Saturday, December 31, 2005

A New Year... And A New Resident!

2006 brings a new beginning for a new resident who arrived today!

The New Beginnings Animal Rescue in Orange County contacted us originally about taking a young kitty with health problems; he's since become adoptable as his problems were corrected (yeah for him!) They had however, a second kitty who basically just needed a break.

Pepper is a 14 year old grey tabby who is truly the perpetual pessimist! She greeted all of us with a wonderful low, continuous growl, which is apparently how she spent quite a bit of her time in rescue too. In and out of homes and rescue, her senior years have definitely not been "golden." We're hoping to help her deal with her issues using our Shining Spirits flower essences.

We'll post pictures soon. Here's hoping that, in 2006, Pepper can start seeing the cat food dish as half-full instead of half-empty!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Surgery For Marci?

No, at least for now. We saw Dr. Lenehan at Veterinary Surgical Specialists in San Diego today for a consultation. He felt the diaphragmatic hernia is the result of trauma as a young kitten, from a significant incident such as being kicked. Because we couldn't see any of her diaphragm on ultrasound, the hole is pretty large, so it would be a big deal to repair; until she's actually in surgery, we don't really know the extent of the damage she has. Depending on its size, it would be closed by using the tissue already there, or grafting in mesh to fill the hole (that's how they repair hernias in people). There is also a procedure to graft in abdominal muscle to make a new diaphragm.

Wow! None of those seem like simple options. There is also the question of post-op recovery, and whether the nerves are actually there to function at all. As a vet tech, I've cared for several cats through the years who have had diaphragmatic hernia repairs, and it's several days of intensive care with oxygen support, chest tubes, and round-the-clock supervision. It's definitely not a kitten's idea of a good time, especially when she's not feeling bad.

We've decided to let her live the happy life she's currently enjoying. How can you tell a kitten who is running laps through the house that she needs to stop, and have a surgery which she stands a good chance of not surviving? It was not a simple decision, but we will take it day-by-day and reevaluate the situation if she does start having breathing difficulty. We don't know if that's days or months down the road, so we will give her the best, most mellow lifestyle we can ~ she's still a kitten so wish us luck on the mellow part!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Results Are In!

The allergy test results are in for Phoenix. The question has become not what's she allergic to, but more appropriately, what's she not allergic to? The test results took longer than normal to receive because the lab was checking and double-checking the results. She has so much skin inflammation that her lab results were exaggerated initially.
Phoenix is allergic to several plants & grasses, molds, and several foods. With her urinary tract infection resolved and crystal formation decreased, we're now switching her to a diet that she's not allergic to. I took the list of allergic foods with me as I went shopping for her today and found 2 flavors of Merrick Naturals, 1 flavor of Natural Balance canned, and California Natural chicken and rice dry food that have the right ingredients. Considering the large number of commercial diets on the market today, that's not very many choices! She may be subjected to my home cooking a diet for her if these don't work ~ poor girl, I'd hate to subject her to that!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Waiting For Santa...

The first one in bed tonight ~ Scooter of course. He heard about a guy named Santa who leaves toys at every house he visits. Scooter hopes all the toys are filled with catnip ~ if they are, this Christmas thing could be pretty cool!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Eastern Medicine For Phoenix

Phoenix met our holistic veterinarian Dr. Laflin today for a consultation. Phoenix has had so many standard Western medicine treatments for skin problems with no cure that we felt Eastern medicine may hold the key to her problem. Dr. Laflin has started her on a homeopathic remedy, and also did an NAET treatment. The Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique is based on Chinese medicine principles, and has been helpful in treating chronic problems for a couple of our animals. You can read more about it here. We're also awaiting allergy test results for her. We've started a photo diary to follow her journey, and hoping she feels better in time for Santa's arrival!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Jim Gets An Adjustment...

And he feels great! He visited our holistic veterinarian, Dr. Laflin at Cardiff Animal Hospital today. We went for a consultation in the hopes of finding a homeopathic remedy that would help his body deal with the lymphoma he's battling. And, yes, he's starting a remedy called "NatMur". Homeopathy has been used since the 1800's for treating illness in humans and is finally becoming more popular in the U.S. for treating people and animals too.

Dr. Laflin also gave Jim a chiropractic adjustment. Our dogs really enjoy their chiropractic visits, but this is the first time one of our kitties has had one. He was a little unsure at first ~ after all, this is the first veterinarian who hasn't poked him with a needle! He settled in quickly and became a relaxed mush-kitty by the time she was done!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Visitor

You never know who may stop by the sanctuary. Today I heard Melody barking and barking and barking with excitement but couldn't figure out what was so intriguing. Finally, an egret comes cruising by the dog yard. He was walking casually back and forth in front of the dog yards ~ I think he was amused by their antics, as he stayed for at least a half hour. This is the first time this fellow has stopped by, we have a heron that visits every year. I hope he was entertained, because the dogs sure were!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Marci Smiles For The Camera!

It's hard to believe this little girl, ready to spring into action with Scooter, was just a couple of hours ago holding completely still for x-rays and an ultrasound ~ very hard for a kitten to do! Marci saw Dr. Slusser, our internist at Animal Internal Medicine today. After thoroughly examining her, he still can't believe that Marci feels as good as she does! The x-rays do confirm that most of the organs that are normally found in the abdomen are in fact up in her chest. Only part of her colon, her kidneys and her bladder are in the right locations; part of her liver is even wrapped around her heart. She will be seeing the surgeon on the 29th for a consult on her surgical options. In the meantime, she's not planning on slowing down!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Vet Visits For The New Girls...

Marci & Phoenix had exams today with Dr. Booman, our veterinarian.
Marci said "no thank you" to blood work! Marci weighs in at a whopping 3 3/4lbs and is about 8-9 months old. Her heart and lungs sound great, although you can only hear them on the left side of her chest ~ there are too many other organs on the right side. Marci has an appointment next week for x-rays to check the extent of her hernia, and decide whether surgery is an option for her.
Phoenix is 7lbs, and is about 3 years old. She's missing a couple of her teeth, and has an old scar in one eye from an ulcer that didn't get treated when it happened. We've confirmed that she doesn't have mange or mites or any other parasite causing her skin problem. Her blood work shows that she's had chronic inflammation for quite a while. Her urinalysis shows she also has a urinary tract infection, and crystals in her urine. She will be joining Scooter on the "gourmet" prescription diet, and will be on antibiotics for a couple of weeks. She'll also be treated with eye ointment to soothe her irritated eyes, and topical ointment and medicated baths to soothe her red, raw skin. With parasites ruled out as the cause of the skin problem, food allergy is the next potential cause. We plan to send out another blood sample for allergy testing next week.
In the meantime, both girls are adjusting well to life here. Scooter has taken on the role of the official "ambassador" and is helping them adjust to the daily routine. Lucky girls!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Love At First Sight?

Scooter met Marci for the first time today, over a box of kitty litter. He completely adores her! He is a little disappointed however, because she is able to climb higher and run faster than him. He finds it helpful when she has to stop and catch her breath, as it gives him time to catch up to her as they play. They make a cute couple ~ could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?