Archive for April, 2012

Peachy the Cat, Part Two

April 28, 2012

You folks might remember Peachy the Cat?  He’s a soft feral cat that I relocated from another colony that was in danger of being euthanized. 

Anyway, the Peach lives behind the grooming business that Sugar owns.  That’s the very same business where the BabyBoy is the groomer.  Sugar was worried that Peachy didn’t have shelter, so he took a large dog crate, removed the door, and made the crate all homey by using hay for bedding.  He checked the bedding one day and found that the rains had entered the sides of the crate through the ventilation slots, and now the hay was wet.  So he took plastic and duct-taped it over the openings after he replaced the hay. 

We would see Peach sitting on top of the crate, and Sugar decided that Peach needed a better perch, so he took a bit of plywood and made a dandy platform. 

One evening we met at the grooming business to walk the rescue dogs that live there, with the intention that a trained dog is a more adoptable dog, and we saw Peach on his perch.

Once again, I take photos out the window of the car. I have perfectly good reasons for not getting out of the car. The motion and noise of the car door opening startles the animals and ruins the shot.

And plus, I'm basically lazy.


Phone Call of the Week

April 27, 2012

You probably know that I work for a veterinarian’s office, and many days I spend my time at the front desk.  I now present:  The Phone Call of the Week.


(Phone ringing)

YoursTruly:  Thank you for calling Dr. Doofus’s office.  This is ruthrawls.

Caller:  I’d like to make an appointment for my dog to get a rabies shot.

YoursTruly:  If you are interested, we have a low-cost clinic every Wednesday afternoon by appointment.  A rabies shot will be $7.00.

Caller:  OK, how much will it cost?

YoursTruly:  It. Will. Cost. Seven. Dollars.

Caller:  OK, do I need an appointment?

YoursTruly:  Yes.  Ma’am.  Youneedanappointment.

Caller:  OK, I’d like to bring my dog in next Wednesday.

YoursTruly:  I’m sorry, next Wednesday afternoon is full, but we can go forward to the following Wednesday, or, if you’d like, you can bring your dog sooner but the rabies vaccination will be full price and there will be a charge for an office visit attached to it.

Caller:  But I need to get my dog in before the end of April.

YoursTruly:  (silence)

YoursTruly:  Ma’am, the last Wednesday in April has already passed.  There are no more Wednesdays left in April.

Caller:  But the sign said every Wednesday in April.

YoursTruly:  (silence)

YoursTruly:  I’m not sure what sign you are referring to, but we have been having a low-cost vaccination clinic every Wednesday afternoon from 2-5 since last July.

Caller:  There’s a sign at Harvey’s.

YoursTruly:  OK, well, I’ll check on the sign at Harvey’s, but I can assure you that it’s every Wednesday from 2-5 by appointment, and there are no more Wednesdays left in April.  Would you like to make an appointment for May 9?

Caller:  Yes, I would.

YoursTruly:  Here are the times I have available (and I rattle off a list of available times).

Caller:  (aside to someone else)  Mama, do you want 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, 4:15, 4:30, or 4:45?

Mama:  It don’t matter to me.  It’s your dog.

Caller:  We’ll take 3:15.

YoursTruly:  OK, may I have your last name please?

Caller:  Put it under Wade but it’s my mama’s dog now.

YoursTruly:  May I have your mother’s first name please?

Caller:  Bonnie.

YoursTruly:  What’s the dog’s name, please?

Caller:  Lady Rose.

YoursTruly:  OK, your mother  has an appointment for Wednesday, May 9th, at 3:15, for Bonnie Wade and “Lady Rose”.

Caller:  That’s not my mama’s name.

YoursTruly:  I thought you said put it under Bonnie Wade.

Caller:  *MY* last name is Wade, and it’s my dog, but my mama has it now.

YoursTruly:  (mental deep breath)  We need to record the dog’s name under the person that has the dog, so that if the animal control officer comes around and checks the rabies vaccination and rabies certificate, everything matches.

Caller:  Oh, that won’t happen.  Our dogs is inside.

YoursTruly:   May I have your mother’s name, please?

Caller:  Her name is Bonnie Cook.

YoursTruly:  Ok, I’ve got your appointment down for Wednesday, May 9th, at 3:15.  If anything changes, please call us.

Caller:  OK.  Thank you.

YoursTruly:  Good-bye.

One minute later, the phone rings, and I can tell from the caller ID that she’s calling back…

YoursTruly:  (deep breath)

Precious Paisley the Problem Cat, Final Chapter

April 24, 2012

Paisley went to the vet yesterday for observation.

Sugar and I were concerned that her motor skills and behavior had changed.  She still continued to pee and poop in and out of the litter box, in spite of the high-powered antibiotic, which usually makes a dent in a urinary tract infection.

Her behavior was so erratic that I made two short youtube videos two evenings ago, which can be seen here and here.  She was clearly declining, but why?  The vet had no clear answers.

Paisley had presented with one basic issue:  inappropriate litterbox habits, which usually means not urinating in the box, but with Paisley the issue was bigger than that.  She would not consistently use the litterbox for either urination or defecation.  A secondary issue was a flea infestation, and I thought once the fleas were resolved, the litterbox issue would resolve.  A third issue was severe skin allergies to flea bites.  It seemed clear to me that the underlying cause of her issues were flea-related.

We did these things for Paisley:

  • A flea bath (following the CapStar that was given at the shelter).
  • A test for feline aids and feline leukemia, both negative.
  • A rabies vaccination.
  • An FVRCP vaccination.
  • A leukemia vaccination.
  • An AdvantageMulti flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite monthly prevention.
  • A Profender treatment to kill tapeworms (fleas are the intermediate host).
  • A professional exam.
  • A CBC (complete blood count).
  • A GHP (general health profile blood test).
  • Urinary health food.
  • A urinalysis (showed an infection of unknown source).
  • A pH test (normal).
  • A round of Baytril, an antibiotic.

Also included was constant monitoring and cleaning-up-after, brushing, petting, and general running and fetching for the Paisley.  Her beds were soaked with urine and sometimes feces, even though she might have also used the litterbox. 

We could have opted for an x-ray, and then possible surgery if she had stones, or a possible ultrasound if stones were not apparent, but.  Her behavior seemed neurological, and she seemed miserable.  The veterinary professionals could offer no clear path, but rather one of trial and error. 

What if she had a brain tumor or neurological disorder?  We opted to let her go. 

Good night, sweet Paisley. 


Precious Pisser the Problem Cat, Part 5

April 22, 2012

So after about a week of the ceremony of getting a dose of Baytril into the Paisley, Sugar’s BabyDaughter presented us with a super-duper, handy-dandy pill-popper.  I wrapped Piss Pais into the kitty burrito again, and the BabyDaughter poppered the entire 22.7mg Baytril into the cat’s mouse and down her gullet.  It was awesome to watch.  No foaming of the mouth or head-slinging involved.  At.  All.

The next day, on Saturday, April 21, 2012, Paisley started a new behavior.  She swished her tail violently from side-to-side and stamped her back feet.  It wasn’t seizure-like, but it did seem uncontrolled on her part.  It continued throughout the day, and she refused her dish of FancyCrack.  This was serious, so much so that I called the emergency number for the vet.  I told her that the cat couldn’t get comfortable and that she was crouched down with her hindquarters tucked under, when she wasn’t stamping her little feet and twitching her tail relentlessly.  Even though we hadn’t finished the full course of the antibiotic, Sugar and I decided to discontinue it, and I told the vet so much.  There were no reported reactions that I could find on the internet regarding this specific antibiotic, but still.  The vet had said that the antibiotic might not be the cure.  The vet wanted to wait until one week had passed and then perform a culture and sensitivity test on the urine sample, which would take another week to get results.  I opted for an x-ray ASAP, since stones had not been ruled out, but the vet wanted to do both the x-ray and the culture /sensitivity test on the same day so that we wouldn’t have to bring the cat in twice.  I thought the cat couldn’t wait that long for some kind of action, and told the vet that, and also told her that the cat seemed so uncomfortable and was getting worse in her behavior, and we discussed behavioral issues.  The vet said that medical issues can cause behavioral issues, and even though the medical issue can be resolved, the behavioral issue has become a pattern which might not change.  I said that I understood that, like if an adult male dog is not neutered until an older age when lifting of the leg during urination to mark territory does not change because the pattern is ingrained.  BUT, this odd twitching of the tail and stamping of the feet and hiding in the corner is NEW behavior, not old behavior, and she appeared to be in such discomfort that Sugar had mentioned euthanasia.  The vet stated that this might be the ultimate resolution to the issue.

Paisley continues to soil both in and out of the litter box.

Precious Pees-lee the Problem Cat, Part 4

April 16, 2012

Sugar won. 

He wanted the Precious to go to the vet for a check-up.  Precious Paisley still wasn’t using the litter box consistently, even though the fleas were dead and gone.  Many times when a cat is not using the litter box, it’s a medical issue, and even though I thought she was peeing/pooping outside the box because she was insane from a lifetime of flea infestation, I conceded that she might have bigger issues.

Hoo boy.  The vet’s office reported that the bloodwork was okay, but Paisley had a urinary tract infection and a fever to match.  The prescription was for Baytril, a bitter, high-powered antibiotic, which the vet said might not work.  What if the UTI didn’t resolve? More tests?  What if the UTI *did* resolve, and Precious still eliminated outside the box?  Does this mean she is destined to live outside?  (Ya think?)

On day one of the meds, I crushed the pill and mixed it up well into some canned food.  Paisley ate half, and not a bite more.  She had detected the Baytril.

Day Two:  Sugar’s BabyDaughter tried the same in Fancy Feast, which is like crack for cats, and Paisley wouldn’t touch it.

This was calling for drastic measures. 

Day Three:  Sugar crushed the Baytril, mixed it in water, and siphoned it up into a syringe.  I put Paisley on a thick blankie and made what is called a “Kitty Burrito” by folding the end over her hiney and back, then wrapping the first side over her, then the second side.  All this was happening on the floor, and then I straddled the angry burrito like a mini-pony with my shins flat on the floor and my feet crossed one over the other so the little burrito couldn’t back out.  Then, still keeping her wrapped, I exposed her angry little head and gripped either side of her head, fingers under her chin and thumbs behind the back of her head.  Sugar shot the syringe full of watery meds into her mouth, only missing a little, and Paisley let out a low howl of distress.  That was some foul dose of medicine.  She struggled and fought like only a pissed-off cat can, but she never lost control of her bladder or bowels.  I let her up, fully expecting her to turn on me and climb my frame, but instead she climbed into the windowsill, dripping and slinging foamy saliva from the medicine.  Didn’t help that Sugar yelled Dammit I Missed.

Cat – 3.  Sugar and YoursTruly – 0.

Day Four:  A repeat of day three, this time with a dish of FancyCrack waiting.  She fell on the FancyCrack and sucked it up like an angry vacuum cleaner.

Day Five:  A carefully refined, cleverly choreographed orchestration of Gomer and Goober get owned.

Tomorrow is Day Six.  If this blog ends forever after tonight, you can thank the Precious Pees-lee.


Precious Paisley the Problem Cat, Part 3

April 12, 2012

Paisley has issues.

Sugar’s BabyDaughter, a/k/a the Boarding Specialist at the Grooming Salon, decided that Paisley was much too cramped in her quarters in the cat condo.  So she made a little play area for the Pais.

A playpen for Paisley.

Paisley: "Halt! Whoeth goeth thereth?"

You will notice the choice of litter boxes, one with pine pellets on the left, and one with ordinary clumping clay litter on the right.  It looks encouraging, doesn’t it, those little footprints left in the clay litter?  There’s also a bowl full of food, and a colorful water bowl.  The crowning touch was the bed in the foreground, draped with the prerequisite pink blankie. Boarding specialist.  You got that right. 

What really cracks me up is that this little exercise pen arrangement is only two feet high.  That’s right, *TWO* feet high.  What cat is going to stay contained in this, when all she has to do is leap out and go sit in the windowsill? The correct answer is, yes indeedy, the Princess Paisley. 

Paisley proceeded to take a bath during this entire photo shoot.  She did not pee on her blankie or on the floor, but she has been doing just that for the last 5 days.  She’s even peeing in her bed and lying in it.  I say that we need to give her a chance to detox from the fleas that she’s been infested with for the last two years so that she can clear her feeble little mind.  Sugar says she needs to go to the vet.  I think Sugar’s going to win this round, especially since he offered to pay. 

My feeble attempt to hold the camera over Paisley at a different angle equals a sad focus, but you can still see how rough and patchy her fur is.

Lady Macbeth would be impressed.

This cat is just not right.

Paisley the Problem Child.

So is she insane? 

Precious Paisley The Problem Cat, Waitforit, Part TWO

April 10, 2012

So many cats, so little time.

Yup, you heard it here first.  BabyBoy got a phone call on Thursday, April 5, 2012, from Mrs. PaisleyOwner, offering up her cat Precious Paisley, who still poops and pees outside the litter box.  He called me, I called Sugar, Sugar said call the boarding specialist (his BabyDaughter who is the latest addition to the boarding extravaganza), BabyDaughter agreed that we could give it the old village college try, and I called Mrs. PaisleyOwner to say that we will take the Precious. 

By the time the village was all in agreement over the Paisley matter, several hours had passed.  When I called Mrs. PaisleyOwner in the early afternoon, she informed me that the cat had already been picked up.  By the county.  By animal control. 

I called the shelter, and they thought they had the Precious Paisley there, but the paperwork wasn’t completed, so they couldn’t say for sure, but they could confirm that animal control had indeed picked up several cats in the general area where Mrs. PaisleyOwner lives.  They agreed that they could hold her for the evening, and that I would pick her up the following day.

Upon arrival at the shelter, I was led to an area of quarantine, and Paisley was hunched up in the back of the lowest cage.  The vet tech offered up that the cat had so many fleas, that when Paisley was given a CapStar for a quick flea kill, the towel that she was sitting on turned red.  That’s a lot of dead flea blood.  I was grateful for the CapStar.

I took the precious one back to work with me at the vet’s office, because *SURPRISE*!  Paisley’s vaccinations were overdue, plus she needed an Advantage Multi for a long-term flea kill.  After work, I took her to the grooming salon and got her settled into a cage. 

Her skin was worse than before.  She purred when I scratched her head.  It was quite sad.  She was contained in a little cage with a bed, a litter box, a food bowl, a water bowl, and her skin was a mess, and she purred with happiness.  The fleas were dead.

The next day was the same.  She lay in her little bed, and she purred. 

Sunday she started peeing outside the box.  She also started that OCD licking behavior.  There were two large bald spots on each side. 

Today, the boarding specialist moved her into her former room, and she peed on the floor.  She had licked off the hair in several more spots, and I noticed that underneath her tail she had developed a raw-looking area, and I bent over to investigate it further, and blech.  Tapeworm segments on her hiney.

I immediately popped her back into her cage until I can get a dose of Profender on her for parasite prevention.  She in turn immediately pooped on the cage floor. 

I had gotten so wrapped up in the skin condition and the fleas that I completely forgot that fleas are the intermediary host for tapeworm.  How could she NOT have tapeworm?

So, Precious Paisley has been kicked out of her home because, in my opinion, her weird behavior has been caused by owner neglect, ignorance, and/or refusal to admit that fleas are no fun. 

I’ll keep you posted.

Roscoe’s Last Stand

April 1, 2012

Last week a client called with an issue regarding her eight-month-old pit bull.  She and her boyfriend had just gotten the dog in January.  They had several other pit bulls, and one of the female pits had a new litter, and the woman herself had just had a baby.  She said that she should have brought the dog sooner but didn’t have the money until that day.

Her concern about the dog was that he had been bitten by fire ants, and she was worried that the dog would not survive.  He had been bitten about five days prior to her calling the vet’s office, or at least, it was five days ago when someone noticed the dog needed medical care.

When the dog arrived at the office, he was in sad shape.  He had not been bitten by fire ants, or, perhaps more correctly, if he had been bitten by fire ants, you couldn’t tell it.  His skin was raw from demodectic mange.


Demodex is a treatable condition that is caused by mites that live in the skin. You can learn more about demodectic mange, sometimes referred to as “red mange”, by clicking on this link.  There’s another type of mange called sarcoptic mange which is contagious.  Demodex is not contagious, but the tendency to develop demodex could be inherited.  If you have a dog that you want to breed, like a pit bull, you should not breed the dog if he develops demodex.  Small issue for some backyard breeders, but many breeders don’t plan on holding onto puppies, so they might sell them at a reduced rate.  Like Roscoe.  The new owner said that they drove to Tennessee to get him, which was no easy drive at about seven hours, and that he was on sale for $500 instead of the usual $2000 that a pit with his rare coloring could command.  It was impossible by the time I met Roscoe to tell what color he really was.


The vet told the woman that this condition had been going on for a long time.  She seemed confused about that, like perhaps she had lost track of time.  She also seemed shocked that the condition wasn’t caused by fire ants, because she knew that the dog had gotten into fire ants.

We talked about what to do about the dog.  With a severe case of demodex, it could take up to six months for the cure to work.  It involves giving the dog a minute dose of ivermectin every day, in some cases twice per day, and usually antibiotic is prescribed for the infected skin.  The woman was pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to follow the regimen.  She didn’t seem to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she did seem to understand that this dog was owed more than he was getting.  She was considering euthanasia, and I asked if she would consider giving him up if a rescue group would take him.  She agreed that she would.  I made a phone call, but the answer was what I already knew it would be:  the group was full, there were no spots available, and no foster families to be had, not even for a sweet young pit bull.

If you have a squeamish stomach, you might not want to look at the following pictures.  It’s not too graphic, but then I see this kind of stuff fairly often, so what is not so graphic to me might just be paralyzing to you. 

Poor sweet Roscoe ate cookies out of my hand, then walked over to me and rested his head on my arm. His poor, bloody neck leaked bloody pus on my hand.

I lifted his chin to photograph his neck.

His right side matched this view of his left side.

It occurred to me that, even with a good foster situation and medical care, at the end of the treatment, you’d still have a pit bull that needed a home. 

Good night, sweet Roscoe.