DEAR DR. FOX: I am writing in regards to the article about the owner who doesn't regret his dog's surgeries.
I have three cats. Bosoco is 16 years old. When I adopted him, he had a broken jaw and some broken teeth. He also had a problem with his eyelids that was "taken care of" by the shelter, but we never knew what happened. The injury to his jaw was too old to fix, but you would never know anything was wrong. He also has high blood pressure and a thyroid issue, which he is on medication for.
Last year, Bosoco came down with a very bad upper respiratory infection that landed him at the vet for a week. He came home with a feeding tube. It took him a while, but he got better and has done very well. The cost was $2,000.
My other cat, Gabby, was adopted from a local veterinary hospital. Her owner was moving and wanted to put the cat down, but the doctor refused, so I took her and gave her a home. She had many health problems, including cat-scratch fever and gingivitis. The hospital cleaned her teeth, pulled some and treated her with antibiotics at no cost. When she came home, I noticed that when she ate, she would run off and cry in pain. She was diagnosed with stomatitis. She was given steroids for quite a while until I read about the disease and found out by pulling molars and pre-molars, cats do well. In November, the vet pulled her teeth, and today Gabby is free from cat-scratch fever and stomatitis and is thriving. The shots and surgery cost around $2,000, which I am paying off each month.
I have no regrets; it was worth every penny, and I would do it again. The cats are our family. I've had five cats and was down to two when I took in Gabby. We've had people tell us we are crazy, spending that kind of money on animals; but again, it was worth it. -- L.Z., Washington, D.C.
DEAR L.Z.: Thank you for sharing your experiences and costs for providing quality of life for two of your rescued cats.
I know that you know that their lives are worth every penny you spent, and I wish that more people understood that responsible care could be costly for a dog or cat -- regardless of age and source -- so be prepared! You, and others like you, may be ridiculed for such extravagant indulgence. Most such critics put people first and look down on other species, an attitude that is laying waste to the natural world and harming us all in the process.
I appreciate that you are paying off your veterinary bill in installments, and I wish that more veterinarians would be so accommodating, rather than demanding full payment before an animal is released from their care.
FEDERAL PROTECTION FOR GREAT LAKES GRAY WOLVES
On Aug. 1, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided the gray wolf in the Great Lakes should remain on the federal endangered species list. This means protection from hunters and trappers for the wolves of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
This is a ruling against the Interior Department’s 2011 decision to delist the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act. The court said, “Because the government failed to reasonably analyze or consider two significant aspects of the rule -- the impacts of partial delisting and of historical range loss on the already-listed species -- we affirm the judgment of the district court vacating the 2011 Rule.”
This decision re-affirms what we already know: Wolves need protection and respect as essential wildlife managers of healthy ecosystems for us to work with and not exterminate. Ranchers must use non-lethal deterrents and adopt protective animal husbandry practices to prevent wolves from utilizing their livestock as a food source. Such predation by wolves is understandable when there is human encroachment into the wolf’s habitat, which becomes degraded by the livestock that supplant the wolf’s natural prey. Deer are their primary food, but in these and other states, they must compete with millions of “recreational” deer hunters.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
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