CAT HEALTH & CARE forum: Internet DVM

 
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ImageSunshines2day
Aug 31, 2010 6:51 PM CST
Name: Sunshines2day
Lubbock Texas
torriesmom,

I am confused about what is happening to your kitty. I would like to offer you my opinion on the situation if you'll have it. What was your reason to take her in to the vet? Most folks don't bring semi-fractious kiities in to see the Doc unless there is a concern or for vaccines. Was she taken in for vaccines and upon examination it was suggested ny your Veterinarian take she was in need of a dental cleaning? ...or was their something to alert you that she may not be well?
When the student is ready......the teacher appears.

ImageStephGTx
Aug 31, 2010 7:57 PM CST
Name: Stephanie Gonzales
Texas
torriesmom ~ Medicating kitties can be difficult. You have to do what best works for you. As you Vet said you can get Zithromax from the people pharmacy. If need be you can get it in liquid form for children. This may make it easier to 'hide' in tuna fish or something else that has a strong smell. As you know,being a kitty mom, cats have a highly developed sense of smell. If he can smell the meds over the sent of the food he probably won't eat it.

Please forgive me for questioning why the test was done to begin with. I am a vet tech. I have been in the veterinary business for 15 wonderful years. I work in a very busy 12 Dr. practice and I have a lot of experience. However there is always something new to learn every day. I am in Tx. and have always been here. I am somewhat familiar with the FeBart test but it is not one that we test for on a regular basis. I was simply curious. I noticed you were from NY and was wondering if this is more commonly seen in your area than mine. We routinely check for Felv & FIV though for the same reasons that you Vet did your FeBart test. With your explanation things do make more sense though.

BTW~ I'm a multi kitty mom. My oldest is 16. Smiling
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
ivyplantsnyc
Aug 31, 2010 9:50 PM CST
Name: Ivy T
Manhattan, New York
Good evening everyone. I do not mind the questions at all. I took Torrie to the Vet because the last time that she was seen was over 5 years ago and that terrible incident happened when the Vet picked up the cat and laid her on her shoulder. She said "what a pretty kitty" and then the blood was running down her face. I just wanted to make sure that the care that I had given her was sufficient. Some pets are seen every year or so, but financially, it would not be possible for me as I am getting older with health issues. Since she is 10 years old, I wanted to avoid the heartbreak of finding out that she was neglected due to ignorance of her needs. I might not be able to take her to the clinic in another 5 years. Many pets have thyroid, diabetes or other health and joint problems. I will not be able to care for her if my health gets worse. So as a preventive measure, I had her a checked out. Was told that she was in perfect health and everything that I have been doing, to keep on. I make sure that no table food or sweets are given to her, so when she has a chance to eat a taste of my food, she walks away. She still has tartar any way. Total spent so far approx. $500.00. After this next procedure of putting her under anesthesia (teeth) is done at the private clinic, she will go back to the ASPCA where she originally was treated as a kitten but did not test for FeBart. I looked at the zipcode map and Bartonella prevalence in healthy cats, shows 33% for my zipcode that start with 1, the zipcodes that start with numbers 0, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 are lower.
Pause for Paws.
ImageSunshines2day
Sep 1, 2010 8:08 PM CST
Name: Sunshines2day
Lubbock Texas
okay...here I go with my 2 cents.

I am not too familiar the the hemabart test. My understanding of it is that it is a legitimate test with accurate results. I believe it tests for the parasite in 2 ways. First it acknowledges the presence of exposure to the parasite (which does not mean the cat is sick or showing any symptoms of the infection) and then a second titer test is performed to see if in fact their is an infectious process (kitty is likely to show clinical signs at least by blood work even if the owner doesn't recognize symptoms). Certainly I could be wrong and would like someone to chime in to educate me (or so I can get the correct answers). I also understand that something like 30 percent of ALL cats tested (tested at random with or without signs of illness) will be positive (having had an exposure at some time). Personally I'd go with more basic tests if I were concerned about possible current infection. Check a blood count (CBC) and do a smear to see if the parasite is visible. I don't see any reason that that a FeBart must precipitate a dental cleaning with having a red flag prior. It doesn't sound like you suspected anything was wrong with her health.

Although I feel strongly that dental cleaning are important and many times essential for the health of the animal, I can't have an opinion on whether of not your kitty's teeth would benefit from the procedure more than the risk (which is likely to be very small). If their is some calculus on the teeth of a 10 year old it's possible that it's normal and may not progress to the point that it needs to be dealt with. When the calculus causes gum disease or a reluctance to eat normally it certainly needs to be dealt with. Some folks will probably be upset that I've said that....yes, I know the bacteria can cause problems down the road...kidney issues accelerated, heart valves deterioration (more in canines). Sometimes (most of the time in mild to moderate situations) the natural aging process will turn a different way and ultimately no one will be able to determine whether your decision to clean or not to clean was a big part of the outcome (although it plays it's own role).

I don't want to discourage you from a dental cleaning if it's necessary...I clean and polish dog and cat teeth by the dozen per week and have 25 years experience. Ask some questions at the clinic and ask about what is involved every step of the way. The clinic I work at is high tech in skill and equipment and more practical in approach than many of the bigger city clinics. That doesn't mean that we are old-fashioned or not top-notch. We do take into consideration the pet's immediate need, the client's need, and the means in which they can or are willing to get the job done.. In other words, each situation has it's own unique twists that make it impossible to treat everyone exactly the same.

In addition, you Veterinarian should be able to handle a possibly fractious cat without injury to the cat or the staff. There are ways to anesthetize the kitty in a carrier safely where no one is potentially injured and the cat is not traumatized.

I something there helped....just get me rambling and I don't stop. *Blush*
When the student is ready......the teacher appears.

ImageStephGTx
Sep 1, 2010 8:18 PM CST
Name: Stephanie Gonzales
Texas
Very well said sunshine Smiling
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
ImageSunshines2day
Sep 1, 2010 8:32 PM CST
Name: Sunshines2day
Lubbock Texas
Hurray!
When the student is ready......the teacher appears.

ivyplantsnyc
Sep 1, 2010 11:06 PM CST
Name: Ivy T
Manhattan, New York
Thanks for the information Stephanie and Sunshine, I will ask more questions when I speak to the clinic. I was questioned about the food that I feed Torrie and mentioned that I give her dry food everyday and moist food a few times a week. The Vet opened her mouth (mentioned that she has too much soft food in her diet) and I saw some light brown color on her back/side teeth. I was never able to open her mouth to clean her teeth so it was the first time I really looked in her mouth when she was not biting me. So since I am not about to attempt that type care, her breath might smell better if they were cleaned. I do know that Torrie is very stressed when I do put her in a carrier to take her to the clinic and for that reason, I do not really want to put her through the cleaning if it is not necessary. I will ask for them to check their records and tell me what degree the teeth has tartar. I did not hear the dreaded word "decay" so I figure that she is not too bad off.
Pause for Paws.
ImageJeannie63
Sep 2, 2010 4:40 AM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Have you noticed that a lot of cats do not actually chew their hard food? I have fed Science Diet in the past, and am now feeding Taste of the Wild to my cats. Both products are small enough kibble that my cats do not actually chew their food (I can see evidence in this when my orange cat occasionally barfs up his dinner).

My vet pointed this out to me, noting that the idea that 'hard food will help reduce tartar, and soft food will not' is a fallacy, since both are just inhaled by the cat anyway!

I have not ever had any of my cats' teeth cleaned. Maybe I am a mean mom, but around here, it is over $1000 for a dental cleaning. I am able to handle my cats, and look at their teeth. Certainly if they showed signs of issues, I would bring them in to the vet, but for now I think that money can be best used for other things.

My oldest cat is 16, and has only mild tartar. I know I am lucky that none of them are having dental issues. I'm just not sure I would believe your vet when she says your cat has "too much soft food in her diet"
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ivyplantsnyc
Sep 2, 2010 7:11 AM CST
Name: Ivy T
Manhattan, New York
That is something else to do research on. I give her about 3 cans of cat food a week with various bowls of dry food. She is a finicky eater since she was a baby, and her stomach won't take fish or very small kibble like my other cats used to eat. It all comes up in a chunk of uneaten food. I never had my other cats teeth cleaned either and I was not a bad mother. So I guess I was feeling guilty when I heard about needing to do a cleaning. It is expensive here also.
Pause for Paws.
ImageMaridell
Sep 2, 2010 1:54 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
We have never had our cat's teeth cleaned and I can not imagine having it done unless there were dental problems. Our cats are well taken care of (spoiled) but who in their right mind would want to put a pet through an unnecessary procedure!
ivyplantsnyc
Sep 2, 2010 9:50 PM CST
Name: Ivy T
Manhattan, New York
It is an expensive clinic on the recomendation of a friend. So if I and 6 other folks get the cleaning done in a months time, I do believe that they make a good amount of money just from that alone. The clinic was very busy. I agree Merigold, I do not want to put Torrie through that stress.
Pause for Paws.
Imagesunfarm
Sep 4, 2010 6:29 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
As with human medicine, be guided by the patient's actual needs, not what the specialists are selling. My two oldest cats (lost in the past year and a half) were 19 and 20 and never needed professional dental cleaning. I say "needed" because my eldest daughter is a vet and would have performed the cleanings if she had felt they were necessary. The cats lived long lives despite long-term health issues such as renal problems and diabetes that did require monitoring and professional care.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSunshines2day
Sep 4, 2010 7:21 PM CST
Name: Sunshines2day
Lubbock Texas
I am glad to see so many folks responding here on this thread. I hope it continues. There has been a wealth of opinions that are in the best interest of the kitty (IMO) and they have been results orientated. I am most happy with that method in my personal caretaking plan Big Grin .

When the student is ready......the teacher appears.

ivyplantsnyc
Sep 4, 2010 8:53 PM CST
Name: Ivy T
Manhattan, New York
Thanks everyone for your answers and I will make sure to do more research before I make the next appointment at the clinic for any procedure or test.

Ivy - Torriesmom
Pause for Paws.

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