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Archive for August, 2008

This would be fantastic! Ironically, I heard of the proposed legislation from some people complaining about it. So many people just don’t get it! There are over 20,000 companion animals put to death a YEAR in Chicago for lack of homes. More than 8,000 of these are young, healthy, dogs and cats that behave perfectly even when dumped in a shelter and poked and prodded.

The complainers were saying it doesn’t exclude purebreds. No it doesn’t. Do you really think purebreds don’t show up at shelters? Do a quick search on petfinder.com – they most definitely do. The proposed legislation DOES exclude registered breeders. So, the only “issue” would be for those backyard breeders – which I personally would LOVE to force to cease and desist! Can you say “puppy mills”? Well, don’t for one second think they aren’t “kitten mills” as well.

Voice your support!

http://pawschicago.org/animalwelfare/petordinance.htm

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I’ve been opining on feline hyperthyroidism a LOT in the past 18 months or so.  It all started with Latifah.  Something seemed amiss with her back in January/February 2007, as although her diabetes was well controlled, even went into sporadic remissions, she had a ravenous hunger and her fur/coat wasn’t as smooth and glossy as I’d expect in a cat on an all-wet diet.  Bloodwork looked pretty good, but I had this nagging feeling – and she just “felt” hyperthyroid, I’d tell the veterinarians.  They’d usually dismiss the idea, saying her T4 values (in her bloodwork) were well within the reference range.

In a conversation with Dr. Hogkins, I noted my misgivings and I got quite the education.  T4 values in an older cat (over age ten) should not *just* be in the reference range, but in the lower half to third of the reference range and decreasing over time.  Other ailments, such as CRF (kidney disease), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), etc. deflate T4 values as well as age. 
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We had a ton of storms yesterday.  Lots of rain, thunder, and lightening.  For once, I got lucky and I actually landed up commuting when it wasn’t horrible out and got home pretty dry.  I was nearly done with evening “cat chores” when the radio announced there were three of four tornadoes sited.  One was destined to reach a neighborhood very close to mine in ten minutes. 

What to do?  Of course it wasn’t my neighborhood, but it was close enough that did I really want to take that risk?  Not like I could manage to get eight cats downstairs quickly.  So, I sprang into action (and if you knew me, you’d know just how ludicrous the idea of me “springing” into anything is.)

I finished giving Afer her sub-q fluids, then dished out their food.  Why would I choose to feed my cats at this moment?  Easy – so they’d stay put, in the kitchen, and I didn’t have to chase them all over the house.
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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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