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Archive for August, 2008

I’ve worked with nine diabetic cats now – one of my own that was diagnosed after I adopted her (and responsible for teaching me so much), four adopted diabetics, and four fosters. Five were able to be “diet-controlled” (no requirement for insulin), the other four need/needed small doses of insulin along with an appropriate diet. (Two or three of those four had temporary bouts of remission.) As many caregivers ask my thoughts on feline diabetes, I thought I’d summarize my “personal beliefs” as they presently stand regarding effective treatment. I am always studying and learning new things when it comes to diabetes mellitus, so I expect as I learn more I’ll fine-tune my beliefs further.
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Veggie Fest

My friend, her niece, and I attended Veggie Fest this weekend.  I had a great time!

A man was handing out suntan lotion samples at the gate, which was perfect for pale people like me that forgot to apply protection before venturing outdoors.  We started by visiting some of the informational booths, and collected information and free samples.  Then we ventured to the food booths.  My friend and I had some rice curry while her niece had a slice of spinach pizza.  It was all delicious.  We overheard one man asking (grumpily) “What, is it all vegetarian food?”  Yes.  It’s VEGGIE fest.  A booth selling racks of ribs or turkey legs would NOT go over well, dude.  I’m a pickier eater than most – honestly, I can’t relish the idea of eating even the “fake meat” – if it looks like meat and tastes like meat – well, I get the “warm spits” as my friend calls it, and I’ll pass in favor of something else.
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A few cat caregivers have posed questions regarding their cats’ arthritis recently on some online forums. My Omaha has severe arthritis. We started acupuncture in 2004 and the results were amazing! At the time we started, he was having trouble standing up. After about three weekly sessions, he was RUNNING. We continued with the treatments for some time, but honestly it was a struggle as Omaha is NOT generally able to be handled by anyone but me. (He has to be sedated for most anything, including blood draws or x-rays. During acupuncture he’d scream and thrash, pee and poop everywhere, and once when I wasn’t sufficiently careful I was bitten very badly. We generally have to muzzle him.) We tried to keep up with maintenance treatments, but the last one we got had little to no effect, so I knew I’d either have to take him more often or give up – and I’m sorry to say I just can’t bring myself to commit to more frequent treatments. To locate a veterinary acupuncturist, I suggest consulting the AHVMA website. Keep your search broad in order to get the best results. (An acupuncturist could be listed in one discipline/area, but not another.)

http://holisticvetlist.com/
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I’ve had no fewer than THREE conversations with individuals in the past week regarding their cats and urinary tract disorders (in these cases, urinary tract inflammation and/or stones). In each case, the individual was feeding a dry food.

The most effective means of avoiding urinary tract disorders is to feed an all-wet diet. One coworker resisted all of my pushing until his cat landed up blocked and hospitalized, and one surgery and $2,500 later he switched to canned.
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If in doubt as to which category to place a post, put it in all of them – surely one of them is close enough.

I’ve been fostering cats for several rescue organizations/shelters since 2005.  It’s interesting the different responses you get when people find out you foster.  Some think it sounds like great fun, especially those people that love kittens and all their kitten-y antics.  Others think it’d be “too hard to let them go” and they’d “want to keep them all”.  Some just think you’re a crazy nutcase or too soft-hearted.

What do I think?  I think fostering is hard.  For me, it gets harder the longer I do it.  I started out fostering mother cats with litters of kittens.  They’re not really a lot of “work” – you feed them, and keep their litterboxes and rooms clean, and basically keep them from taking up needed space at the shelter.  I do find them rather exhausting.  I know the majority of potential adopters prefer kittens, but I certainly don’t.  Kittens eat a LOT – way more (at least per pound) than adults.  They are also into and on top of EVERYTHING.  They climb your legs, scratching the heck out of you.  They knock over and rip apart and destroy everything in their room – dragging bedding through dirty litter boxes and spilling water dishes into food bowl and (especially if fed dry food) having diarrhea all over the place.  Not fun – at least not my idea of fun.
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