Stuff happens, even to veterinarians and their own pets. We give guidance and we know the correct recommendations, but sometimes being human trumps being a veterinarian. Hopefully you will feel better knowing that we face the same challenges you do. Here is my “tell all” exclusive so that you know you are not alone.
I don’t brush my cat’s teeth every day. We know that a cat’s teeth should be brushed. Soft plaque can become hard tartar in 36 hours, so it is best to brush daily. This is fact and I know it. My cat will tolerate tooth brushing, so the only excuse is me. Often I get busy with other things and this necessary chore gets pushed aside. So if you forget to brush your cat’s teeth or don’t ever do it, you are not alone. Just be honest with your vet so you can arrange the dental care that your cat needs in the absence of at-home care.
Sometimes the litter box is dirty. Fortunately for me, my cat is not a super picky pooper. He will not refuse to use a dirty box. But out of respect for him, someone in my family usually cleans the box daily. Occasionally we slip up. It happens to everyone. As long as we catch back up quickly and my cat does not boycott the box, all is well.
I gave my cat fleas. When I was in college, I had a cat that stayed indoors all the time and there were no other animals in his environment. His only outings were with me to my parents (where there were no indoor animals) and to the vet school occasionally if he was not feeling well. He developed a flea allergy and really, the only source of fleas for my cat was….well, me! I brought him the fleas from my patients at the vet school. This is the reason that I suggest that even indoor only cats have some form of flea coverage.
I let another vet treat my cat sometimes. Usually I care for my own cats for their mixture of conditions. But there times when I need to just be “mom” and not the doctor. The most notable of these times is euthanasia. When I say that I know how it feels to be on the other side of these decisions, I do. It takes a special person to be with you for an end of life event. It makes me better to know what it is like to wear both hats and I am grateful that I am a vet and that I have a vet too.
These are my tabloid confessions. Surely someone out there can relate to my challenges! We are only human, right?
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