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Ramblin Ann

Three o’clock this morning I had a Moose on my head demanding breakfast.  Not just any moose, my Moose. An almost 18 lb white furry feline Moose. He paced back and forth kneaded the pillows and made that little meooow that he makes.  Not a manly MEOW, but a little squeaky noise that in cat circles would probably be considered embarrassing.

 Lucky for him, he is an indoor cat. No chance for all the other cats to make fun of him.  That’s Moose on the left. He’s a big mellow guy, except at meal time, or when he perceives it to be such.  Then he becomes “king” and very demanding of his human servant, me.

He’s not always bold and insistent though.

 Some of his time is spent in quiet solitude reflecting on his status in the mostly female household.  Or maybe this is just his way of getting away from…

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Ramblin Ann

I didn’t start out this morning with a goal to terrorize by poor neurotic quaker parrot Indy, but I think that is what I ended up doing.

It started with cage cleaning. Indy’s needed a whole complete scrubbing, including the little tent she sleeps in.  That is always traumatic for her. She hates changes being made and protects her home viciously.  Today she wanted nothing to do with this whole thing.  She screamed, bit, and held onto every thing I tried to change.  She worked herself into a tizzy and I worked up a sweat.

When everything was back in order she finally gave in and came out of the cage for me to hold. I thought “this would be a perfect time to practice Reiki” Not thinking there would be any specific positions on a bird this size, I just held her in my hand.  She relaxed completely.  Never…

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It has been ten months since I wrote something here.  Not sure where all that time went.  It really does fly when you get older.  Can’t imagine what it is like in dog or cat years.  Yikes!

To catch up: Casey did not manage to lose much weight after I put her on the last diet.  We tried walking but it was so buggy that staying in the woods long was less then enjoyable.   Casey was also having problems with energy and stamina.  There was one morning I thought I would have to pick her up and carry her back to the Jeep.  She made it, but it was a long slow process.

No matter what I did she seemed to be gaining weight and becoming more and more lethargic.  When I went back to work in the fall I called a holistic vet.  I really did love our old vet and they were very very good to Casey, but it was hard to schedule appointments and it really was not cost-effective for her to have to come all the way here. 

The first vet visit was very traumatic for both of us.  Casey’s blood pressure sky rocketed and they couldn’t do a full exam because they thought she was going to have a heart attack.  Instead we had to schedule an appointment with Tufts .  A very good clinic, but a very expensive one also.

One thousand dollars later we learned Casey has a stage one heart murmur and hypothyroidism.  That explains almost everything about the poor baby girl.   She was put on a strict diet and has to take a pill 2x a day for the rest of her life.  It made her a brand new beagle.  She is almost at her correct weight, has a ton of energy, and her attitude has gotten 99% better.   Simply amazing.

As for the cat trio.  They are all still going strong.  Ashes still has bouts of bloody urine, but has become very cuddly.  Sometimes sleeping in the bed with me.  Moose’s internal clock is off by an hour and he has been waking my every morning at 3:00 a.m.  Hopefully turning the clocks in the spring will cure that.  Jordan is still clawing apart the woodwork all over the house.  We have tried everything and we can still hear her in the middle of the night and see the damage in the morning.

Indy bird is still naked most of the time.  She has a smaller cage in my room (office) but doesn’t come out even if I open the door.  Crazy bird.

Not much else to update.   At least on this blog.  I have been writing more on my personal blog, Ramblinann if you want to pop over there.  I will make a conscious effort to keep writing here too.  After all my pets are my kids now.

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Being a member of the pet professional community is usually very fun.  Sharing stories about pet antics and goofy behavior is sure to bring smiles and giggles.

However; there is another side of the profession that is heartbreaking.  A front row seat to the horrific things some humans do to animals.   It comes to us through email, blog posts, networking groups, and from the people who have leading roles in the care of these poor abused animals.  Animal control, veterinarians, shelter and rescue workers, and the many volunteers who make it their life’s mission to save those that are suffering.

Animal cruelty comes in many shapes and sizes.  It is not just the dogs that have been put in the ring to fight, or pets that were beaten, maimed, and starved.  It happens around us every day.

Dogs and cats left out in the yard day and night through all kinds of weather. Some with no shelter to escape the bitter winds, freezing temps, or baking sun.  Deep snow, freezing temperatures, sweltering heat, or predators are what they have to look forward to each day.

These actions while maybe not illegal, are cruel and abusive.  These animals have no companionship.  The only human interaction they have is if and when a human tosses them food.   They don’t know how it feels to have their bellies rubbed or behind their ears scratched.  It can make both dogs and cats mean and untrusting.  Often leading to them being put down when they turn to biting as a defense mechanism.

So please, before you get that cute little puppy or kitten who will need a lifetime of love and care.    Ask yourself, “Am I ready for that commitment?”

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At 2:30 this morning the dog and I were woken up by screaming, howling, and hissing.  At first I thought I had a rumble between two of my cats,  so I got up to investigate.  After a search through the house I found my three sitting quietly. It was then I realized all the noise was coming from outside my closed bedroom window.  Two cats, either the neighbor’s or feral, were doing their mating ritual next to my warm foundation.  That means kitten season is almost here.

Each year shelters are overwhelmed with pregnant females or new litters of kittens.  Though they try, the sad fact is they are not all adopted.  Millions of healthy cats are euthanized each year.   This could be prevented by having your cat spayed or neutered.

The simple truth is one unspayed female giving birth to two female kittens who reproduce could possibly contribute 10,000 kittens, to the population, in a seven-year period.  Yes, that is 10,000 kittens.  All in need of loving caring homes.

Please help reduce this problem by having your cat spayed or neutered and spreading the word for others to follow suit.  If you are in need of some help paying,  the ASPCA has set up a database of low-cost programs and Spay-USA is a wealth of information.   Don’t sit by and think this problem doesn’t affect your family.   It affects us all.

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I want to share something I read this morning.  It comes from a pet store owner.

 I just wanted to let everyone know that we have a cat through one of our stores that died from Seizures Monday night after being sick all weekend. They had just switched over to the canned Wellness 2 weeks ago 😦

The kitty was diabetic pre-…switching to the Wellness which is why they came to see us for a *better* food. Thiamine is essential for nerve impulses. Diabetics tend to have nerve dysfunction. Thiamine too low = Diabetic kitty developed seizures.”

This is serious and as we know from the past, recalls have a way of snowballing.  They start with one batch or one flavor and grow.  While the PR departments are doing damage control we continue buying and feeding food that could be killing our pets. 

If you own a diabetic cat and have been feeding Wellness canned STOP!   If your cat, diabetic or not, has been eating Wellness and is not acting normally please call your vet immediately and have them seen.   Tell the vet they have been eating Wellness Cat Food.

Here are symptoms to be watching for:
                                   1. Ventroflexion of the neck
        (bending down of head with chin close to or touching neck)

                                   2.Muscle weakness
                                   3. Wobbly walking
                                   4.Dilated pupils
                                   5.Anorexia
                                   6. Seizures
                                   7. Aggression

Though I can not recommend Instinctive Choice or Life’s Abundance for diabetic pets, I fully recommend it for any dog or cat that is not on a prescription diet.  

*On a personal note, my dogs and cats were eating Wellness and Old Mother Hubbard food before switching to Life’s Abundance.  It was during the giant pet food recall in 2007.  I switched because of the answers I received, or should I say did not receive,  regarding quality control.  With Life’s Abundance, your order goes from manufacturer, to our warehouse, to you.  Each purchase you make is logged under your account and you would be contacted directly if the need ever arose.  Thankfully, because of Dr Jane’s involvement at every level and the company’s commitment to quality,  we have never had a recall.   If you would like the phone number to corporate please send me a message and I will send it to you.

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On February 28, 2011,WellPet, maker of Wellness Pet Food, issued a press release announcing a voluntary recall.  According to the release and a letter from CEO Tim Callahan, the Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency was found during quality control testing.  To lessen confusion, the decision was made to recall all canned cat products falling under the stated date codes.

Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in the body and needs to be replenished with proper diet or supplements.  It maintains a healthy nervous system, and helps turn carbohydrates into energy.  With a good portion of today’s cats eating a diet much too high in carbs, a deficiency of this vitamin could cause a complete imbalance to the cat’s system. 

Thiamine deficiency in cats is not very common and can be found in cats who eat a poor quality food.  Therefore it is important to know what you are feeding your cat.   Make sure they eat a diet low in carbohydrates and high in meat protein. Do not feed a diet high in raw fish and avoid a preservative called Sulphur Dioxide, which inactivates Thiamine.

Some symptoms of Thiamine deficiency include:
   Anorexia
Seizures
Cervical Ventroflexion
Aggression
Dilated Pupils

If you notice any of these symptoms a call to your veterinarian is a must.  Treatment might include a high quality diet, supplementation, and regular monitoring. 

 

*Cat-World.com 
Australian Veterinary Journal

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