Overwhelmed by Giardia

Meowmee

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Long time lurker who finally decided to create an account. =^..^=

Anyways, sorry that Merlin is experiencing diarrhea. One of my own cats experienced diarrhea for a better part of a year and I know how frustrating it can be.

I totally think it was outlandish that Merlin was sent home covered in stool. IMHO, you shouldn’t have even had to ask to have him cleaned. They should have just done it for you.

However, I don’t think your above statement about veterinarians is quite fair. Medicine as a whole is headed towards a test base approach. When I had a kidney stone a few years ago, a CT scan and ultrasound were performed. Human doctors don’t typically make diagnoses without test results to back them up. In veterinary medicine, an additional layer of complexity is added as the patients don’t speak. Veterinarians make their best guess based on physical exam and history to come up with a list of diagnoses. That list of diagnoses for diarrhea based solely on PE and history is quite exhausting – thus the need for testing to rule out diagnoses.

Here hopefully a helpful article I found on many different diarrheal diseases in cats.
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C. diff is first and they mention a type of clay that is used in horses to bind the C diff toxins. The article indicates that the clay can be used in cats as well.

Wishing you and Merlin the best!

Medical Disclaimer: My comments are not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your cat’s medical condition. Never disregard your veterinarian’s treatment or delay obtaining help because of something I have posted.
Thanks for that article I will read it. hopefully Merlin’s diarrhea is going to become a thing of the past because he had a normal poop for two days now thank God! So sorry that you had to experience that in your poor cat had diarrhea for so long. I am just hoping that this is it for Merlin and he’s not gonna go back to diarrhea again.

I have to disagree that I am being unfair if I had said all DVM blah blah blah then it would be unfair but the sad fact is many DVM are terrible at diagnosing have a lack of knowlegde and they do push a lot of very expensive stuff. Yes tests have to be done to diagnose often times and it seems in dvm world it often does not give a diagnosis. I did the expensive tests and more and I still don’t really have a diagnosis and I now have a DVM who has not called me back for days and days. that is not ok.

This is only one experience I am relating here and there have been a lot of bad things already with three different DVM. My former DVM treated one of my cats for cancer without any tests except an us previous. He had cancer and the treatment helped, he lived for a nearly a year so sometimes you can treat things without doing a lot of tests. In your case you were actually lucky that you even got tests and a diagnosis to be honest with the way things are going in human medicine these days. You often have to argue with people and tell them what to do because they are so clueless. Or they want to avoid ins issues etc. But anyway if you have insurance in human medicine it is covered.

I think we should separate what I said about diagnosing / testing and communicating from gross negligence and things like that because it is not exactly the same thing obviously. What happened to Merlin was really very negligent, that hospital should be closed down. You do understand that they contaminated their hospital, me and my home with a highly infectious bacteria? That is not OK in any universe.

Of course I should not have had to ask. I knew they prolly weren’t going to do it because they were trying to get rid of me in the beginning. they were trying to send him home no charge covered in diarrhea. And they weren’t going to tell me about it. And then on top of that the DVM told me that they had cleaned him when I left causing me and possibly my whole house to be contaminated! What happened to him was not outlandish it was gross negligence and just cruel. It is essentially animal cruelty to leave an animal with feces all over them.
 
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calicosrspecial

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AWESOME!!! Let's hope it continues.

I will say, it does take time to make sure. I had a cat with IBS where it would oscillate between good and bad. With my cat with giardia once the diarrhea was gone it was gone. It just depends. Until the tests/PCR tests are clear then some of it can come back. I don't want to be a downer since this is fantastic news but just take one day at a time.

I know, it is SO HARD to figure out what is working with so many moving pieces. Unfortunately it is trial and error AND it depends on what the cat actually has (giardia, IBS, etc).

I would say a PCR test would have caught Giardia so if it was negative then he most likely did not have Giardia. To the best of my understanding.

:( I can;t believe they don't call back. That is ridiculous. I wonder if they have the wrong number in your record or something.

I don't know about the other issues but with Giardia once the cysts are gone the cat is not a potential transmitter of Giardia anymore. It is the cysts that transmit giardia. But it is best to always get a vet's advice though.

WELL DONE!! Merlin!! Rewarding with chicken is great. I use chicken with ferals all the time and that is my secret calming item. And if it is warm................. I personally would keep him in isolation just in case and until you get confirmation that contagion is no longer a risk. Just don't want to have another cat potentially go through this. :/

That is AWESOME about Sybil. REALLY great job!!

This post made my day!! Let's hope this is the beginning of recovery!!! I will say, you have done everything and an amazing job helping him. It would not surprise me that maybe you have overcome the issues. Fingers crossed. GREAT job!!
 

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unfortunately probiotics made Merlin worse and they also make me worse too. I will not be giving him any more of those or any type of grain fiber either.
Oh no! So sorry to hear. Hope kitty feels better soon.
 

Meowmee

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AWESOME!!! Let's hope it continues.

I will say, it does take time to make sure. I had a cat with IBS where it would oscillate between good and bad. With my cat with giardia once the diarrhea was gone it was gone. It just depends. Until the tests/PCR tests are clear then some of it can come back. I don't want to be a downer since this is fantastic news but just take one day at a time.

I know, it is SO HARD to figure out what is working with so many moving pieces. Unfortunately it is trial and error AND it depends on what the cat actually has (giardia, IBS, etc).

I would say a PCR test would have caught Giardia so if it was negative then he most likely did not have Giardia. To the best of my understanding.

:( I can;t believe they don't call back. That is ridiculous. I wonder if they have the wrong number in your record or something.

I don't know about the other issues but with Giardia once the cysts are gone the cat is not a potential transmitter of Giardia anymore. It is the cysts that transmit giardia. But it is best to always get a vet's advice though.

WELL DONE!! Merlin!! Rewarding with chicken is great. I use chicken with ferals all the time and that is my secret calming item. And if it is warm................. I personally would keep him in isolation just in case and until you get confirmation that contagion is no longer a risk. Just don't want to have another cat potentially go through this. :/

That is AWESOME about Sybil. REALLY great job!!

This post made my day!! Let's hope this is the beginning of recovery!!! I will say, you have done everything and an amazing job helping him. It would not surprise me that maybe you have overcome the issues. Fingers crossed. GREAT job!!
Thanks 😊

Yes you’re right I am taking it one day at a time. Yesterday he had mostly normal poop and then a tiny tiny bit of semi soft so I’m going to keep him on the steroid a few days longer at the full dose. Well I still have not talked to DVM if you can believe it. I called again today and the lady I spoke with said she is giving him the message tomorrow and make sure he gets it even if she has to tape it on his forehead LOL. I did get a message through the other day where he gave me directions on how to reduce the steroids but not on any of my other questions.

DVM that was there that day gave her the message that I should still keep them isolated and she is not familiar with merlin’s case though. So frustrating because I do not want his social progress to decrease because he’s all alone again.

You know I think any test can be wrong for various reasons. Nothing is perfect. If the test is not done properly if the stool sample is not good for whatever reason etc. I know that I refrigerated the stool the first time and it was at least two days old so that could be why it tested negative for everything that time because I believe he had something at that time too. When he first got the diarrhea he had really bad runs like five or six times a day. I don’t think inflammatory bowel starts out that way. Even the Doctor Who did the ultrasound said that she thought he has tritrich parasite possibly. And that it’s very hard to test for. Even on a PCR.

It is odd because when Syb and wizard had Giardia they tested positive on a normal routine poop test. And they had no symptoms. I still treated them of course and the next test was negative I didn’t even clean anything that time. However I did have bad cramping at the time and I took Flagyl for like three doses at which point I felt like I was being poisoned and had to stop it. I am going to my Gastro doc office tomorrow and I will ask her about testing myself.

I am also decreasing his food a little bit again because I think his stomach etc. cannot handle the larger meals and he still needs several smaller meals a day. In the meantime a new beautiful fluffy cat has shown up and I am wondering if she is lost, dumped or just someone’s roaming cat maybe. I have named her Zena and she reminds me of my beautiful fluffy Sybil, Zena picture enclosed.


More later and I am glad the post made your day! Never thought I would be so happy to see a cat poop! 😻

1753C0C8-63C0-494A-9522-DD1DE27BD902.jpeg
 
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calicosrspecial

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That is good news. I know it may not be perfect but it is sure better than before. Fingers crossed. Amazing that the vet doesn't call. :(

I wouldn't worry too much about the social progress given the risk so transmission. We can solve any behavioral issues. I deal with ferals all the time, that will not be an issue. Much easier to deal with than medical.

Yes, totally agree. A fresh sample is really important. PCRs are really good tests but you are right, some things can be tough. I am not familiar with tritrich (Maybe because of the difficulty in picking it up on the tests) but working with the vets tend to help understand those tests (hopefully).

Yes, that is what makes giardia tough. Sometimes symptoms aren't there. What usually happens is sometimes it is not diagnosed on a float test that is why I always do PCR. And the tougher part is if the symptoms aren't there and they have it so it can be transmitted. A lot of kittens in the wild catch giardia and the cat immune system beats it on its own. Now the build that immunity so they build an immunity to it. My guess is you did a great job with them with the giardia. It really depends on where the cysts go and if they are in the litter box (and not on paws or tail etc) then it is easier to get rid of. And they must have been getting their dosing well.

I hope you are feeling better, hopefully you didn't catch anything. I do think if you properly wash your hands then it is unlikely. But I do know that there is a risk of inhaling something. When I was doing my research they mentioned the risk of running into raccoon poop with giardia and the risks of removing it from gutters etc. That a mask should be worn. NOT that I have cleaned a gutter let alone running into raccoon poop. And dog giardia is different than cat giardia. Ughhhhhhhhhh, it is too much. Not a bad idea to get tested just in case. I hope all is well and you get better soon.

That is a good idea. Smaller meals. And look at the ingredients and proteins and see if there might be anything that might be causing some of the issues.

WOW, she is GORGEOUS!!! Yes, hard to know until you interact with her. If she is feral you'll know it but it is hard to know if a cat is dumped or just an indoor/outdoor unless there is a tag or a chip.

I am happy and I am reading about the poop!!! :) Serious, that really made my day. I am hoping you are on the way back to normalcy!! Fingers crossed. Good luck!!
 

Meowmee

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It is tritrichomonas foetus, I posted the link earlier. Tritrichomonas foetus infection in cats | International Cat Care

Well he had pretty much normal poop again after not pooping for like a day and a half tiny bit of more flat shaped but not mushy which is good. Yay!

I am only giving him the home-cooked food now because I am worried that the fussie cat may have been contributing, but not a cause. I am positive now something in the dry food really was contributing in a large way so I’m not giving him that at all now. He ate that just before he had the explosive diarrhea at the hospital. Now that I am thinking about it I am starting to wonder if he really did have diarrhea in the car or if he just spit up and then he had the diarrhea after I got him there. I guess I will never know for sure. Makes it harder because I have to make sure I always have it on hand but if not I can always just give him chicken tidbits etc.

Unfortunately I woke up with terrible stomach pain I was dreaming that I had some pain and then woke up in pain. Had a lot of gas and then runs later and I think I do have something but who knows if it’s from Merlin or not etc. I was so tired that I slept all day the day I was supposed to go to the doctor so I’m going next week instead. I had that experience once before where I woke up in terrible pain and I was dreaming that I was in terrible pain as well screaming etc. and again it seemed to be gas and then runs etc. that was last year don’t know what is causing all of it.

zena did not show up all of last night and a.m. but my father thinks he saw her during the day while I was sleeping. Have not seen her at all but it is raining heavily now. I just realized I don’t know where I’m going to put her if she is tame and I get her inside. Someone emailed me from one of my posts.

She thinks it’s her cat but really I don’t think it’s possible because she lives in another state and had given the cat up to a shelter because she was attacking her dog. The shelter told her they were going to euthanize her because she had bad asthma. But she was hoping that somehow she got adopted or whatever. They do look very similar, but their white and black on the front paws looks different I think. The cat is not chipped so there is no way to know for sure .

Someone from the DVM left a message saying that he does not require isolation, so I called back and left a message and said how can you not require isolation if something is contagious? They called in the prescription for Ronidazole to Wedgwood pharmacy and I’m wondering if I should just order it and give it to him just in case he does have TF? That would pretty much cover everything I think and I wouldn’t have to worry about him being contagious anymore, I hope anyway.


I am very worried about cooking the liver that I put into their food now. I get b&e chicken livers and I add a percentage of that into the chicken meat. I cook it in the microwave but no longer no matter how long I cook it for it is still pink on the inside and I just read that means it’s not cooked enough… What do you think? Literally cooked it for like 45 minutes last night and still pink on the inside. I don’t get it. once when I did it on the grill it was still pink on the inside even though it was almost burned on the outside.
 
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calicosrspecial

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SO good that know you know what you are dealing with. Thanks for the link!!

That is very good. Let's hope it continues solid.

Sometimes it is an ingredient or a protein.. Very possible. Yes, throw up can smell and be like diarrhea. It is so hard to know.

I am so sorry. It could be stress. Of course, it is best to get tested just in case. :( I hope you feel better soon.

They can be tricky. Then can show up but not be seen. That is common. Is there a rescue around you that could maybe keep her for a while? Also, contact Alley Cat Allies and see if anyone is in your area from the network they have. They have people in a lot of areas that are feral caretakers etc that can help. Don't take her to Animal Control or a Humane Society. "No kill" is not always truly no kill. :(

I would highly doubt it is her cat. A lot of cats look alike. :/

Hmmmmm. well. the vet should know. I would just do some checking just to make sure since transmission is not good. Sorry, I just don't know. If the vet suggests it then I would do what the vet says. Or get a second opinion if you don't trust. Sorry, I can't be more help.

Oh my, I don't know as I never cooked chicken livers. I am old school. I don't have a microwave and only use the oven. But I am not sure how long chicken livers would bake. Strange on the grill it was still pink. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I would check other sources on the internet.

Here is what the CDC says.

Infographic on Cooking Chicken Liver | EHS | CDC
 

Meowmee

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SO good that know you know what you are dealing with. Thanks for the link!!

That is very good. Let's hope it continues solid.

Sometimes it is an ingredient or a protein.. Very possible. Yes, throw up can smell and be like diarrhea. It is so hard to know.

I am so sorry. It could be stress. Of course, it is best to get tested just in case. :( I hope you feel better soon.

They can be tricky. Then can show up but not be seen. That is common. Is there a rescue around you that could maybe keep her for a while? Also, contact Alley Cat Allies and see if anyone is in your area from the network they have. They have people in a lot of areas that are feral caretakers etc that can help. Don't take her to Animal Control or a Humane Society. "No kill" is not always truly no kill. :(

I would highly doubt it is her cat. A lot of cats look alike. :/

Hmmmmm. well. the vet should know. I would just do some checking just to make sure since transmission is not good. Sorry, I just don't know. If the vet suggests it then I would do what the vet says. Or get a second opinion if you don't trust. Sorry, I can't be more help.

Oh my, I don't know as I never cooked chicken livers. I am old school. I don't have a microwave and only use the oven. But I am not sure how long chicken livers would bake. Strange on the grill it was still pink. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I would check other sources on the internet.

Here is what the CDC says.

Infographic on Cooking Chicken Liver | EHS | CDC
Well I don’t know still but the us doc suspects a t feotus variant. Unfortunately he went back to mush, but not totally loose, today😿. I ordered the ronidazole but it will take 3-4 days prolly to get here. I am trying not to get totally discouraged here but it is so upsetting. I am wondering if it will ever end and how it could be normal for 3-4 days and then mush?

I never have those kind of symptoms and pain from stress and have learned not to tell myself anything is stress after several life threatening events etc.

I agree Zena is not her cat but she may be someone else's cat since she has not been here at all now. I really have no hope any rescues would help since none helped with Merlin and I would not take a cat to any shelter now. They are better off outside with a shelter etc. if they are just going to be killed eventually.

I feel this dvm is wrong and if it were his cat he would isolate so I will do it until after ronidazole and a neg c diff test. It is very hard to do though.

I read another site which says pink on the inside is ok, lol. Wish there was consistency in what is ok. I broiled them again and they were def cooked well but pink inside.
 

calicosrspecial

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Let's hope it is the right track. I get a sense it is. I know it is hard but hang in there, you are making progress. You did have days of improvement which is great. Some cats will have softer stools. As long as he is cleared of any parasites, etc then it isn't the worst thing as long as he is acting normal, not losing weight, etc. But just take it one step at a time. I think you are going to get through this.

:( I hope it is nothing or if it is something it can be cured quickly.

Yes, it is hard to know. If you saw my feral colony cats you would think they have a home. But they are in a colony. Some cats get dumped. Some are let out and back in. It is so hard to know. But all we can do is our best. I too would never take a cat to a rescue (unless I am certain it is a real one but if so it would take a space from someone else) or a shelter and I try to integrate them into my colony or if I can take them in my house. It is hard to take care of a colony and there is definitely heartbreak but if euthanasia is the other option and I can give them a good life in a feral cat colony it is worth it (and maybe get them a forever home at some point). Ughhhhhhh, it is never easy.

I always err on the side of caution. It is very hard to keep them isolated sadly. :( But I agree it is best even though very difficult.

Hmmmmmmm. It doesn't really make sense. If it really is chicken as the CDC says then it shouldn't be pink. I know I wouldn't eat pink chicken. BUT why is it still pink when it shouldn't be? After it is cooked well?

Hang in there. I know it is hard and frustrating but it really does sound like you are making progress. Maybe not as fast as we would like but it seems like progress. You are doing everything you can and doing your best. Things tend to work on when we do that.
 

Meowmee

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Let's hope it is the right track. I get a sense it is. I know it is hard but hang in there, you are making progress. You did have days of improvement which is great. Some cats will have softer stools. As long as he is cleared of any parasites, etc then it isn't the worst thing as long as he is acting normal, not losing weight, etc. But just take it one step at a time. I think you are going to get through this.

:( I hope it is nothing or if it is something it can be cured quickly.

Yes, it is hard to know. If you saw my feral colony cats you would think they have a home. But they are in a colony. Some cats get dumped. Some are let out and back in. It is so hard to know. But all we can do is our best. I too would never take a cat to a rescue (unless I am certain it is a real one but if so it would take a space from someone else) or a shelter and I try to integrate them into my colony or if I can take them in my house. It is hard to take care of a colony and there is definitely heartbreak but if euthanasia is the other option and I can give them a good life in a feral cat colony it is worth it (and maybe get them a forever home at some point). Ughhhhhhh, it is never easy.

I always err on the side of caution. It is very hard to keep them isolated sadly. :( But I agree it is best even though very difficult.

Hmmmmmmm. It doesn't really make sense. If it really is chicken as the CDC says then it shouldn't be pink. I know I wouldn't eat pink chicken. BUT why is it still pink when it shouldn't be? After it is cooked well?

Hang in there. I know it is hard and frustrating but it really does sound like you are making progress. Maybe not as fast as we would like but it seems like progress. You are doing everything you can and doing your best. Things tend to work on when we do that.

It is def looking a lot more hopeful after 3 days of normal poop. I would like him back to normal if possible, none of my cats ever had long term mush it was rare to have any runs/ mush and it always went away quickly with nothing done mostly. Quinn had the most poop issues, but the diet cured him. I just think longterm poop or digestive issues can lead to worse things. Plus I think we are pretty much keeping him now and I would like to train him on a cat genie which really is not good for soft poop etc. very hard to scoop etc. it is designed to also scoop up the poop and grind it up but I scoop Quinn‘s poop out of it and the urine just gets drained out and then all the plastic litter is washed each time it is cycled. The scoop is not a designed to scoop mushy poop. But it will cause a problem even if it is on manual and I’m scooping it out, it will be a big mess to clean all the time.

I was thinking I would go ahead and buy a new for one in my studio and have the plumber hook it up and then they can each have their own genie so I don’t have the issue of them fighting over it etc. That is assuming when they are re-introduced everything is as good as it was- I think it will be though because Merlin has run out a couple times before I could stop him and Quinn did not growl or try to attack him again.

They both seem to be cats who pee a lot and it is really hard on me doing so much scooping so only having to scoop the poop occasionally and not worry about mushy poop is much better. Plus I am allergic to all of the other types of cat litter, they make all of my allergy asthma and eczema symptoms worse. And I really cannot stand cat litter all over the place. the Cat Genie cat litter does get all over the place and it drives me crazy too but it doesn’t seem to be as bad as the other natural ones that I use.

I have not been cleaning sterilizing the litter box for a few days because I was waiting for him to show signs of improvement and I think now is the time to change everything out again. Then I will wait until the rinidazole treatment is done and change it again. I remember when my cats had giardia, Syb and Wiz, although they were not symptomatic, I did not change the litter at all I just treated them and it went away fortunately. In fact I didn’t clean anything that time LOL. Angie had it briefly as a kitten and I just treated her and it went away I never cleaned anything I wasn’t aware that that was a route of re infection at that time. But the treatment alone seem to work. Whatever is going on with Merlin is much more severe obviously.

I went to the gastro doctor earlier- she is doing lots of tests, even the PCR test for C. difficile. So hopefully I will find out if the exposure after the dvm ER hospital Merlin debacle caused me to get with C. difficile or anything else. They don’t test humans for t foetus as far as I know so I guess it is not zoonotic. I also have a terrible itchy rash all over my chest now, I’m wondering if that is related. I do get this on and off and people think it is eczema, however I wonder if it could be related to this as well I forgot to ask her. It usually responds to steroids but it did not really respond even to the foam that much this time.

Terrible decisions that we have to make sometimes 😿but I agree with you that it’s better for them to live outside than not to be alive at all. Provided they have some shelter and they’re cared for. That’s great that you take care of them, it is really not an easy job to do. Have you ever managed to get any of yours adopted that were in your colony who were tame etc.?

Zena has shown up again tonight, I could hardly believe it and then my father said that he had seen her earlier in the day- it is very cold 17° So I’m assuming she is lost or dumped because most people will not let their cat out in this weather but still I cannot be sure. Fluffy cats are different though. I let Syb out in the snow, she loved it and with her, long coat I don’t think she really felt that cold. We used to spend hours roaming around in the snow. She had a bench by the door that she would sit on, she loved to watch everything from there. She would come in and then asked to go out again right away LOL. At the end of her life it was only leash walks of course. Miss her so much. When I took Wiz for leash walks she would walk around with us she was so devoted.

So I guess I have to start thinking about trapping Zena. I am not sure if she will use it but I am working on another shelter made out of a large Coleman cooler. I saw someone’s video on YouTube with instructions. I am just wondering if I should make an exit door on it? My larger wooden shelter has two cat doors, the kitty tube only has one but they said it is so small that a predator will not be able to get in there. Giorgio has been using the kitty tube.

I will probably order another kitty tube as well, maybe I should have just ordered more of those because it is easier for me with all my problems right now and it is not that cheap to do the cooler one either. The kitty tube I have, I bought 3 to 4 years ago and it is still in perfect condition. although most of my colony cats are friends I don’t know if they would go into a shelter together. I have only once seen little cat, one of the first cats to show up, looking inside the large wooden one, but I am hoping that when it is really cold like today they do go inside. It is well insulated and I have straw and shelves in there for them. It has some wear and tear now though but not to the point that it can’t be used so I’m going to have to get somebody to repair it for me at some point.

I opened the door and gave her some wet food in addition to the dry food out, talked to her a little bit. she backed away at first but came back to eat some of the wet food, after I closed the door, ate more dry food and then left. I guess I better get that shelter done, tonight maybe, I’m so scared my back is going to go in a big spasm again if I try to do anything like that. I need to set up more cameras to see who is using the shelters LOL.

I hate doing the trapping now, it is really physically hard for me and much worse right now with everything that has happened. I really should not be doing it. and I would really prefer she just turns out to be tame and maybe I can get her into a carrier or something if it comes to that. I’m really just hoping that she is someone’s cat coming to eat or she is lost and she finds her way home. I had posted her on some groups and people offered to help trap at least maybe, who knows if they really will, so I guess I could ask someone else to trap her for me but then they will just take her away and I will have no clue what they end up doing with her.

In the past I always seemed to get stray cats, some at least, that just walked right into my house etc. LOL. I put them in the carrier and took them to my regular Dvm for neuter. ! And then released, one got adopted by a neighbor. I do remember taking one once years ago that I thought was tame, that I somehow got into a carrier and when he got to the dvm he went crazy and started climbing the wall! I don’t know how they did it but they managed to get a towel over him and do something like vaccinate him etc. It was hard to believe. 🙀
 
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calicosrspecial

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That is good, 3 days. Totally agree. Normal would be great. I hear you, soft/mush typically is a sign of something and can lead to issues down the road. I know giardia often (or most of the time) causes issues as they get older. :( Let's just hope it is simple and can be fixed with medicine or diet (as with Quinn). Just take it one step at a time and not worry about things that may or may not happen. I know it is easier said than done but just try.

That is a good idea. To give them another option for the genie. I think they will be fine but just do some positive associations and positive encounters and just rebuild that trust and if there are any issues we'll fix them. The behavioral is easy, we can handle that.

Sounds like a good solution. I think you have it well thought out.

I think that is a good idea. I am about a lot of cleaning but I have some time. Your plan sounds good.

I know, some people do everything possible with giardia and they get reinfection while others do little and they don't reinfect. I do think making sure they get all the medicine is really the most important thing and where it probably breaks down. But cleaning issues can. It is hard. The good news is they do get an immunity from it though I am not sure how soon.

That is good. You should know soon then. I haven't heard of rashes from cats (with things like this) but who knows. The doctor should know. Let's hope it goes away. Immune things can be tricky but the doctors are good at diagnosing at least. Let's hope you get better soon.

Awful decisions. I have had a lot of tragedies since the predators are pretty bad. So I really struggle with this and feel guilty when things don't go as planned. Emotionally it is very hard. But I just can't chose euthanasia over giving a cat a chance. I don't know, it is for a higher power than I am capable. I have gotten some adopted out. But it is hard as everyone is either full or allergic. And I struggle with whether to socialize them (which means they are more vulnerable) if it is so hard to find a home. I am not sure there are "right" answers, all we can do is our best. A lot of happiness (I love the ferals) but there is a lot of sadness as well. But I wouldn't change what I do but would like to do it better if there is a better way of protecting them.

:( Oh my, that is cold!! Well, some people are clueless and like you mention some cats must like the outdoors and be able to handle the cold. :( It is so hard to know. You may want to ask around and see if anyone knows where the cat might belong. Of course, they can go a distance even with a home. :/ Syb sounds adorable. I know, we miss them greatly but they do always live in our hearts. I knew someone whose cat would go on walks with the dogs (cat off lead). It is really cute to see.

I use the Ark Workshop Outdoor Cat houses for my ferals. I am not sure how good they are in extreme cold like you see. I beleive in 2 exits/entrys. Have to be big enough for the cat to get in but small enough to keep predators out. Here is a link to cat shelters. Community Cat Shelter Options Gallery

Oh, it sounds like you have some good shelter. Yeah, maybe another kitty tube? An issue is if the cats will sleep together. Some of mine will and some wont so I have to have a number of excess homes for them.

That is very good. Feeding. Just be careful with your back. I know, it is hard to figure out what is best. I would ask around the neighborhood and see if anyone knows anything. If you are seeing her all the time (during the day, night etc) then she may be "homeless". It is so hard to know.

I would contact Alley Cat Allies as they have a list (Feral Friends Network) of people that help and maybe someone is in your area. Since it would be physically hard to do it yourself.

Wow, you are lucky. They may have been dumped or a socialized feral. A real feral that is really rare if you haven't worked with them. Usually ferals will freak out in the vet office. Once in a while they get like stone. Having a vet that knows ferals helps a lot. But some are seriously difficult. But ultimately it gets done. Look into feral rescues in your area and the vets they use. Some vets are a lot better than others.

Good luck. I hope Zena has a home but if not it sounds like you have a good plan. A lot going on. Get well soon!!
 

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That is good, 3 days. Totally agree. Normal would be great. I hear you, soft/mush typically is a sign of something and can lead to issues down the road. I know giardia often (or most of the time) causes issues as they get older. :( Let's just hope it is simple and can be fixed with medicine or diet (as with Quinn). Just take it one step at a time and not worry about things that may or may not happen. I know it is easier said than done but just try.

That is a good idea. To give them another option for the genie. I think they will be fine but just do some positive associations and positive encounters and just rebuild that trust and if there are any issues we'll fix them. The behavioral is easy, we can handle that.

Sounds like a good solution. I think you have it well thought out.

I think that is a good idea. I am about a lot of cleaning but I have some time. Your plan sounds good.

I know, some people do everything possible with giardia and they get reinfection while others do little and they don't reinfect. I do think making sure they get all the medicine is really the most important thing and where it probably breaks down. But cleaning issues can. It is hard. The good news is they do get an immunity from it though I am not sure how soon.

That is good. You should know soon then. I haven't heard of rashes from cats (with things like this) but who knows. The doctor should know. Let's hope it goes away. Immune things can be tricky but the doctors are good at diagnosing at least. Let's hope you get better soon.

Awful decisions. I have had a lot of tragedies since the predators are pretty bad. So I really struggle with this and feel guilty when things don't go as planned. Emotionally it is very hard. But I just can't chose euthanasia over giving a cat a chance. I don't know, it is for a higher power than I am capable. I have gotten some adopted out. But it is hard as everyone is either full or allergic. And I struggle with whether to socialize them (which means they are more vulnerable) if it is so hard to find a home. I am not sure there are "right" answers, all we can do is our best. A lot of happiness (I love the ferals) but there is a lot of sadness as well. But I wouldn't change what I do but would like to do it better if there is a better way of protecting them.

:( Oh my, that is cold!! Well, some people are clueless and like you mention some cats must like the outdoors and be able to handle the cold. :( It is so hard to know. You may want to ask around and see if anyone knows where the cat might belong. Of course, they can go a distance even with a home. :/ Syb sounds adorable. I know, we miss them greatly but they do always live in our hearts. I knew someone whose cat would go on walks with the dogs (cat off lead). It is really cute to see.

I use the Ark Workshop Outdoor Cat houses for my ferals. I am not sure how good they are in extreme cold like you see. I beleive in 2 exits/entrys. Have to be big enough for the cat to get in but small enough to keep predators out. Here is a link to cat shelters. Community Cat Shelter Options Gallery

Oh, it sounds like you have some good shelter. Yeah, maybe another kitty tube? An issue is if the cats will sleep together. Some of mine will and some wont so I have to have a number of excess homes for them.

That is very good. Feeding. Just be careful with your back. I know, it is hard to figure out what is best. I would ask around the neighborhood and see if anyone knows anything. If you are seeing her all the time (during the day, night etc) then she may be "homeless". It is so hard to know.

I would contact Alley Cat Allies as they have a list (Feral Friends Network) of people that help and maybe someone is in your area. Since it would be physically hard to do it yourself.

Wow, you are lucky. They may have been dumped or a socialized feral. A real feral that is really rare if you haven't worked with them. Usually ferals will freak out in the vet office. Once in a while they get like stone. Having a vet that knows ferals helps a lot. But some are seriously difficult. But ultimately it gets done. Look into feral rescues in your area and the vets they use. Some vets are a lot better than others.

Good luck. I hope Zena has a home but if not it sounds like you have a good plan. A lot going on. Get well soon!!

Well back to pretty normal for now, yay! He has had 3 doses of ronidazole now. I do have to wear gloves because it causes cancer in humans apparently 😳 I wonder if it is helping him already? I wonder if I need a t foetus test too, people get it to. When I picked up the stuff for my stool tests she said refrigerated and then she told me the PCR for the CDF is going to be frozen. Exactly the opposite of what the DVM told me which is very odd I don’t know what to believe anymore. I wonder how they treat it in humans if Ronidazole causes cancer?

I hope this is the corner turned for Merlin. After ronidazole and reduce steroid I may have more answers. Quinn was pretty aggressive with him when he escaped jumped on him etc. so there will be an adjustment period for sure.

I built the shelter all night through my pain etc. only one door so far and I don’t know where to put the other door, the back, the same side etc. one someone makes out of coolers and sells on etsy has a flap pet door and an open circle hole with heater. He does them upside down to stop rain so I did mine that way too. I will try to finish it tomorrow, when I can get a door. I was thinking and soft flap maybe for the escape one if not a pet door. I made a wind guard inside by the entry, but it is very wobbly so will prolly redo. It is very hard to find thin sheets of plastic. I may add a hole for a heating pad too. This is a large cooler so it can fit 3-4 prolly.

I think Zena is dumped or lost now, she came 3 x yesterday and her fur looks worse. She is still running away though. No show today yet because someone came to clean our leaves finally and prolly scared her. The regulars came though.

My father applied for us too be an alley cat allies friend. No one would help with Merlin so I doubt they will with Zena. I don’t trust most of those people from past experiences. A woman recommended from here claimed she had advertised him but I could never see it and after a few times she stopped responding to me. She also said don’t I have friends of family to take him, just a fake imo. I will post again on one group if I really feel I can’t do it. No clue what I will do with her but if she is an unspayed she it needs immediate attention. The other girls who showed up were tnr already. It was 20-30 degrees warmer today tg.

Yes it is all so heartbreaking to see them struggle out there. I hate people who dump their cats etc. We have predators too, no coyotes etc. not sure if any were attacked but I am haunted by Marlon, Merlin’s brother who vanished. And there were two last year who vanished after a few times. I am hoping they were lost or just roaming for food. What predators are in your area?

I wonder about that cat because I was able to get him in a carrier, but he really seemed feral. I think I have only had one other true feral before years ago.

I will check out your links, thanks! Enclosing a pic soon of the cooler shelter.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Fingers crossed!! Let's hope!! Yeah, they have warnings, good that you are cautious. Hopefully it is helping, I just don't know. I would ask the doctor if you need it too. Just in case. Hmmmmmmm, I would ask again. That is strange it is two different answers. I wonder if you call the company that does the test and see what they say?

Let's hope. I am a little surprised he was aggressive but it can happen. We would just do a re-intro. We'll get them together.

Oh wow, good job. I have some made for one cat and two pile in. :) Characters. Just think about where it will be and place the other door in a good place so that there might be an impediment from a predator. Sounds like you have a good idea on making one. Good job!!

:( Poor Zena. Some days I really dislike irresponsible people..................... A pet counts on humans..............

Good for your father!! :( I never contacted anyone from the list since I do my own but I am a little surprised (and disappointed) that you have not been pleased. I know it is very hard to figure out what to do if you are full. I go through the same issues since it is very hard to adopt out. Hopefully she is spayed. Ughhhhhhhhh. So frustrating. No good rescues by you or they may all be full too.

:( VERY heartbreaking. I like to believe they just found another home. But I do know the happy endings are rare if they leave. Emotionally it is very difficult. I have cried too many times to tell you. I have had awful experiences with predators. My poor Pumpkin kitten was taken by a hawk. I was a day away from taking her away from her feral mother when a hawk took her in front of my eyes. I fed her by hand, her mother let me hold her, etc. I am haunted to this day. I LOVED that kitten. I am crying now thinking about her. :( Coyotes, hawks, owls, and who knows what else.

It is hard to know. Usually a true feral will not be so tame unless they are really sick or injured. But there is always the exception.

Cool, would like to see it. Thanks for caring about the ferals!!!
 

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2296E891-FD2F-4BFB-AD0B-A988876C5847.jpeg
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Well he went back to mush and a bit more liquid again and now the shape is more like muss but it is clearly more dried out. I guess it will take time. So frustrating. I am hoping after the Ronidazole he will go back to normal. I started reducing the steroid today to one dose. And I stopped giving him pumpkin, seems to be hlaping maybe. Time will tell.

I just wonder if he’s getting the full dose each time because sometimes there is a little tiny bit on the side of his mouth and have to wipe off because he will come and rub my legs right away and I don’t want him to get it on me- very hard to keep it clean because they gave me this tiny little syringe- it is 1 mL twice a day but the syringe is very long and thin so it’s very hard to get it all into his mouth quickly. if it was a fatter syringe I would have it all in his mouth with probably nothing coming out.

Today was a stressful day because the plumber was here doing various things. He put a new pull faucet finally on my slop sink in the studio, so I can clean the sink and litter pan etc. plus my original faucet there was broken and it was making cleaning and sterilizing very difficult.

First time he came in Merlin was in a panic, he was trying to run out the door and I had a hard time getting him to stay in the middle of the room after the plumber had left to do something. When the plumber came back to do that faucet I sat in there the whole time to make sure he didn’t escape and he wasn’t too stressed out.

At first he just looked terrified and kind of crouched on the floor behind an exercise ball. I heard some noise and when I looked he was gone, I went and looked for him behind some carts and things but I couldn’t see where he was – I thought it might be behind my easel and I told the plumber I think he’s vanished. Plumber said he didn’t get out when I went out the door so he hast to be squished in here somewhere. At some point the plumber left for half an hour because the faucet he brought originally would not fit and he had to go and buy another one. . So 10 minutes after that I hear a noise and Merlin comes crawling out from under this cupboard which only has a tiny space underneath that I could not believe such a large cat squished him self under there!

Then I went out to shop eventually. i had been up for hours and hours and slept for a while first and did not get to go see Merlin until pretty late and he was kind of desperate he had been chewing on the door again but he was very happy to see me.

Quinn was not probably any more aggressive than usual but it just seemed like that because I haven’t seen him do that for a while. The very first thing he does is bite Merlin’s neck, he hasn’t tried to hump him yet because I get merlin back in the studio pretty quickly when that happens.

Finally finished the shelter I stayed up all night Thursday into the morning, it set it up and some of my other kitties checked it out but nobody has gone in yet. For now I’m just putting a snuggle safe what it’s really cold with the straw. But I think I’m going to order one of those K&H heating pads and I will have to drill a hole for the cord. Which I didn’t do yet. See photos enclosed.

Zena was here when I was working on it and looked in the door, I gave her some food she was actually meowing at me. But when I go out she still runs away eventually and I can’t really get near her.

I don’t know how I’m going to trap her now she has not shown up yesterday or today yet at all. I was hoping that she would use the shelter but who knows. I’m pretty sure she is lost her abandon now. The other night she was crying- I heard a cat crying loudly and I said I better go see what is going on. I open the door and I saw her and cinnamon, one of my other kitties out there, near my larger shelter in the woods. I was hopeful that maybe they were using it, they did not seem like they were fighting so I think do zena was crying in distress and cinnamon came to see what was wrong maybe, but she ran away. And then yesterday she did not come at all. On Wednesday a.m. when I fed her, she left pretty quickly and I could not get her to come inside. At first I open the door and put the food by the door but inside, and she came very close, it looked like she was going to come in to try and eat it then she looked to the side to see if Quinn was there- I had put him in the bathroom so she would not interact with him etc. but she was just too scared to come in. I haven't seen her for about two days, I don’t know what’s going on just hoping that someone else trapped her and she is OK. Since she is a she this is really a worry, I don’t want her having kittens Etc.

Oh no!, a horrific thing to happen to your poor pumpkin such a horrible heartbreak 💔💔😿 we do not really have hawks here but when I used to feed the birds years ago I did see some hawks now and then at certain times, usually around 5 AM.mI eventually just stopped feeding the birds because I was scared the hawks were going to come and eat all the little birds. But I have never seen any go after a cat, so very sad 😿I’m so sorry that you lost your pumpkin that way. Hugs to you.

The worst we have here are raccoons, foxes and bats and that’s probably it but I have never seen any of them go after the cats. I ended up putting the door on the front of the cooler as you can see because that is what the seller on Etsy does. It has four different settings and I have it set so it only opens from the inside out but I wonder if that will discourage the cats from using it? I guess that way it would be harder for a predator to get in the door. The other entryway is open and it is only 4.5 x 4.5“. I don’t know if some of my bigger cats who are pretty obese now and who have big tummies, like Giorgio, are gonna be able to fit in that entrance so so maybe I should just open up the cat door and keep it open both ways? But maybe it’s good because I really want zena to be able to use it and they may discourage her if they think they can use it.

I did not get the shelter info from the ACA list. But I will try that at some point. I got it from someone here. I mean really anybody can look up the list of shelters or so it wasn’t much use to me but the woman who said she had listed Merlin for adoption I’m sure she didn’t do it and she never responded to me when I asked her to send me a screenshot and stuff like that or to give me a link so that I could promote him because she told me she didn’t have time to promote him. a joke imo. I got her info from someone here, not alley cat allies.

Over the years when I asked for help from any of these places I have never had any help getting a cat adopted except for 2 x. The time people have helped me have been the TNR groups I’ve gotten certificates for spay neuter etc. although I still ended up making a donation and spending money on things not covered like some vaccinations and testing. And once a rescue I approached took in a cat that I found at my job and found her a home. after that she pretty much told me she was never going to help me again and she made it sound like it was my cat that I had given up! The other time was a rescue that I volunteer for a few years. I found the kitten at a gas station and she took her in after I fostered her for a while but that was it. I did plenty of other things for the rescue, like take care of the cats in cages on the foster and stuff like that take to dvm and things like that etc.

I am keeping my eyes peeled for Zena, but I have to try and get some sleep soon because I have to go to an earlier schedule soon. I wonder if I should raise the shelter up on the table with a ramp, would that make it harder for a predator to enter? Or would it make it harder for cats to get out?
 
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calicosrspecial

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The house looks great!! Well done!!

:( Let's hope it works. I am guessing it does take some time and some trial and error.

It is so hard. I would guess he is getting enough but I am not sure. Yes, they do clean themselves on us. :( It is so hard to give liquids. :/

Oh wow. I know, it is awful to have strangers/workers in the house. Could be a reason for the mush. That is stressful. It sounds like it ended up ok though.

It does take a while for the cats to get comfortable with a new house and to feel safe. Don;t worry, it looks great.

Just keep using food to build trust with Zena. She will come around.Good signs so far.

I think you may have to just set up a trap. Ughhhhh, poor thing. Cats do disappear for a short while but if they aren't finding food elsewhere and not being deterred by the cats by the food then they should come back.My guess is she is spayed, let's hope I am right.

Thanks. A lot of sadness.

Well, the door depends on the weather. Snow, rain, cold winds, depending on what you have. I like the doors but not sure it really prevent predators since the size of the hole is important. They will figure it out though. It is tricky to figure out what is best. You could always remove the door if it isn't working.

Ahhhhhh, that is good to know. I trust Alley Cat Allies but there can always be some unhelpful people anywhere. :/

I hear that often. It is hard. Some people try, some don't. Rescues get full up. Etc. It is hard.

Hmmmmm, I have never put a shelter up. I worry that it might be dangerous if another cat/predator came and they had to get away fast. That is a good question. Personally, I would probably have it lower. But good question.

You did a great job on the house.

Hang in there. You are doing all the right things. Things should continue to get better. Fingers crossed.

Good luck in trapping Zena. Cats are resourceful so I would expect her to be back.
 

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The house looks great!! Well done!!

:( Let's hope it works. I am guessing it does take some time and some trial and error.

It is so hard. I would guess he is getting enough but I am not sure. Yes, they do clean themselves on us. :( It is so hard to give liquids. :/

Oh wow. I know, it is awful to have strangers/workers in the house. Could be a reason for the mush. That is stressful. It sounds like it ended up ok though.

It does take a while for the cats to get comfortable with a new house and to feel safe. Don;t worry, it looks great.

Just keep using food to build trust with Zena. She will come around.Good signs so far.

I think you may have to just set up a trap. Ughhhhh, poor thing. Cats do disappear for a short while but if they aren't finding food elsewhere and not being deterred by the cats by the food then they should come back.My guess is she is spayed, let's hope I am right.

Thanks. A lot of sadness.

Well, the door depends on the weather. Snow, rain, cold winds, depending on what you have. I like the doors but not sure it really prevent predators since the size of the hole is important. They will figure it out though. It is tricky to figure out what is best. You could always remove the door if it isn't working.

Ahhhhhh, that is good to know. I trust Alley Cat Allies but there can always be some unhelpful people anywhere. :/

I hear that often. It is hard. Some people try, some don't. Rescues get full up. Etc. It is hard.

Hmmmmm, I have never put a shelter up. I worry that it might be dangerous if another cat/predator came and they had to get away fast. That is a good question. Personally, I would probably have it lower. But good question.

You did a great job on the house.

Hang in there. You are doing all the right things. Things should continue to get better. Fingers crossed.

Good luck in trapping Zena. Cats are resourceful so I would expect her to be back.
Will write more later, just off to sleep hopefully. Zena showed up early am yesterday but when I put the carrier part of the drop trap out to try to coax her in the second time she came back to eat she ran away and she has not shown up again yet. Also Giorgio is standing guard now by that door a lot, maybe because I have reduced the food I am putting out a bit because they are all getting so obese, especially Giorgio who is wobbly on his legs. So I wonder if that would discourage her but when she came yesterday she seemed to be meowing at someone by the corner of the house which could’ve been Giorgio who likes to sit there so maybe they are friends?

I found this great site about ronidazole and treatment of various parasites- it seems to have excerpts from various different articles in books on cat health etc. I’m a bit worried though because the first one says that compounded ronidazole may not be as effective since the level of medication can be uneven and it won’t be absorbed properly into the large bowel. It also says once dosing of 30 mg I think per day is enough versus two. Anyway I just have to hope that it is helping Merlin. Another excerpt also says a negative or positive PCR test is not conclusive and it can be wrong. Something which I already suspected anyway. I was trying to find out more information about it causing cancer in people which I think I read that the Wedgewood site. But I can’t find anything about that.


 
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calicosrspecial

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Yes, it can be a process trapping. I have an intact I have been trying to trap for a LONG time. Sadly, my colony has driven him away now. :( If she needs food and is hungry and can't find food anywhere else hopefully she will show up and get trapped.

Yes, Georgio might be a deterrent. All you can do is your best.

Thanks for the link. Well, there are always things that can happen but it doesn't necessarily mean it is always an issue. Let's hope it is helping Merlin. He seems to be doing better, fingers crossed. Let's hope it doesn't cause cancer.

Hang in there, I can tell from your post things are getting better which is GREAT!!!
 

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Yes, it can be a process trapping. I have an intact I have been trying to trap for a LONG time. Sadly, my colony has driven him away now. :( If she needs food and is hungry and can't find food anywhere else hopefully she will show up and get trapped.

Yes, Georgio might be a deterrent. All you can do is your best.

Thanks for the link. Well, there are always things that can happen but it doesn't necessarily mean it is always an issue. Let's hope it is helping Merlin. He seems to be doing better, fingers crossed. Let's hope it doesn't cause cancer.

Hang in there, I can tell from your post things are getting better which is GREAT!!!
Terrible when they get driven away like that😿 I fear Zena was too or she is passed.
She has not shown up at all since I tried to get her into the carrier part of the drop trap. 3 days now. I feel I failed and should have just set up a have ahart. Wondering if she is ok and hoping someone else trapped her etc. or she made her way home if she is lost. Merlin has gone back to mush today after 3 days of no poop and before that total liquid, but a tiny amount twice. It was all over his bum and I had to clean him, the good news is he is getting used to bum washes but he has to be scruffed and he lays down for them😹

Just at a loss here for what is going on and I will call dvm tomorrow to see if I should increase the steroid back up. Ugh. I wonder when I will get a response. There are two days left for rinidazole so I guess it was not effective for him or he does not have a t foetus variant. I took a mush poop sample and will drop it off for testing hopefully tomorrow or hope I can get another one soon if not.

I have to say I will be very relieved when the rinidazole is done and it is hopefully only once a day pred, this is all wearing me down, the meds timing, the isolation, the anti contamination measures etc. It is so exhausting. I wish kitties etc could wear medication patches😹
 

calicosrspecial

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Please don't get too worried about Zena at this point. Sometimes cats will stay away for a little bit after a trap attempt etc. But if she is hungry she will come back. She may just be hunting elsewhere for now. And mice is the perfect meal for cats with protein and moisture.

You definitely did not fail. You did your best and it is hard. Let's just see how it goes the next few days. Sometimes cat disappear for months and months and come back. Cats are resourceful.

:( Poor Merlin. I guess it may not be too surprising given he didn't go for 3 days. It seems like his system is "off". Could it be a food allergy? Protein or ingredient? Any changes to his food? At least he is cooperative.

That is a good idea. Maybe he needs the steroid. :/ I am wondering if it might be something else. But the good news is you are learning what works and what doesn't. It really is a lot of trial and error. Ughhhhhhh, I hope you find it soon.

:( I know. Hang in there. Even when things don't work we learn something. I know, I know someone that has so many medications for their dogs. It is REALLY tiring and stressful. I think you will narrow it down. Hopefully soon.
 
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