Monday, October 11, 2004

That's my cat, not the Thanksgiving turkey

Your vet might not tell you, but there are two ways to stitch up a cat after spaying. One is "internal" or "buried" stitches. The other is the traditional external skin stitches, in which the cat is laced up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Buried stitches seem to be a bit more complicated for a vet to execute but have some advantages: Since they dissolve, the cat doesn't have to go back for a second visit to have the stitches removed. And since they are invisible, they don't tempt the cat to pick at them and rip them out. Buried stitches are used for spaying feral cats that are released into the wild a day or two following spaying.

Our sweet-tempered cat Zoe, spayed a couple weeks ago, was so pathetic in her plastic collar than we asked the vet if her high-strung sister, scheduled for spaying later this month, could have internal stitches. He said absolutely yes. And he urged us to let our friends know they can always ask to have their cat spayed by a vet who uses that option. So: Spare everyone the grief, ask for internal stitches.

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