Friday, July 28, 2006

I say, Cat, quit costing me money

So on Tuesday we took the cat to the vet for his shots. I had figured this was about $30-40. O, things are never the way you expect, are they?

Trip ended up costing $114 - $39 for the vet consult (ie poking him all over, weighing him, and taking his temperature), $29 for a fecal smear (I probably won't get that done again.. it's to check for intestinal parasites but he doesn't go outside), and $5 to get his ears cleaned out by the vet with some alcohol and a wad of cotton (ok, that was probably worth it cause they were gross.) The rest was actually for the bordetella and rabies shots. The vet did tell us to not feed him so much (she seemed to say that even though he's about 1 pound overweight, he's going to get diabetes any minute) so that might save us some money on food. =)

We also need to start brushing his teeth cause he's getting some bad tartar buildup again - we had to get his teeth cleaned (to the tune of $150) when we first got him. Preventative cat maintenance will hopefully save us some money there.

Well, I guess that's what the backup credit card is for... good thing I just had a $100 offer clear at DealBarbie to cover it. ;)


Anonymous said...

Just so you know, cats can still get intestinal parasites ("worms") even if they are indoor cats. I have no idea how it happens but it definitely can, as my long-deceased-but-always-beloved kitty could have attested.
But yes, cats are definitely happier when they aren't too fat... and when your total body weight is ~12 lbs one pound makes quite a difference. Less food, more money, happy kitty. Everybody wins!

Kira said...

I know they can, but I think it's this practice's policy to offer just about everything under the sun to people - not that I think they are doing it to make money, but it doesn't hurt. ;) I just think it's rather expensive for a simple stool test.

Your last remark reminded me of what's printed on the front of the super-cheap Target brand litter we buy - a picture of a fluffy white cat on a chair, with text reading "clean box, comfy chair, happy cat" =)

Revanche said...

Hey Kira,
*I'm not a vet, this is just the general advice I always gave working at the vet's and barring weirdnesses you were usually in good shape.*

Depending if your kitty is fully indoors or not, there are a few things you can skip. If Cat is utterly indoors, no access to the outdoors or any other cats, period, then you really don't need to continue the fecals or the bordatella.

Yes, cats can get tapeworms if they ingest fleas. That's one common way; if their overall health is good, they've been cleared for intestinal parasites and don't have any other changes in environment you're pretty safe not getting a fecal routinely.
$29 is pricey overall but is sort of standard price, even here (CA, suburbia).

Honestly it's good to do your yearly exam, and eventually maybe some baseline labwork (in vet parlance, a full "panel") when your cat is older (5-7 years) so that they know what is normal for your situation. Also, unless you board your kitty, will be around strange cats or are in an area when kennel cough is a problem, you really don't particularly need the bordatella. Bordatella protects against kennel cough and is an airborne disease so with no exposure to carriers Cat should, again, be safe.

Teeth brushing is a wonderful thing as gum disease can be a problem, though from the hundreds of kitties we've seen over the years, I think the problems with painful gums, infections (again, pain) and losing "compromised" teeth are more prevalent than actual disease secondary to gingivitis. Hard crunchy dental treats are a good way to get around the actual brushing, if it's a problem because it scrapes off or breaks down the tartar on the teeth.

Kira said...

I think our cat eats food weirdly because he has serious buildup in certain places, and nothing in others. So I'm wondering if he has some weird chewing pattern that he doesn't rub the crunchy stuff over certain teeth.

We had a full blood panel done on him when we first got him, but they didn't offer.. that's actually something I would rather have than the fecal screening, but getting blood from a non-anesthetized cat isn't fun. =) He was knocked out for the dental cleaning so that's why it was done then.

Actually, I kind of wonder if that's what he had when we first got him.. he had a cough and runny nose, and by the time we got him to the vet he was fine. But by then he'd gotten his bordetella shots. He still kind of has crusty stuff at the corners of his eyes, but it doesn't seem to be related to any kind of eye irritation or infection.

Thanks for the tips. =)

Revanche said...

A lot of times a "normal" cough, sniffles, etc. can be due to an Upper Respiratory Infection which is usually nothing serious and can resolve on its own or with a week-long course of a simple antibiotic from your vet.

Kennel cough is a really deep, harsh hacking cough, so that's fairly recognizable.

How is he with tooth brushing? He'd probably think you were crazy if you did a mini-study on his chewing patterns .... :) At a guess his back teeth are probably better than his front/side teeth.

Kira said...

It looks like it's kind of his middle teeth - not quite all the way back, just behind the canines. We got him some crunchy treats and hopefully we'll actually brush his teeth. =) He is front declawed (we didn't do it to him, I swear! he came like that!) which does make it a little easier.