started and we had to separate them. Chris slept in our room last night (which means I got very little sleep) and we tried to reintroduce them this morning. Frankie seems over it but Chris hasn’t forgotten and growled at Frankie so we decided to keep them separated for a while longer.

Dual Vet Visit Fail


Recently we needed to bring Frankie to the vet to get his rabies vaccination so we could get him registered with the county. We needed to do that because the place we are moving to requires it. We also needed to bring Floki in to get his nails clipped so we thought we could bring them both at once.

I inquired about the price and was told that an examination was required by the state and the cost would be well over a hundred dollars. I forgot the exact amount. I called the vet around the corner from them and they charged under $50 on Saturdays and Wednesdays, no examination needed. Hmmm. Anyway, we made an appointment at the rip off vet for Floki’s nail trimming that Saturday and decided that Rose would bring Floki to that appointment while I brought Frankie to the other vet for his shots.

I brought two carriers inside very early that day so they could get used to them being there. It was Floki I was concerned about but he seemed indifferent about the carriers.

Chris and Frankie were more interested.

When it came time to go we decided to get Floki first because he was the most likely to run and hide. We recently bought a top loading carrier because Floki is so difficult to get in the carrier. He struggles like nothing I have ever seen before. Rose grabbed him and I assisted in shoving him inside and zipping it shut. Except the Tasmanian Devil managed to twist his way out and he disappeared down the hall and under the bed. We had to call the vet and cancel the appointment. I told them the truth, as embarrassing as it was.

Frankie was much easier to deal with so Rose and I both brought him in for his shots. He seemed pretty comfortable in the vet’s office.

There was so much to explore.

After a short time, the vet came in, gave him his shot and license and we were home in no time.

Now we need to find a new vet close to our new home. I don’t mind though because I have never been too impressed with our usual vet, especially after what happened to Puck.

 

Another Vet Visit for Puck


Last Thursday evening I noticed a couple of little puddles of pee in the kitchen. That was unusual because when Puck pees on the floor (which is just about every day) it is one large puddle. I then noticed more little puddles and soon realized that everywhere Puck went he left behind a puddle of pee.

Even though peeing on the floor has become the new normal, this was not normal so I called the vet as soon as they opened and made an appointment for that morning.

I brought the carrier in the house early so as to not scare Puck when it was time to go. Chris and Frankie not only don’t fear the carrier, they were taking turns going inside of it. Chris, of course, was first.

Puck sensed something was up and I had a hard time catching him but eventually we made it to the vet. I opened his cage after the put us in the exam room but he was not interested in leaving.

The vet tech took him in the back room where they do their secret experiments and brought back a cat that looked like Puck but I couldn’t be sure until later when he peed on the floor. While he was in the back they took a urine sample.

After a short wait, the vet came in to examine Puck. The vet tech struggled to pull him out and I suggested we just unsnap the top, which we did. The vet then suggested that she bring Puck over along with the bottom of the carrier. She thought that would stress him less.

We then had to wait for the test results so I picked up Puck and put him in my lap. Apparently, that was not the time or place for doing anything out in the open so he jumped down and hid behind my back.

After a long wait, the vet came back and said that there was no infection but he did have inflammation and he had urinary crystals. She ended up giving Puck steroids.

Every time I write about a vet visit I mention how all pet issues are solved with steroids or antibiotics and each time after that the same thing happens, In addition, I had to buy another case of Hills prescription cat food.

Science Diet Urinary cat food ca

He didn’t pee anywhere the first day after the vet visit but the day after that he peed everywhere, Today he was good but we will see what tomorrow brings.

Puck’s Problem Gets Worse


Our cat Puck has been peeing on the floor for the past several weeks now in addition to the pooping on the floor that has been going on for a couple of years. Regular readers know that he developed a bladder infection that started the problem but after getting better, the peeing continued.

Our living room is now a sea of pee pads.

The vet put Puck on Prozac a couple of weeks ago but getting him to take it has been hard. I don’t want to add to his stress by shoving it down his throat so I put it in his food. Unfortunately, he eats only half of his food, or less, when there is a crushed up pill in it. It is actually only a half of a very small pill so it surprises me that he even notices it. Putting it in tuna helps but giving cats tuna every day is not healthy.

Tuesday evening I noticed a couple of half-dollar size spots of pee on the floor and knew Puck’s bladder issue had returned. We made an appointment for the vet this morning but I have to be at work so my wife will be taking him in. Hopefully, if we get his bladder problem resolved he will start using the box again.

To Pee Or Not To Pee


My wife got up early Saturday morning to use the bathroom, which is just outside our bedroom door. In our house, this is usually okay before around 3:30 a.m. After that time, the cats congregate outside our bedroom door in anticipation of breakfast or early morning attention. On this morning, Rose missed the cut-off time by about fifteen minutes and all the cats poured into the bedroom. By 4:00 a.m., Chris was such an annoying pain that we both decided to get up.

I made coffee and cleaned the litter boxes and then noticed Puck get into the box to pee. About two minutes later I noticed him in the box peeing again and I watched him this time. I felt like a voyeur but I needed to see if he was having a problem peeing. Sure enough, the litter was dry but he still felt the need to bury it. I then watched him go in and out of the box several more times within the next ten to fifteen minutes. That is when we decided he needed to see the vet right away. We learned how dangerous the problem could be when Frankie had that problem.

We have two vets that we go to. Our preferred vet is about a fifteen minute drive from our house and our secondary vet is almost the same distance that Frankie takes me on our walks. We decided to go to the closer vet because they opened a half hour earlier than the other vet and I didn’t want to wait.

I brought in the carrier and everyone but Puck was interested in it.

cats interested in carrier

cats interested in carrier

I was able to get through to someone at the vet’s office at 7:50 and she told me to bring Puck in right away, so I put him in him in his carrier for the short drive over there.

Puck in cat carrier

We were at the vet’s door right after they opened. We only waited a short time before they put us in an exam room.

Once in the room, I opened Puck’s carrier but he did not want to come out.

Puck at Vet

I didn’t want a stranger to come in and traumatize Puck by pulling him out of his carrier so I took off the top.

Puck at Vet

I then thought he would feel safer on my lap so I picked him up and put him there. I was wrong. He immediately got off my lap and hid behind the carrier so no stranger could walk in and find him.

Puck at Vet

When the vet tech came in, she picked up Puck and brought him into the back room. For some reason, this vet’s office likes doing most of their examinations out of sight of the pet parents. I think they are performing secret experiments back there.

After some time, the vet came in and said that Puck had a bladder infection but he was not blocked, which was good. His course of treatment was fluids along with… wait for it… steroids and antibiotics.

Those of you who have read a lot of my recent posts understand the joke. It seems every time I go to the vet I make a comment about how  I could be a vet if I only had steroids and antibiotics because all problems are solved using those two drugs. In fact, I’ve talked about it so much that I decided to compile a list of  posts where I mention both drugs in the same post.

Wow, that is a common topic. Maybe I should think of something else to write about.

Anyway, getting back to the story, when the vet tech finally brought Puck back, he was wrapped in a towel and had a strange mask on his face. At first I thought is was something like the cone of shame and was hoping that they didn’t expect me to make Puck wear this thing at home. It was then that I saw that not only was his mouth covered but so were his eyes. It was then that I realized I was wrong. They were not conducting secret experiments in the back room, they were filming Fifty Shades of Black.

Puck at vet

I wish I had time to take a picture of Puck with that mask but by the time the shock wore off the tech was removing it from his face. She said it was to keep him calm but I have never heard of a vet using a mask in that way before.

After further research, I found something similar on Amazon. It is a cat muzzle and it is used for difficult cats to keep them from biting. I have never known Puck to be a difficult cat or a biter so maybe it it’s true and can calm a scared cat. I wonder if it would work on Floki so we can trim his nails.

It has now been over a day and I do not see Puck trying to use the box. I suppose that is good but I am never around when he does use the box and I wish he would pee when I can see him so I can confirm he is better.

Update: I forgot to mention that the vet said Puck should be eating only wet food until he is better. He also gave us a syringe to get water in his mouth a few times a day.

I have been wanting to get them off dry food for some time now because it is the primary cause of urinary disease. I feed them wet food twice a day but Chris eats almost none of it so I keep some dry food out so Chris wont starve. I do limit the amount of dry food though and am still trying to figure out how to get Chris to eat the wet so I can eliminate the dry .

Chris’s First Vet Visit


Since we adopted Chris in November of 2009, he has never been to the vet for a health related issue until yesterday. He did go to the vet for a mandatory vaccination late in 2010 when we moved back to Florida, and when he was a kitten he was fixed and vaccinated, but that was all. He has been a pretty healthy cat, despite his weight gain these last couple of years.

That changed when we adopted Floki a few months ago and illness spread through our house like wildfire. Everyone was sneezing but the eye infections were the worst. Frankie had to go to the vet because one of he eyes was very bad. We treated him with the medication they gave us but then noticed his eye became very dilated (see here).

Frankie’s eye got better after a few days but then we noticed Chris had the same problem in one of his eyes. We were giving him Frankie’s eye medication but he got worse so we decided it was time to bring him to the vet.

We have two vets. Vet number 1 is about a ten or twelve-minute drive and vet number 2 is about two minutes away. Vet 2 is where we brought Frankie. Vet 1, called The Animal and Bird Medical Center, is harder to get an appointment with but I like them better because they are less likely to shoot your pet up with steroids and antibiotics on the first visit. In other words, they usually try to take a natural approach, but not always.

Rose brought Chris to Vet 1 yesterday morning and was nice enough to take pictures for me.

bad cat Chris at vet

chris at vet
bad cat Chris at vet

bad cat Chris at vet

Rose said Chris did a lot of crying on the way to the vet but once there, he was good.

The doc said that the dilation in his eyes was caused but the eye medication we were giving him. Imagine that. We were causing the problem by the very thing we were using to treat the problem.

The vet also said that Chris has some kind of growth in his ears. I don’t think those were his exact words but that was the second-hand information that I received. He gave Rose some drops to put in Chris’s ears and a different eye medication. No shots or pills and it only cost us about $115. Not cheap, but better than expected, and I am happy to know that Chris does not have a serious health condition.

Chris was also very quiet on the way home. I guess somehow he knew the worst was over and he was going home.

To Catch a Cat


Frankie escaped three times last weekend by using a trick that Chris figured out years ago; He no longer hesitates when the door opens. As soon as the door cracks open, out he goes. Once out, he is nearly impossible to catch. I have to wait until he wears himself out before I can catch him.

The following video was compiled from two separate escapes, Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

It is very similar to what Chris used to do four years ago.

In other news, we could not get Chris a vet appointment until late Tuesday. I am concerned because when we got home today I noticed that both of his eyes are compleatly dilated. I called the vet back but they had closed by then. I did leave a message that I was concerned and asked if they could squeeze him in on Monday. I will be at work so Rose will have to bring him.

Floki’s Turn at the Vet


Since we hadn’t spent enough money on Frankie at the vet, we decided to bring Floki there on Friday. He had an 8 a.m. appointment, which gave me enough tome to go there with Rose before I had to leave for work.

He needed to get the second in a three-part series of core vaccinations (tune in again in three weeks for the exciting conclusion). I’m not a big fan of vaccinations for indoor cats because of all the bad side effects that I have read about, but I will accept these. However, after the third set, that’s it. No more.

I saw in interesting video this morning that talked about vaccination being good for life in most cases (although I only made it through the first twenty minutes). Essentially, annual booster shots are not only unnecessary, they add to your pet’s toxic load. The vet being interviewed, Dr. Ronald Schultz, said you should wait a minimum of 3-4 years, if ever, to get a booster shot, unless, of course, you worry about local antiquated regulations (those are my words).

When we got to the vet Rose noticed a sign that said “Dogs will accept you as boss, cats want to sIMG_20160722_075236_1 Flokiee your resume.” How true is that?

I felt bad that Floki shut in the carrier so I let him out in the waiting room. Once out, he climbed on my shoulders, which is something he has never done before. When they called us into the examination room, I just carried him in there on my shoulders.

Kitten Floki on my shoulders

 

He stuck with me for a long time. I assumed he would be ready to go exploring. He is a kitten after all. If that was Chris, he would be exploring every nook and cranny of that room.

 

 

Kitten Floki on my shoulders

Kitten Floki on my shoulders

Kitten Floki with vet tech.

 

 

 

The vet tech came in and looked Floki over, which he was not happy about, before taking him in the back where they have their secret laboratory. When she brought him back he was up on my shoulders again.

 

 

 

Kitten Floki on my sholders

Rose and I were both away at work the rest of the day and as soon as I got home we had to leave again to meet Rose’s sister and her family for dinner. It was her last day here before returning to Massachusetts.

When we finally got home around 9 p.m., Rose wanted to sit down with Floki on her lap but Floki wasn’t interested. In fact, he didn’t look well. I have heard that vaccines could cause some problems so we hoped that he would be better after a good night’s sleep, but this morning he still seemed lethargic.

Normally, I feed that cats in the morning, but Rose couldn’t sleep and got up early and fed them. I didn’t know it until later but she opened up another can of food because Floki was eating like a pig.

About 9:30 this morning, Floki’s vet’s office called and I said he has been a bit lethargic. She asked if he ate and I told her he had. She then put me on hold and came back and said the vet would like to see him to check his temperature. I didn’t want to spend another $100 to have his temperature checked so I said I would talk to my wife. She then told me about how much Floki ate this morning so I called the vet back and said that he was eating fine and I was going to keep him home unless he got worse.

Now all I can do is hope he doesn’t get worse.