Category Archives: Cat Diseases

Pancreatitis in Pets

Have you ever heard of pancreatitis in humans? Well it happens in cats and dogs as well. And it is a condition that is extremely serious and something that you as a responsible pet owner do not want to happen to your dog or cat. The possibility that your pet could quite easily get pancreatitis is generally caused by eating the wrong foods, and holidays often are the times that a pet either willfully is given rich food or the pet sneaks bites of or maybe consumes the entire roast, turkey, or whatever meat you left on the kitchen counter or dining room table.

Now you ask. What has the food got to do with my pet? For starters- feeding your pet any of this rich food that he/she is not used to eating can lead to a (dangerous and sometimes fatal condition) if left untreated. Am I ruining your holiday mood yet? It would be awful to enjoy the day and then later in the night or the day find that your dog or cat is acting strange and perhaps actually looking sick. As in: lying around, vomiting, groaning in pain, diarrhea, weakness, decreased body temperature. Your pet might not exhibit all of those symptoms but if your dog and to a much (lesser degree cat) is showing any of these signs then get your pet to a vet or animal emergency room immediately.

In mild or minor pancreatitis the outlook for your dog or cat is good. In pets that are very sick the road to recovery is difficult and only 50% of these animals will live. According to Dr. Daniel, other veterinarians and the vet books, eating food other than what you normally feed your dog/cat is the cause of most cases of pancreatitis. Rich food such as the drippings, gravy, the meat, mashed potatoes, deserts, etc, etc. are all bad for your pet.

In little dogs it only takes a small amount of food to make the dog sick. By now some of you might be saying, “I give my pets table scraps all the time.” Perhaps your pet has just been one lucky dog not to have gotten sick. But that does not mean that at any given time in the future your animal is safe from eating table scraps. “Rich food and excessive amounts of food are the problems here.

<span style="color:#800000;In the summer of 2011, I was at Dr D's and I tagged along with her when she was called to look at a 15 year old Yorkie. Indeed the little one was sick.  Dr. D. treated the little dog on site with some emergency meds and then told the people to take the little dog to the emergency room. The Yorkie recovered but early intervention and follow up at the ER probably saved that precious little dog. Her owner had given her a small piece of barbecued rib in the morning and by 2PM the Yorkie was ill. The dog had not previously eaten fatty meat- she had only eaten DOG FOOD.

So don’t be a turkey on turkey day. Give your dog or cat only the food that it normally eats, as in dog or cat food. Even small amounts can make your pet ill.  After all, you want your pet to be around for what ever holiday you celebate or not celebrate in December and in the years to come.

Post Yvonne Daniel

Tagged , , , ,

Peritonitis in Pets

BONES-  these are  dangerous during holiday time or for that matter, anytime time you are tempted to give Rover or Fluffy that delicious looking bone that has just a  bit of meat left on it or maybe no meat. One way or the other it does not matter! DO NOT GIVE YOUR PET ANY KIND OF BONE! Cooked and/or raw bones splinter easily.  

For a pet owner what could be worse than giving your pet a bone that splintered as your dog/cat gnawed on what you deemed  a treat? And what happens to that sharp piece of bone that your pet will swallow? The nitty, gritty of this scenario is the sharp piece can become lodged in the esophagus where it remains stuck unless removed surgically. A splintered bone can pierce the stomach lining or the wall of the intestines. When this happens the contents in the stomach  or the intestines (guts) slowly begin leaking into the abdominal cavity where it immediately proceeds to set up an intense infection which then leads to sepsis meaning that the entire body of the un-lucky pet will have bacteria coursing through its body and to every vital organ. The fact is that by this time your animal will  be too ill to raise its head. This infection is- PERITONITIS.

The crux of the matter is this: when the aforementioned happens, the pet has a small window for a chance of recovery. All of this is gut wrenching( no pun intended) not only for the pet but for the owner who must make the decision for the veterinarian to go all out in an effort to save the pet. But, if money is  limited and it is, for the average person, then the other choice is euthanasia. What a way to end a lovely holiday and then every holiday there after.  The memories of your pet will be there to forever haunt you.

I read a post on another pet site several months or so, ago about how much, would you spend, in an effort to save your pet’s life -WHAT EVER CAUSED  the need for veterinarian intervention.  Saving a critically ill pet involves incredible skill plus treatment and nursing to get your pet back home. There were probably 20-25 individuals who commented on that particular post. Of all the people who commented,  at least 98%  said that no amount of money would prevent them from begging, borrowing, using a credit card, selling possessions, or even re-morgaging their home to pay the cost to give their pet a chance to live. Most wrote that they were not people of means. But they would give up all extra amenities and live as frugal as possible in order to repay the money, however the money was obtained.

Do you think it is okay to feed table scraps and or bones to your dog or cat?

Next post: how to keep your pet from escaping from your property when everybody is celebrating and your home is like grand central station.

Post Yvonne   November 4,2012                                                Original post November 22,2011

Tagged , , , , ,

Importance of Dental Care (for a longer life of your pet)

Yawning dog (Muddy) showing his teeth

Yawning dog (Muddy) showing his teeth

Dentals are important to extend the life of your pet. Brushing your pet’s teeth is excellent but I have yet to meet anyone that can actually brush their pet’s teeth.

The key to that is to start when you pet is a kitten or a puppy. And of course if you can brush the teeth then you will avoid dental care by a veterinarian.

The summer of 2011 I put out a lot of money for dentals on about 12 cats. Currently there are more that need dentals. I am waiting for my $$ to build back up. Even though I have used the same veterinarian for about 30 years I had to pay when he  finished with an animal. I have probably spent- well I don’t want to think about it- HEAPS of money at that clinic. Many moons ago, I was getting a pretty good discount. But then that all fell by the wayside.

In August of this year (2012) I changed vets. (finally)  I found a very smart veterinarian who gives my animals a complete exam and weighs options of what to use as the best medication for x disease or illness. He is compassionate and has 2-3 vet techs working at all times. My daughter told me that having adequate clinic staffing is generally the sign of a good vet. I think she is right. I just wish that I had changed vets a long time ago.

My new veterinarian does great dentals and uses the safest possible anesthesia. He removed a small benign tumor on one of my cats and he “threw in a dental” with no extra charge. I was most appreciative. I know that he is glad to have me as a client and it never hurts to do a “little something” extra for a good paying client.

Post and photograph:  Yvonne



Tagged , ,

Rodent (sore) Ulcer of Cat’s Lip and Mouth


Photos were taken 2011


 Meri is now about 13 years old. Her exact age is just a guess since she was found by a wonderful lover of animals. Meri was hit by a car and was found  lying in the gutter next to the curb. She was in a coma due to head trauma and her recovery was long and difficult. Meri’s story, I think, is interesting and heart touching. Meri is one of my favorite cats. Her little buddy is not far behind, as one of my favorites, also.
Meri has been my cat since 2001 and was blind when I agreed to give her a home. She came to me with her younger buddy, a little brown female tabby named Baby. These two cats were and continue  as  good friends.
About a year ago I noted that Meri’s upper lip was swelling. I took her to the vet and told antibiotics would take care of the problem. The sore place grew in size and at its worse stage bled several times. I switched her to soft food and began giving her steroid injections which only seemed to make her sick.  She sneezed and had a runny nose so the dexamethasone was discontinued.  It caused her immune system to weaken ( apparently). I then was told to start her on another antibiotic which for a time seemed to reduce the ulcer in size. In the meantime I read about lip ulcers in cats and according to literature it appeared that several things could be causing the problem. 
In the spring of this year I was able to look in her mouth and saw that a front canine nearest the ulcer was broken. I then decided that maybe part of her problem was bad teeth especially a broken tooth which was rubbing on the inside of her upper lip. My vet pulled the chipped tooth and cleaned the rest of her teeth. Per dental protocol dogs and cats are given on an antibiotic following invasive dental procedures. Lots of  various kinds of bacteria are unleashed and the toxins migrate to vital organs via the blood vessels. 
I decided to use clindamycin injectable (it kills anaerobes bacteria) and I also gave her Benadryl  sub cu each time I gave the clindamycin. These meds were given for about 2 weeks. I also decided to switch her food to Purina EN (it did not smell like a dead cow) and the nuggets were small.) I began bathing her in Betadine scrub which kills ear mites.  That was followed by KetoHex which is an antiseptic and antifungal shampoo that my daughter had ordered for me. After about 3 baths, the Purina EN, and the round of clindamycin and benadryl, the swelling of the upper lip began to recede. 
I am  convinced that the combination of these treatments and medications helped  her lip and mouth to heal. 
The common non medical name for this condition was called rodent ulcer many many years ago. According to history, people of long ago believed the cat acquired an ulcer from eating rodents. Hence the name rodent ulcer. The actual name is eosinophilic granuloma but I call it, the monster from hell.
Meri as of this year looks even better. In the slide show pics she still has a bit of crud on her chin and a small amount of nasal discharge. Presently she has been doing very well.
Post and photographs  Yvonne


Tagged , , , ,

Loving Your Cat to Death- Obesity and Diabetes in Cats

The vet’s obese cat          June, 2011

 Post written by my daughter, the veterinarian                       Original posting  November, 2011

Bonnie and Phil are an awesome couple in their mid-40s who moved to my neighborhood several years ago. They are without human children, but have two furry kids. One is Merlin, a giant fuzzball of love. He is a beautiful rescued Old English Sheep Dog with a wonderful personality. He is sweet, fun, lovable, and a great patient. (This leads me to remind readers that if you want a pure bred dog,  you can get one that just needs a loving home and help alleviate the problem of millions of unwanted animals). Bonnie and Phil’s other pet is a cat named Chaos that I had not seen as a patient before. I had seen Chaos out of the corner of my eye during a house call to see Merlin. Chaos is a calico cat with quite a reputation for causing chaos during vet visits. This beauty is an indoor cat only and I commend her owners for not allowing her to go outdoors. 

I will digress here just a bit. The great outdoors is fraught with danger for any cat. Coyotes, bob cats, fox, cougars, stray dogs, and  (possibly evil neighbors) are an ever present danger.  Living in the city or suburbs does not mean your pet is safe from these predators. Getting into a fight with another cat or hit by a car are other real possibilities that will shorten your pet’s life.  

This kitty’s owners were not aware of the importance of an annual physical exam by a vet. Until they heard about me, Bonnie and Phil were not aware that a house call visit was just a phone call away.  Honestly I can’t blame them for not taking their rather fractious cat for an annual exam, but not getting an annual exam can lead to some serious diseases being overlooked.

Phil called me because Chaos had been urinating outside of the litter box, which was out of character for her. I instructed the owners how to collect a urine sample. When  Missy (my tech) and I got to their house the first thing we did was check the urine specimen with a dipstick to look for blood, bilirubin, ketones, etc.  We put the urine on the stick and we all watched the strip turn from a lovely blue (negative) for glucose (sugar) to a very dark brown color which  indicated Chaos was spilling 4 plus glucose in her urine. I immediately knew that we needed to get a blood sample to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes. The presence of glucose in the urine and also an elevated blood glucose level is the indicator of diabetes. Chaos, like many calico cats I’ve seen proved difficult to handle. We sedated her and drew blood samples for full panel testing to go to Idexx laboratory. Venipuncture (puncturing a vein with a needle) was quite a challenge with this cat, but with the help of my awesome cat wrangler Missy, I was able to obtain enough blood for a complete work-up. 

The real CRUX of this story is that Chaos is extremely obese. She is actually morbidly obese and weighs a whopping 14 pounds. She should weigh about 8-9 pounds. Obesity causes INSULIN RESISTANCE and that is why Chaos has diabetes. Bonnie and Phil adore their pets and were only trying to do the best for them. Symptoms of diabetes include increased hunger and thirst, extreme appetite,  and some cats will begin to urinate outside the litter box. Finding unusually large clumps of clay in the box indicates a large amount of urine and drinking an excessive amount of water is also a symptom.  Some cats will  drink out of the toilet or from the bathroom faucets because they are so thirsty. Many of them will have a wet chin most of the time because they are always at the water bowl.
Chaos was  constantly hungry -the owners simply fell into the trap of over feeding her. Cats gain weight slowly over time and it really sneaks up on you.

Bonnie and Phil did not realize that obesity in cats can lead to such serious problems. So please,  if your cat is overweight,  see you vet for a prescription weight loss diet and feeding guide. Your vet will tell you how much food to feed and your cat will lose weight slowly over 1-2 years. INDOOR cats are very sedentary and need to be encouraged to play and execise.  A simple toy made of feathers on  a stick will entice your cat to jump and play. I have a food loving cat and I run all over the house with her can of Purina OM (RX diet cat food), banging on the can with a spoon and calling “Kit Kat!! Dinner time!!!” She loves to eat and runs behind me meowing for several laps around the house before I feed her. I am sure I look completely silly, but in this way, Kit Kat gets some exercise. 
Chaos will now need to eat prescription food for diabetic cats. There are several choices including Hill’s M/D Metabolic Diet for diabetics. It is high protein, low carb,  and low fat so that she can lose weight and keep stable blood sugar levels through out the day. She will now also need injectable insulin twice a day. There are several forms of insulin to chose from, but I like Glargine, which is a long acting insulin. We will start her on a low dose and then proceed from there according to her glucose levels.  The story of getting Chaos back on the road to health is just beginning.  

Kit Kat a few pounds lighter   September,2012

 Dr. D. DVM       Photographs:  Yvonne   


Tagged , , , , , ,

(FIV) Immunodeficiency In Cats (click photos to enlarge)


Bailey (FIV +) weighs 14 lbs

Bailey enjoys the completely enclosed outdoor run.


Feline Immunodeficiency is a disease that affects cats only. HIV in humans is a different disease.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A FIV vaccine is available which most vets  generally do not use for a variety of reasons. You can read about the vaccine on Google which I think is the best tool/search engine for finding just about anything.  I have not used the vaccine on any of my cats simply because I do not allow my cats the freedom of the outdoors. At sometime or the other I will write about the good/ the bad, and the ugly of allowing a cat indoor/outdoor or whatever.

Unneutered males and outdoor cats are at risk of acquiring FIV. Your veterinarian should be able to suggest vaccination or not. Transmission through a bite wound from an infected cat is the means that almost all cats acquire the disease. Cats that are allowed outdoors are more likely to fight with other cats. Keeping your cat safe indoors will protect your furry friend from other diseases and hazards as well. Mother cats can transmit the disease to her kittens at the time of birth or through breast milk.  (In cats).

This is important:  if you are bringing a first time cat into your home or adding a cat/s it is prudent to get your cat/s combo tested for feline leukemia and FIV. The test will not break the bank.  

There are new treatment options that can extend the life of your cat should he/she become ill. If you have a FIV cat- make a comment if you would like info on how to keep you cat healthy. I have used a variety of things to help keep my FIV cats healthy. When any of them have become ill the cat was treated with medication plus other additional things to help boost their immune system.

 This past year one of my FIV positive cats died at the age of 14. That is pretty good considering he remained robust up until the last year of his life. I did not allow him to  mingle with my other cats.  Presently I have 4 cats that are FIV positive. These cats have their own space where they can move about freely in the sun or shade. They are protected from the elements with AC in summer and  heat lamps in the winter. They are robust and appear healthy. And they all love to eat- too much.

FIV  Part II  (I’ll write about some methods of  treatment.)  Above is a pic of Baily, a FIV positive cat. He arrived at our house as a stray.  He had been neutered at some point in his life prior to finding his way to our home. I took him to my vet for combo testing after trapping this very wary cat. Currently he is healthy, robust, sweet, and now very tame.

Post and photographs: Yvonne 


Tagged , , ,

His-to-plas-mo-sis: Update of Relapse of Josie The Cat 1/28/2012 11:25pm


Josie (L) grooming Coley (R)
Josie grooming Bobbie who is loving the the ear wash
Josie (black and white cat) grooming Bobbie

That old saying that patience is virtue seems to ring true for me, many times. Josie became acutely ill almost over night. But for the medication to kick in does not happen overnight. Itraconozole must build up in the blood stream and it takes ABOUT 3-4 WEEKS for that to happen. Simply put, it must reach a certain saturation point before it begins killing the fungus that is primarily wrecking havoc in her lungs and spleen.  

Thankfully, this past week Josie’s breathing became much easier. As of today she does not appear to be laboring to breathe. About mid-week she was on a grooming kick. I watched her groom 2 cats- first washing the little black cat that is in renal failure and then the older Manx cat that had not been doing well for several months. 

Josie really went to town on both cats and I took a few pics as she groomed. The two cats that she groomed seemed to enjoy their “bath.” Rarely have I seen Josie grooming other cats.

Josie grooming the other cats I am taking as a good sign that her health is improving. She remains on Itraconozole 0.8 ml once daily and I generally give her 75-100ml of Ringer’s Lactate subcutaneously once daily.

I place the bag of fluids in a stainless steel bucket in the kitchen sink and let it stand in hot water for about 5 minutes, depending on how much fluid is left in the bag. I test the liquid on my inner arm in the same manner that one checks a baby’s formula for the right temperature. The same IV tubing is left in the bag and the needle changed with a sterile one for each cat that is getting fluids. The same IV tubing can be reused for about a week if I am careful not to contaminate either end of the tubing when it is being changed and inserted into another bag.

I generally have 2-4 animals on sub cu fluids at any given time so I must economize and not be wasteful. I will add here that this kind of economy is not practiced in a hospital or nursing home. Protocol for humans and animals is quite different for some things but also similar in other ways.

Josie is now about 14 years. I am very thankful that she is living a fairly normal life albeit some bumps in the road. To say that I am fond of Josie is putting it mildly. She is a wonderful trooper, easy to medicate, and never mean. Any nurse would be thrilled to have all their human patients as nice as my little cat. 

Post and photographs Yvonne

Tagged , ,

Feline Leukemia (final input of info) January 18, 2012 12:24am

Since there are so many ifs, ands, or maybes, I am still trying to condense the information about feline leukemia. So I am taking a different approach. 

What is feline leukemia?  This disease is caused by a retrovirus. It is most times fatal if the cat is not able to “throw off the virus. It is not transmitted to humans. Only domestic and wild cats acquire the disease.

How is feline leukemia transmitted? It is transmitted through saliva via mutual grooming, water and food dishes, litter boxes, and bites. It is said to live outside the body for only 2 hours. It is also believed that cats become infected only after prolonged contact. 

What age are cats most susceptible to the disease?  Studies have shown that cats generally get the disease either from the mother cat at the time of birth or will contact the disease when under the age of two if exposed to a carrier of the virus (the contagious cat can be either already sick with the disease or be a carrier ( having “thrown off the effects of the illness but the virus is still living somewhere in the body).

Are there variables of which cat lives and which cat will succumb to the disease?  I read many articles by veterinarians and researchers. It seems the consensus is that it depends on the immune system of the young cat and how well it works for any given cat. Most cats are very susceptible to the disease under the age of 4 to 8 months.

Is there a vaccine for the disease?  There is a vaccine that is considered about 90% effective. My thinking is that the over all health of a young cat would depend upon whether the cat was strong enough to build up a resistance after being vaccinated. (Those are just my thoughts).

What should you do if you already have a cat/s in the house and you want to bring another cat into the mix?  Ask your veterinarian to run a combo test which requires a blood draw. This test will allow the vet to read the test to see if your cat has either feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). The FIV virus is also a retrovirus and can produce symptoms of the disease similar to feline leukemia. The difference is that many cats can live a normal life span with FIV for it responds to treatment in a positive manner, as a rule. Keeping your cat healthy if it is positive for FIV will pretty much assure that your cat can lead a healthy life if kept stress free and provided with good nutrition, etc. A cat that becomes will with feline leukemia has a slim chance of making it through the illness. Actually rare if the cat really becomes ill.

Are there false positives and false negatives with the combo test?  Yes, sad but true, so if you want to be doubly sure it is best to wait several months ( your vet will tell you when to retest). If this happens, my best suggestion is to keep the cat separate from the other cats. This may be difficult for the average person but it can be done. In the past I had to isolate several cats that were positive for feline leukemia.  (They died within a short time. There were no treatment options to prolong their life way back when. They were already beginning to show signs of being ill with the disease when they turned up as strays. About 8 years ago I acquired 2 kittens that tested positive for FIV and I have continued to keep them in a large cage and then let them out with supervision in my animal barn.  The building is 15×30 with windows, double door entry, insulated, a stained concrete floor, a very large escape proof run and contains special large cages for sick cats). I have spent lots of hard earned money on my cat rescues. I could not place these animals for it is a rare soul that will take on a diseased cat or dog.

Are there medications and treatments for feline leukemia.?  There are several medications/treatments that can buy the cat some time and in some cases the virus produces antibodies which will either cure the disease or keep in reined in. Sometimes the virus is completely eliminated from the system but it is also possible that the cat can become ill with feline leukemia as an older cat. I had a cat that lived to be 11-12 years old and that had tested negative when I rescued her from near starvation. She had been living near a dumpster at a church. She was healthy all those years and then one day she would not eat and began losing weight within a matter of days. It was hard for me to digest the fact that she tested positive for feline leukemia after all those years ( she was negative as a kitten of about 8 months of age).

What medications/ treatments might help prolong my cat’s life if it should become ill?  There are human meds such as interferon, steroids, antibiotics, and a few other immune system stimulators. You can research these on the Internet to get in depth information. Vitamins, blood transfusions, and even chemotherapy ( if the virus has caused lymphosarcoma.) The chemo is quite expensive and the average person will not go that far in an effort to save their cat. The speciality hospitals will give you the odds and help you make a decision that you can afford and can live with. 

For more information read articles on the Internet that have been written by veterinarians. You will be shaking your head by the time you finish reading some of them. To put it mildly, this disease is a real BITCH from hell.

Post:  Yvonne


Tagged , , , , , ,

Histoplasmosis: A Deadly Disease in Cats and Dogs. (Click image to enlarge) Posted 10/27/2011

Josie Age: 13 yr


 His-to-plas-mo-sis ————-A fungal disease.   

About 13 years ago my daughter returned home from a neighbor’s Christmas party. She had met a woman who said that her neighbor had a family of feral cats that she wanted someone to trap. After hearing the story I called the people to tell them that I would trap the cats for them if they were willing to pay for the spays and or neuters and vaccinations of the cats.             

So I set out two traps and within days I had trapped the mother cat and three kittens. My vet could not immediately do the spay/neuters and I had to keep the cats in special cages for several days. During that time I noticed that the long haired black and white kitten was smaller and not nearly as perky as her litter mates. I took the mother cat and the two healthy kittens to my vet who spayed the mother and a female kitten and neutered a male kitten. I returned the cats to the people but kept the little black and white one that did not appear healthy. I put her in a larger cage in a spare bedroom where I began feeding her high quality cat food. Her appetite was poor and she seemed lethargic. In addition her breathing pattern was rapid. Within the time span of a weekend her condition went from what I considered puny to very ill.       

On Monday she refused to eat. Her respirations were quite rapid and shallow. I was extremely distressed and by the time my vet, Dr. M. saw her mid-morning I was afraid she was going to die. Dr. M. did a thorough exam, drew some blood, and then took some x-rays. He told me that her white count was high, the spleen enlarged, and that her lungs had some type of infection. He had never seen a young cat with what he called a peculiar looking x-ray.  He could not discern the pattern but he had every intention of finding out what was wrong with the little cat. He prescribed amoxicillin  drops and a liquid vitamin with iron. I was instructed to wait about two hours between the two medications because the iron would interfere with the absorption of the amoxicillin (a type of penicillin).       

The next day Dr. M. called me at home and asked me to come to the clinic so that he could show me the x rays and explain Josie’s illness.  I drove the 4 miles to the clinic expecting something really dreadful. Dr. M. had one of the x rays on the screen. He pointed to her spleen and then said,”I spent a couple of hours or more last night going through this book” which he pointed to on the counter. “It is my go to book when I have something that I don’t know.” He then went on to explain that Josie’s x ray matched exactly, the photo in the book of a cat with histoplasmosis. I then said, ” are you saying that animals get the same disease as humans?” And of course his answer was “yes”,indeed cats and dogs get “histo” which is a fungal disease that is mainly found in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys- where it is very humid and of course that is exactly where the fungus thrives in areas that have long periods of rain and humidity. (There has been an increase in the number of cats and dogs diagnosed with this disease in recent years. Veterinarians have become more aware of the disease via seminars, journals, or are grads from vet school the past 20 years or so.) I knew that Josie had been born and raised in pile of wood and debris near a creek so that explained her exposure to the fungus.         

As we were talking I literally had begun wringing my hands for I feared the worst possible outcome. However, Dr. M said he had good news- the disease was treatable but that it would take at least 2-3 weeks before she would begin to show improvement. “The medication is going to be in liquid form and I have called a pharmacy that knows how to compound.” Dr. M. also told me to force feed her if she refused to eat.       

The medication is called itraconazole (a human medication that is compounded into liquid form) and she would receive her dosage which he had calculated on Josie’s weight. The med was ready the next day and it was not cheap. But 13 years years ago it was around $45 for a two months supply. Itraconazole is an anti-fungal medication. It is available in oral capsule for humans or turned into liquid form so that a precise dosage can be given to a pet. The med is prepared flavored with tuna or chicken at the pet owner’s request.      

The road to controlling this disease in Josie was extremely rough for about 3-4 weeks. I kept Josie in a large cage since she was still semi- feral and very ill as well. I need to make it clear that histoplasmosis is not contagious; it is not transmittable animal to animal or animal to human and vice versa.              

Post by: Yvonne Daniel       Photograph by: Yvonne Daniel

Relapse of His-to-plas-mosis (December 28, 2011 12:10am)

I’ve been on pins and needles for about 9 days since my cat Josie relapsed with the fungus from hell.  Josie was 5 months old when she was initially diagnosed with the the disease. I wrote an earlier post about histoplasmosis and you can read all about it there. I’ve been very afraid that it could take her out. One day she was okay and the next she was breathing with significant difficulty. Dr D. called a script to a compounding pharmacy so she has been on the actual liquid Itraconazole for 7 days. I had one emergency capsule that I emptied onto a plate and then just divided the little beads into what could roughly pass for 1/3 of the total amount in the capsule. I then used a pat of real butter to pick up the tiny granules and then carefully transferred that over to the back of her mouth. She is easy to medicate since taking medication  every few years to knock down the histo. (It is never completely gone. Little bits of the fungus live in some of the cells in the body. I have kept her on Itraconozole for as long as 1 and 1/2 years each time that she relapses. Dr D. told me to keep her on it  all the time but I wanted to give her liver a rest and her lungs were clear in the spring of this year ( via x-ray by my vet) here in my town. Anyway to get on with the story she has improved but still has rapid respirations which are not as labored. 

I will keep her on the med from now on and get some blood tests for her to make sure her liver is okay about every 4 months. I am always afraid that the med is not going to work for it takes about 2-3 weeks for it to reach saturation point.  (other antifungal meds are available) When Josie became ill last week she weighed 10 pounds but she is down to eight pounds now.  But I am still giving her 1ml of the medication. If she loses more weight I will need to call Dr. D for an adjusted dose. This disease really takes a toll on the animal. Josie is eating fair with the help of B12 and B complex which I have given subcu (under the skin and between the shoulder blades) once since she became ill. She is due for another B12 tomorrow.

For the secondary infection in her lungs I am giving her Baytrill (enrofloxacin) which is a potent antibiotic and a med that is used for humans as well. Both meds are given once daily.

I will post updates every few days.   In addition to the above: she is grooming herself and that is a good sign that she has improved some.

Post and photographs Yvonne Daniel

Tagged , , , ,

Future Posts: Feline Infectious Peritonitis and Feline Leukemia

 I am still working on a post re: cat diseases. Dr. D asked me to write about Feline Leukemia and Feline Infectious Peritonitis. I have begun writing about each of these deadly diseases. She told me to make these short and I have great difficulty with brevity. These diseases are so depressing that I don’t have the “git up and go” to finish them.  FIP is fatal. Feline Leukemia is generally a killer also although there are some treatments that can buy the cat some time. Either way these diseases are depressing to write about. Many years ago, I lost several cats to Feline Leukemia. That was before the vaccine for that disease was available. The cats were all strays that had found their way to our house. All had been neutered or spayed and vaccinated for other cat diseases. Now there is a vaccine that is about 90% effective for Feline Leukemia. There is also a vaccine for FIP but debate is still on-going re: its efficacy.    

Post Yvonne Daniel

Tagged , , ,

Addie: Update July 14, 2011 (Post Op Day 22)


Addie July 12,2011 (POST OP DAY 21)


Addie July 12, 2011 Post op day 21

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Up Date in line mastectomy  Day21 (post op) 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Addie at this time appears to have reached a plateau or so it seems.  Her appetite is not back to where it was prior to surgery but perhaps getting back to “normal” any sooner might be rushing things. Addie prefers Fancy Feast Supreme Yellow tuna fish. She eats about 2/3 of a can once daily and then nibbles on  a mix of Science Diet, Purina One, and Purina EN which is a prescription diet. I can’t afford just Science Diet nor the EN so I make my own blend. I have offered Addie just Science Diet Original but she seems to prefer the 3 brand mix.  

My little cat moves freely about the house and as before she loves anything that is high so she has been taking long naps on top of my TV cabinet where she can grab some sun rays in the mornings.  

Dr. Steven Kerpsack’s nurse called today to get a report of how well she is recuperating. It was suggested that I take her in for chest films and an overall thorough exam. If a mass is present I don’t believe there is anything more that can be done. She is not a candidate for one chemo drug due to her heart murmur and I don’t know about the rest of the drugs. Frankly, I do not believe that Addie would survive even one chemo treatment and I have no idea if radiation is an option.  This thing from hell almost always makes a bee-line to the lungs and once it finds its secondary resting place then I think things are down hill all the way from there.  Dr. Lisa Daniel has been one of her primary veterinarians for quite a while so she will be investigating the options for Addie should the need arise.  

I treasure each day that I have Addie in my life and can only hope and pray that my prayers will be answered for Addie to live at least several more years.  

Post: Yvonne Daniel     Photographs: Yvonne Daniel  


Tagged , ,