Monday, May 8, 2017

Renal Cat

Well, she was, according to the hysterical vet, suppose to be dead by Halloween, but she's still alive! She gets an IV every other day and an antacid every day but she is losing weight steadily and falls a lot when she tries to jump to her favorite spots.  And she's throwing up often and she won't use the litter box.  She still purrs and snuggles and seems happy with life though so I don't think the end is near, it's just closer, day by day. 

The cat she replaced also died from renal failure, the plight of the well-cared for house cat, but we didn't opt for IV fluids with our 1st cat and she died peacefully a couple of weeks after she was diagnosed.  So yes, we bought our latest girl time, lots of time, but the end is being dragged out slowly.  I won't do IV fluids again, that's for sure.  She flinches no matter how much I knead the skin of her scruff, she fights to get away the entire time.  She fights the pill now because she's learned to hate the pill pockets and all the treats we wrapped the pill pocket around.  It feels a little like, "Hello!  Ready for your daily torture that keeps you alive a little longer?  Please don't hate me." 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Finally, No More Litterbox Smell!

You know that old saying, "We can put a man on the moon but we can't____________!" Ok, sci-fi tech has just solved smells.  Any smells.  The one concerning me is litterbox smell, multicat household, asshole cats who play dominance games and don't bury.

Did you ever watch the movie, The Andromeda Strain?  Remember they stood in the light to sterilize the germs off their bodies?  Same principle!  

I plugged this in the cat bathroom, a bathroom with 2 large litter-filled plastic storage boxes that served 5 cats, 1 cat with irritable bowel, and then went shopping.  Came back and there are NO smells of any kind in the cat litter room.  None.  That fermenting litter smell, the one that never goes away no matter how often you clean the litter box, no matter how much baking soda you add, no matter how much vinegar you set in the room, it is gone.  Completely.

This is so high-tech, so science fiction, so...oh hey, you think they have these on the space station?  Because I hear that the space shuttle developed a smell after a few days.  Mammals in close quarters and toilets with no fresh air, that sort of thing.  You think NASA invented this?  I can't believe that there is no smell whatsoever, of any kind, in that room!  Matter of fact, my old Calico walked in, stopped, sniffed the litterbox, came back out and sat in the doorway and gave me a pointed look.

"It's ok.  Do you business."

So she turned around and did her thing, but she was unsure because THERE IS NO LITTER SMELL!  AT ALL!  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Week 8, Ringworm GONE

The last to get better was, of course, my elderly renal cat who started our latest ringworm plague in the first place (How ringworm snuck up on us).  She cleared up on day 20 of her full dosage of Terbinafine.  We did half dose prior to that because the vet worried about her kidneys. So I have once again sterilized the house (vacuumed, mopped, dusted, washed everything washable, sprayed everything else with Lysol) and...well, now we wait and see.  I doubt we'll get it again but let's face it, the renal cat is of delicate health.

Here is a pic of our last foster kitten that we had to adopt because it took her 3 months to get clear of ringworm and by then she was grown and unadoptable and we were attached. This is how ringworm originally came into our home and once my elderly cat got sick, even 2 months after this little bugger was clear, she was covered in sores very quickly.  And then it spread to everyone EXCEPT for the kitten and the house rabbit.  But this is our final foster kitten, and this is her with the eye infection she got from bathing and smearing the fungal ear drops into her eye.

That's how they treated her.

I asked about sulfur dips and the owner of the rescue organization said, "We are NOT doing that.  Here's some fungal ear drops.  Fungus is fungus, it doesn't matter."
 Here she is when her face done fell right off! I was spot treating with anything I could find that wouldn't hurt her.  When I decided to keep her, I took her to my vet and got her treated properly.

Speaking of sick cats, not only did we get ringworm from fostering from our local cat rescue org, 2 of my cats ended up with stomatitis from the calicivirus some fosters arrived with (thanks guys!).  So for the 3rd time in a year, my smallest cat suddenly dropped weight, going from 8 to 6.5lbs because her teeth hurt too much too eat enough.  I've had to force feed her to keep her alive long enough for a steroid shot to take effect.  This time, she scared the vet so hard they thought she had cancer and they ran tests to be sure.  All they could find was bad teeth in the back of her mouth so Monday she's getting most of her teeth pulled.  Her gums are always always always red and painful while my other cat, who is 4 years younger, has no symptoms at all.  He might even be over it, he hasn't had atrocious breath in a year (even though he did have some teeth pulled already).  These stomatitis cats end up with all their teeth pulled and that may or may not actually help.  I'm hoping, of course, that this will help.

And that's yet another reason why I'm not fostering kittens anymore.  They always complained bitterly that we insisted that any kitten we take in be treated for fleas FIRST and they've actually gone so far as to show up on my doorstep with fleas popping all over little street urchins and I've actually had to refuse them until they pop a capstar down the gullet of the kittens.  They roll their eyes and sigh and act like everyone should have fleas and intestinal parasites.  What's the big deal?

And the final reason I won't foster with the local org ever again?  Here's the last conversation I had with one of their volunteers.  Keep in mind that I said this momma cat, Cupcake, had as crusty ear the moment she entered my home.  They assured me that it was nothing.  I thought it was nothing because the kittens never once showed any sign of ringworm and it never spread on the momma-cat.  When I took them all in to be fixed, I showed them again and they assured he it couldn't be ringworm and they don't test for it anyway.  Whoever adopts her can get that spot tested but they wouldn't do it.  The very 1st weekend I brought the kittens in for adoption and gave the momma back to the org (because she was chasing and attacking my cats and stressing them out in their own home, causing litter box issues) and Sprinkles got a bald spot from the stress. This is the crazy:

And just for the record, no one ever ran any, "meds back-and-forth," to my house.  Like I said, I refused infested kittens entry UNTIL they were treated for fleas but these people who would call with, "kitten emergencies and can we bring some kittens over right away," already had the meds in their vehicle when they arrived with new kittens!  That hardly counts as a special trip or multiple events. 
I don't play games.  I don't do passive-aggressive.  I have zero tolerance for that nonsense and I'm done endangering the health of my pets for these unprofessional idiots. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ringworm Week 5

2 cats holding their own, no further ringworm but no fur regrowth. They only get fungicide shampoo and lime/sulfur dip once a week.

1 cat had one large new bald spot on her ear but no crusties and old spot has grown back fur. She's on terbinafine and weekly dip.

Renal cat no longer has crusties all over her body!  Fur may be growing back, too early to say!  Terbinafine and weekly dip.

It's starting to turn around!  Light at the end of the tunnel! 

House rabbit and kitten never caught it. 


Monday, December 19, 2016

Ringworm Week 3

Renal cat-the lesions are still scabby and shedding skin.  More lesions all the time.  She's on Terbinafine pills, weekly bath of antifungal shampoo that sits on her for 10 minutes, then a sulfur lime dip. Topical Lamisil twice a day where she won't lick it off

Litter mate-spot behind ear still growing larger. Her treatment is the weekly bath. Lamisil.

7 year old cat-spot behind ear has spread to other ear.  Weekly bath. Lamisil.

3 year old cat, both ears.  Weekly bath. Lamisil.

Kitten may have a tiny bit of hair loss around her eyes. 

Spouse has developed a lesion on his chest from being scratched while bathing the cats.


When I had 5 fosters quarantined in a bathroom with ringworm, they were on Itraconazole, weekly sulfur lime dips, and Lamisil.  The area was wiped down with bleach weekly, walls and floor, all surfaces.  Took them 3 months to be free of it.

The litter that started this, had free run of the house, on Itraconazole and sulfur lime dips,  took 3 months to get free of it.

So there you have it.  Doesn't matter at all if you quarantine or not.  That's really just to keep everyone else from catching it--although humans (exceptions are kids or elderly or immune-compromised) won't catch it from normal contact. Spouse got it from being scratched by the infected cat, which happened while bathing them, so quarantine wouldn't have changed a thing.  If I had caught this earlier with the 1 cat, I'm positive the others would have never caught it.  They didn't catch it either time before.  The real trick is to keep the infected cat from spreading active spores, too late for me now.  To keep the spore count down, I mop with bleach weekly.  I vacuum the furniture.  I spray Lysol on the furniture and bedding. I'm not going to rip out the carpet or throw away the furniture, or even wash everything we own in bleach every day.  It won't make any difference.  Ringworm has to run it's course and it looks like that's about 3 months.  I just can't seem to get it to stop on the elderly renal cat.  It's just not slowing down at all. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Ringworm Saga

Week 2 of anti-fungal shampoo and sulfur/lime dipping.

Because she just wasn't getting better, Calia, the renal cat, was also put on Terbinafine pills.  Same ingredient as Lotrimin cream, works in the liver instead of the kidneys.  Also, cheaper than the $50.00 bottle of Itraconazole we used for treating the 1 kitten.  This 21 day treatment cost $9.00.  Just as effective, vet tech friend has used this in rescue kennel situation and it cleared them all up, same as
Itraconazole. Even better, didn't have to go across town in heavy traffic, pay to park, and walk half a mile to pick it up at a special pharmacists.  Got Terbinafine at the local pharmacy.  

Twice a day I put anti-fungus cream on the others, it's not spreading.  The fur all fell out and my vet tech friend says that the fungus is now dead there so hey!  Progress!  I'm also giving them all lysine to boost their immune system.  

So far, pet rabbit hasn't caught it!  

The spot on my face cleared right up.

We all only caught it because I didn't know Calia was festering.  She's always been an itchy cat.  Once they shaved her neck for her 1st blood test, she started REALLY itching and she scratched most of the skin off of her neck.  We all, the vet and us, all of us thought, well, she's itchy.  It wasn't until just over a week ago, Friday night, that I thought, wait a minute, those new spots are small and round.  So I got out my blacklight to check.  So she's been covered in ringworm for weeks. If I had known earlier, I'm sure none of the other cats would have gotten infected.  We had the kitten go 3 months before her ringworm cleared and no one else in the house got touched by it.  And I don't bleach my furniture or scrub the walls or bleach the floors.  I figure by the time you see it on a pet, you've already been exposed.  The kitten got over it when she was old enough for her immune system to kick in--the exact same time it took the fosters we hosted that one time who were in the bathroom for exactly 3 months, same age, floors bleached, walls scrubbed, the works. For kittens, it's an age thing.  Right now, she's the only one without ringworm because she's peak of health, not an old lady like Calia and her littermate.  Seriously, you can tell their ages by the amount of ringworm on their bodies.  The 12 year olds look terrible, the 7 year old, not so bad, the 3 year old, you have to squint in good lighting to see anything and the 8 month old is tip-top.  

So.  I have not caught it on my scalp so I have not lost any hair.  The cats seem to be getting better, although it's really slow.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

This is too much for me

It's been a bad year for fostering. 
Aside from the people involved, last Christmas evening, the foster kittens came down with Calicivirus.  It's just a cat flu, they were fine in days, but Professor Fuzzywinkle caught it from them and Mei Mei caught it from him.  Now they both have stomatitis and have had teeth removed and steroid shots.  It becomes a gradual spiral to the cat needing all their teeth removed which may or may not cure the problem.

This last litter of fosters in April were super adorable but Momma cat had a blemish on her ear.  I tried to get it treated but the organization said they don't test for ringworm, the new owners can if they want, it's not round, it's not ringworm although it looks like some sort of fungus.  Hey, guess what?  It was ringworm!  She never broke out but it never got better.  Kittens where fine until after their first showing and then all hell broke loss from the stress.  Luckily for me, 3 got adopted before anything happened but the last little baby got ringworm.  Bad. The org didn't want to spend the money on treatments.  Gave me ear drops to use on her face--which she promptly rubbed into her eye and IT got all messed up.  After 3 weeks, I took her to my vet and decided to treat her for real, I have 4 cats of my own and a rabbit to think of plus I don't want to be losing hair.  Months of dips and oral meds and she was healed!  And we kept her because after months, we got attached.

And that's how we have 5 cats today.

2 months ago my Calia got sick.  Really sick.  Suddenly, she's a renal cat. We brought her back from the brink of death and she's on an IV every other day.  She's also always been an itchy cat but guess what?  For weeks, it's not just her allergies, it's ringworm!  She's had it untreated for weeks.  I finally black-lighted her BECAUSE everyone else has spots EXCEPT the new kitten!  Everyone.  Me too.  Fabulous.  And renal cat Calia can't take meds.  And Fuzzywinkle is a long haired cat.  And I just don't know what I'm going to do right now.  I didn't sleep all night.  When the vet opens, I'll call but it cost over $200 to treat the 1 kitten.  4 cats?  This is insane.  And am I going to have to shave Fuzzy?  Will the sick cat never get better and will just keep spreading it?  Do I need to put her down?  What the hell am I going to do?