Salem Goes to the Vet & on a Road Trip

July 14th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life

Friday afternoon I made the decision to take Salem in to see his Veterinarian.

I always agonize over taking him in since I know it stresses him out and he is FIV+ so I try to keep him as calm, fat, and happy as possible. For the most part he is a very laid back cat so I’m sure I get stressed out far more than he does.

Still, it sucks. He’s been scratching like crazy lately and had some bad scabs on his neck and back. That’s not totally uncommon for him but I noticed his lower lip looked like it was losing hair on Thursday and by Friday it was noticeably red and swollen. I was planning on taking him with me and leaving him with Travis when I saw him this weekend so I decided to swing by the Vet’s office on the way out of town (Spanish Trail in Pensacola is AMAZING.)

2014-07-11 15.43.38-2While I was there I realized my cat carrier still had his brother’s name on it from when I had to bring him in many years ago (he passed away when he was 1.5 years old, and would be turning 8 with Salem this week.)
2014-07-11 15.14.12
Overall the Doc thought allergies. For a normal cat she’d recommend prednisone (a steroid) to reduce inflammation/itching and clavamox (antibiotics) to prevent any of his scabs from getting an infection. However, the prednisone would weaken his already suppressed immune system and she was concerned about giving that to him. I talked it over with her and decided to get both meds to bring with me, but only give the prednisone if the swelling on his lip wasn’t better within 48 hours.

Thankfully, the swelling is almost gone so I didn’t give the prednisone but I did start him on the antibiotics Friday night. He was supposed to get them twice a day but after his second dose on Saturday night I stopped. He threw up each morning this weekend and again a few times Sunday afternoon. Despite his beast-like appearance he has a super sensitive stomach to medication and nausea/vomiting is a common side effect of clavamox. Since everything looks like it’s healing up fine I’d prefer he eat and drink regularly versus subject him to two weeks of nausea.

So, I spent a lot of money to basically not do what the Vet told me. I feel like I’m doing what’s best for him still!

I laughed when I saw his exam notes. He has a ‘fractious nature’ (he hissed a few times on the table) and his general appearance is nothing but ‘overweight.’ I’m slightly offended.2014-07-11 19.29.14After that trauma was over we hit the road.
2014-07-11 15.06.27A few hours later we arrived safely at our destination and I walked in to the greatest surprise. Travis had bought Salem an early birthday present! I asked him last week if he had any windows with furniture near by that Salem could look out of and he went above and beyond in getting him this.

Yes, he’s amazing.
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Since I wanted to keep a close eye on Salem we stayed close to the house most of the weekend. I did my first trail run Saturday, a brutal 8 miles, and we did 5 miles on Sunday. I have a lot of thoughts on what it’s like running with a significant other so expect a post on that soon. My runs this weekend were rough, and that’s not always fun/easy for someone else to be around!2014-07-13 10.06.35-2It was an emotionally draining weekend since I was so stressed about Salem, but I still had an amazing time with my two favorite guys!
2014-07-13 12.18.36How was your weekend?
Do you think it’s worse for you or your pets when you have to take them to the vet?

P.S. Don’t forget to see if you won my Premier Protein or Emergen-C Giveaways!

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22 Responses

  • I actually dread taking my cat over my kids hands down. And I’ve been through rough stuff with my kids! Cats can be challenging! And even more frustrating when they’re sick since it takes a lot of detective work! Hope he’s okay. Interested on your take on running with a significant other :)

    • Erica House says:

      I can’t even imagine the stress of having a sick baby. It would be so much easier if Salem could just tell me what’s wrong with him!

      Yes, the running as a couple post should be interesting! Hoping to have space to get it done this week!

  • SuzLyfe says:

    I totally think it is harder on some pets to go to the vet–Alex keeps wanting to take Zoe in for a check up or something and I’m like, Um, sweetheart, that is only going to make her have to go back to the vet because she’ll stop eating or something after.
    And he’s not fat, he’s just well padded.

    • Erica House says:

      Salem needs a lot of insulation, for life.

      The stress can make him start chewing his hair out or stop eating, so I can see how it makes some cats worse to go in! If Zoe isn’t sick I certainly wouldn’t be taking her anywhere!

  • Carla says:

    youre my twin.
    spending a shitton of money to not do what the vet says :-)

    • Erica House says:

      Ha. I did feel like a bit of a dumbass doing that, but at least I got confirmation that he wasn’t dying. That’s pretty much all I wanted to hear (and worth the $$ to hear it!)

  • How sweet of Travis to get Salem that window!

    And omg those vet notes! I would be so annoyed! haha

  • Jenny says:

    Glad Salem is feeling better! Seriously, you need to intro us to this amazing man! He bought Salem furniture?! #keeperfosho

  • Helen says:

    It’s great to hear that Salem is doing better. =)
    And, that’s really nice and thoughtful of Travis to do buy a gift for Salem. He sure is a keeper.

  • Krista says:

    Poor Salem. He has a good Mama (and Mama’s boyfriend) though. The last time I took my cat to a new vet (the one and only time I went to this particular vet), the vet jammed a needle in her neck to draw blood. My normally laid-back, sweetheart of a cat hissed at him (rightfully so!) and he described her as “temperamental” on her file. I was offended, too. Ha! Needless to say, I’ve since found a much more caring vet. I hope Salem feels better!

    • Erica House says:

      Wow! That reminds me of a time I took his brother in to a new place. He was also FIV+ and was born with joint defects so he could hardly walk. He wasn’t more than a year old and the old jackass vet took a look at him and said something like “He sure doesn’t take care of himself does he?” JERK. My poor baby could hardly walk and he was the sweetest angel of a cat!

  • Sam says:

    I’m so glad Salem is doing better! What a keeper you have and a handsome cat to boot!

    I can’t seem to find the winner of the Premier Protein giveaway. Where is it located? Obviously this is a sign that it should be me ;).

    • Erica House says:

      Lol, it was at the very bottom of the post, a screen shot of the winner. She’s already emailed her address in. Next time!

  • I think it shouldn’t be stressful nor for the pet nor for the owner to visit the vet.

    P.s. What does FIV mean? ;)

    • Erica House says:

      FIV is the feline equivalent of HIV. Same virus so it acts the same. He’s asymptomatic for now but it could progress to Feline AIDS at any time. Their life expectancy is about 5-7 years after contracting it and he was born with it and just turned 8!

  • Dr. J says:

    I’m a big believer in the best practice of medicine is to do as much nothing as possible, and I feel the same about Vet med! Most animals will recover from most conditions with minimal supportive care. I had a dog with flea allergies that got cortisone shots at the vet, Believe me, the cure was worse than the disease! I now have a wonderful black calico cat :-)

    • Erica House says:

      I hate to hear that about your dog! I agree 100% with your philosophy. Salem seems to be getting better and the only issue he has now is a bit of vomiting still from the stinking antibiotics.

  • Michele says:

    Aww, Salem is so cute and he looks totally chill hanging out by the window there. I had the WORST experience a few weeks ago with my cat. Long story short – he jumped through the screen on my back porch and got out into the yard at 10:30 at night. I was able to get him back in but the next morning he was limping. I took him to the vet (1st time in 4 years of having him), and he was so freaked out he had diarrhea in the carrier on the way to the vet in my car. It was bad. They had to bathe him in addition to the exam. It turned out he had a big cut on his paw. It was very traumatic for both of us. My vet was able to give him an antibiotic injection that lasts 2 weeks so I wouldn’t have to go through giving him anything every day. Thank goodness for that!
    Glad Salem is feeling better.

    • Erica House says:

      Awww your poor baby! I’m so glad things worked out okay for him. That’s great that the vet could give him an injectable antibiotic. From my time working at a vet office I could see how the trip there was often times worse then the ailment they actally had.