Anti-Something Or Other

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.


About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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30 Responses to Anti-Something Or Other

  1. Marcy Benham says:

    Poor Fang!! I don’t know anything about Vetericyn, have never heard of it, but may I suggest probiotics for Fang? His gut may be unhappy with the killing off of his friendly flora there, hence throwing off his appetite. Rescue Remedy homeopathic couldn’t hurt either. I have a homeopathic book for pets, if you’d like to borrow it. I’m a big believer in them for animals since their only side effect is that they don’t work – totally safe for babies, pets, the elderly. Just a thought.

    • nadbugs says:

      Dear Marcy, I so appreciate hearing from you — this is especially a nice surprise because I thought you might have been abroad? As you’ll see from my latest post, thanks to Kim and you I am going to try the homeopathic route — but just not unaided. Which is so reassuring. Let’s see what the homeo vet says about the probiotics. I’m cutting back on (but not completely stopping) the antibiotics, until the consult — but what I’ve heard is, it’s counterproductive to take the pro while the antis are still in there — one after the other would be the better choice. Whatever. Basically I’m totally thrilled to get your assistance. Mwah!

  2. Awwww…. Poor Fang 😦 I hope he gets better real soon. It is not good for us not to eat for too long 😦
    Sending you and Fang purrs and cuddles!

  3. Oldcat says:

    I would just attribute the moodiness to him feeling poorly. Cats tend to shut down when they feel vulnerable. A head infection might also affect balance and make him cautious.

    If your vet thinks it won’t be harmful, then I wouldn’t worry so much about hurting Fang by trying it. My cat Cassie was in a drug test program for years, that didn’t end up going commercial because it lost effectiveness in pills too long. I kept giving it to her from a pharmacy that mixed it up fresh for years after.

    There are a lot of steps between ‘seems to work’ and commercial sale. And even then there can be issues – look at Gus with the ear medicine and Feliway. I still haven’t seen anyone report that reaction on the web.

    Forget the price – I’ll pay for it if you want to try it. It comes down to if you want to try it out.

    • Oldcat says:

      PS – Amazon has a Vetericyn Feline Eye Wash for 20 dollars for 8 oz.

      • nadbugs says:

        Oldcat, you are absolutely the tops. I am so so grateful to you, for your enormous generosity with all you do, your wisdom, the beauty of your blog and your dear threesome — and now $$. You are so kind. I so value you. Thank you, thank you.

        And for the tips about Fangie withdrawing, and Cassie’s experience, and the balance suggestion. Superb. I’ve made a note to tell the homeo vet what you suggest.

        A million thanks. I will wait with the Vetericyn, because of the homeo consult — but I prize and value your offer beyond what I can say. Thank you again and again.

  4. Poor baby…… if he isn’t feeling so good, that will affect his appetite. Not to mention cats need to smell to eat. My foster Silver had snot so bad at one point that I had to wipe her nose clean and then she was all “hey – dinner!!”. 🙂 I would certainly seek a second opinion before surgery – that just sounds scary. Sometimes with these rescues, especially if they get so sick, it is just an ongoing thing. My Ivy was SO sick as a tiny kitten – and 3 years later still feels the need to sneeze on me once in a while to make sure I know she loves me. Preventative is the way to go – keep them healthy to avoid the big scares.

    • nadbugs says:

      I love your input about the smell. So great to know. And to hear all you’ve been through with Ivy’s process. It helps just more than I can say, what you say here. Huge thanks and head-butts. Really.

  5. We hope Fang is feeling better real soon. We’ve never heard of Vetericyn, but our mom likes non-antibiotic stuff for us too. Our vet sounds like your vet…if it hasn’t been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, she is reluctant to support using it. Our mom has tried things anyways, so she thinks it’s worth giving the Vetericyn a try. Hopefully, Layla and Dr. G can give you some more info.

    • nadbugs says:

      Yes! I hope they do come with more info. I’m so smiling, at your saying mom’s “tried things anyways.” Well what else can we do, really! Conservative and careful is excellent, but if all-guns-blazing w/ antibiotics, or surgery, are the only two alternatives offered, well, really, we are kind of left on our own . . .

  6. Ivy says:

    My heart goes out to you and Fangie… I can completely sympathize with your concerns. Like Random Felines says above, I agree a second opinion would be welcome before an eventual surgery. The answer to your ‘what, what,what?’ is most probably a combination of some variables, as it happens most of the time. I echo the previous comments: the moodiness is only due to feeling poorly. I don’t know about Vetericyn but I agree with Oldcat that if the vet says it doesn’t hurt, then you should certainly try it. Unfortunately, I can’t help you through the more obvious channels, but there is one thing I can do: the eclipse energies have indeed been strong and it is possible that it is also playing a role in his general disposition. So even with the risk of being judged as a loony, I need to tell you that I know how to help in this area and I’ll be sending balancing energy to Fangie from here. It can’t hurt, right? Much love for the 3 of you!

    • nadbugs says:

      You see, dear Ivy! It worked! 🙂

      • Ivy says:

        I’m so glad it did. I’m sure it wasn’t just it, things are never that simple. But a combination of things is more like it and you were already covering the medicine thing. I hope he keeps recovering!

  7. lahgitana says:

    I ache for you. Seeing Fang like that tears me up and I’m only looking at a picture.

    BIG yes about cats shutting down when they’re hurt or ill. It’s what they do. They also tend to hide, so don’t be too scared if he starts that. There’s a reason for the expression about crawling away to lick our wounds. And yes again about needing to smell to eat–I heat the refrigerated cat tuna for 6 seconds and it works like a charm.

    I agree with Oldcat about testing vs. commercial sales. May not mean much.

    For instance–after my medical excitement, my PA reviewed the literature on use of probiotics for my condition and found no supportable research.

    My acupuncturist said I didn’t need probiotics, just 4 oz of yogurt a day.

    The Amazon site for the particular probiotic recommended by actual sufferers was full of anecdotal YES IT WORKED!

    I went to a naturopath and she gave me probiotics for my constant nasal stuff, which has WORKED VERY WELL, reducing my vertigo as well.

    So, I had the same feeling you do–surely SOMEONE has sifted through the research…. I’m so sorry to confirm that you have to go with your gut. Accept graciously Oldcat’s offer to buy the new stuff, while remembering that it is part of the give and take of the Universe and this weird blog world.

    I know from money worries and I wish I could say the right thing.

    We’re here. Don’t go away.

    • nadbugs says:

      Heavens, why would I go away, when you are here! I am touched and moved beyond what will fit in this little box, dear Lahgitana. And so so grateful to you for your experience. While wishing it hadn’t been so dire for you. But so glad things are looking up. So glad to “know” you. So encouraged and heartened and just glad glad glad. Wasn’t that Oldcat offer something else. I mean. Amazing.

  8. CATachresis says:

    That last picture of fang pulls at mu heartstrings. Poor little guy. I can guess at how you must be feeling 😦

    I’m sorry I can’t help with suggestions, as I don’t know Vetericyn! Too many antibiotics of course destroy the good bacteria as well, so maybe his immune system is compromised! It does sound like acute inflammation in his sinus area caused by .. whatever? Could it be an allergy? Maybe to something he’s eating? I say this because I know it is possible for us humans to have bloody snot etc from being lactose intolerant!! Just talking through my hat here, but you have my sympathies and plenty of good thoughts coming your way xx

    • nadbugs says:

      And your kindness helps so very much, dear CAT. He did look so glum. Argh. I wrung my hands. Such a sad moment. Thank you for your warmth, so much.

  9. Dianda says:

    I hope Fang will be feeling better soon, and that he will eat!
    I personally would have tried that Vetericyn out. Tho, I never heard about it before! I’m about to check out their site, i’m very curious about it.
    And Anti-biotics are nasty stuff, eventhough they might help your kitty getting better.

  10. Ok, I read the vet jargon. I understand the basics of how it works. In layman’s terms, it works partly like a white blood cell protecting against harm, and partly like hydrogen peroxide – which doesn’t ‘kill’ bacteria directly, it emits pure oxygen and poisons the bad guys to death by not letting them breathe (pure oxygen is a poison). I say it should work, if it gets directly on the site of infection. I’d try it on myself, to be honest – I don’t get infections though – becuase it at least seems valid. Yes expensive, but less so than surgery.

    Give the little guy an extra hug from me, he is showing the only way he knows how that he doesn’t feel good, mom. I have no experience with cats that won’t eat, good for me but bad for advice…

    • nadbugs says:

      Yes, Spiders, after all that you have been through in the sick-kid department, I’m extremely glad you haven’t had to cope with the off-the-food thing! Thank you so much for interpreting the science. Kim’s hubbie says it’s like “super-oxygenated water,” so that squares with what you say, too, doesn’t it.

  11. Is he drinking? not eating while sick can be normal, but he needs to drink. Even if you have to offer him water (maybe with tuna juice in it?) right on his base camp bed. Sick kitties make us feel so helpless, I know. If the vet says that stuff wont hurt him, I say try it.
    Hugs all around and I hope he gets over this quick.

    • nadbugs says:

      Gadzooks, all there is to worry about and I completely forgot to worry about hydration. What a great suggestion — if he hadn’t started to eat again (shhh), I would definitely have done what you say and now it’s in my consciousness, thanks to you, I’m so relieved! Because he sure doesn’t drink on his own. Bugsie does, a little, after he has treats — but Fang never. Oh lord. I am SO grateful to you!

  12. I’m late but sending warm hugs to YOU and Fang. Poor guy, I just had a round of flu myself and I can empathize with the little chap.

    • nadbugs says:

      Oh I am just opposed to sickness! I’ve been following what you’ve been through and it does not sound like fun! Warm hugs and empathy are heaven. Thank you, and back atcha. You bring all that plus laughter into this house and we really appreciate you.

  13. minlit says:

    How is he? I’m always playing catch up these days. But I’m with Oldcat. If I can help , drop me an e.mail. His fur looks like the fur of a not well kitty. Will be thinking about you. D

  14. Wazeau says:

    Poor Fang, I hope he is feeling better. I’m no expert or scientist and no nothing about medications so can only offer up my well wishes.

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