Bugs’s plumbing problems continue. He tested positive again for white blood cells and he’s still spraying. The homeopathic vet thinks the initial remedy took hold, though, so he upped the dose for a second round.
Over the course of the initial treatment, some of Bugs’s other old symptoms returned, specifically the dermatitis. The vet interprets this as consistent with a healing trend, but he was cross with me for treating the dermatitis with Vetericyn. Apparently Vetericyn could have messed up the homeopathic remedy’s effectiveness.
Even so, though, the vet thought that on the whole, things were still OK. He explained that Bugs’s urinary issues are probably an acute manifestation of a chronic condition. The vet’s treating the chronic constitutional state with the higher dose, but, he said, he may also have to treat the acute symptoms too. Then, when those are gone, he’ll go back to the constitutional treatment. I hope I’ve understood his thinking. “It’s complicated,” he said.
Bugs sleeps through it all.
About that weird thing I mentioned last time? The other day, Bugs came over for his customary “biscuits” ritual. This was the jump-up-and-dash version, except with one striking variation. After he jumped-up-and-dashed, I was overcome by an eye-watering – well, stink, to be frank. I went straight for it; no need to search. I found a small wet spot, bracketed with two yellowish spots shaped like grains of rice.
Yes. A topic I have not yet run across: The anal sacs.
If you should search the Net on this topic, you will find all manner of horrible stuff about problems in this area. Impaction. Hand-expression. You can actually find videos of the latter on youtube. I don’t even want to look again for the links – viewing them once was plenty. The kind of visual you know will never disappear from the mind’s eye.
Lots of explanations, too. Cats are supposed to vacate the sacs when they poop, or are alarmed or upset, or to mark territory.
The homeo vet was unfazed, however. He thought Bugs was probably a little blocked and that’s why he needed to express. The sacs were plugged but not distended and they needed to open up. He said the expression wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t been plugged. He viewed this as an improvement, evidence of a response after the remedy.
You may not be seeing anything weird in this. I am putting off telling you the weird part, but I see the time has come.
After I did a spot-clean of the duvet where Bugs left the mark, I found the smell, diluted and sweetened by the soap and water, to be quite, well – delicious?
This explains why a substance like this (happily synthetic these days) is added to perfumes. I like this description: “The scent is very pungent and fecal but . . . gives an amazing radiance and warmth to florals.”
I’ll say. You might want to take my word for it, in case you’re not up for reproducing this experience at home. For my part, though, I must admit that it was a most remarkable exercise in the wonder of the senses. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything, especially because Bugs isn’t in trouble in that department at least.
That enjoyment might be the weird bit.
That’s not weird! I know civet cats aren’t really cats, but I think it’s their secretions that are used in perfume. (One of my cats has recurrent anal sac problems because he won’t eat any dry food, which adds fiber to the diet, which makes bulkier stool, which keeps the sacs working right.) What’s a little weird is homeopathic medicine. Of course, it’s more gently weird than allopathic medicine, which is weird like a sledgehammer. But it’s a little scary when the vet gets mad at you for upsetting his delicate healings by administering something . . . that works. It smacks a little bit of faith healing and ideology. These are tough shoals to navigate. But . . . whatever works, say I. I am always looking for old-timer vets with common sense and a light touch; the last one I know personally who’s still practicing is in NC. I brought my cat in, his assistant let him out to roam the room, the vet came in and the first thing he did was get down on the floor with him.
Dry food is not a good idea. I suggest psyllium husks for bulk.
my cats are all on raw and no ‘fiber’ and their anal sacs are fine.
Many years ago, when there were un-neutered cats in the neighborhood, there were fights with spraying. The ones who were sprayed for a day or two smelled like stinky tom boy urine. As days passed the scent changed to talcum powder. So is that what musk smells like?? and does it come from sources like this?
Doesn’t sound like what this was, Anne. Stinky tomboy urine is not it! Think feces mixed with the stench of gymsocks and jockey shorts, soaked in smegma and underarm sweat and then marinated at a rolling boil for, oh, say, a week. Truly horrendous. That’s musk. In the old days it used to be extracted from the anal sacs of civets. See link in text.
Oh- Barney, that magnificent tail!!
Bugs’ medical issues sure are complicated! And rather strange! My human says she will pass on any anal sac experiments. I’m kind of relieved.
my Jack has very loose anal sacs.. he ‘lets them go’ when ever I restrain him or comb him, or he gets excited.. which is cause for a major round of sniffing in the household as everyone seems to adore his anal sac secretions.. they can’t stop sniffing him and licking.. to me it is weird and gross, but to a cat, it is just cat stuff..
my first awareness of anal sacs came when my overweight diabetic (kibble fed) cat was impacted and then ended up expressing them on the bed.. freaked me out because initially I thought she pooped, but it was way too small. She was already scheduled to the vet and he explained what happened to me and checked her out and he finished expressing them. Fortunately it never happened again.
oh wait.. I meant to comment on the holistic vet stuff. Very interesting and thank you for sharing it. Since I have cats who have urinary issues, i’m curious what you are doing..
Well, that was enlightening! Austin sometimes lets go a favouring zephyr when he gets a bit errr excited, but I have never seen anything solid. He drools both ends sometimes!
How’s Bugs doing now? How are you doing?
WOW! Thank you for the vertigo video! I’m not sure I’m supple enough to do that lol, but will give it a go if it happens again! I’ve had labyrinthitis before and it was a lot like that but didn’t last so long. However as I am having sinus problems now (won’t bore you!) the doc thinks it’s all to do with that and has given something to deal with it. Feel like I’m in a permanent dreamy state and everything is in slow motion and a bit surreal! Austin is being very attentive 🙂