Monday, March 31, 2008

Wet Cats

Who says cats don't like rain? If there's something interesting outside, it doesn't matter if it's raining or not. This morning it was raining very lightly, just a bit more than a heavy mist. Nettie still went along for our walk. Ted considered it, but he stayed up on top of a round hay bale under a heavy bush until we got back. These cats just want to interact with their environment as much as possible, rain or not.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fleas and ticks and worms oh my!

It's funny how things happen. I meant to ask one of my friends who is more up on various drugs than I am if there were any new drugs out for flea and tick prevention on dogs and cats. I had had read on various mailing lists that fleas and ticks were becoming resistant to the brands of flea and tick preventatives that are available. Last night I saw on television a commercial for ProMeris, a new flea and tick preventative. ProMeris uses metaflumizone (a compound that fleas have not become resistant to [yet]) to kill fleas and Amitraz (not a new compound, but previously only available as a collar or dip) to kill ticks.

The tick medicine is not available in the cat product. It's rather interesting that even though there are a lot of ticks in my area and my cats do go outside, I've never seen a tick attached to a cat. We haven't had to deal with fleas in several years now. That's all a very good thing.

And talk about timing, I saw on a mailing list today that there's now a new drug for worming livestock because worms have become resistant to the three major classes of wormers normally used. Good thing we have scientists who are researching new chemicals to kill worms, fleas and ticks.

You have to wonder what the long-lasting effect of all these chemicals is going to be. It seems a much more viable approach to work with the underlying health of the animal, to make it more resistant to worms and parasites than to douse it with chemical after chemical after chemical. Parasites are not going to go away, no matter how many new chemicals are developed.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Sorry it's been so long since I've written. As usual, been busy with the dogs.

Interestingly, an upper respiratory infection ("URI") went through my young cats recently. The older cats (all my purebreds) didn't get sick, but all the young (20 month old or so) cats did. I cannot recall who started it, but, except for one, they all expressed pretty much the same symptoms namely: sneezing with a good amount of mucus.

I know most people would have had the cats at a vet's office, but I look at URIs as a cold. They are viral in nature and antibiotics are of no use in viral infections. That doesn't stop most veterinarians from putting kittens and cats with URIs on antibiotics. Often the antibiotics suppress the symptoms and the cat seems better, until its off the antibiotics, then the symptoms come back, usually worst. I get a lot of e-mails from people with cats who have been suffering with URI symptoms for weeks, months and even years. The cats simply are not healthy enough to right themselves. They go through course after course of antibiotic with no lasting relief.

One of my black cats is still a bit sick. Her symptoms went from the nose into her chest, which is not a good direction for them to go. They went from the nose to a more vital organ, the lungs. She was hawking up a good amount of cream-colored mucus, wasn't eating well and seemed quite miserable so I chose a homeopathic remedy based on her symptoms, which seemed to work, but failed. The indicator for her next remedy was that the mucus she was coughing up was thick and stringy and she was having a hard time expelling it. This remedy seems to have done the trick. A day or so after I gave the remedy she was up and about looking for food. She's still sneezing and coughing a bit, but she's much better.

Who knows why this happened. No new cats have come into my household. When I brought the slew of kittens and cats that I rescued from a local flea market into the house almost two years ago now, that triggered URIs in my older cats. Stress often triggers URIs in susceptible cats. My memory is that none of the kittens or cats coming in got sick or if they did, it was so mild that I didn't have to address it. What triggered it this time will be a mystery, but it was good to see that their vital forces were strong enough to express the symptoms of acute illness and then recover, all except one, without any intervention on my part.

What do I mean by "their vital forces being strong enough to express the symptoms of acute illness and then recover?" Acute illness, such as colds, stomach upsets, etc. are a part of life. As of now, there is no cure for the common cold or even the flu, despite the stupid vaccinations they try to get you to get every fall. The same goes for cats. While they vaccinate cats for various types of URIs, many cats still get sick. A healthy individual (yes, I do mean healthy) may get sick with the cold or the flu, but after a few days of feeling miserable, they do get better. Some people never get sick and that could mean that they have a strong immune system, but it also could mean that their vital force is so compromised that they cannot express symptoms of acute disease. Expression of symptoms of acute disease is a sigh of health, unless the individual is not able to right itself in a reasonable amount of time.

I have two solid black cats that I rescued named Zoe and Zest. They are sisters and I cannot tell them apart. I suppose I'm going to have to figure out a way to do so so I can keep an eye on the one that needed the assistance of homeopathy to recover from her URI. She may need further attention down the road so that she may attain a higher level of health.

It is going to be a lovely weekend, the grass is getting green. Maybe I can get my act together and get some pictures of the rotten beasts.

Until later ...