Regular readers may recall when Fang was a kitten, before he got here, he almost died in two bouts of severe, life-threatening illness. When he first got here, we had to dose him again with antibiotics, for a heavy case of transplanted-kitty snots.
Now, six months later, he’s got weeping and bloody discharge from his left eye and nostril. Here he is when the thing was just gathering momentum. You can see the problem just getting started. I’ll spare you pictures of when things got worse.
Our vet has prescribed antibiotics for an infection in his left nasal lacrimal duct. We’re just over a week into the course. I’m very pleased to report a gradual lessening of the discharge.
I’m not pleased, however, that Fang’s off his food. Normally he’s a vacuum – but as of this morning he’s rejected two meals. I’ve managed to get the pills down him with pill-pockets, both last night and this morning – but otherwise he’s not eating.
In the course of treatment when he first arrived, he tolerated another version of antibiotics OK – but he then started to puke every time I pilled him. The vet pulled him off at that point and he seemed to recover fine.
Now, I’m also not pleased to report a radical change in disposition. Fang has gone from a loudmouth crazypants pestering me every single hour of every day, to silence and sleeping by himself on his Base Camp pillow. Recall the Battle of the Beds and you will understand how uncharacteristic this is.
This last development started yesterday, just after Teresa’s Tellington session. In the past Fang has only slept briefly and then he’s up and at it for another bout of crazypantsness. This time both boys slept through dinnertime and I only managed to feed them when I got back from drum practice. Bugs ate. Fang did not.
So – I’m looking for variables. Fang sick and on antibiotics, Teresa’s session, a minor change in diet that’s never been a problem before, some developmental phase the boys are going through in their relationship, or either jointly or singly, or maybe it’s my financial worries infecting the atmosphere, or maybe it’s the annular eclipse or some other unexplained disturbance in The Force. What? What?
Here’s one concrete question I can ask. I spoke with the vet yesterday to report Fang’s progress and to ask her about a substance I first read about on Layla’s blog. It’s called Vetericyn. Here’s what its website says about itself, as applied to cats:
“From scratches to bites to ear and eye infections . . . Vetericyn works quickly. . . . In addition, it is safe as water so it will not harm your cat or the environment. . . . Vetericyn is non-toxic so it will not cause injury if it happens to be ingested or licked after application. This is possible because Vetericyn works in the same way as your cat’s immune system. As such, the body recognizes it as a friendly infection-aiding ally. Vetericyn also creates an optimal environment for healing.”
Layla calls it “amazing.”
I assume, also, that Layla’s vet Dr. G. also likes it. Cesar Millan likes it too, apparently. That’s a lot of credibility going for it in my book.
I want it to be amazing too. I’m not anti-antibiotics. I have a healthy respect for them. But I’m also scared of them. For reasons our blogging friend Lahgitana knows only too well.
I’m looking for less of a sledge-hammer approach. I’m also looking for preventative care.
I explained that last bit to my vet. I was hoping she could advise me on using Vetericyn to augment the antibiotics and, also, as an early-stage preventive the next time Fangie’s eye started acting up. Her response, and this was something I truly did not want to hear at between $24.00 and $39.00 a pop, for two or four ounces, was: “It can’t do any harm.”
She said she had “asked around” and that the consensus was, the supporting studies just weren’t there.
Now I had hoped my vet would read about the science, which the Vetericyn site offers here – which is way over my head, needless to say – and draw her own conclusions. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear her say she had done that. Just – word is out that the product hadn’t been tested to satisfaction.
Now again – I have a huge respect for the scientific method. I also know it has its limitations. I also know that once we depart from the tried and true, I mostly don’t know jack about how to assess the “realness” of things. I do my own explorations into “unrealness,” finding them quite amazingly “real” in several outstanding instances that are extremely important to me –
But when it comes to caring for the health of my kids, I feel tired when I think of exploring like that. I want others who have done the exploration to report back to me and convince me. And I’d hope they’d also be available for reassurance, should things not go smoothly.
I’ve been happy with the medical treatment my vet has offered – but I also know her suggested next step for Fang is to open the tear duct by probing and irrigation. How’s that sound to you, in the pleasant and comfortable and preventive department?
My vet also says that this nasal-lachrimal problem is the kind of thing that plagues kittens, but that Fang may grow out of it.
I’m going to ask Layla, on her blog, my one concrete question – hoping that her Dr. G. will address it: What about the science behind Vetericyn? What about their experience with it? Can you guys convince me that when it comes to the choice between putting gas in the car, and buying Vetericyn – I should go for the Vetericyn?
Here’s Fang, alone on his pillow in Base Camp. Pretty much hurts my heart right now.