Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why Have A Pet?

Ok, giant sigh here. I go through this far too often. This feeling  of frustration and questioning why some people have pets.

Today this was brought to my heart and mind because of the owner of an older cat. This cat was in for a specific problem - an injury and subsequent infection. This was minor and with a little cleaning and antibiotics, he will be fine.  However as part of being a thorough and honest veterinarian, I discussed some other things that were going on with this cat:

-weight loss of nearly 3lbs since last year (very significant in a small sized animal - in this case, it was a 26% drop from last year - if you are 150 lbs, that is 39 lbs - may sound great to you but not if you didn't "try" to lose it..there's a problem here) so we need blood work to check out our organ function, etc

-ways to make the cat more comfortable as it was clear this kitty had arthritis and wasn't doing the things he loved or was able to before 

-an abnormal heart rhythm that could indicate hyperthyroidism (especially coupled with the weight loss) - we need blood work! 

No, no. And no. And why? You might guess money. The tests and recommended arthritis supplement are too expensive? No. No. Why you ask? Well, the cat's old. You know, when SHE gets old I am so sure she'll just decline any pain meds or anything needed to diagnose a potentially very treatable condition (hyperthyroidism). Yeah. Ok. 

Personally, I'd love to stick a label on these people so when they are old (and in their mind age is a disease apparently), their docs won't treat them. 

Pets are a responsibility. A lifelong one. That life "long" is usually theirs as we often outlive our pets - unless we get a Macaw when we are 60 years of age or something. And if people don't have the finances to do it all, that is one thing. But to simply act like "oh well, it's old" ? No. Not right. Get a stuffed animal. 

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