You are here

The Winds of Change-Part 2 of 4

It’s (s)Not All Right

Poor Tater and Willow. They’ve been chronically sick. Willow shoots snots across the room and Tater’s eye is always running and he sounds stuffed up. I decided it was worth the risk of not getting any information (some times these tests don't tell you much) to get an expensive DNA test on Tater’s eye goop called a PCR for URI. With any luck we’d find out what was causing Tater his misery.

It took a week, then the news: Mycoplasma.

My reaction, duh, of course. Tater’s constant runny eye is definitely indicative of mycoplasma (but it's also a symptom of other issues which is why we do the PCR test).

The Problem

Latte and Fred and Coco started to get sick. They’d all been in the same room for a month. I had the kittens examined. Only Coco was running a mild fever in addition to a runny eye and sneezing. It was bizarre the ALL the cats had an issue in their right eye, except for Tater. We decided that the best course of treatment would be to hit the kittens hard with antibiotics for 30 days because mycoplasma is bacterial, not viral.

recheck for fleas.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Re-check for fleas. None were found. Whew!

I’d heard from a lecture by Dr. Hurley at UC Davis, that they will go to a 60 day protocol to really infiltrate the fine bones of the nose. My Vet hadn't heard of this so I thought we'd start at 30 and see how it goes.

Willow at the Window.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Willow waits while the other cats get examined.

Medicating cats is never fun, BUT with Doxycycline as the medicine of choice, I had a scary task ahead of me. I learned the HARD WAY that…

…given incorrectly, Doxy can SCALD the esophagus of a cat causing a STRICTURE to form. The cat can’t pass food into the stomach and my oh my what a party you don’t have. It cost many thousands of dollars to repair this damage to our tiny kitten, CaraMelle last year after we'd given her Doxy when she was just 3 weeks old and VERY sick with a URI. She was many months old before we understood what was going on with her and were on the path to resolve it.

Poor Coco.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Poor Coco.

Having to pill 6 cats X 2/day for a month means 360 chances for me to screw up and cause multiple strictures in the kittens.

I’m determined, as always, to do right by these cats. While some scratched their head at me for not opting to use a liquid version of the antibiotic, I opted for ¼ of a tablet per cat. Each pill is coated in Flavor Doh. I like it much better than Pill Pockets® and the cats do, too. THEN I sprinkle dehydrated chicken over the pea-sized coated pill and feed as a treat, making SURE the cats are HUNGRY and more apt to eat what I put in front of them.

Weighing in.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Willow weighs in at just five pounds.

The new problem I made for myself is they will eat anything and charge me at the door when they're really hungry. Entering the room is a comedic farce. I try to balance a plate with six tiny pill-peas on it, the cats push past me and run down the hall, unleashing their snottiness and frustration about being hungry all over the vicinity. In a panic, I put the plate down. With the cats corralled (and my blood pressure soaring), I turn to retrieve the plate only to find Latte had eaten all but the last remaining pill.

The Vet said she would have “GI upset” and not to pill her again that day (DUH!).

Meanwhile I had to go back and prep more pills, make sure they eat just one, then syringe them with 3mLs of water, then feed them. All this to make sure that pill doesn’t sit in their throat. All this while they are racing around the room in a panic because they’re so hungry.

Meds Chart.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Staying on track with a chart.

Today marks one full week of medicating the cats. It’s amazing that I can even do this when previously this would have freaked me out to the point where I’d just be upset all the time. Now I grab the cats unceremoniously and do what I need to do. I give them love afterwards so they don’t hate me forever and I move on. I think I’m finally getting the hang of (some of) this rescue stuff.

Part three is up next…what about Jackson? What about the DOOD? What about that bigass Hurricane Sandy headed my way?


Hi Robin - Thank god for your dedication.  Can you pick up one cat at a time, set them on the dining table and pill them there so it's easy to see that it was injested?  Or it that too much.  I've been pilling my cat every day for 14 years.

I'm surprised to hear you set the plate down and I'm sure you were horrified to see the pills almost all eaten.  We all make mistakes :)

Thank you for all you do.  I really respect you.

I just noticed you said Willow weighs in at only five pounds!  What a tiny girl and oh so cute.

I every time emailed this blog post page to
all my contacts, because if like to read it next my friends will

Oh, gosh, have I ever been there when it comes to having to give large clowders multiple meds every day.  I know exactly what you mean -- it turns very matter-of-fact after a day or two.  And somehow, you get it done.  And somehow, everyone eventually gets better.  May that happen for your great kittens (who are, btw, absolutely great!)

*PRAYERS* for all, for Jackson and The Dood as well, and may Sandy (or whatever it's going to be called) NOT be bad.  

Hi Robin,

Just went through something similar last year. I feel relatively lucky since it was just one cat.

We (DH and I) got a rescue cat that had constant nose crust and was sneezing all day and night.

I took her to the vet and the vet ran some tests. As you mentioned, tests don't always show anything. That was the case this time.

So, the vet gave us the first of what turned out to be 4 rounds of anti-biotics. Each time except the last, kitty had the crusty nose and sneezing all over again. The fourth one was the magic though. She hasn't had crusty nose since or chronic sneezing since. Plus the pink color finally returned to her pretty nose leather.

Seemed like a close call and I was worried for months.

We got her into a forever home and she it doing well now.

Time to go feed the foster cats. Be back soon.

=^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

Add new comment