Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adventures in mothering Oxford.

Friday, I left work early. No, it wasn't to start my holiday weekend off right. I didn't have big dinner or drink plans. Sadly, I had to take Oxford to see his doctor. I had noticed on Wednesday that my little fella seemed to have a claw issue. Since he was about two months overdue for his rabies shot, I figured I would just suck it up and take him into the veterinarian.

I got in the car with the cat, all set to just have the offending claw snipped quickly and a rabies shot administered.

As you've probably guessed, it ended up being an atypical visit.

Not only was I given a reproachful look for allowing his claw to grow as it did, I was given a stern lecture on how important it was to take him for his dental cleaning. "He is eight years old now, and this needs to be attended to. I see gingivitis and suspect that there will need to be an extraction or two. Oh, and he likely needs blood work at this age. We do that before the cleaning since we put the animal under general anesthesia. They don't just open up and go 'ahhhh,' you know." (SERIOUSLY. She snickered then.)

Sigh. Poor little buddy was already traumatized by the thermometer up his butt and the shot given. They then took him to another room to take care of the nail clipping. They bandaged him up, and gave me antibiotics. Total cost for an afternoon at the vet? $175. But the shame that the vet brought on me for my negligent cat parenting cost me so much more.

This is how we both looked when we got home:

That cast on his leg cost me $26. The vet put it on Oxford on Friday and instructed me to take it off on Sunday. Oxford walked around the apartment like he had no leg, tucking and rolling now and again to see if it would fall off. Within two hours, it did just that. The $26 for the fancy red cast was for nothing.

Oh, and you try giving a squirmy cat an eyedropper full of bubble gum smelling liquid twice a day. It's super fun.

The good news? Oxford seems pretty chipper now. He is without a cast. He runs and slides on his scratcher. He's also back to snuggling after about two days of sullen isolation.

Does anyone have any experience in taking their feline for a dental cleaning? Yea or nay? Is the vet just trying to get me to pay for a service, or do I really need this?


  1. I hate judgmental doctors and vets. It's a cat. No, you do not need fancy dental work. IT'S A CAT. Just sayin.

  2. What do they need teeth for, anyway? You can buy mushy soft food for them, right?

  3. A little over a year ago I was told that my cat needed a dental cleaning and that I should be brushing her teeth regularly.... Which I knew wouldn't go over well with my cat so I ignored them. Just a couple months ago my cat had to have one of her front canine teeth pulled (the giant one) because it broke and a couple others because they weren't in good shape. I don't have a ton of money to just throw at the vet for something like a teeth cleaning... But I also didn't have the several hundred dollars it cost to have her teeth pulled either. Personally I might get a second opinion and if they say it needs to be done and the other place isn't just trying to get money, I would do it and save yourself the cost later.

  4. No experience with kittehs, but I've had my dogs' teeth cleaned before. It's pretty common, and as long as your vet isn't pushing for it to be done more than once every few years, I doubt they are trying to screw you out of your money. (But a vet who lectures you is an asshole. I'd be finding another one.) Also, if he does have gum or teeth issues, it might be making him uncomfortable. Sore teeth suck.

    PS Cute girl!! :)

  5. What a sad picture!!!

    I hate taking my dog to the vet. I always feel like they are super judgmental, as well. I've never had my dog's teeth cleaned. She just eats these special treats that are supposed to keep her mouth in good shape!

    Glad Oscar is feeling better. Also glad I found your blog!

  6. Adorable cat! Look at that face. LOVE.

  7. how do his teeth look to you? This IS a big money making item for vets. I am sure it is great to have dogs and cats teeth cleaned, but I am not convinced it is necessary. It is a recent development in vet practice. Growing up (im in my 40s) our pets NEVER had their teeth cleaned (and we had many) and they were all fine. My grandparents never had any of their pets teeth cleaned and they all lived long and good lives.

  8. i worked for a vet in high school and saw LOTS of nasty teeth. if oxford generally eats dry food and his breath doesn't smell bad (cat breath is fine, nasty breath is not), then he's probably fine. my dog never had her teeth done (didn't need it because she only ever ate dry food).

    it's a judgment call, but if the vet says you NEED it, then you probably do. extractions are terrible and you'll get a much worse face from the little dude if you have to go that route.

  9. You two are priceless and I just love ya.