Tuesday, March 04, 2008


So, some of you may remember a couple of years ago we discovered that Tiamat a.k.a. "Kitty" has chronic stomatitis. You may remember this because we freaked out when the vet told us we would probably have to extract all her teeth--and eventually definitely have to. That kind of procedure costs thousands of bucks...and as Brent kept pointing out with a sort of anthropocentric outrage, we haven't even been to the people dentist in years now.

So, since finding this out, our Princeton vet advised to try an initial treatment of periodic steroid shots and occasional antiobiotics to control the inflammation and infections in poor Kitty's mouth. I can still remember being 8 months pregnant with Clare, and getting down on the floor and trying to wrestle Tiamat into a position where we could squirt an alcohol-based antibiotic solution into her mouth with a syringe. (Yeah. That worked just super. After a couple rounds of that we called the vet back and said, um, NO. Alternatives? Oh, they say, just try putting it in her food. WHY didn't you SAY SO, people!!!)

Since then, every few months, we make another vet appt and take her in for a shot (or two) and another round of Clindamycin (or two). But like any stopgap measure, it loses efficacy after awhile. Plus, at $120 a visit, not even this stopgap is something we can really afford. But we have to do something for our kitty, and this has been the best we could do for her.

And never, until today, has anyone suggested that I call the Humane Society. Who runs a full-service clinic. With dental procedures. That existed for the purpose of providing necessary care for animals with owners of limited means.

Dr. Janet Ficarra at Downtown Veterinary Clinic on 9th Avenue and 19th St., YOU ARE MY CAT'S HERO.

I rushed home, called the Humane Society, asked a couple questions, and WOW. I still haven't talked to Brent, and services aren't free, but it's doable, and really, considering what it costs to make an appt every couple months at this point, more cost-effective than the steroid and antibiotics that aren't working well anymore.

So WHY oh WHY didn't this occur to me? Or WHY is it only now, with vet #3, that I get this recommendation in response to my guilty mumbled explanations of "I know we need to do it, but we just can't right now..."?

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