When Time is of the Essence
We do our best to answer letters from readers — but a prompt vet exam is the best choice.
It’s clear as day to me that the readers of Catnip love their cats dearly. It resonates in the letters and Emails we receive each month, sometimes with adorable photos attached. Occasionally, a letter will include a reference to a beloved cat long gone — which isn’t surprising to me because the bond we share with the extra-special ones can certainly live within our hearts for a lifetime.
And it’s exactly because of this devotion that sometimes you write to us with pleading and worry: You want an answer, some advice, anything that can help solve your cat’s serious health or behavioral problem.
Trust me when I say that I wish each and every letter could receive a hand-delivered response (by a board-certified veterinarian knocking at your door, no less!). However, the reality is that any veterinarian will need to see the feline patient in person before giving a diagnosis.
Certain obvious things can be gleaned from letters in the case of straightforward health concerns, or additional advice you seek above and beyond what your trusted veterinarian provides.
And we do encourage readers to send us letters about their cats (though we tend to publish the ones that will be helpful to the greatest number of our readers in our limited ‘Dear Doctor’ space).
But if you really feel that you need help beyond what your local veterinarian can provide, you can ask him or her for a referral to a specialist. (You can contact the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University, in Grafton, MA at 508-839-5395.)
The same goes for a serious behavior problem that is threatening to disrupt your happy home — and even lead to the consideration of euthanasia. (You can reach the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts at 508-887-4640.)
This publication wants to help make the lives of our beloved cats happier and healthier. It’s a simple mission, really. But to do that, we also need to direct you to the appropriate resources at times.