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My Poor Baby

18 months.

That's how long I've been trying to find a cure for Gracie's dermatitis. I am so stressed out from all the tests, treatments, baths, specialists NOT curing her problem! I know it stresses HER out and that stresses me out, too

I'd planned on writing a post about taking Gracie to visit a homeopathic Vet. About how you need to have a different mindset about expectations of results. That it will take time.

If you factor in that Gracie had LOTS of different meds for a year, then it will take a very long time for them to work out of her system. She's only had homeopathic treatments since January. She's on a very restricted raw diet. I have to be PATIENT.

Two weeks ago, I thought that FINALLY Gracie was starting to improve. She had chewed the fur off her belly, but it was starting to grow back. Instead of an armor of scabs, the size and spacing of the scabs was much improved.

Then I tweaked her diet and she got a new treatment. I don't know which did it, but something really effected her badly. I noticed her skin got worse, so I put her back on her old diet. Today, she went to her "western" vet, Dr Larry, because I thought she had an injury to her eye.

Her eye was fine, but when we flipped her over to see how her belly was, this was what we saw.

gracies leg_med.jpg

Gracie did this to herself. It's from over-grooming. At the left is her belly and the injury goes inside her left rear leg.

It was very difficult NOT to cry when I saw this. I was in such a state of shock, I didn't know what to say. I was ashamed that I missed this horrific and painful injury and all I wanted to do was give her a big fat shot of steroids, which I KNOW would make her feel better, but which, in the long run will kill her.

What makes matters worse was that I chose not to do anything for her. Her homeopathic Vet would not agree to give Gracie ANYTHING right now-espeically steroids or antibiotics, which would be the next steps. We were able to reach Dr. Hermans, who quickly re-arranged her schedule so that she could see Gracie in a few days and she also told me some things I could do for her to keep Gracie comfortable until her appointment.

Dr. Larry, bless him, with the most open mind of any doctor in the universe, suddenly told me that he felt that I should get Gracie in to get acupuncture done because he'd seen amazing results. Perhaps it would help to calm her down and break her OCD-ish cycle of over grooming?

Instead of pushing me to use "his method" of treatment, he respected Dr Hermans wishes (and mine) and he gave me good suggestions. Gracie is going to get acupuncture in early June, or sooner if they can fit me in.

Dr. Larry says a home for Gracie by herself is the ultimate answer, but I reminded him that she was FINE for years in this same house, with the crazy foster cats. I hope that if she was all right once, she can return to good health again one day. Right now I want to crawl into a hole and hide. I feel terrible for my baby girl. Just terrible. I need a magic wand so I can fix her up and help her be happy again. I can't be a bad cat-mama. I just can't.

Unfortunately, it looks like in this regard, I already am. If I could find Gracie a great home (along with her daughter, Petunia), I would do it. But who would want a cat with a known medical condition? I can't promise it would go away. This is so frustrating and exhausting.

Please, please, please. Let me find the cure for my cat! I'm running out of options.


Not trying to be ugly to you as you know I have told you more than once how much I admire the work you do for the animals and the rescuing and placing them in loving homes.
Gracie, looks absolutely terrible. Please consider to stop fostering for a while and give Gracie lots of love, medical help and give her lots of time to destress. She has to be stressed out to do such a thing to herself. It is time for you to help your own kitty right now. She is unable to understand the fostering process and sees you putting other cats/kittens before her. She loves you or she wouldn't be doing this to herself. Please help her.

Oh Robin, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Please don't beat yourself up over not noticing this sooner. You've been trying everything to help her for 18 months, and you're still trying to get her help - what more can any cat mom do? Don't ever call yourself a bad cat mom!

You're made of stronger stuff than I am - I'm not sure I could resist the steroids if faced with this kind of a presentation, but I applaud you for being willing to give the homeopathic treatment a chance. Maybe the combination of that, and the acupuncture, will be the magic combination.

Most importantly, remember that YOU need to try and stay calm. I know you know that our cats pick up on our emotions and our stress.

Your seeking homoeopathic treatment for Gracie is great. Don't give up! One of the things that it can do is *bring out* problems in order to help the body get rid of them instead of hiding or masking symptoms, as conventional medicines do. If one of the patients of my (human) homoeopath gets a skin problem the running joke is, "Emma would say, well done, you're getting better!".

You might ask the vet if she prescribes Bach Flower Remedies. These are not homoeopathic, but have many features in common. They treat emotional imbalances, are absolutely great for animals and are not contraindicated with any conventional or complementary medicines.

I second everything Ingrid wrote. Maybe you and Gracie could have daily relaxation sessions, a la Purrs for Peace. Just hang out and pet her, focusing totally on her purring and your breathing - it would be a nice way to relax and further bond, even if it didn't help cure anything.

I don't think you're a bad cat mamma at all. But I haven't seen anyone tell about a physical barrier to keep Gracie from self-mutilation. That is what E-collars (soft and hard) are designed for. In addition, if the idea of your animals constantly running into things with a bulky E-collar distresses you, then possibly a thick, close fitting t-shirt would keep her away from the areas that itch long enough for her skin to heal. A physical barrier is what my veterinarians have suggested time & again, whether discussing incision wounds, sutures or skin irritations. A physical barrier in conjunction with other remedies may be the answer you've been looking for.

I know I feel mildly bad when watching any of my dogs or cats run into doorways with their E-collars, but if that is what it takes to get Gracie to STOP destroying herself, isn't that worth a temporary discomfort and a possible end to all your stresses?

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