Thursday, August 28, 2008

What I am reading now...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pets, People, and non-humans

Yesterday and today have been interesting days... I was off yesterday and ventured down to Dragon*Con with some friends. Jeri worked and had a very busy day on top of that. I returned home from Dragon*Con I needed to use the restroom, I ventured in and see a box with a towel over the top and a small scraggly tail hanging out from under the towel. I closed the door and headed upstairs to guest bathroom.

Afterwards, I talk with Jeri and it seems on her way into the office she saw a dead kitten on the road, and further up the road about a quarter of a mile another kitten (not yet dead), the car in front of her clipped the kitten. Understandably, she is a little freaked out and stops to to assess the kitten. It is alive but injured. She picks up the kitten and takes it into a vetrinarian her manager at work uses for his dogs. They briefly assess the kitten, saying it has a broken leg and it will need surgery to repair.

Jeri brought the kitten with her to work and tended it throughout the day and then brought it home, whereas I met it rather abruptly on my way to the restroom. The kitten eat, slept, and relieved itself. We had some worry as its urine contained some blood.

The following morning though it was much less than the night before. We brought the kitten to the emergency veterinary service and had them assess the kitten. After x-rays and a diagnosis, they assessed similarly to the first vetrinarian, but we had more rock solid paperwork to support (and if needed carry with us to other vetrinarians).

The leg was broken at the femur's growth plate. A clean break with no chips or shards.

The diagnosis from the veterinarian was one of two choices,

2.Surgery (estimated at $1,500.00-$2,000.00)

After the sticker shock set in, we had to take a break, so we went out to get some food as we both were a hungry and it was affecting our ability to think clearly. During this time, they were doing the pelvic x-rays, as they neglected to do them the first time, as they just focused on the single leg incident, which in my opinion was a little short sighted as we had fully disclosed the kitten had been hit by a car.

When we returned and spoke with the veterinarian a second time, we asked about a third option, which was just a local set-n-bandage scenario. The break was on the growth plate, one would assume that if they were realigned with the proper rest and treatment the leg would grow back together naturally. The veterinarian seemed to believe this was a possible scenario and worked up an estimate. The hope around this one is a with a clean set the leg would heal normally, and over time, the pelvic area would recover on its own. As the kitten (estimated at only 10 weeks of age) still has a lot of growing to do.

We choose this option, understanding that if not totally successful the kitten would possibly have issues mobility from the leg and/or pelvic trauma over the course of its life, however, that is better than the alternative of either another kitten lying dead on the road or euthanasia.

So how do humans and non-humans fit into my subject?

Well there are two classes of people, one I am calling non-humans. The kittens were found on the median of a six lane road in the middle of an urban area. They were almost no plausible way they could have or would have meandered out in to the middle of that road, as such, the simplest and most likely explanation is a human's (of the non-human variety) cat had a litter, rather than adopt them, sell them, or give them away to (qualified homes), they choose to drop them off one at a time in the middle of a busy road so that they would get hit by cars. This person is not a good person (remember cruelty to animals, more often than not is later translated to human beings as well by the individual).

Now, the flip side of this coin is the normal human being, which cares about life. While we were at the emergency clinic, there was another case. This time a dog was hit by a car. A couple either witnessed it or found the dog shortly thereafter.

They brought the animal into the clinic. They already had two dogs of their own the cost of veterinary care, much less emergency veterinary care is mind-bogglingly expensive... as such, a good samaritan is faced with the desire to help, but perhaps not the financial wherewithal to complete the job. That is a major emotional struggle. This couple filed the paperwork for the dog as a stray, which means they chose not to bear the financial responsibility for this dog, and thus could not dictate what care it was given.

They were clearly torn with this decision, as the couple left . Ten minutes or so later the woman came back in tears, stating that if the costs to save the dog could be kept below $1,000.00; they would take care of them. Sadly, the dog had major internal injuries and was put down later in the afternoon.

Back to the kitten. The third option is the one we choose, which is to have the leg set (which was successful), then splinted. We will be monitoring the kitten and the bandage changed every 2-3 days. This process will be going on for the next 6-8 weeks.

Hopefully the leg will have a clean mend and will the cat will have a chance at a normal life. All this to the tune of $837.33 (Money well spent thus far).