Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Language Barriers

I run an all-feline veterinary hospital, and we have a fairly large Japanese client base. This is not by accident. One of my technicians, Hiromi, is Japanese, and she made it clear to me when I hired her 8 years ago that she would like to actively help me cultivate a Japanese clientele. In speaking with her cat-owning Japanese friends and acquaintances, Hiromi has heard countless tales of frustration, as they described the difficulty in explaining exactly what it is about their cat that had them worried, as well as their inability to fully understand what the doctor had told them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is Trouble : Adopt Trouble

This is Trouble
Trouble has a black belt in cute

Trouble can chase catnip toys with her mind

If Trouble was in the military there would be no war

Adopt Trouble

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our Hospital Cat Topeka Paws One Kibble at a Time

Our wonderful and moderately dainty Manhattan Cat Specialists hospital cat, Topeka, has an unusual way of eating her food.

At the end, you get to see her most excellent cyborg laser eye.

Have a watch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Tossed Crispy’s Insulin in the Trash

Most diabetic cats require lifelong oral or injectable medication. For a few lucky cats (and owners), however, diabetes resolves. How does this happen?

My cat Crispy has terrible skin allergies. A few years ago, it got really really bad. She was chewing at her feet and the insides of her legs non-stop. I tried a hypoallergenic diet, but that made no difference. I would have liked to have tried antihistamines but Crispy is impossible to medicate. It’s embarrassing that I’m a veterinarian and I prescribe medications to cats all day, and yet I cannot medicate my own cat. I’ve tried flavored liquids, I’ve tried hiding pills in treats, I’ve had treats made up with the medication blended throughout the treat (she ate exactly one of them, and never ate another one, ever again). Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory in some cats, and may help reduce skin inflammation when given daily. So I tried putting them on her food. She caught one whiff of them on her food and that was that. She absolutely refused to touch the food thereafter.

I could tell from the appearance of the skin problem that this type of allergic dermatitis would probably respond nicely to steroids. I’m not crazy about giving steroids to cats, but with skin allergies, you give steroids initially at a high-ish dose, and then you rapidly taper the dose down to the lowest dose that controls the signs. I was figuring 1 tablet of prednisolone twice daily for 5 days, then once daily for 5 days, then every other day thereafter. I was hoping that once I got down to the every other day dosing, it wouldn’t be too horrible. Well, several bite and scratch wounds later, I abandoned the process. Crispy will simply not allow herself to be orally medicated. Period.

I had to do something. Look at what she was doing to her leg!

As a last resort, I gave Crispy an injection of a long-acting steroid.
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