Saturday, March 16, 2013

For The Record, Pets Are Expensive

To The VetI am always amazed by how wonderful it is to have a blog as a place to record things that you think you might need to look up later. This is one of those things. I'll make it as funny as possible but it's a pretty regular kind of thing.

Today I took all three pets to the vet. The funniest thing about that is this picture. The last time I did that I strapped the cats in their carrier to a set of luggage wheels and, within steps of the apartment, dumped them off the side of it where they rolled over a couple of times on the pavement. Not ideal. So this year I borrowed a Little Red Wagon. It worked out really nicely and made me the weird thing everyone in my neighborhood saw this morning that gave them a good giggle. (Man: "You have a dog and a cat?" Me: "No. I have a dog and two cats." and then my dog started barking at him.) The dog did not ride the whole way, he walked and then I got him to jump in briefly while we waited for the joint to open.

After all was said and done it turns out that I didn't bring Anna last year. I'm really surprised by that. I was certain but there are no records in their system or mine so I have to believe it. This time everyone got the once over.

We did senior blood work on both cats which is regular blood work plus thyroid. Anna got 3 in 1 vaccine and a 3 year rabies. The possible kidney abnormality that they thought she might have last time wasn't corroborated. Aside from her teeth she seems to be in great health. Her teeth aren't even in a bad enough place to chip the tartar off. She ought to have a cleaning but, given Pinto's untimely death and Elvis's heart condition, I'm not comfortable having her sedated.

Eddie got a 3 year rabies (finally!), 4 in 1 vaccine, and blood work. He's gained a pound which I'm surprised by and not thrilled by but it's not a huge deal. He really hated everything about the visit. We were at least able to avoid having him taken in the back for any of the testing or blood taking since I think that contributes to his freaking out. I was advised that he probably ought to get bordatella and the canine flu vaccines but I'm not convinced. Anyone have any opinions on those? His heartworm test came back negative and we have a year's worth of that. I have some literature to look at but I haven't gotten to it yet. He was also given a portable water bowls to avoid the contamination of public ones and a light for his collar.

Elvis got the 3 in 1. His rabies is good through 2015. They took urine from him. He seems in decent health for the most part. She was going to chip the tartar off his teeth but I forgot to check. She didn't do it in front of me. He's not a candidate for a "professional" cleaning because his heart and sedation are a bad match. The big attraction for this visit, of course, was the aforementioned heart. Sadly his ultrasound wasn't good. His heart is showing some thickening compared to last year. The doctor found his heart beat to be high for a cat who wasn't struggling (I'm skeptical of that since he had been well freaked out by then and might have just gone limp in the face of too much terror). He also heard more than one instance of arhythmia. This will mean a confirming echocardiogram (I'm going to guess approximately $400) in another visit (what? $55?) at a different place (additional costs?) because the place down the road doesn't do this kind of thing. Once we have those results his medication will likely change.

On Monday (or Tuesday, she warned) the vet will call me with blood results on everyone, fecal results on Ed, and the info on next steps for Elvis.

So, you know, let's just say that it's a good thing I refinanced my mortgage, 'cause I'm going to need all the money I can get to pay for this.


  1. kabbage1:13 PM

    Personally I rarely vaccinate my dogs. My 4yo had her puppy shots (no bordetella, last one was distemper, parvo, coronavirus only), rabies at one year and nothing since. I'll probably get her rabies updated so I can take her to Canada if I go and can have her licensed where I live. She is out and about to classes and shows/trials where there are many other dogs. No sickness has resulted yet.

    If the dog is healthy and exposed to other dogs on a regular basis (which of course Ed is), I wouldn't worry about bordetella or canine flu vaccines. Bordetella is much like our common cold in that most aren't that sick and getting over it is mostly rest and time.

  2. Dentistry for cats? For years, I didn't have dental care for myself and my cats lived to the ripe old age of 17 or so without fancy dental care. No doubt the vets might think it useful, my thinking is that the stress and the drama (for me and the cat) of dental might cause more stress than worth while otherwise. If they want dental care fo cats, start canning mice with bone in rather than plain old pae. Oh, wait, where is that food product going insead of to cat food? Now, we have a worry to worry about

  3. pate, that was the word, pate

  4. He's in close contact with a lot of dogs so I do worry about those things. This all makes me feel somewhat less bad about not getting him the bordatella. Feels like overkill.

    The dentistry surprises me, too. It's been getting more...popular isn't the right word but that, over the last few years and it's pricey! I can see why it's a valid action plan, bad teeth can have a trickle down effect on many systems in any animal, but, especially at their current age it seems insane. My cats would have much better teeth if they were able to eat hard food, you're right. Of course, neither of them have the chutzpah to eat a bone in mouse. Lazy!

  5. Miflohny1:49 PM

    Just be thankful you don't have as many cats as my mom - close to 20! Luckily, her vet does house visits.

    I'll ask her what her experience has been with cat dental work. I know that one of her cats was allergic to the tartar on its teeth and she had to have many, many teeth pulled!