Monday, October 02, 2006

Vets are as Bad as Doctors

About a week ago, well, a little over a week ago, my roommate noticed something was weird about my cat's ear. After examining Stitch, we found that he had either an abscess or hematoma growing on the outside of it. I didn't think too much of it because these things will tend to heal themselves up if they don't get too big. I'm pretty sure that from as much as my two cats fight, they've given each other small hematomas here and there, but they heal up fine.

This one was different. It kept growing. I still felt that it would eventually heal itself, especially since it didn't appear to cause Stitch any pain. It was more of an annoyance for him walking around with this gigantic blood pustule on his ear. Eventually, however, it got so big that it was pretty much closing his ear shut completely and was pulling his ear down it was so big.

This left me with three choices--take him to the vet, let it keep growing, or do some surgery on it myself. Each had its upsides and downsides. I thought about it for a day while I was at work, not knowing exactly what would be the best.

If I performed the surgery on his ear myself I would get it taken care of and it wouldn't cost me anything, but I'd have a cat who would be significantly pissed off at me, I'd potentially get bit and scratched apart, and we might have a cat flinging blood all over the place after I openned up his ear.

If I let the hematoma take care of itself, there was again the added benefit of not spending any money for vet fees. I would also not get bit or scratched. However, Stitch would be pretty uncomfortable and his ear might heal up all funky weird, hurting his ability to hear for the rest of his life. That wasn't very appealing.

The last option was the vet. I'd get everything taken care of by a professional. Stitch wouldn't hate me. He would heal up better than if I did it. There wouldn't be blood all over the house. But I'd have to shell out a nice chunk of change for what is a pretty simple procedure.

I went with the vet. My pocket book took a $154 hit, but Stitch seems happier. His ear is still healing and has some blood still in the gigantic skin pocket that had formed, but he's getting along ok. We have to give him steroids twice a day in a piece of cheese to help him heal up, as well as put some cream in his ears since they found he had an ear infection while they were working on him. He doesn't mind the steroids, but the cream isn't so much fun.

The first couple of times he didn't seem to care that I was squirting a bunch of goo in his ear and rubbing it around, but it has gotten to the point where I now need to sit on Stitch and hold his head down while I apply the goop into each ear. He's really getting sick of it, but it should hopefully be helping him heal.

So, in the end, it was good to get Stitch taken care of so he could get better, but I made the decision that next time I'll brave the claws, teeth, and cat fury to take care of the hematoma myself, especially since the vet said once a cat gets one, the likelihood of him getting another at some time would be increased, especially if he fought. Great. I'm preparing myself for the future bloodbath...

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