Friday, December 03, 2004

Arthur Eyeball Update: Back from the Vet

So Liz just returned from our regular vet. He took a careful look at Arthur's eye and said he thinks it probably is an inflamation from wrestling with his brother, but because he can't rule out a virus, he gave us antibiotic cream to put in Arthur's eye "just in case" it is pink eye.

Now my question is this: what if this happens to one of our cats next week or next month or next year? How do I know whether it's "vet worthy?" I don't want to and can't afford to rush them to the vet or to an emergency vet everytime they sneeze. If Arthur were human, I'd at least put some visine in his eye, but I don't know what the equivalent is for cats.

About.com's Franny Syufy has a great article called "Know When to Call the Vet About Your Cat," but there's nothing in it about red, swollen eyes. However, she does say that "The First Rule is 'Know Your Cat'." A coworker of mine told me that his cat periodically gets red swollen eyes and that they usually go away after a day, without medical attention. If this happens again, I might give it some time and see what happens.

In other news:
  • Both cats received their third and hopefully final deworming treatment (they came from the shelter with roundworm). Their fecal matter is being tested to see if the worms are finally gone.
  • Next week, the boys will be returning to the same vet for a routine vaccination for feline distemper, herpes, etc. The vet promises to use the safest vaccine on the market, Purevax.
  • The vet was "very concerned" about the treatment we received at the emergency clinic and says he plans to write them a letter.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Avram, I'm glad Arthur is doing OK. Eye goobers and inflammation can be fairly common in kittens from shelters when they have kitty colds. You can dab the goop away with a little saline or warm water on a cotton ball if it gets too mattery. As for the question of when to know if you should go to the vet, I'm guessing it's kinda like having human kids (which I don't have). You panic about every little thing with the first one, and by the time the others come along you've learned from experience what is serious and what is not.
I, too, was appalled by your account of the ER experience. I'm glad your vet is going to say something. At the very least someone could have glanced at the kitten, told you it was probably from his URI and he would not lose his eye overnight, and suggest you go to your own vet in the morning. The treatment you received was ridiculous.
Peggy

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Arthur will be OK.

As for knowing when to take a cat to the vet, there are several books on cat health that give symptoms and what treatment is required, and indicate whether the symptoms may indicate an emergency or not. They're the feline equivalent of the AMA Family Medical Guide or Merck's Medical Manual. I've got the Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbooks and have found it to be invaluable. The first few chapters are how to deal with emergencies, and on the inside front cover is an index of symptoms which directs you to the appropriate part of the book. Pretty much every disease or condition, along with possible symptoms, is mentioned, and when the symptoms indicate immediate medical attention is required, it says so in bold letters. It also indicates "wait-and-see" vs. "non-emergency but make an appointment" situations. Cornell also has a good feline health book. They're well worth the money.

Thumper said...

Add me to the list horrified by how you were treated by the emergency vet. I've never had problems like that; maybe I've just been lucky.

If your regular vet is decent, you can call with even minor things and get an answer whether or not to take your kitties in. Most of the time I think vets are willing to spend a lot more time than people docs... but I' also spoiled, with an exceptional vet (hey, so good he was a consideration in where we retired from the military...)

I hope Arthur heals up nicely! And you've reminded me, it's time to take my little psycho kitty in for a checkup...

Timmy said...

I hope Arthur gets better soon! I came home from the shelter with a wicked sneeze. Mommy thought that I had a cold until she found out through a friend that it was probably the flea powder that they put on me while I was at the shelter. She watched me throughout the first week of me being home and eventually, I did lose the sneeze. I haven't found it yet but then, I haven't checked all the closets either.