Even Indoor Cats Get Heartworms

Hi everyone! As you know last week I had a scare with Sammy testing positive for heartworm. Now that I have read up on heartworm in cats, I want to spread the word so everyone knows the risks. My vet has always recommended preventative and has posters in the exam rooms about heartworms in both cats and dogs. I chose to take my chances being that my cats are inside and hubby keeps the screens repaired. I do recall having two mosquitoes in the house this past summer though because heartworm crossed my mind when I saw them.

(isn’t Sammy handsome? )

I don’t have a medical background so I am going to give some links to read up on it. I will let you know that they affect cats and dogs in different ways. When a dog gets heartworm it is a death sentence ( unless treated), but with cats it does not always lead to death, but it can. A dog is a natural host for them, but a cat is not so if a cat does get exposed the chances of any worms surviving to the adult stage is less. A cat with them would have 1- 3 on average, but dogs have many more than that.

The mosquito is the nasty critter that spreads them. This is why I assumed my cats were safe because they don’t go outside, but mosquitoes do get inside despite our efforts to keep them out and all it takes is one bite.

There is a very costly and dangerous medicine to kill heartworms in dogs, but this is not an option in cats. If a cat does end up with adult heartworms, the worms can live for 2- 3 years in them. They can cause a respiratory illness resembling asthma. Many cats have no symptoms, but die suddenly.

Here are some excellent resources to learn more about it:

American Heartworm Society ( they have a map showing areas of greatest risk)

VCA page on heartworms in cats

Live Science (article about the importance of diagnosis)

Nova Cat Clinic (great explanation of how this is a lung disease, not heart)

I am going to be using preventative for now on after this scare. And poor Sammy is still not out of the woods because the first test showed he was positive for being exposed, the antigen test was negative, but there needs to be pregnant female worms to make it positive. I plan to have him tested again in a few months because it takes 6 months for them to reach maturity. I know this is all very confusing so please read the links to get a better explanation.

I highly recommend anyone with a cat use heartworm prevention. I am not sure if this is a problem in other countries, but in the USA it definitely is. If your cat already has an illness or is older you may choose not to, you need to discuss the pros and cons with your vet.My niece worked at a vet clinic for 10 years and she said they had a few cases per year of cats with heartworms and usually one death per year. That may not sound like a lot, but no one wants their cat to be the statistic, or any cat for that matter.

Please pray for two of our blogging buddies that are not feeling well. Feel free to visit them and wish them well.

Buddy Budd  Fur Everywhere

 

 

Prancie

Hi everyone ! I just want to let you all know why I didn’t post on Sunday. Prancie is sick now. She will go to the vet first thing Monday morning. I would have rushed her to the emergency vet, but my hubby feels they just like to run up the bill. She has actually improved since Saturday night when she could not walk and kept falling over. She is still unstable, not sure if it was a stroke, ear infection or something with her arthritis. I will keep you posted. I appreciate all purrs and prayers. And I will get around to visit you all soon.

I am shutting off comments, I know you will all be praying for her-thank you.

Friendly Fill-Ins Week 22

Hi everyone! Before we get to the Fill-Ins, I want to give you an update on Phoebe’s blood work. Her thyroid is now fine with 1/2 pill twice a day. She does have the start of kidney disease though. Unfortunately, I wasn’t home when the vet called so that is all I know for now. When I talk to the vet we will discuss the diet.

Friendly Fill-Ins Week 22. Be sure to add your link on McGuffy’s Reader.
Fill-ins:
1. My favorite store is _____________________.
2. An unanswered prayer I am thankful for is _______________________.

3. At Halloween, I                                       .

4. I                        the supernatural, because                                      .

My answers:

  1. My favorite store is MICHAEL’S CRAFT STORE.
  2. An unanswered prayer I am thankful for is THAT THE MAN I DATED BEFORE I MET MY HUBBY MOVED TO FLORIDA AND STAYED. I HAD PRAYED HE WOULD MOVE BACK HERE.
  3. At Halloween, I HAVE THE HO– USE ALL DECORATED EVEN THOUGH WE NEVER GET TRICK OR TREATERS.
  4. I BELIEVE IN the supernatural, because I HAVE READ MANY BOOKS BY PSYCHICS THAT DO SPEAK TO THE DEAD AND THEY SURE CONVINCED ME.

One prayer we do hope gets answered is for Phoebe’s Purrince. His latest vet recommended euthanasia despite his being healthy. He is always welcome to live with us as an option, but this vet doesn’t think re-homing would work. If you have any suggestions please visit them. And please pray.

We are also praying for everyone to be safe from Hurricane Matthew.

The word today for #JHC is Monster. stinky

My Stinky was not afraid of our Frankenstein Monster. I miss my Stinky.

 

pumpkin-161650_1280

I’m Allergic to Cats!

Hi everyone! I recently found out that I am allergic to cats. I am a little suspicious of the allergy testing process, but I agreed to try the shots because my insurance will cover the cost. For the past year, I have been getting a lot of sinus infections so my Doctor suggested the allergy testing. They injected 6 places on each arm, some of the spots got a little red, but not swollen so I figured I wasn’t allergic to anything. Then the allergist came in and said all the red spots were positive and I am allergic to dust, 2 kinds of mold, trees and cats.

Of course I have no intention of keeping them out of the bedroom or bathing them twice a week. Clearly a non cat lover came up with those guidelines. Once the serum is ready, I will get a shot weekly for 5 months and then monthly for 4-5 years. Has anyone ever gone through this process? And if so, does it help? I welcome any information you have to offer.

Right after I found out that i was allergic to cats, I received an email telling me about a link to Hypoallergenic Cats. I looked it over and was not going to share it because of the suggestion to keep cats out of the bedroom, but the writer explained to me that was there as a solution instead of getting rid of them altogether. There is a wealth of information on the site.

DSCF2088 Joanie wants to show off her tummy floof.

DSCF2113 (2) Phoebe is here to announce the winner of her movie contest. There were 4 with the correct answers: Pipo and Minko, Joan R., Four-Legged Furballs and Billy the Time Cat. Good job! We wish we could give to everyone but we only have one prize set so we had to do a raffle and the winner is: Joan R. -Congratulations!!!!

 

Feline Idiopathic Hypercalcemia

Hi everyone! We’ve been keeping a secret, well, a few people knew. Sammy has something called Idiopathic Hypercalcemia which caused 4 stones to form in his bladder. He had surgery on Friday to remove them because they could have gotten in his urinary tract and caused a blockage- that is life threatening. I didn’t want to write about it because it seems like every time I write about one of my cats being sick, well, you know what happens and I didn’t want to jinx him.

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Poor kitty has to wear a cone of shame for a week. He wanted to look good for the 4th so we added a little patriotic fabric to it.

This has been going on for quite a while, it took many tests to confirm that it is ideopathic (meaning no known cause). There are several causes of hypercalcemia including kidney disease and several types of cancers. When his basic blood work came back with elevated calcium, the next step was an ionized calcium blood test which also came back with high levels. His parathyroid was also tested as that is another cause, but that was fine.

His urine was checked for kidney disease ( even thought the blood work was good). That came back with sugar and protein so I had to get a sample from home. It took me weeks to catch him in the act and get that sample. Luckily, that sample was fine, the original elevation in protein and glucose was from the stress of being at the vets.

The next step was the ultrasound. Thankfully, no cancers were detected, but the 4 stones were. They were not an emergency and may have never blocked, but I wasn’t going to take that chance. There is a board certified surgeon that goes to our vet hospital once a month so I opted for that. I almost canceled because I was so worried of complications, but the surgeon assured me there was only  2 % chance of complications which put my mind at ease. I still felt bad about making a cat that is fine have to be sick for a while.

Sammy wants to show everyone his incision so close your eyes if you are squeamish.

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He is on a special food now that is low in calcium. When he goes in to get his incision checked, the vet will test his calcium levels. If they are better, then he will only need the food, if not, he may need medication as well.

I can’t wait until he is back to sleeping on my head again. He has been an excellent patient and tolerated being crated and coned. Has anyone ever had a cat with idiopathic hypercalcemia?

And before we go, Stunning Keisha reminded Phoebe that today is Bikini Day!

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#WobblyWednesday

Hi everyone! Today is Sophie of Kitty Cat Chronicles birthday. Most of you know her, but if you don’t, you should go visit her. She is a special kitty that has Cerebellar Hypoplasia, but that doesn’t let it stop her.

DSCF1414These guys wobble too

Sophie’s wish is for all her friends to share a post or video about cerebellar hypoplasia. Here is a link to one of her post’s about it: click here

Happy Birthday Sophie!

 

I Could Pee on This

Today we are already up to the letter I in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I am recommending a book that Lucy and I recommended this book way back in August 2014. I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano is a cute little book of poems by cats. Lucy used to like to think outside the box and on anything that the other kitties enjoyed like catnip mats, paper bags, etc. I miss my Lucy and all her little quirks.

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Spooky is modeling with the book. Unfortunately, his PCV ( packed cell volume) was down to 19% from 23%  on the latest test. The vet recommended an injection called darbepoetin to stimulate his red blood cells to make more. She said many anemic cats do fine and I don’t have to do this. I asked what she would do if Spooky were her cat, I always ask that question and she said she would treat him with this. I also asked if anything could be causing this like the pepcid or his thyroid condition and she is certain it is the kidney disease.

This does not work in all cats and she has never treated a cat with it so I am nervous. There is another medicine, but many cats end up with reactions from antibody formations. I was also confused as to how some cats can be fine if they are anemic, when I do the Math, if those numbers drop that much weekly then I see his time as running short.The vet said that sometimes the numbers even out, but I want to do this now instead of him needing a transfusion down the line. The vet did say his quality of life would be improved with this and from what I read, anemic cats have appetite loss which would explain his pickiness.

Your continued prayers and purrs are greatly appreciated.

Phoebe’s Sunday

Hi everyone! I am glad there is no A-Z challenge today so I could have a turn. I have a lot to tell you. First off, I am in the May/June edition of Catster magazine. You will need a magnifying glass to see me, but I am on page 18, Mom sent my photo in playing my favorite game- cribbage. We were also featured on The Cats of the Blogosphere calendar this week:DSCF0949DSCF0950

My Grammie was here on Wednesday and I wasn’t! She came to watch us and I had to go get my mouth checked from my dental. Phooey! I love my Grammie so very much. My mouth is fine though. And Spooky had his red blood cells checked again. They went down a tiny bit, but the vet said it could be the difference of in-house testing vs.sending it out. He will get tested again next Friday and if it goes down more then he will need a special shot to tell his red blood cells to make more.

In other news, Brody came downstairs and touched noses with Prancie- then he ran right back up. Here are some selfies for Toby and family:

DSCF0953for BobbieSue DSCF0961for Toby DSCF0963for Simon

We are joining The Cat on My Head Sunday Selfie’s Blog Hop: Cat4-001

Spooky Update

Hi everyone. We got Spooky’s blood work results and they were pretty good.

DSCF0883  His phosphorous levels are now normal which is surprising being that he is still not on a prescription diet. I was more concerned with him eating and hopefully gaining a little weight. He is a lot less fussy lately so I am going to try the kidney diet again.

His urea nitrogen is still high, but much better than before. It went from 117 down to 90. His creatinine also went down from 7 to a 4.5 ( still high, but better). Those were all the positives.

There is one number that got worst, the hematocrit. It went from a 35 to a 26 which is odd. He was in the normal range and now he is not. The vet wants this retested again next week because there is a shot that can help that if it stays low. She also said to continue with the fluids every other day for now.

Thank you all for your purrs and prayers. They are greatly appreciated. I will keep you updated on his test next week.

Spooky wants to send a big hug and kiss to his special lady friend , Katie Isabella.

 

 

Phoebe Friday

Hi everyone! Sorry I am a day late. Before I get started, Mom wants to thank you all for the words of encouragement and tips you shared to help Spooky. We appreciate all your comments, purrs and prayers. So far Spooky is responding to fluids and eating- not as well as he used to, but he is eating. We pray that he will improve more daily. He will get retested in 2 weeks. His numbers were very bad: Amylase was 2195 ( normal range is 100-1200), Creatinine was 7 (0.6-2.4 is normal) and Phosphorous was 12.3 ( normal is 2.4-8.2).

Spooky got to go outside yesterday. He was very happy and headed straight to the catnip. He was a neighborhood cat, always outside until we brought him in 2 and a half years ago.

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Sammy and I were pretty jealous.DSCF0680

I saw my Grammie on Wednesday and she didn’t give us treats- phooey! I still love her very much though.

My Purrince wrote me another poem, I am a lucky purrincess:

Mee will laff WITH you!
No matter what you do…..
An guess what mee got?
No not a spot or a dot…..
but mee Kat inn thee HAT hat
an mee bookmark so flat!
Yur card iss so nice
Yur mee sugar an spice….
***paw kissesss*** an all mee <3 LUV <3
Siddhartha Henry xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I love my sweet purrince.

Today is The Lazy Pit Bull’s Pet Blooger Blooper Round-up

The Pet Blogger Bloopers Round-Up – January

and her is our blooper:DSCF0588   Nice foot shot, but we were going for the whole package.

See you Sunday when I will be starting my Easter Giveaway.