Last week I spent a full two and a half hours at the vet with my best friend, the Guster.
Gus is not a flexible fellow. He does not like traveling. It is a rare trip in the car that he does not pee in the cat carrier. Long ago I invested in a sturdy plastic cat carrier so that I could clean it out. Before that, he would ruin a cardboard carrier every time. That was both expensive and wasteful.
This time he really set a higher standard for boycotting the vet visit. He pooped on the way there.
That’s enough about that.
I was taking him to the vet because he has become very grumpy in his tenth year on this planet. He has trouble jumping, and he tends to whine when we disturb him. We’ve taken to calling him “Squeaky Old Wood” because his whine sounds like a creaky staircase.
I was worried, and I finally bit the bullet and took him to my holistic vet, Creature Comfort, for a physical. Our friend Spencer had alarmed me by sharing that his mom’s cat acted a lot like Gus before she was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer!
Gus had a full-body x-ray and blood work. He has gained two and a half pounds in the past year and a half, which is very disquieting, but not surprising. He has had access to more than his share of food because his roommate Shawn often leaves his plate half full.
He has dermatitis, a skin allergy, which is probably due to an allergy to fleas. To combat that, I am going to make sure he gets his Advantage every month. Last time I gave it to him he did seem to be in better spirits following. If the flea medicine doesn’t solve his dermatitis, we will look at some homeopathic allergy treatments for him.
He has arthritis and inflammation in his pelvis and lower half. He’s in pain down there which is probably why he’s so grumpy when we disturb him and snaps at us if we pet (or touch) his bottom half. His pain is unfortunately exacerbated by his extra weight, which makes it even more painful to jump around. Because we waited so long, our awesome vet gave him complimentary acupuncture and injections of Traumeel, a homeopathic anti-inflammatory and analgesic medicine. That night he certainly jumped around more than usual and seemed much happier. The vet gave me a bottle of liquid Traumeel and Gus is now getting a dropperful on his dinner.
The x-rays showed some indication of kitty asthma. Kitty asthma is one of the main effects extra weight can have on cats. We may have to put Gus on a diet. I am pretty sure that’s the worst that can happen.
However cats are known to develop diabetes from obesity. I said to Dr. Jenny, “But I know many cats much fatter than he is!” She enthusiastically agreed that he was a good-looking cat, but said that some cats react in a more harsh manner to extra weight than others. Gus, it seems, is meant to be a big cat of about 14 pounds…not a big cat of 17 pounds. But you try telling him that at dinner time!
His blood work came back normal, which is great news especially because two years ago (the last time I had it done) it showed that he was having problems with his kidneys from not getting enough water. We did a homeopathic treatment and I worked more liquid into his diet. So that worked!
In sum, I’m glad we went to the vet. It’s amazing how much peace of mind knowing what’s going on with him has given me. And I’m glad we went to the holistic vet. Having gone to holistic and normal vets, I know that they both cost a lot of money so I may as well go to the one I like better.