Friday, September 23, 2011

Minx Is Sorted!

She's still recovering and she's walking around very gingerly - when she's not sleeping, the poor thing.
But she's been spayed so we won't have to worry about her going on heat again.
Her spaying cost me R700!! What are other people paying?

Poor Li'l Minx...

Minx is a little over a year old now, and she's tiny even for a female.
And she STILL has a cough! 
As a result the vet won't spay her because they're afraid her lungs and/ or heart can't take the anesthesia. She's had several courses of antibiotics and several treatments but she is fine for 2 weeks and then she's coughing again.
And now, she's gone into season for the first time!
I feel so sorry for her.
She's presenting to Turk, Greebo and Magic, but being neutered males they're not interested at all. She's chirruping and talking all the time, and of course she's spraying to "spread the news" as queens in season are wont to do.
I've called a vet to have her spayed but it won't happen till Monday, and even then only if they're happy with her chest and heart...
Is there any way I can ease her stress until then?


I called the vet and asked if it was possible to spay her sooner, and after checking their diary they said I could drop her off last night to be spayed this morning.
Poor baby had to stay overnight at the vet's office all on her own!
I do hope she'll be okay... The vet also says she's a pretty normal size for a female, :D I s'pose she just looks little next to Turk and Greebo.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Story of Turk's Foot

the scars of previous cuts 2 days after the vet visit, he arrow is where I found the first cut
A while ago I discovered 3 little spots of dried blood on the top step of my staircase at home.
2 days after the vet visit
I knew I hadn't trodden on anything and checking with my hubby and son revealed they were okay too, so I knew it had to be one of the cats. 
I got hold of Minx first 'coz she was the smallest, and then Turk 'coz he was closest when I let Minx go. Turk's left front foot paw pad, the big one, had a small cut in the top near a crease. It was no longer bleeding and he wasn't limping or anything so I didn't stress. I figured perhaps he'd got it hooked on one of the other cats' claws when they were playing or something- they can get quite rough- but I wasn't worried.
Then about 3 weeks ago, I noticed that every time Turk jumped up onto my bed, or sat down on the floor in my room, he would lift his left foot off whatever he was sitting on and hold it up in the air. I eventually got him to lie still so I could have a look- he's a big cat so I don't tackle him lightly- and looked under his foot. You can see in these photos just how big his feet are!
4 days after the vet visit
You see what the small pads on his toes look like? That's what they're all supposed to look like, pink and smooth. And they should feel soft and firm, like when you press on the cushion of your thumb on your palm. It looked like a human's heel might look when it gets severely cracked and dry and bleeding! There were signs that there had been a few cuts and the newest one was scabbed over and seemed to be healing.
I called the vet and she said to give it a week and if it wasn't any better to take him in to see them.
There was no change after 10 days so I took him to our vet on August 30th.
She had a good look and feel at his paw pad- and his other feet- and couldn't find anything inside his foot, thinking maybe he'd trodden on glass and it had gotten stuck.
9 days after the vet visit
There was one new cut which was rather deep, but the other paw pads were all 100% fine, and after I explained that I had found more than one cut on his foot- the scars of which she could see- she said she'd never seen anything like it! The paw pad even felt squishy rather than firm, and it was blue in places! Yet Turk wasn't limping or complaining, and whilst he wasn't as playful and silly as he usually was, which told me the foot was clearly bugging him, he was still eating, drinking and doing his busies like he was s'posed to.
It was very strange. And the nature of a cat means we couldn't bandage it or put something on it because it would be licked, chewed and bitten off in no time. She gave him an antibiotic shot (he weighs 5.5kg BTW) and said that if it didn't get better in a week she wanted to send him to a specialist.
I am very pleased to see that today his foot looks so much better! And he's playing and chasing the other cats and he's far more talkative than he's been for a while. Its not smooth and pink yet, but its definitely looking healthier.
The vet is still puzzled as none of his other paw pads were affected as they would or should have been if he was dehydrated or suffering from some kind of vitamin deficiency.
I'll be keeping an eye on his feet from now on, just in case.

Magical Allergies!!

Turns out Magic is a sensitive kitty- literally!

He has always had this thing where he runs around the house and up and down the stairs as if he's being bitten by something- he shakes his feet and chews at his fur and runs and shakes and chews and jumps- and I am always concerned that somehow he's got fleas or some other parasite! Since our cats don't go outside they don't get ticks or fleas, and any new furry arrivals to our house get dipped and de-flea'd as fast as possible. The dogs are treated for fleas often too and- touch wood- they don't have any. But everyone knows that once you actually get fleas in your house, they're all but impossible to get rid of! As a result, Magic's mad running and twitching always had me over-analysing any scratching and looking for fleas everywhere!
Then a while ago, Magic, Diva and Turk developed feline acne. Diva's was the worst and she was treated first, Turk's cleared up soon after on its own, and Magic had a shot to treat his, but it never went away completely.
Magic also sneezes like a lunatic! He sneezes himself off his feet the poor thing! I've never been terribly concerned about it though as his eyes don't get gummy, he doesn't "act" sick and his behaviour doesn't change.

Then about a month ago I noticed that Magic's acne had returned and his chin was looking very black, though he had not yet started scratching himself raw, thank goodness.
I took him back to the vet to have another shot and get his acne cleared up properly and whilst we were there I told the vet about his running and twitching and sneezing.

She gave him a thorough once-over and found no fleas, no ticks, no bites or marks, and his lungs sounded fine. Her diagnosis is allergies!

I could put him on a hellishly expensive prescription allergy diet, but at this point the vet is happy that whilst it irritates him, its not life-threatening. Should things change in the future and he deteriorates, we'll look at the special diet again- but for now he (and I) will just have to live with it.