I'm sorry, but I need to vent a bit at some of the problems we have
been having with one of our cats lately. I'm pretty annoyed with the
vets who we have been working with and am wondering if I need to see
yet another one!
Some history: We have 2 cats, one M and one F. Both are about 10
yrs. old. The male cat is in generally good health, but has a heart
murmur and takes medication for it every day (Enalapril?). The female
cat had a massive anaphylactic (sp?) allergic reaction about 8 years
ago after her yearly shots were administered. After 3 days in the
hospital and coming very close to death, she gradually got back to
About 5 years ago, she started***ing herself very frequently and
started removing the fur on her front legs and belly. Since then,
this problem has been constantly and gradually getting worse and
worse. Our vet in our old town and our current vet both believe that
the problem is stress-related. About 3 months ago, we started
administering transdermal Elavil (then Buspar) to her ear every day to
reduce her stress. The medicine did not appear to work and she
started scratching her ears so much that her fur has been removed and
they are scabbing over.
At this point, the cat has only a narrow strip of fur along her back
and some on her legs. Everywhere else that she can reach, she has
removed the fur.
I finally snapped last week and decided to take her to a new vet. The
new vet immediately suspected allergies and was quite surprised that
the other vets did not do any testing in this area. Here is what she
has told us to do:
- Remove all dry food.
- Only feed wet food from now on that does not contain fish/fish
derivatives, soy derivatives and preservatives.
- Apply medicated shampoo (Hexadene?) and cream rinse twice within a
one week period to eliminate any secondary bacterial or fungal
infection currently residing on the skin.
- Change to new cat litter that does not contain clay or any clay
- Administer homeopathic anti-anxiety drops 3 times/day.
Now I also got a call from the new vet this morning and found out that
the cat has Ascrid roundworms present in her feces and we need to
administer 2 applications of medicine to treat that. Of course, that
will need to be done to both cats.
At this point, I'm overwhelmed by the number of changes that have to
be done all at once. Is all of this really necessary?
The unfortunate part about doing these things with this cat is the
level of difficulty of administering any kind of medicine to her. Two
years ago, we had to give her antibiotics after a dentristry, and I
swore I would never go through that ordeal again. It was the most
miserable 2 weeks of my life, no joke. She foams at the mouth,
scratches, bites, squirms, etc., etc. At this point, I am afraid that
the force required to restrain her will damage her neck or spinal
cord. It truly has to be seen to be believed. When we brought her in
to the new vet a couple of days ago, they could barely get a look in
her mouth even with two people and using leather gloves. How in the
The other thing to note is that this cat does not like food enough to
be able to hide a pill in it. She will simply refuse to eat. Nor
does she like any of the new compounded medicines. When we tried
that, she foamed at the mouth as soon as she saw the bottle come out.
If all of these problems are anxiety-related, aren't we only
increasing her stress level by putting her throught the hell of
administering all of these *** that are supposed to be curing the
One final note, the new vet we have gone to has very little compassion
or bedside manner. However, she is supposed to be a cat specialist,
while our current vet is not. I'm not jazzed about the manner in
which the new vet relates to her clients and patients, but does that
matter? Or should you always strive to find a vet that you can work
with on a personal level? I am much more receptive to folks in her
position saying things like "Ok, let's try this, let's try that...",
rather than "You have to do XX, you have to do YY...". Maybe the
cat's condition justifies that kind of militant regimen, but maybe
not. Can anyone shed some light on that?
Sorry for the long post, but I'm really not sure what to do next.
Should we jump off the cliff and try all of these things, probably
driving us and the cat completely crazy? Or should we get yet another
opinion on these problems? I just hate when the cat is in constant
fear of us and thinks we are only going to hurt her or try to force
medicine down her throat when we are around.
Thank you for any help,