Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Roxanne Has Feline Bartonella-Cat Scratch Fever Illness

Roxanne, the neighborhood cat who we take care of, who sort of lives with us, has Bartonella-cat scratch fever illness. What is that? Not sure, even after reading about it. It comes from being infected with fleas, from getting flea feces on the cat and the cat ingesting it when it cleans its fur. It causes a range of illnesses/symptoms/complications from fever to sores on eyes, nose, mouth, in the mouth, etc.  You can see some horrible examples at this link.
It can be transferred to other pets and to humans from the cat.
Treatment is one or two antibiotics for six weeks. I read a study that recommended two antibiotics:…/…/2016/05/Treatment_Bartonellosis.pdf
I'll have to ask why. After antibiotics, she'll be tested again, which is about two months from now.
Yes, the others could get it from any infected fleas she's dropped or flea feces she's dropped. Luckily, we had her separated for awhile and I've cleaned. But still... I'll have three of them tested next month when they get their annual shots.

This is another example of why cats need regular flea and tick treatment each month. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Update Calci Virus Vaccine and Distemper Vaccine

Corrections regarding vaccines: I was wrong. It's not that our vet doesn't recommend the calci virus vaccine. She may have said "We don't do that", or "We don't do a separate vaccine". The calci virus vaccine is included WITH the distemper vaccine they use. Your cat should get the calci virus vaccine IF your vet does not include it in the distemper vaccine. So, ask your vet what they use.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Vaccines for Cats, Blood Test for Feline Diseases-Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Cat Needs

So, Roxanne, the cat that's not ours but needs our help, is so far, disease free. Still waiting on bartonella test (cat scratch fever) and she should be retested for one of them in a month or so just to make sure she wasn't infected before the blood test or between yesterday and the vaccine. This discussion of which vaccines are necessary for an outdoor cat, which ones the vet recommends vs. what vet websites list; testing for which disease; which disease does/does not get a vaccine, does/does not have a test, etc. is so new! And confusing. I thought HCM was confusing. Our indoor cats received a series of vaccines as kittens and annually the rabies and tri-annually the distemper. But what to get, test, and be aware of for Roxanne is what is new. (And she's responding well to her antibiotic eye drops to cure the conjunctivitis.)
When you have an outdoor cat there's much more to worry about than if you kept it indoors. An indoor cat needs flea/tick monthly med (we use Revolution) to prevent fleas from causing infection/infestations/tape worms; and to prevent mosquitos and heartworm; distemper 3yrs, and rabies annually (there is a three year but our vet doesn't recommend it.) An outdoor cat needs all of that and the feline leukemia (FELV) vaccine which is NOT the same as panaleukemia (distemper.) There is the FIV (HIV vax) that our vet doesn't recommend because it causes a positive test result and may lead someone to put a cat down (if you no longer owned the cat or it got lost.) There's the feline viral rhinotracheitis (herpes virus vax) which our vet doesn't recommend because most cats get the virus and how it affects them may change over time; it's not deadly but can make them very ill (which we've experienced.) There's FCV-(calcivirus) a severe and possibly deadly disease, a vaccine which our vet doesn't recommend (and I'll have to ask why and if necessary for outdoor cats). It could be that many of these are given by vets to kittens and that many adult cats do not need the annual boosters.
You should test an outdoor cat for all of these illnesses. Blood tests can be had for FELV, FIV, and bartonella. A cbc/chem panel test will show signs of an illness, allowing the vet to combine symptoms with blood test results to determine what is the cause and treatment.
Concerns about vaccines are that many have been linked to injection site sarcomas. This is why injection protocol calls for certain vaccines to be injected in certain areas of the body always, and never in a different spot each time the cat receives an injection (front leg for distemper, for example-I think. Don't quote me.) This way, if a sarcoma develops, the vet knows which injection caused it and can report it to the manufacturer, vet journals, whatever else they do with the information. Always check with your vet to make sure they follow a protocol.
Feline vaccines are easily the most contentious subject in veterinary medicine. So we consulted with Catster vet Dr. Eric Barchas, DVM to find the simplest vaccination guide veterinarians can agree on. According to Dr. Barchas, all cats –…

Visiting Cat Conjunctivitis, Herpes, and Tapeworms-Using Profender

Rox has tape worms. Vet gave Profender, a med that goes on the back of the neck like flea treatment. Has herpes conjunctivitis in the eye and now receives antibiotic eye drops twice a day, for two weeks. Was tested for major diseases Bartonella, FLP, FLV, etc. and Cbc/Chem panel. Her other vet faxed over records: she hasn't had shots since 2014. (Owner said she was up to date.)

Rox is recovering well and responding well to eye drops. So far, blood work is normal, no heartworms. Waiting on infection test results. She does need to have her teeth brushed and eventually cleaned. We'll begin brushing after eye drops are done. So far, no adverse side effects from Profender (Google and you'll find a history of issues.)

Visiting Cat Has Conjunctivitis

This little girl, Roxanne, has been making herself at home lately. We had her confined to one back room but two weeks ago, began letting her into the living room for short periods but not when our cats were in the room (thank goodness for all of the doors.) However, she either caught a virus outside or inside because she's not well. She had watery eyes Sunday; and watery eyes (no discharge) but slightly blood shot in one eye Monday. Watery eyes can mean a fever. Sunday through today I gave her lysine in case it's the herpes virus. And last night and this a.m. I gave her some Buprenex (a pain and fever reducer, anti-inflammatory agent.) I couldn't get her an appointment yesterday at any of the vets we use nor her own (her owner gave me the info) but she has one today with our vet. She didn't appear sick enough for the ER (no diarrhea or vomiting.) Either she caught one and brought it in, or caught a virus from our cats (they have the herpes virus although it's mostly dormant.) If she caught it from our cats, that means the virus can be picked up indirectly through humans (we hold or pet her and our cats) or furniture or cat bedding-anything our cats have lain on that she came into contact. That's not how it's suppose to passed on. It shouldn't be through bedding that a cat hasn't touched in a few hours. It's supposed to be through shared litter boxes, and food and water bowls, or grooming/cat fights. She's not come into direct contact with our cats nor their litter boxes nor food bowls. We also don't share syringes with her and she has her own bottle of immune liquid. So, we will see how many tests she has today and what they confirm.
I don't know what this means. I'm worried about our cats becoming contaminated with her herpes virus even if they have a dormant version that on occasion, has made Katharine or Jimmy sick (the only two in the last few years to be continually affected.) There's always a concern she has brought something even worse or deadly into the house which is why we've always kept her separated from the others, we always wash our hands, and we never share syringes for water and immune therapy liquid. 
Let's see how today goes. I'm hoping her vet will tell our vet what shots and tests she has had. We will test her for everything today and get any further shots in the future when she's better. And I'll have to ask the vet if our cats now need other shots. Typically-if you have a cat when it's a kitten-a kitten gets all sorts of shots and boosters against FLV, FIP, leukemia, etc. If a cat is an indoor cat, it only needs distemper and rabies going forward as an adult. If you don't know if your adult cat has had any of those shots, you should get them for the adult cat if it's going out. So, we will see.
Of course, our HCM cats may only need rabies and distemper and should be indoor cats. And our HCM cats may not be able to get even those two vaccines if they are not doing well because their bodies and immune systems are already compromised (Myrna stopped receiving hers in 2013 because the cardio ruled against it when Myrna was having a difficult summer, a difficulty that would increase over time. So, it was never a good time to get them. But luckily, she never got sick from distemper.)
I'll let you know more later after the vet visit.

Signs of Feline Heart Disease May Be Lymphoma

Signs of heart disease could actually be lymphoma/cancer. 
Open mouth breathing
Loss of appetite (anorexia)
Weight loss
There are additional symptoms for gastro or skeletal related lymphoma such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss-symptoms which can also be related to heart disease/medication complications. I think only blood work would show if the white blood cell count is off and an ultrasound would find any mass in the body. But I found it interesting that symptoms can point to heart disease but not be heart disease. I'm sure an echo and xrays would likely show no signs of lung congestion or heart disease.

Bats-They Are NOT Cat Toys

(Facebook 8/12/16)

Read this morning on the neighborhood Facebook page a post by a cat owner who said her cat's been chasing and killing (biting) bats that keep getting into her house through whatever access points they have. She wanted to know what to do with the bat issue. She made light of the fact the cat was attacking the bats ("felt sorry for the bat"). WHAT?????!!!!! Cats should NOT bite, eat, chase, play with or touch bats. Even with an annual rabies shot, cats that have come into contact with a bat must get further rabies treatment because they can still get rabies (same with dogs. I don't know why but that's what vets recommend.) The bat should be tested by the local health dept. (whatever process your county or state has set up) for rabies. And then your house needs to be sealed off from bats and the bats chased out by a competent critter control company (they should be able to chase them out as well as seal off all points.) Bats and our pets (and houses) don't mix. It's not safe. Take all precautions.