Tag Archives: vet

Chris Versus Vet


Chris has been having ear problems again. His right ear is okay but his left ear smells bad and he has been shaking his head occasionally. I had some left over ear medicine that I used for about a week but the problem persisted so I scheduled a vet visit.

You may remember he had this problem a couple of years ago. Our vet recommended surgery for about $400 to remove the ear polyps that have been a problem his whole life, but when we scheduled a time to have it done he changed his mind and said the pollyps went too deep and referred me to a specialist.

We went to the specialist a couple of times, spent about $1,000, and in return we got some medicine and a recommendation to remove Chris’s ear canal and make him deaf. I told my vet how unhappy I was with the specialist and since then we have been just controlling the problem with ear medication.

Since I started working full-time, I have been going in a half hour early everyday so I could leave at 2:00 on Fridays. So I made an appointment for 3:00 on Friday. I forgot I had a chiropractor appointment Friday morning and I was late so I had to work until 2:30, which was still fine except I got last minute things that had to be done so I left at 2:45.

I raced home and got the small crate out of the shed. Chris has gotten too big to fit in the smallish carriers that we have. So I put him in the crate and we left for the vet.

We got to the vet four minutes late which was pretty incredible, especially since I really didn’t break any speeding laws to get there.

We waited in the lobby for a short time and then we were led into an exam room. It was the first time I was allowed back there since before Covid.

I opened the crate so Chris could get out and explore while we waited but he was in no hurry to leave the crate. Young Chris would have been investigating ever nook and cranny of the room but old Chris doesn’t want to have anything to do with the vet’s office.

I eventually coaxed him out.

Instead of exploring he got on my lap.

That lasted about three minutes before he got down and went back into his crate.

When the vet came in with the vet tech we debated how we were going to get Chris out. I decided to grab the pad and pull Chris out with it. That worked well and I put Chris on the table where the tech held him down while the vet tried to look in his ears.

I sat down and watched Chris give them both a hard time. He struggled quite a bit while meowing very loudly. I soon felt the need to help so I got up and let him smell my hand so he would know I was there. That didn’t work out so well because Chris broke free and tried to climb up on my shoulders. That hurt because his claws needed to be clipped. I put him back on the table and suggested they clip his claws while he was there.

When the vet was done the tech needed to take him in the back to weigh him, clip his nails and I don’t know what else. But before that we had some time to wait.

When it was time, I offered to help bring him back there and I put a towel over my shoulders and hoisted Chris up. I then put him down on the table in the next room where two techs clipped his nails and weighed him. I went back to the first room before they were done and one of the techs went over what I owed, which was two hundred and something. I thought it was reasonable because it included a new ear medication as well as three doses of flea medication.

When we got home my wife suggested we leave the crate in the house so I put it in the cats’ room. You would think that Chris would not want to have anything to do with it after his ordeal but he almost immediately went back inside the crate.

Since then he has been napping in the crate. I guess he is smart enough to not blame the crate for his vet visit.

Floki’s Vet Visit


Floki had a vet appointment yesterday morning so we trapped him in the cats’ room and Rose and I worked together to catch him and put him in his carrier. I then put him in the car and drove him to the vet.

When I got to the vet I had to call them so someone could come out to get Floki. They are still not allowing people in the office. I think they are dragging out this pandemic because keeping people out is easier for them. They are not alone. Many businesses have cut customer service because they save money and Covid gives them the perfect excuse. Have you called a large business lately and been told the wait time is forty-five minutes or longer? Most of these people work from home now so there is no excuse.

As far as vets are concerned, I think it is important for people to go into the exam room with their pet. Imagine a parent being forced to wait in the car at the pediatrician’s office. In order to get the full picture of what is going on, you need to be there during the exam. It is also important for your pet to know you are there. Most will be very nervous that a stranger is poking and prodding them and need reassurance from their parent. I may consider changing vets if this continues.

Floki was there for three reasons. First, he needed to get his nails trimmed. It is impossible for us to trim them because he is such a squirmy little bugger but the vet techs can do it. He is good for them for some reason.

Second, he has been having trouble with his ears lately so they cleaned them and informed me he had an infection. They wanted to take a sample to test what kind of infection it was so I agreed. They then gave me a bottle of medicine with instructions to put five drops in each ear every day. Since we can’t even clip his nails, I have no idea how we are going to put medicine in his ears. Chris also has a recurring ear infection and it is hard enough putting drops in his ears, Floki is ten times harder.

Lastly, they checked him for fleas. The last time he got flea medication he was sick for three days. The plan was to give him a kitten dose of another flea medication if he had fleas and no medication if he did not have fleas. Fortunately, he did not have fleas.

After I brought Floki home and let him out of his carrier, Frankie got inside of it.

He went in through the top and I have no idea how he managed to get under the flap.

As I write this on Friday evening we have yet to attempt to put medicine in Floki’s ears. Hopefully, I won’t have to report a few new scars on my next post.

Update: We tried to put the medication in Floki’s ears last night. He was on the dining room table and I held him by the scruff while Rose attempted to put five drops in each ear. She got two drops in one ear before his struggling became too intense and I lost my grip. I grabbed him again and tried to hold him down but he managed to roll over on his side and started to kick with his back feet. I let him go at that point to prevent serious injury. I now worry that a daily struggle like that will cause Floki to stop trusting us.

Floki’s Trauma


Yesterday morning, Saturday, my wife and I brought Floki to the vet. It was nothing serious but we wanted his nails trimmed and his ears checked. The last time they cleaned his ears because they were dirty and Rose thought they needed cleaning again.

Rose also wanted them to apply his flea medication that we had but couldn’t put it on him for the same reason we can’t clip his nails or clean his ears. He is a tornado in a cat’s body.

Our vet still makes the humans wait in the car which is something I do not like because I think it is important for the pet’s human to be there for psychological comfort and because it is easier to know what is going on if you are in the exam room.

When the vet tech brought out Floki, she mentioned that his ears were dirty again when he came in and he might have to shake some remaining fluid out of his ears from the cleaning.

When we got him home, he immediately ran under the bed. I figured he would hide for a little while even though there was no logical reason we would bring him home just to catch him again.

Later that day Rose mentioned she saw Floki briefly and watched him lose his balance and fell down. He then went behind the sofa to hide. Later he was back under the bed again. When he didn’t come out for their late afternoon meal, we started to get concerned.

I put his food next to the bed but by late evening he still hadn’t eaten anything so I picked it up. I then sat in the bedroom for a while with Rose. We usually sit on the bed and wind down before going to bed. The cats often come in during that time and hang out with us. Since we have to close our bedroom door at night because of Chris, we want to give them that time.

We still had not seen Floki and were worried so I looked under the bed and he was not there. I checked behind the sofa and in the Florida room but no Floki. I eventually found him hiding in the dining room and started petting him. He put up with me for thirty seconds and walked quickly away, falling over once as he went. He ended up back under the bed.

Earlier, Rose thought the dizziness was due to the ear cleaning but I suggested that maybe it was a side effect of the flea medication. At first she discounted my idea, but the fact that he was dizzy so many hours later made her look up the side effects of flea medication and found that one of them was dizziness that could last up to 72 hours.

I have always hated putting flea medication on our cats because it is a poison but Rose hates fleas, which is understandable. I try to push out the treatment as long as possible but sometimes, like recently, one of the cats is affected by fleas and we have no choice but to apply it.

We left our door open last night hoping Floki would come in our bedroom but as soon as we tried to go to sleep, Chris was on the bed digging his nails in my face so we had to kick them all out.

It is now 1:30 on Sunday afternoon and Floki is not only still under the bed, he has worked his way up inside the box spring. It is concerning and we will have to call the vet on Monday if he doesn’t come out.

Has anyone else had these issues with flea medication? The brand we use is called Cheristin.

Back to the Vet for Chris


My wife noticed around the middle of last week that Chris’s eye looked a little pink. She had some eye medication from another time that Chris or one of our other cats had an eye infection so we put that in Chris’s eye for a couple of days but it didn’t seem to help. I made an appointment for him on Thursday and on Friday afternoon I brought him to the vet.

Our concern was that it was pink eye or something like that and he would spread it to the other cats but the vet didn’t seem to think it was contagious. He asked me if he was scratching his eye, which I hadn’t noticed. It didn’t occur to me until later that maybe the problem was caused by a scratch.

Whatever the issue, he gave us a tube of medicine and we have been putting it in his eye. He hates it when we do that and he also hates it when I put medicine in his ears and now we have to do both. In two days I have not noticed much of an improvement. Hopefully it will get better before we have to leave for West Virginia.

If all goes well, and so far it hasn’t, we will be closing on Wednesday and leaving on Thursday morning.

Also, my computer has been acting up lately and today it won’t start. I tried using my rescue disk but that doesn’t work either so I posted this using my phone. I am not a big fan of working from my phone so I may not be as active for a while but I will try to keep you posted about our move.

Another Trip to the Vet for Chris


Regular readers may recall the trouble Chris was having with his ears. His regular vet said the ear polyps in his ears were too extensive and refereed me to another vet. In a nutshell, they charged me almost $1000 and did nothing for him except give him a medication that helped somewhat. I will post a link to those posts below.

Since then I was able to get my regular vet to order that same medication compounded for a much cheaper price. It seemed to help for a while but I know an antibiotic won’t work forever and his ear polyps won’t just go away so the problem will just keep coming back.

I put the medication in his ears for a few weeks and then took a break for a little while and then continued with the medication. I needed to order more medication but since Chris is still shaking his head from time to time I decided it would be wise to have the vet check his ears again.

He had a 2:00 appointment today but I was not allowed to bring him inside. When I got there I had to call and someone would come out to get him. I arrived a little before 2:00 but nobody answered the phone. I assumed they were at lunch and sure enough someone pulled into the parking lot a few minutes later and went inside. A few minutes after that she came out, asked me a few questions, and then brought Chris inside while I waited in the car.

Some time passed and I got a call from the vet who said that his right ear was okay but his left ear had problems. She asked for permission to take a sample to determine what pathogen was invading his ear.

Of course I gave her permission and she called later to say that in addition to the bacterial infection that was already determined from the last vet, he picked up a fungus as well. She said that sometimes happens when an antibiotic is used. I learned years ago that the same thing happens when a woman gets a bladder infection.

While Chris was there I asked her to microchip him. None of our cats have been micro-chipped and I have felt uneasy about it for a long time but every time one of the cats is at the vet I either forget to mention it or I don’t want to add to their trauma.

When we got home I let Chris out of his carrier outside as a reward for handling himself well. In other words, he was good for me but perhaps not so good for the vet.

When I brought Chris inside Rose suggested I bring Floki to get his nails clipped and get him micro-chipped as well. I called the vet and asked if I could bring him with little notice because he is nearly impossible to catch so making an appointment would be hard to keep. She said that should be okay and they could just slip him in between appointments.

It was a long shot but I brought his carrier inside and set it on the kitchen chair. Floki did not see me bring in the carrier but his psychic abilities alerted him to danger and under the bed he went.

Frankie, on the other hand, was not alerted to danger and climbed inside the carrier.

Rose then suggested that I bring Frankie to be micro chipped because he needs it the most. I agreed and zipped the top shut. I then brought him to the car and called the vet. I told her I couldn’t get Flokie but I had Frankie. She put me on hold for a long time. I decided to start driving and was half way to the vet when she said that I would have to leave him there because it might take an hour or more before they could get to him. I said I didn’t want to leave him in that little carrier for that long and turned the car around and brought him home. Perhaps I will just make an appointment for Frankie since I know I can catch him.

If you want to read about Chris’s ear problems, check out the posts below.

Ear Polyps, Arthritis and 19 pounds

Chris’s not-so-good Gotcha Day

Another Vet Visit for Chris

More Tests for Chris


Chris was back at the vet on Monday to get the blood test that he did not let them get when we were there last. This time my wife went with me to make sure I didn’t let them charge me $700 like the last vet did.

It was not easy getting him into the cat carrier and I felt bad doing it to him again.

There is a scale near the reception desk so I put Chris on it. After deducting the weight of the carrier I came up with 17.2 pounds, about three pounds less than a couple of months ago. I was both glad and concerned that he lost weight.

After they took him in the back, we waited for a very long time and then we heard the blood curdling screams. It was very distressing knowing that Chris was going through such a terrible trauma while we sat and listened. I know having a little blood taken is not that bad, but Chris was a confused cat being held down by strangers while someone poked him with something sharp. I can only imagine what was going through his mind. I wish they would have let me go back and help hold him. That might have been a little less stressful for both of us.

The vet offered anti-diarrhea medication which my wife, who was there to prevent me from overspending, gladly accepted. I was reluctant because I had just ordered probiotics from Amazon and preferred to try to correct the problem naturally and without drugs. We were able to get one of those pills down Chris’s throat once and then we gave up.

They also gave a a poop-kit. I have been instructed to collect Chris’s poop and bring it in. Since we have three cats, I need to see him poop and by now, Thursday morning, that has not happened yet.

I got a call from the vet on Tuesday. She said Chris’s bloodwork was mostly normal. She mentioned two or three of tests that were a little high but she also said the vomiting and stress might have caused the tests to be high and not the other way around. In a nutshell, it is unknown what caused the vomiting but it seems, at least from the bloodwork, that Chris is okay.

We were happy to hear that Chris is okay and hope we won’t have to bring him back anytime soon.

Chris’s Unresolved Medical Problems


Chris has always been our healthiest cat. Sure, he did have minor issues, but we never had to bring him to the vet for an illness until he was about seven and a half years old and he got an eye infection that really wasn’t his fault. Both he and Frankie caught it from Floki when we adopted Floki. Then, a couple of years later, the flood gates opened.

First it was an infection in his mouth about a year ago that resulted in the loss of eight teeth. Then in June his ear polyps, which he had since he was a kitten, worsened and became infected. You can read that story here. The vet gave us a price of almost $600 to remove the polyps but when we were ready to proceed he changed his mind and said it was too complicated to do in their office and recommeded a specialist.

We went to the specialist twice (here and here). The first visit I talked to a surgeon who wanted to remove his ear canals and make him deaf. I didn’t want to do that and asked for other options. She consulted the dermatologist who had them test the infection and then they compounded a medication for it with instructions to see the dermatologist when the medicine was gone.

A few weeks later we saw the dermatologist who said they needed to take a biopsy to make sure it wasn’t cancer. He said it would be about two weeks to get the results. They also gave me more medicine. That visit cost me $701. The first visit was about $250. This is all before a treatment plan.

While I was waiting for the results, Chris started puking so I had to bring him back to his regular vet (read about it here). By now he is very weary and does not want to cooperate. The vet gave him a shot for nausea but Chris struggled too much and they were not able to get a blood test to determine what was wrong.

He seemed to get better and we went to St. Augustine for a few days for my wife’s birthday at the end of December. When we returned he still seemed okay so I assumed he was better.

Last week the dermatologist called and said Chris’s results came back, finally, but they were inconclusive. He wanted to do the test again, at no charge, and try to dig out a deeper sample but I did not want to put Chris through any more trauma. I tried to talk to him about it but the connection was very bad and lost him. He didn’t call back so I called the office and was diverted to an answering machine. I left a message saying I was cut off but never got a return call. I put it out of my mind but then called them back last week and talked to someone in the office.

I asked the person on the phone, “What’s the worst that could happen if we assume it is not cancer?” I told her he had polyps his whole life and if they were cancerous we would have known by now.

She agreed that it was unlikely but possible so I asked what would happen if it was cancer? “They would probably remove his ear canals but that would not guarantee that it would not spread,” she said.

I said, “If we assume that it is not cancer what would you do?”

“Well, with the polyps as extensive as they are in Chris’s ears, they would need to be cut out with a laser,” she said, “and that is an expensive procedure and only a few places around here, like universities, have lasers.

“So why am I wasting my time and money with you if you can’t do anything?” I didn’t say that but I thought it.

At about the same time I talked to that vet, Chris started puking again. It also became very obvious that he has diarrhea too. I called his regular vet on Friday and asked if I could bring him in for the blood test that they couldn’t take last time but they couldn’t get me in until late this coming Monday.

In the meantime, I am watching him closely. He is puking two to three times a day and as I was writing about his diarrhea, I was also witnessing it first hand.

Frankie pukes almost every day but I don’t worry too much about him because that is what he does. Chris, on the other hand, is not a puker so I do worry about him.

I have noticed some interesting differences between Chris and Frankie. Frankie seems to seek out carpets or other hard to clean places before he pukes but Chris tries to puke in the litter box. I would say at least half of all his pukes are contained in the litter box. This morning he missed the boxed but puked just outside of it. He then reached in the box and pulled out enough litter to bury it.

Another thing Chris does lately is lie in the litter box. I don’t know if he feels like he has to puke and wants to be ready, or if he is just getting weird in his old age.

I let Chris out on Friday to eat some grass. Cats eat grass when they are sick so we thought that might help him.

Normally, Frankie goes out on a leash first and then Chris goes out, but this time Chris went out first and Frankie was not happy about it.

When I brought Chris inside, I planned on getting Frankie’s harness but Frankie had other ideas and bolted out the door. He then hid under a car where I couldn’t catch him.

So now all we can do is wait for Monday and hope the blood test is okay. As far as his ears go, I think we will just try to keep the infection under control for now and we will see what happens.

Chris Goes Back to the Vet Again


Early this week, perhaps Sunday, my wife and I came home and saw puke all over the kitchen table. There was a mixed bouquet of flowers on the table and I saw some green specs in the puke so I assumed someone was chewing on the flowers and got sick. I immediatly threw away the flowers but I probably should have photographed them first to determine if any were toxic to cats.

It wasn’t long before we realized it was Chris who was puking because he continued to puke bile the rest of the day. He seemed otherwise okay and he was eating and drinking so I decided to just keep an eye on him.

Throughout the week he would give me cause for concern but then he would be extremely annoying which made me happy because that was normal behavior for him. By Friday he was still puking occasionally and I was concerned because we are leaving for St. Augustine this morning for a few days for my wife’s birthday and I didn’t want to have to worry about him while I was away, so I called the vet and scheduled an appointment for Friday afternoon.

When we got to the vet, the vet tech took him into the other room to weigh him. He was still a student and had a lot to learn about handling cats. When he brought him back he told me he weighed 19.5 pounds which is one pound less then his last vet visit.

When the vet came it to check on Chris, he resisted and had a death grip on the edge of the table. The vet tech could not move his paws away so I had to step in to help. The tech then tried to hold him down after the vet was done checking his stomach, which I didn’t understand. I stepped in and said, “Hold on!” I then looked at the vet and said, “Can I take him?” With a nod from the vet I picked him up and put him on my lap.

The story of the flowers came up and the vet said toxic plants could have affected his kidney and liver. I asked if it would still affect him so many days later and he said it could. He wanted to get a blood test to be sure and so they took Chris back in the other room for a very long time.

When they returned, the vet said they were able to give him a shot for nausea but were not able to get a blood sample because Chris was being extremely uncooperative. So we left without knowing anything for sure.

I was told to keep an eye on him for loss of appetite and lethargy. So far he seems okay. We talked about him with our neighbor who will be watching the cats while we are away. We also gave her a credit card and emergency vet information just in case. Hopefully nothing will happen while we are gone, or even after we return. I don’t like worrying about Chris and it is especially hard knowing we will be away during a troubling time.

Another Vet Visit for Chris


Tuesday was not a great day for medical visits. I went to the dentist that morning and found out I need a root canal. I then found out my crappy dental insurance does not cover specialists.

Later I brought Chris to the vet to have his ears reexamined. You may recall his regular vet recommended surgery for his ear polyps but when we tried to make an appointment for the procedure we were told the surgery was too complex for that office and were referred to another vet. That vet wanted to remove Chris’s ear canals and make him deaf but after I resisted they gave him medication and an appointment to their dermatologist, who we saw Tuesday.

Chris was fascinated by the cat carrier his first nine years with us but now he sees it and runs the other way. When I do get him inside he doesn’t want to get out when we get to the vet. That is also something new because he used to love to explore the vet’s office.

The vet seemed very nice. He took ear swabs and then talked to me about ear polyps. He said there are two types, cancerous and benign. He said he needed to take a biopsy to find out which type Chris has. He said if they are cancerous then he would have to refer me back to the surgeons but if they are benign then there are treatment option. One he mentioned, if my memory is correct, involved freezing them off. He said they show up all the way through the ear canal so he couldn’t get them all but he could get most and then treat with antibiotics when needed.

They took Chris in the back room for the biopsy and returned him 12 days later. Well, maybe not that long but that’s what it seemed like. We then went back to the waiting room to wait for more of the same medication that we got for him last time. A medication that actually seemed to do some good for Chris.

When they called me up to check out I was expecting it to be fairly expensive. My wife was originally going to go with me but backed out so I knew if it was expensive she would blame me. As I waited for the bill I kept thinking “Please be less than $300. Please be less that $300 . . .”

“Your total today is seven hundred and one dollars and ninety cents.”

“What!? Holy crap! Is this a joke?”

It wasn’t a joke and I had to call my wife so she could transfer money to our checking account. I wasn’t looking forward to that call.

She took the news about the same as I did except louder. She also had the luxury of someone to blame. I didn’t have that privledge.

So now I have to wait two weeks for the test result but it seems now that they bled us dry there will be nothing left for Chris’s ears. The frustrating thing is, the original surgery estimate was around $500. Now we have spent almost $1000 and nothing has been done yet.

Chris’s Not-So-Good Gotcha Day


Last Thursday was Chris’s tenth gotcha day but instead of a big celebration we spent three hours at the vet where the doctor suggested a surgery that would make Chris deaf.

The day started out normal enough. I had made an appointment for 9:45 at a vet that Chris’s vet recommended to do surgery to remove ear polyps. Those ear polyps had been an issue since we adopted Chris but they were benign and not really a problem until recently. That is when they got bad enough to cause infections in both ears, especially the left.

His vet gave him medication for it but after a while the problem didn’t go away so he recommended surgery to remove the polyps. At the time he said there was a good chance that they would come back after the surgery. We were close to our trip to Germany so we put it off until we came back but then the vet said that there were too many polyps or they were too deep. I can’t remember the exact reason but he said it was too complex for his office so he recommended a couple of other vets that could do it. So I made an appointment at a place near me called Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists.

I brought Chris’s carrier into the house and he avoided it like the plague. Normally Chris would be the first one to get inside a carrier after I bring it in the house but times have changed. Chris rarely went to the vet during his first eight years with us so a carrier was an interesting distraction but now it is not so interesting for him. Once inside the carrier he was pretty quiet, like he accepted his fate.

When we arrived at the vet’s office we sat in the waiting room with many dogs and no other cats. They then put us in an exam room where Chris would not come out of his carrier. That is different behavior for Chris that started the last time or two that he went to the vet’s office. Before that, his vet visits were usually just for a vaccination or something like that and Chris was like Dora the explorer when I opened his carrier.

When the vet tech finally got him out she put him on the scale with my help. He was 9.27 kilograms, which I had to convert to 20.5 pounds. That was troubling because his last vet visit he was around 19 pounds, maybe slightly over that. The visit before that he was around 18 pounds. I hoped the extra weight was because of the free feeding while we were on vacation and not a trend.

When the vet saw Chris she asked a few questions about his health, one was about his breathing. I told her that he breaths very fast and very loud sometimes but he always had. He usually does that when he is on someone’s lap and is happy but his breathing will slow down when he is relaxed. She said she asked because the polyps could develop all the way down the ear canal and into the nasal cavity. She then recommended a surgery that would remove the ear canal.

“Wouldn’t that make him deaf? I said.

“Yes,” she said, “but he is probably mostly deaf already.” She said he would still feel vibrations and acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt that it was a very big deal. You don’t take someone’s hearing away like you are removing a wisdom tooth.

I said, “He’s not almost deaf. He could be sleeping on the other side of the house and show up at the food bowl as soon as I put food in it.” I told her I would consider that surgery for his left ear, the worst one, but I would not make him completely deaf.

At that point she said she would discuss it with the dermatologist but he was busy so we waited. Chris waited under my chair and did not go exploring like he used to.

Eventually they took Chris in the back and collected samples and then we waited for those samples to be analized. At first we waited in the exam room but they needed the room so we went back out into the waiting room to be with the dogs. By this time a couple of cats had joined the party.

I was pleasantly surprised that Chris was quiet and relaxed and taking his captivity pretty well.

After being there for three hours they finally found out exactly what bacteria was infecting his ears and gave me a two week supply of medication that they compounded to put in his ears. After that they will reexamine him and we will go from there.

I do foresee one little problem already. I accidently tipped over his medication and I don’t know how much spilled out. Oops.