Family is like music;
some high notes,
some low notes,
but always a beautiful song
Last night, Grey covered me during dinner so I could take Jaxson to the vet. Since the discovery of his tooth problems, I've been very worried about him. Thankfully, we were able to find a vet who was both reputable and had late-night openings to see him, so we booked an appointment.
Jaxson has always had an interesting relationship with vets. From a young age, he's had a large, red WARNING sticker outside his medical charts to alert anyone not familiar with him how difficult and dangerous of a patient he can be. A fact that shocks many who meet him as he's usually incredibly sweet and curious with everyone else. To date, he's spooked at 5 vet techs, with the most memorable moment being a young man who was reduced to tears after Jaxson bite through the animal trainer gloves he was wearing (and despite multiple warnings that said gloves weren't going to work) and he's left many a vet wide-eyed following lashing-outs while in exam. I still remember one vet pulling me aside to show me the long catheter tube she had attached to his IV following a night spent at the emergency vet. Apparently he wouldn't let any one on staff come near him without many warnings that he was not pleased and more than happy to draw blood.
The vet that we've been with primarily (outside of the rare incident), knows he's behavior patterns and also knows that it's due to him being incredibly freaked out, so long ago she worked out a protocol for how to both minimize his anxiety as well as make sure all involved were safe when dealing with him. Early on, we learned that placing him in an e-collar immediately tempered his behavior, allowing her to handle and exam him without issue. It's always been impressive to watch her with him, as she loved on him with every visit despite the look of sheer distain in his eyes over his situation. I'm convinced if he interacted with her outside the clinic, they'd actually have a good relationship.
Knowing this, I was stressed for this trip to the new clinic as I was assuming he'd be an absolute wreak. Packing an e-collar and a harness, I loaded Jaxson into his carrier and made the trek into town. Playing out in my head all that could potentially go wrong. Preparing my speech for this new staff so that they would actually take me seriously about how difficult he could be.
What happened instead was he was as sweet as pie with the clinic staff and his new vet. Granted, I did collar him as soon as we got him into the exam room as I wasn't taking any chances, but he was actually doing his usual flirt routine with all the ladies at reception and even the hospital manager. And he gave the vet zero trouble.
Grey claims he has a thing for East Coasters.
The short version of this visit is that no dental work is going to be done at this time. The vet checked his mouth thoroughly and after popping off the large tartar plaque with her thumb nail, declared that he was likely just suffering gingivitis. That said, she wants to reassess him in 3 months to see if the prescribed nightly tooth brushing and kitty Atkins diet (zero hard food) have helped the situation.
So as of last night, every member of our household owns a toothbrush. And to celebrate this new reality, we have a tooth brushing song that we sing as we all brush our teeth. Cheesy? Absolutely. But a necessary evil if it means we can avoid teeth cleaning and tooth extraction.
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