Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Our six Maine Coons: Part Three (Finishing Treatment)
We've been so thankful for all the financial support we've received to help us pay for these kitties as they recover from their myriad of diseases. Thanks to individual donors (one anonymous donor gave $300) and our successful happy hour at TABU, a Philadelphia bar (where we raised over $200), we have only had to dip into rescue funds a little bit. If you attended our happy hour or made a donation, of of these kitties thank you very much!
In the past two weeks, we've been focusing on medicating them for Tritrichomonas foetus, the protozoan parasite causing their diarrhea. Although some of the cats came to us without diarrhea, we decided to treat them all at the same time in order to decrease the chances of reinfection.
Trichomonas is a really tough organism to kill. It's found in a lot of catteries around the world, and generally causes severe diarrhea that is often self-limiting (it lasts from a few months to a few years, then clears up). However, these infected cats still are infected and can pass the organism on to the other animals through their feces. These cats also can have bouts of diarrhea throughout the rest of their lives, especially if stressed. Until recently, there was no known drug that reliably killed this parasite. Luckily, a few years ago, ronidazole was found to work! It has been shown that a two week course of ronidazole kills these parasites. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of cats don't respond to the treatment, for whatever reason, and continue to have problems. This drug can also be pretty nasty to the cats and can cause neurologic effects that luckily go away once you remove the drug.
Because of all of this, all of our cats were treated with ronidazole at the same time (Guava started a few days later than the rest since she was so sick with her cold), and they finished their two week treatment this weekend! Because the ronidazole seemed to actually cause the cats to have more diarrhea, now that they are finished with treatment, we're giving them a few days to get back to normal.
For kitties like Kiwi, the 7 month old male kitten, that should be it! Kiwi came to us without ringworm lesions, an upper respiratory infection that has since cleared, and other than that was perfectly healthy. Assuming his diarrhea clears as expected, he'll be ready to go to home in the next week or two! We are still looking for a home for him, so please let us know if you're interested!
The next two ladies up will be Persimmon and Coconuts. Both of these ladies have nasty ear infections that just aren't clearing up on their own, so now that we aren't stuffing pills down their throats every day, we're dumping ear meds into their ears... These ladies are not happy about it! But it's (in a way) rewarding to see how much more difficult it is to medicate them than it was when they first came to us too weak to fight! These ladies should be up for adoption pretty soon, as we don't expect them to take to long on the ear meds!
Poor Guava and Fig are the slowest in the bunch, so will take a little more time. Guava still has a raging upper respiratory infection, so she isn't going anywhere until she feels better. And since she started her ronidazole a few days late, she still has some treatment time to go there as well.
Fig, on the other hand, is probably feeling better than he has in a long time, but that's only because he looked so bad when we got him! He has come such a long way and has developed quite the personality, but he still isn't quite right. Although he's put on a lot of weight, we'd still like to see him put on some muscle mass and look a little less unkept. For now, we'll just give him some more time to recover and see where that gets us. If he's still looking shabby in a few weeks, it will be time to run a few more tests to see if there is anything going on that we might have missed.
And finally, Miss Papaya... Papaya thankfully has completed her course of antibiotics in her crate (by eating them in pill pockets). She's looking and feeling much better, but still showing all signs of just being a feral cat that has no interest in people whatsoever. We're going to give her a little more time to see if she comes around, and if not, we're hopefully going to put her in an indoor feral cat colony so she can live out the rest of her life healthy and happy...