Archive | June 2013

Strokes in Cats

Several months ago, when I was visiting with my cats, doing the usual feeding, watering and cleaning litter boxes, I noticed that Mosby acted very stiff-necked.  I thought perhaps he slept wrong or perhaps his cystitis was acting up again.  The did occur to me that maybe he had had a stroke – afterall, he is 22 years old.

I continued his cystitis therapy, the Cantharis in his food, twice a day, plus some Lysine and an occasional smidgen of Vitamin C crystals.  I didn’t have the wherewithal at the time to figure out – gee, maybe he DID have a stroke and I should do something about it.

Today, as I read my “Cats Homeopathic Remedies” book by George Macleod, I came across Diseases of the Nervous System.  The 2nd article in the book was, ta-da!, Strokes.

Some of the clinical signs include:  Paralysis of facial or head muscles or more extensive paralysis of one side of the body.  Mild cases may show little more than incoordination and a tendency to circle to one side or the other.

I felt like I had been hit by a brick.  The paralysis, the weak legs, the stiff neck – weren’t due to cystitis or Urinary Tract diseases, more than likely they were signs of a mild stroke.

Dr.Macleod lists 5 different treatments.

1. Acontium

2. Opium

3. Conium

4. Bufo

5. Arnica

Each one does different things but number 3. Conium is useful in older animals.  Prominent among its indications are weakness in the hind legs after recovery.  Suggested potency 30c daily for 10 days.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any of this in my stockpile yet.  I DO however, have the Arnica which is a general homeopath to give for any injury.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to start him on that until the Conium arrives.

On the plus side, he hasn’t peed on his bedding in 2 days, saving me AND my washer an extra load, and he still eats like a pig and drinks water.  I think the Vitamin C, given in small doses so as not to cause diarrhea, is helping is overall condition.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Meet PinMao

PinMao, Pin, MaoMao Bean, Pinhead, Pin Stripe…..you name it, I’ve called him it.  His original name at the Shelter where he lived for the first 3 years of his life was Pinhead.  When I volunteered there, I called him MaoMao Bean because I thought he looked Egyptian.  (The Bean?  Don’t know why I added that!  LOL!)  I combined the names and call him PinMao now to try and keep it as simple as possible.

When I moved to Nevada, I left PinMao behind, hoping someone would come along and see him for who he was and adopt him.  After 2 years, and no chance of adoption seeming likely, I told the woman in charge of the Shelter that the next time they came to Vegas, bring PinMao with them and I’d take him.  The thought of him living his whole life in a Shelter was depressing.

I didn’t worry too much when he arrived with a runny/snotty nose.  I opened the door to his kennel and let him get acclimated.  Within days, my whole cat population was sick.  Runny noses, sneezing, boogers everywhere.  And Pin?  O.M.G. – he had diarrhea – never before had I seen such a bad case.  He would drip poop everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  It was on the couch, the blankets, the towels, the floor, and yes, even the litter boxes.  I was beside myself.  I felt guilty exposing my other 8 cats to this horrendous mess.  Henry, God bless her, got a nose infection.  That’s what finally prompted me to take her to the Vet.

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She got antibiotics and steroids.  This cat had NEVER been sick her entire life.  I was beside myself with worry and anxiety.  And I felt sorry for PinMao too because it really wasn’t his fault.   I obtained antibiotics for everyone and put it in the water supply.  Henry was back to her old self in about 3 weeks, as was everyone else. 

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PinMao of course, continued pooping everywhere and the antibiotics didn’t improve his situation.  I used Arsenicum Album for days, I tried pet fiber and Lysine.  The Lysine did help the sneezing and general illness of the group, but it didn’t do much for Pin’s little red bottom.

In the book Cats Homeopathic Remedies by George Macleod, I finally found a last ditch effort for homeopathic remedies for diarrhea.  Podophyllum 1m, given 1 dose daily for 6 days.  Well, I only have the pill form (30c) which I gave him twice a day.  It was a miracle.  I finally saw improvement!  Now, granted, a couple months ago, Pin’s penchant for leaving little brown dots everywhere had pretty much dissipated.  He DID use the litterbox, but it was still a ghastly site, hence the move towards a new remedy.

I haven’t seen any spots, I have seen very little diarrhea in the litter boxes and he seems a lot happier.  He’s a very shy cat, teeny, teeny, teeny.  He was a failure to thrive cat, like Ralphie (who has his own blog!) but he really never came out of his shell like Ralphie did.  However, he’s learning. 

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Mosby Gets Cystitis

ImageMosby, aka Moe, is Smudge’s brother.  Their Momma Kiki was a beautiful grey striped Manx.  At least, I presumed she was a Manx – or a Japanese bob-tail because she just had a little stub.  Moe, long hair and all, has a little stub of a tail too.  It’s really cute!  He’s always been more shy than his brother Smudge so I didn’t realize he was getting ill until I noticed he was having issues peeing in the litter box.  Cystitis isn’t fun for anyone, but when male cats have it, it can be deadly.  Smudge had a bout of blockage 15 or so years ago.  Of course, it was on a Sunday and by the time I got him back from the Vet it cost me $600.  That was a lot of money 15 years ago.  Heck, it’s STILL a lot of money!  No offense to the no-name cat food companies, but….I’ve never fed it to him again and he’s never had another issue.  So…Moe….what to do?  He was urinating, but trying constantly, so I knew he wasn’t plugged.  A point for me.  I got out the books, I perused the internet, I needed to find something to ease his pain.

I have 2 wonderful natural health books for animals.  They are:

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs by Don Hamilton, DVM

Just recently I added another favorite, of which I am also going to purchase the dog version:

Cats Homeopathic Remedies by George MacLeod

I started Moe on Cantharis 30C.  They said to give 1 pellet every 30 minutes.  Difficult when the cat isn’t over friendly, so I put it in his food, twice daily.  I also went back to the regular litter I had been using, thinking that maybe the change in litter caused his issues.  I alternated the Cantharis with Belladonna, same dosing schedule.  After about 4-5 days, he was back to his old self.

Kidney Disease in Felines

ImageMeet Smudge.  He’s 22 years young.  Smudge, along with his brother Moe, both suffer from kidney failure.  A common occurrence in elderly cats.

Having raised and lost many, many cats throughout the years, I’ve come to know the signs of a lot of diseases befalling our sweet felines.  This, by no means, guarantees that I know everything.  I am still learning.  However, with this blog, I will attempt to enlighten those that want to know what they can do, aside from running to the Vet every other day, to prolong the lives of their fur-babies and help them continue to grow old and happy.

I had 26 cats in my home at one point, many years ago.  It was NOT by choice.  I am NOT a breeder.  I was happy with my 5 cats.  They were happy, all was well in my world.  Then little kids came by and begged me to take 2 little kittens that their Momma wouldn’t let them have.  What can I say?  I’ve never met a kitten I didn’t like.  Then, BOOM, almost within 3 months of each other, I ended up with 3 pregnant females in my backyard.  When it came time to find homes for the babies…..I wasn’t very successful.  One family wanted to adopt a kitten but he’d have to live in the garage because the Dad didn’t like cats.  No.  Nope.  Nada.  So….they grew up in my house.  They all had their first shots, they all were spayed and neutered.  I was a responsible cat Momma.

Until Darby died from FIP.  He was just a baby – the twin of Colby.  I was devastated.  After doing a lot of research, I realized that sometimes, the vaccination for Feline Leukemia can trigger the FIP reaction in a cat.  All my cats were vaccinated for both of those dreadful diseases.  It broke my heart.  22 years later, only 3 of my cats have gone to a Vet.

I don’t disrespect Veterinarians at all!  I’ve met some wonderful, compassionate miracle workers in my time, but….that doesn’t mean they know everything.  And I’ve found that a good medicine cabinet full of homeopathic medicine works just as well, if not better, than some of the harsh chemicals that end up in our feline friends from the doctors.

I’ve had my trials and tribulations because knowledge doesn’t come out of one book.  It comes out of MANY books.  And if I can give someone some answers to their questions without them having to do the years of research I’ve done, then I’m happy to do so.  Smudge’s brothers and sisters (there were 6 of them) lived long, happy, healthy lives.  Smudge, Moe and their sister Taylor are the 3 left and I will do what I can to keep them healthy and young.  Just because they have an illness, there is no good reason to euthanize them.  Personally, I prefer that they die at home in my arms, as opposed to a clinical office, but that’s a story for another time!