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Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

If you are not a cat lover, you might want to stop reading now.  Really.  Go to another page, have a cup of coffee, ponder other things besides the digestive troubles of feline furbabies.  This may be a bit much for some of you.  I have gone back and forth about whether or not to even post about such a subject, but since so many of us have cats, I thought it might be beneficial to somebody.

Our beloved furbaby, Prissy, is a long-haired “something”.  She was abandoned when she was around 5 weeks old, and we’ve had her ever since.  She was so tiny and sick, but her personality was so sweet that she won our hearts almost immediately.  She could barely eat solid food and would fit in the palm of your hand.  She weighed just slightly over 1 pound.

That was 5 years ago.

Now PooBear tops the scales at over 10 pounds on a good day.   She is much loved, spoiled rotten, and an integral part of our family.

(Did I mention she also plays fetch with foam rings and chase like a dog?  There may be some personality disorders at work here too.    😛  )

She has always been prone to digestive troubles of various sorts.  Initially, we struggled to find food that wouldn’t cause diarrhea.  Our vet told us to go with a good quality food because there are fewer fillers and therefore less poo.  We finally settled on Iams dry food and also wet canned food to help with hairballs (plus she has a major turkey fetish).  She does have the occasional hairball, but overall she has done extremely well…until this past December.

She started vomiting several times a day, and no amount of vaseline on her paw would help pass whatever was causing the problem.  We also noticed she hadn’t had a bowel movement in 3 or 4 days.  She was nauseous and wouldn’t eat.  Alarmed, we took her to our vet who suspected she was indeed constipated.  He decided to give her a mineral oil enema and see if that relieved (pardon the pun) the problem.

Sure enough – she was constipated.  We picked up a very ticked off cat that afternoon who was appalled at the indignities she had been made to suffer at the hands of strangers.  If you don’t believe a cat can pout, you obviously do not have an indoor cat!

The vet put her on Laxatone (it coats hairballs and helps them to pass – it’s the thickest, nastiest looking stuff you can imagine) and also sent her home with an antibiotic for a few days just because of the stress her system had endured.  She absolutely hated the Laxatone.  You could put it on her paw or even smear it on her nose and it would stay there til it rotted off – she certainly wasn’t going to remove it.

We finally went back to Vaseline on her paw since the $10 tube of Laxatone wasn’t doing any good if it wasn’t inside her stomach.  The vet also recommended a Furminator brush to help remove extra hair.  I’ve been giving Priss a bath at least monthly since she was a baby, and while she doesn’t like it, she tolerates it with only some minor complaining.  I thought we had been doing a fairly good job of brushing her, but the constipation episode convinced us we had to go a step further.

The Furminator brush works wonders – if you use it correctly.  At first, I was lightly combing her hair because I was afraid of hurting her.  I finally watched a video online and realized I needed to really brush her better than what I had been doing.  The first time we used it, you would have thought we could’ve made a whole other cat from the hair we got off!  The trash can was full, and her coat gleamed.  Life was good again.

Until last week.

We have all been sick with the crud going around, and Poo didn’t get brushed as thoroughly.  She also devoured a can of turkey and cheese that she’d never sampled before.  Yep…you guessed it.  We had another round of vomiting and constipation.

Back to the vet we went.  She was slightly dehydrated, so the vet put her on an IV and ran some blood work (this was a different vet than previous).  We explained what had happened in Dec, but he wanted to be sure nothing else was going on.  Blood work came back ok, and we decided to go ahead with x-rays just to make sure there were no blockages.  Guess what?  She was full o’poop again.  Long story short – two days in the animal hospital and another enema later, we picked her up again.

Vet said to force the Laxatone down her and gave us a syringe with no needle in it.

Can a cat wallow Laxatone around in their mouth, spit it out, and manage to coat you and them in it?  Yessiree, Bob, they can.  It’s a wonder to behold at the determination of a feline NOT to do what you want.

After several failed attempts, I have learned to put the Laxatone in the syringe, scruff the cat, aim for the roof of her mouth, and pop in the Laxatone as quickly as I can manage.  Then I hold her mouth shut until she swallows it.  Hubby has watched in amazement that it works.  I told him scrubbing Laxatone off of her and everything we own gets old very quickly.

What have we learned?  An ounce of prevention is DEFINITELY worth a pound of cure.  Daily brushing with the Furminator is a must, as well as the occasional bath as long as her hair is.  I also bought a set of clippers and trimmed all of her chest/belly hair to make grooming easier.  She was offended by this at first, but was so happy to be back home, she got over it.

We’re also going to keep using the Laxatone several times a week.  It does work better than Vaseline in her case.  Also, no more turkey and cheese!

Furminator brushes are much cheaper on Ebay than from the vet or even most pet supply stores.  Your kitty, and your pocketbook, will thank you.

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