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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Southeastern Wisconsin
Home country: USA
Current location: Waukesha County/Greater Milwaukee area
Member since: Fri Nov 19, 2004, 07:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,548

About Me

A Democrat living in a Republican stronghold.

Journal Archives

Skin allergy in my cat

My 13 year old tabby has been scratching her head between eyes and ears and making it raw. Went to the vet with her yesterday and was persuaded to have her given a corticosteroid shot. This is supposed to relieve the itching and allergic reaction in a day or two. But I am very concerned about giving too many steroids and don't want to continue it long term.

Other options would be oral steroid medication, working down to a pill every other day. I've also read that antihistimines can do some good?

Still wondering about the cause: might be seasonal pollens: she's an indoor cat but twice recently we went outside with her and let her roll in the grass. She also is a chronic herpesvirus sufferer, and has had an outbreak in her eyes the last few weeks (red and swollen) which I've treated with antibiotic eye ointment and the eyes are looking better. Steroids suppress the immune system, which might be really bad for her herpes resistance. So we want to suppress the immune system because of allergic reaction, and then encourage it to resist the virus! Oh dear.

The vet discussed a hypoallergenic diet that we could try, involving eight weeks on nothing but the special food (Hills Z/D.) I will see what happens to her symptoms before going there. The shot should last several weeks and she is going to be rechecked in mid-July. If it is only spring pollens, we will only have to treat for a few weeks during the year.

Just wondering what others have been through with allergies. Could the eye thing have been allergy related rather than, or on top of the herpes symptoms? She has been itchy and miserable and has spent more time hiding under the bed, poor kitty. But today she's out in her normal sleeping spot, which is encouraging!

Fosters at two months

Highlights of a typical day with two month old kittens!

Eight week portraits!

My fosters are eight weeks old and will be going back to the shelter soon, so I tried to take some nice pictures of each. Depending on how many they want of if they want the group to be together or split up, some might go back on Wednesday.






Foster kittens at seven weeks

Exploring the front porch:

So tired!

Saturday with the fosters

They had their six week boosters at the shelter this morning and are happy to be home and having a long nap. So I'll catch up on some photos .

Three weeks old:

Four weeks old:

Are you lookin' at us?

We luvs our sheepskin bed!

May 13, just about six weeks old. Getting long legs and very active. But so hard to take a good photo when they are running around at top speed!

May 13 sleeping in the kitten tree in the kitchen, which they can climb into all by themselves.

Foster kitty video at last--

Getting used to our new Mac--like where the heck did the files go--but here it is. This was done about a week ago when they were four to four and a half weeks old.

fosters almost four weeks old

Update: they still are on the bottle, but I'm introducing wet food mixed with a little formula a few times a day. A couple of them will lick the food off a spoon. Meanwhile, feeding has gotten downright dangerous! While I am feeding one on my lap, the other ones will climb up my pants leg and start fighting with the eating one--tooth and nail, literally, with my hand in the middle of the fight. Even though I've worn a cotton glove for these feedings, this will not do! I've started removing each kitten to another room to feed them alone. Hopefully soon they will be eating out of a dish exclusively.

Litter box training is complete! That saves a lot of time! With kittens it is so simple: put out a tray with litter in it and they will use it. Prime it with a used urine soaked cotton ball and that's all they need!

Getting very cute! But hard to take their pictures because they move so fast!

It's kitten season!

Kittens are being born now, starting at the beginning of April here in Wisconsin. My new fosters were born maybe around the 3rd or 6th of this month. Were taken from their feral mom by a lady who was concerned that her dogs would kill them like they had another litter. Anyway, I'm fostering them for my shelter. They are three weeks old and still on the bottle five times in every 24 hours. In a few days I'll start to introduce some wet food. I noticed that they've got their baby teeth in, now!

All are females: one is a tuxedo and the rest are black, some with little white belly patches and white throat stars. Some have white hairs on their back legs. This will be the only way to tell them apart!

what I learned about "kitty-colds"

My foster kittens had sore eyes (red and crusty, with the third eyelid showing) and sneezy noses, and the shelter had me treat them with antibiotic ointments and oral medications. I understand that it helps kittens get over these things, even though they are viral and an antibiotic doesn't treat viruses. It may lessen the illness or shorten it in a kitten. They were still sick for five weeks, though, so maybe it didn't shorten anything, just prevented it from being more serious. The last eyedrop we finally tried was an anti-viral and that seems to be what cleared it up.

A few weeks into this, my adult cat caught it and he, too developed sore eyes, and later a little sneezing and coughing. I treated him with some of the same antibiotic ointments and he still had the sore eyes after two weeks. So we paid a visit to the vet today. He has been lower in energy than usual, sleeping on my lap more and playing less, but still eating and otherwise normal.

Well, the vet said that since it is a virus we just need to wait it out. It can take several weeks, unlike one of our human colds that usually lasts ten days or so. So not to worry, his temperature was normal and no secondary infection. If he does get worse and stops eating, then that would be time to try an antibiotic because then it would be very likely that there was a secondary infection.

So now I know that if a healthy young adult cat gets one of these things, but still is eating and acting more or less normal, that you really don't need to do anything but wait it out. It's different than for a young kitten, and different from a human cold which doesn't last that long. I asked her how long it should last and she said, "As long as it takes."

She also said there is little you can do to prevent the germs going everywhere, and that it is "in the air". Maybe a strict quarantine in one room would have prevented it. But my kitty loves kittens and plays with them like he is one of their brothers, wrestling and napping with them-- it's easy to see how he got sick! I didn't know eye infections were that contagious.

I'm hoping this information will save some of you a needless trip to the vet! Next time I will know to do differently.

Here's Eddie with one of "his" kittens:

August Fosters

This is the third litter I've fostered this season: I got them just over a week ago, and they are about six weeks old now, and are on their own with no mom. These guys are living in my laundry room and half of the kitchen; when I have younger kittens, I like to have them close at hand, not upstairs in the guest room. There are two black and two tabbies:

Front left is Ladybug, front right is Rosa. Bindi is in the back. She's the most vocal--looks at me and gives a silent meow.

Ross, the only male.

Bindi. I can tell them apart because Ladybug's got a smaller face with little bug eyes, and lots more spots on her belly.

Needless to say, lots of fun and games with four! They are all super friendly and sweet, not shy like the last litter. Makes such a difference.
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