Exorcist-kitty goes to the vet - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Exorcist-kitty goes to the vet

I really need to start bringing a camera to Assumpta's vet appointments so I can win the "Evil Kitty Face" contests.

Yes, today was the day I put on the gauntlets and took Assumpta in for her annual exam and rabies shot. My bad luck they had an emergency come in right before me (they were on the phone to my house as I came in trying to let me know that they'd be running 20+ minutes behind and come a bit late). Good start to the afternoon, but y'know, I've been the emergency before, so stuff happens, I can wait.

Nothing too out of the usual, save a bit of dryness in the ears (probably from the wood heat), a little red spot on the gumline near a molar (vet took the opportunity to help me berate my husband for refusing to help with toothbrushing ), and some very slight age-related changes mostly confined to one eye. Rabies shot (no other boosters this year), weigh-in (weight loss stalled again at 11 pounds ), and a little breeches trim. Much hissing, spitting, growling, and a few other upset-kitty vocalizations to amuse the vet. We agreed that next year we'd start some basic geriatric screening to hopefully head off any problems before they start.

Okay, that bugs me, even though I should know better...Assumpta is 7 or 8 now (we're pretty much agreed that she's closer to 7 though, and the vet thinks she looks really good for her age and might even be a tad younger), and she's never really had any health issues...but I have a hard time thinking of her as an "older" cat...middle-aged, maybe, but not "older." So I was really a little depressed to hear "age-related eye changes." It's probably largely due to the fact that I just talked to my best friend last night, who just is NOT a cat person, and who never fails to tell me that my cat is OLD, and all of her cats have died by the time they were 8 or 9...so I was already feeling a little sensitive about the age issue.

So someone remind me how annual geriatric screening (liver/kidneys/thyroid/blood sugar etc.) is a good idea for cats over 7, and how it's preventative medicine and doesn't mean that Assumpta's "old."

Oh, and dig this, canned-food feeders...we were discussing how since Assumpta's a little on the heavy side (though not as heavy as she used to be), we wanted to be really dilligent about diabetes, and I happened to mention that her canned food is very low-carb, with no grains in it, and the vet says "Excellent, that's exactly what cats are supposed to eat," and winks at me...I think I may have finally brought her over to the dark side....
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 04:40 PM
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Well, I suppose since cats in their "natural" environment almost never live to be that age, 7 or 8 could be considered an older cat. But then humans without medical care mostly died off in their 40s. So old age or middle age is relative. And in a protective environment with good nutrition and medical care, lifespan can be extended much past the point at which it would cease without. OK, this doesn't tell you anything you don't already know just reminding you that middle age or old age is relative.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 05:06 PM
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Well, Kitty is 11 years old. I just had her in last week for her annual exam. I got suckered...umm talked into running some baseline tests on her. $95. Yikes. Actually, they didn't pressure me at all, just mentioned that I might want to think about it since Kitty is getting older. They've been saying that since she was 7, so I know what you mean.

I keep telling that they should tell Kitty that she is old. She certainly doesn't act like it. Especially when she's in crazy cat mode running around the house.

I kinda figure it's like people, you know. When you hit 40 your docter starts telling you now you need to do annual tests. That you didn't need when you were younger. Doctors know better than to say you're old! Vets need instruction on that topic. Mostly because we know that at 40 most people's lives aren't even half over! Same goes for Assumpta. Just figure she's hit 40 and how rude of your vet to suggest she's a senior!



I've never had Kitty's baseline run before, so I'm glad I did it this time around. My vet told me her teeth look great! and her tests showed absolutely nothing wrong. So, $95 for piece of mind...that works for me.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty's Mom
I kinda figure it's like people, you know. When you hit 40 your docter starts telling you now you need to do annual tests. That you didn't need when you were younger. Doctors know better than to say you're old! Vets need instruction on that topic. Mostly because we know that at 40 most people's lives aren't even half over! Same goes for Assumpta. Just figure she's hit 40 and how rude of your vet to suggest she's a senior!
Well, actually "geriatric screening" was my paraphrasing, since that's the way I've always heard it referred to...the vet just said she was starting to see the first signs of age-related changes, and that they were in the process of redesigning their screening of dogs and cats over 7 years old to build a package of the most common tests instead of doing each test and fee separately. I just think in terms of "cat over 7 = senior" because I spend a lot of time working on Petfinder writing cat bios. Maybe I need to rethink my own thinking, eh??

Oh, and BTW, just after the vet said the words "age-related," Assumpta let out this enormous hiss and whipped her head around to glare at the vet. The vet burst out laughing, patted her, and said "nooo...I didn't say YOU were old, honey, just normal aging of the eyes," and Assumpta made a low little growl and hunched back down the way she was before to deliberately ignore all of us again.

No wonder they all kow her by name, but have to look at the file to see who I am!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 05:45 PM
 
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every year we kept getting a letter in the mail from Lilly's vet saying she needed to come in for some routein thing, was kind of vague. and we'd take her in, thinking it was for rabies shots or something, and we'd bring her in and ask what it was about, and they said that because she's "older" (9) we basically told them to stop it, just notify us when she needs her rabies booster (every 3 years) we got her when she was just weaned, probably 14-18 weeks old, and have had her ever since. she's never had a SINGLE health problem, not even ear mites. she had fleas ONCE.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2005, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm a big believer in regular vet checks, especially for older animals, as routine screening can catch a lot of common health problems before they start to become apparent (by which time they may be pretty advanced). I'm religious about an annual exam and fecal, since we're in for a rabies shot anyhow...it just makes good sense to have a brief checkup/exam as well. We're planning to start annually, though at some point as she ages, it may well become every 6 months (which is what we set the 10 year old dog up for when he lived here, but now he's another veeerrryyy interesting vet story).

So I'm not the least bit concerned about paying for unnecessary screening, as I think it's important to be vigilant, especially with cats because they hide illnesses so well. Plus I have a vet who has always been very honest about what things are necessary and what things are "well, this might be a good idea, but it's really not vital." She's the one who suggested reducing Assumpta's FVRCP booster to every three years, if that, and discontinuing FeLV permanently (I thought she was nuts at the time), and she's always used the safest rabies vaccine available, I think it's all she offers, as a matter of fact. And she is a major supporter of local shelters (she scored serious points today by actually viewing my shelter kitties online, complimenting my photos, and asking me about some of them...even my husband and mom don't do that!).

So I am not griping about the vet at all. I like her a lot, like their facilities (I've been exposed to the dreaded "back rooms" of the vet's office where mortal people durst not venture ) and trust her judgement, which is really important to me. The vet is fine, and I totally agree that older animals should be regularly screened for common ailments, and I'm happy that they're redesigning their method of dealing with older animals to make it easier to understand and less expensive.

I just had a hard time dealing with the fact that Assumpta really IS middle-aged, and is only going to get older ...I mean, the same applies to me, but somehow I worry more about the cat. We shall just have to be middle-aged together.
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