Posts Tagged ‘anemia’


Ralph, aka Ralphie Fuzz Butt, aka the Miracle Man, aka the Poster Boy for Proper Nutrition… he’s the biggest reason I am such a fanatic about cat food.

I adopted Ralph on December 2, 2004. He’d been at the shelter since November 1998, when he was admitted at around age 3. That made him around 9 years old when I took him home. Ralph suffered from IBD (a gastro-intestinal disorder) and anemia. The anemia caused a heart murmur. One of the medications he took caused liver damage. The other suppressed his immune system, so he was constantly catching viruses and fungi, such as ringworm, getting infections, and it had induced diabetes. In fact, he spent much of his time at the shelter in ringworm isolation. At the time I adopted him, he’d spent nearly a year straight in the ringworm ward… and over 26 months of the last three years there. Because of the ringworm, when I adopted him he had to reside in my bathtub (with shower doors closed) so as not to expose my other cats. When we moved to our new house, December 27, 2004, he lived in a room in the basement.

I was determined to try another form of treatment for his problem. I changed his diet to a wholesome grain-free canned food, and supplemented with vitamin B12 injections weekly. I also weaned him off both the medications he was on. Ralph is my “poster boy” for illustrating what a HUGE difference the proper diet can make. Cats are carnivores and should not be eating foods loaded with grains. Read more at catinfo.org and catnutrition.org. The information there saved Ralph’s life.

As of his vet visit on April 22, 2005, Ralphie was ringworm *and* anemia free! Yay!

He got a complete work-up in September 2005, and his heart murmur was gone and all blood values (including liver and blood glucose) were normal. No anemia, no infection – all clean! Only thing necessary was a dental, which he got. Subsequent bloodwork panels have shown some elevated white blood cell counts and globulin levels, and low potassium levels – nothing alarming.

You may notice Ralph’s cloudy eye in the pictures. A veterinary opthamologist examined him and feels the cloudy eye was caused by a birth defect. That’s actually good news, as it means it’s unlikely to worsen over time. She thought he still had vision in both eyes, but the sight was most likely better in the clearer eye.

Ralph is always excited to greet any visitors, and patiently waits, hoping they will sit down so he can hop in their lap and purr loudly. He adores the other cats, and wrestles and cuddles daily with Louie (Aloysius) and Studley.

Update:  Ralph passed away in August 2009.  His memorial post is here.

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