I took Yoshi back to the vet for a follow up appointment after her course of antibiotics for her heinous breath. While she was on the drugs her breath was absolutely odorless yet I can detect a faint stink creeping back since she’s been off. Not nearly as bad as it was but no longer like angel farts. The vet thinks she has chronically inflamed gums and might need to be periodically put on antibiotics. The tartar on her teeth is so minimal for a cat her age that they do not think a cleaning would help at all. Ok. I can deal with that.
I have found through my various visits for Yoshi’s dramatics that many vets I have encountered are a very negative bunch. They “Tsk Tsk” a lot and suggest all sorts of expensive tests that don’t always have an appreciable benefit. I don’t know if they are covering their asses liability-wise or if it is common business practice to try to inflate a bill but it is not uncommon for me to wonder why they are being so pessimistic. **TWISTED UTERUS-Maybe you can tell me what you know about this. Is it taught in school?”** I understand that our precious boogies cannot tell us what is wrong but is there really a need to make me freak out that if I don’t get Yoshi’s aura cleansed she might die? Ok-I am kidding here but I am sure you know what I mean. Now I will say that not all vets are like this and I have encountered lovely vets who offer a ‘conservative-wait-and-see’ course of treatment along with a ‘no-expense-is-too-much’ approach and explain the benefits and risks of everything. I appreciate that as I think there is nothing quite as terrible as watching your beloved pet suffer through a treatment that does not offer significant gains AND then face financial ruin at the end of it all because you didn’t know any better.
Let me tell you what happened to me at the SPCA vet office the other day when I questioned the vet about a couple tests she suggested for Yoshi.
They did a blood test on Yoshi and a couple levels were slightly elevated. And when I mean slightly I mean only one point above normal range. The vet said that these elevations could indicate early disease or a stressed cat. Well, after Yoshi attached her body to my neck and left nail furrows in the back of my leather jacket I decided to go with the “stressed” diagnosis. However, I was willing to listen to her logic and go from there. She wanted to do a Feline Leukemia test as well as a Cat HIV test. I didn’t think it was necessary as Yoshi is an exclusively indoor cat with absolutely no exposure to any other fur beast that could transmit such things. But she said in light of possible chronic/long term infection in her mouth and the fact that kittens can get infected from their mother it might be a good idea. I agreed and they did the test and I did not begrudge the cost at all as I could see her point. Yoshi is negative for both. I credit the condoms I give her.
The other thing she wanted to do was a urine test for kidney function. The whole rigmarole to get a clean pee sample leaves a lot to be desired (you know how cats are) so I got the supplies and if I can get the pee I will take it in. If not then no biggie. I am not going to fret about it too much. Stress is Yoshi’s middle name; not mine.
As I was getting Yoshi all tucked away into her carrier the vet flung one last idea out there for me to consider. “How about a rabies vaccination?” Yoshi is terribly allergic to vaccines and it is on her chart that she should never get them. She is at an increased risk of cancer at the needle site and as a single indoor cat at very low risk for contagious diseases. Also she had been fully vaccinated (including rabies) three times in kittenhood. I think those immunities still stand and recent research agrees with me. So why she would suggest a vaccine was puzzling. Especially rabies for an inside cat. I asked her why. This is the answer I got.
“Well, what if a bat flies into your house and bites the cat.”
Honestly, I looked around expecting to see a camera crew and a jokey video show host jump out at me with a big cheque. No such luck. She was shit serious. Yeah, and I guess monkeys could fly out of my butt and bite her too. I have never seen a bat in my area nor have I EVER heard of a bat flying into anybody’s house. I have screens in my windows too. God.
I said that I thought I would take my chances and deal with a bat bite as it happens. She nodded and said that was certainly an option as well. Of course with a foreboding tone of voice implying that I am a really shortsighted and neglectful owner.
Ok. I can live with that. In fact I’ll go one step farther. If Yoshi gets rabies from being bitten by a bat that has flown in through my apartment window (or out of my ass) I will jump out at the vet with a big cheque and a camera crew.