Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cat Paw Prints Framed

My cats are my world.  I would never abandon them.. even if I was moving, they were sick (see previous posts), or for any reason really.  They are getting older so I've been thinking more about ways to enjoy them and be able to remember them.  Sooooo I started thinking about making their paw prints into cute art.  I looked all over the internet to find out how.  Pinterest and blogs all gave some great advice.  All the posts I saw were for dogs and the paw prints always looked perfect.  That certainly was not the case.



I got my supplies together first.  I ran by IKEA the other day and picked up some frames (I can't find the frames on their website... they have them in stores only $2.99) and then I went ahead and grabbed some popsicle prints that were .99 cents that are supposed to go in the 2.99 frames (found here). Honestly those .99 cent prints were way cheaper then any card board stock I could find in a store.  I then went by Michaels and bought some paint and stickers.  Then paint was $1.69 Crayola Brand Washable Kids' Paint. You want your paint to be washable and you want it to be nontoxic.  Believe me!  The paint will get everywhere (so you want it washable) and your cat will lick their paws even after you wash their paws so you want to make sure it is nontoxic.  I did see some people use acrylic paint but I was worried about using that. The stickers were in the scrapbook section and were $4.99 but I used the Michaels' app and got 50% off those.  I have horrible handwriting so that's why I used stickers.  If you have nice handwriting maybe paint their names on the print.

Supplies:
Frames
Strong Paper for the art work (card stock)
Paint
Cat
Paper towels
Scratch Paper to practice





Get ready to begin.  Corral your cat into the location you want to do this.  Don't do it on carpet. I brought in a tray thinking I was going to have them stand on it to get the print but I found it easier to just have Merry and Pippin lay down and hold the paper up to their foot once the paint is on it.  Also... originally I had painted his entire foot. Don't do this.  Try to use a paint brush and only get the paint on the paw pads and none on the fur. If you do get a lot of it on their fur you may end up with a blob of paint rather then a paw print.  There were five of the popsicle prints from IKEA so I only had five shots at getting a good print so I practiced some.

Merry
Trying out a few paw prints on scratch paper

Chose your favorite paw print

Pippin wants out of the bathroom!

After you push their paws onto the paper get their paws washed off right away.  Not only so the paint doesn't get everywhere, but also so they don't have a chance to lick their paws. I have no idea how people get a perfect paw print.  I did read some people were using ink pads but I like the look of paint better.  The advice for this project I can give you is have fun and don't worry about perfection.  I do believe that cat paws are going to be harder then dog paws because they are smaller.  Luckily my cats are short hair too because cats with long fur in their paws might be messy to wash off!




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Homemade Cat Box

So you may have read on my previous post that Merry has arthritis and it's getting advanced.  So he does have a harder time getting up and down stairs to use the litter box and was even having a few accidents.  I knew I needed to move a litter box up into the living room but really hated the idea because litter gets everywhere.  One night my husband went out in the garage and created a box he had seen online.  I wanted to wait and post about it after we sanded it and painted it but we still haven't got around to that so ... I'll post what it looks like now.  It's still pretty.. but I would like it to be painted white.








It's easy to clean out and really makes a big difference for Merry going to the bathroom.  He hasn't had an accident since we built it.  I had Merry on only a narcotic (torbegesie) for his arthritis but since it's getting worse I asked the vet to try something different.  He is now on Metacam and was also on Tramadol for pain (Tramadol comes in little tubes and you wipe it in their ears).  Well, turns out that now Tramadol is under control from the FDA so I have to get a prescription and take it to a pharmacy?  That doesn't totally make sense to me because isn't a vet office technically also a pharmacy for pets?  Anyways... it wasn't really working so I was just about to switch him back to Torbegesie.  So when I went to the vet and asked to switch apparently Torbegesie has been on back order for 6 months.  I was like... what are cats getting for pain then if neither one of these meds are available at the vet and they just kind of shrugged.  Annoying.  A new vet takes over the practice tomorrow (see previous posts).  I am kind of excited about it because maybe they will be able to help me get Merry on something better for the pain.

I had to find another cat sitter.  Sigh.  The second one I found is now moving.  So the third one is also from my vet office (this is my third vet tech who will be a cat sitter). I am really comfortable having them sit my cats incase something bad happens. My other cat Pippin has been doing really well.  We did just do a glucose curve and he was a little high so we upped his Prozinc 2 units.  It's scary though since he had that major drop in glucose last summer.

If you ever wonder how to make a cat box like this for your little box be sure to check out Pinterest.  They have a lot of ideas.

Edit:  We added another entryway for us to be able to clean the litter.  It makes a big difference to not have to take everything off of the top every time we scoop.  I tried to get an up-close shot of the hinges being used. Now I just need to paint this thing!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Updates!! #diabeticcats

Well... next cat (Pippin) was up for a teeth cleaning.  I had been putting it off for a couple years. Merry went in a few years ago and it cost soooo much money.  So I had to wait.  I wish cat teeth cleanings weren't so expensive, maybe more people would do it. Pippin's teeth aren't as bad as Merry's.  Even though diabetes can ruin their teeth Pippin's has stayed pretty good.  In Pippin's 12 years of life I've had his teeth cleaned 5 times. I do think it's well worth it.  We had a cat growing up who passed away because an infection that went from his teeth to his liver.  Plus... have you ever had tooth pain???  Wowsers.  A cat can't even tell you if they have pain so it's pretty important to get their teeth cleaned.  Pippin did have two teeth pulled.  Both had Resorptive Lesion. I had no idea what this was so I had to look it up.  Apparently.. this is where cells will absorb the tooth into the gum until eventually the tooth is gone!   WHAT THE!  It is supposed to be quite painful.  Just goes to show why it is even more important for you to clean your cats teeth.




Merry has been limping a lot, so I contacted the vet office and told them.  I asked if we could try a different medicine to treat it.  My old vet had put him on Torbugesie which I think he's been on now for about 1 1/2 years.  He doesn't seem to be doing great on it.  So now we are trying Metacam (anti-inflammatory) and Tramadol for pain.  I really hope we get him able to not limp as much.  He is still mobile though, gets around the house.  Can get to his food and water.  We noticed he's had a few issues with his bladder (Merry is supposed to be about 15 1/2 years old).  He was sleeping on the couch recently and must've been so comfy didn't bother to get up to pee.  So there was pee on the couch.  We built a litter box cover and moved one of the litter boxes up to the living room which seems to be really helping him.  In my next post, I'm going to show you what it looks like.

My vet office is now going to switch vets.  So if you've read previous posts you would've read that my vet was let go... and ever since she left I haven't really had to see the owner of the vet office.  He's an older man and wanted to pass the vet office onto his niece (the vet who was let go).  Since that didn't happen the office has been up for sale.  On March 1st a new group is going to take over.  I am not sure if they will keep it a cat only veterinarian office or what.  One of my favorite vet techs (and current cat sitter) left before the new company takes over.  I am so sad.  It is hard to find a good vet and now everyone is leaving.  I hope the girl at the front desk doesn't leave, I interact with her a lot.  March 1st we'll see what happens.

How are your diabetic cats???

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Drastic Glucose Drop in Cats

Everything is going well right now with Merry and Pippin.  Though... back in July I was out late one night.  When I got up in the morning Pippin was acting really strange. Pacing, strange meows, and his tongue hanging out.  The only time I have really seen a cat have their tongues hanging out is when they are really hot and panting (they have no sweat glands so they have to pant).  Pippin was not panting just had his little tongue hanging out.  If you have had your cat for a long time.. you should recognize when something is off and I knew it right then and there.  I called the vet office.. luckily I have a really good relationship with them and so when the vet tech answered the phone and I described to her how Pippin was acting she told me to bring him in right away to make sure he was stable.

I dropped him off and came home impatiently waiting for the phone call.  I thought for sure he was going to die.  When I dropped him off I told the vet to be sure to call me because I didn't want him to die alone.  The vet wasn't worried one bit though so that made me feel better.  I got home and they called me to tell me that Pippin's glucose was at 54.  This is SERIOUSLY low.  Coma low.  I don't even know how or why that happened.  The vet told me that this can happen at any time really.  A cat could be going along with their insulin regulated (Pippin's had been regulated over a year by now) and then just drop out of no where. I was so worried.  He stayed there all day but of course he refused to eat for them.  So they gave him an emergency sugar kit.  Eventually when I picked him up at the end of the day he was at 176.  My vet tech sent me home with an emergency kit (be sure to ask your vet for one if you have a diabetic cat, I'm surprised I didn't have one in the house prior to this).  The product is similar to this one:


That night Pippin still didn't seem to be doing well.  He was straight moaning under the bed.  Moaning.  I have never heard a cat do this before in my life.  He looked confused... jumping on the bed.. jumping off.. in the bathtub, every where.  Restless.  I knew he was in pain.  If you have read previous posts, you know Pippin not only has diabetes but pancreatitis too. I called my sister and told her how worried I was and that I wanted to get some blood work done.  She finally told me "he's your cat, you're paying for it so just bring him back."  That made total sense.  So the next day I set my alarm for as soon as they opened and called and requested some blood work done.  Pancreas blood work is a different panel then the general blood work a vet normally does on a cat.  So I had them do both.  I went back up to the vet office and they did the blood work.  The vet said he was glad I came back and what I was describing did sound like Pippin was in immense pain.  He also said... "it's lucky this cat is still alive.  If it weren't for us keeping up with his health he would surely not be around."  That made me feel better... to know I really do what I can to keep Pippin and Merry alive.

Pippin came home and seemed to be feeling a little better on the narcotic. Most likely after all that happened with his glucose his pancreas acted up again.  Which is supposed to be very painful.  He did take a few days to get back to eating. So I had to force feed him a few days.  Eventually he was back to normal.  It was surely an adventure.  I am so glad though I was able to see the signs of low glucose.  We moved Pippin's insulin from 7 units of Prozinc, 1 steroid, 1 glipizide, 1/2 cerenia to 4 units of Prozinc, and 1 steroid.  The vet did recommend taking Pippin off the steroid but that seems to help the most with his pancreas I was really reluctant to take him off that. So he's still on it 5 months later.

Hope this might help those of you with diabetic cats who might have a drop in glucose.  It's really important to have some insta-glucose at home!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Losing vet tech and cat sitter

OK... so I lost my favorite vet in the world (though I did find her on Facebook so I was still able to personally tell her thank you for all she has ever done for my two kitties).  I had to call up to the new vet and leave a message so he would review my cat's records and see when he wanted glucose readings.  He said like every 3-4 months!!  That seems like a long long time but I guess he thinks they are regulated.

Now that I have lost my favorite veterinarian, I am now losing my favorite vet tech!  I went in one time looking to get some boarding set up at the clinic and my old vet told me some of the girls at the clinic will come to my house and watch my cats.  This was extremely nice of her ... especially since it causes the vet clinic to lose money.  I was a little nervous at first... I didn't really know the girl and I was allowing her into my house while I was out of town.  She could've easily robbed me, so be warned.. I am not recommending that this is something you do.  She came over and watched them.  Eventually... she and I became friends outside the vet office/pet sitting.  She is now moving at the end of this month.  Such a bummer.  I had been using my friends as sitters for years but that just became more and more difficult.  I like just being able to pay someone to sit the cats and let it be more a business transaction.

I am supposed to switch to another vet tech.  One I have met quite a few times and she is friends with the girl who is moving away.  So I trust her... though it's always nerve wracking at first.  It isn't much cheaper then boarding them at the vet office (which is cats only) but cats are always more comfortable at home. 

For me finding a petsitter is like finding a babysitter !  Hard to find someone trustworthy.  I'll miss my old cat sitter who sat the cats for the last time this past weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finding and losing a good vet

All these years ever since my cats have been diagnosed with diabetes and everything else that is wrong with them... I found an amazing vet clinic.  It's cats only which is even better.  Yes there are some things that annoy me, like the fact that the techs and the veterinarian won't touch my cat Merry when I bring him in because he gets all vocal and loud and kind of aggressive so so they always think he is going to attack them. I have to handle him when I go in.  They don't even touch him usually.   But otherwise my vet has gone above an beyond for my cats.  Giving me donated meds, even doing some appointments for free to just check the cats out.  When I first started going to the clinic the veterinarian was fresh out of school.  She was joining the family business to take over for her uncle so that he could retire.  I would say she's been there now for like 3 years maybe a little longer.  Today I found out she was fired. So sad. I only know this because I became friends with one of the vet techs there who actually comes to my house and takes care of the cats when I go out of town.  Apparently the uncle had been unhappy with her for a while and was unable to retire.  The vet wasn't handling the business side very well or something. It is a sad day for me.  I am sure the vet will go back to the state she is from... though I wish she would go to another clinic so I could follow her there. I don't even know how I would find out though what clinic she ends up at. I wish I could let her know somehow how much I appreciate what she has done for my cats. Gone out of her way to research what's wrong with Merry.  Looked for alternative meds to help him out.  It's just sad that behind the scenes can make a vet just go away.  The uncle veterinarian I have only seen once when I first started going there and didn't really like him that one time.  I remember him berating me about the insulin I was giving and I was new to cats with diabetes.  So we'll see how the care goes from here.  It is sad though.. I mean my old vet even was going to come personally to my home to put my cats to sleep when it was time.  I am pretty sure the new vet would never do anything like that. Just a sad day all around. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November is Pet Diabetic Month

November is Pet Diabetes Month. Diabetes in cats can be managed with proper diet, blood glucose checks and regular insulin injections at home.  If your cat has diabetes, or you suspect has diabetes, you can check out the AAFP's website for additional information.  

 American Association of Feline Practitioners


It is quite easy to manage diabetes but not cheap. We recently started a new drug on my cat Merry called Pioglitazone.  This drug replaces glipizide for him.  It has been amazing.  Brought down his insulin from 7 Prozinc units and 5 Vetsulin units to 3 Prozinc and 2 Vetsulin.  So glad my vet continues to do research for my cats and discovers new drugs.  After Thanksgiving we will probably try this medication on Pippin too.  The only thing that is no fun about it is right after starting it you have to do constant Glucose checks to make sure they don't bottom out or that the Glucose is too high.  I would recommend giving this drug a try.

Last month Merry's eyes did dilate differently one morning.  For no reason.  I called the vet and took him in right away.  By that time his eyes has dilated normally.  We suspect that the Acromegaly tumor moved around.  The vet told me that if it happened again he would probably have to be put down because the tumor may have moved up against nerves.  His eyes have been normal ever since!  So maybe the tumor moved a little but is now back to where it is fine.  Phew!  That was scary.  

So far things with the cats have been going well.  With winter here they mostly sleep.  Be sure to get your cats checked if you suspect diabetes.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Updates

Hello!  I haven't updated in a while since things have been going well.  We went on a vacation recently which is always hard when you have a diabetic cat (or cats in my case).  Really it has come to the point where asking friends is a hassle. After my cats having diabetes for two years asking for a favor to have people come over has really just run it's course.  No one wants to do it anymore.  Maybe if my parents or sibling lived here it would be different since they are family, but we only have friends who live around us.  So then we had to go on the hunt to actually hire someone (though we did offer friends the same amount of money it would cost to board them).  Luckily we were able to find someone at our vet who also goes to people's homes to take are of their cats.

What is really great about this is that the vet allows this.  It's not actually through the vet at all, they have their own boarding in the building.  But they do allow the workers to tell people they would come to their house.  So nice. I really prefer keeping the cats at the house. AND since she works for the vet if anything bad happened or the cats looked sick she could either ask my vet or take them up to the vet. It wasn't cheap but I had piece of mind.

Then.. the night we got back, I completely forgot to give them shots.  I couldn't believe it.  The only reason why I even realized it was because the next morning my husband woke me up to ask what time they got their shots and I couldn't remember.  It dawned on me because I couldn't remember giving it to them.  Being on vacation 8 days I guess will do that.  I forgot to also set my alarm on my phone for the shots.  I felt terrible. I know they probably didn't feel good at all. Luckily, there were no seizures or deaths. Which is what I was afraid of. 

Soooo.. needless to say everything is back to normal.  Curves have been coming out good.  We will do another one next weekend.  Pippin is on 7 units Prozinc, 5mg Glipizide twice a day, 1 steroid in the evening. Merry is on 6 units of Prozinc, 4 units of Vetsulin, 5 mg Glipizide twice a day.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Arthritis in Cats

Everything has been going really good with the cats... which is why there has been a lack in posting.  I will say we have a hard time going on trips.  We recently went on vacation and had someone lined up to watch the cats and give them shots and they bailed two days before we left so we had to scramble to find someone else to come over two times a day and give shots.  We always pay people to watch them since they are hard to take care of.  Pippin is now on 7 units of Prozinc, 1 Glipizide, 1 steroid in the morning and 1/4 Cerinia at night.  Merry is on 6 units of Prozinc, 4 units of Vetsulin 1 glipizide pill.

I have noticed Merry has been limping a lot lately on his back left leg. I am pretty sure he has full blown arthritis now.  I googled it, and it seems that there are a few ways to help this starting with medicine.  Sigh... even more meds.  It said either a NSAID or steroid depending on how bad it is.  I am sure my vet will want to see him first before prescribing anything so there is $50 for that.  I am going to give him this week and see if stays the same/gets better or wise.  Hoping it goes away.  So we'll see.  I really don't want this to be the reason he dies.  I had a golden retriever growing up and eventually we had to put him down because his hips gave out from arthritis.  So sad. So here's hoping. Since Merry is overweight from all his other issues this makes his chances of having arthritis worse.

Merry
Any advice for someone with a cat with arthritis?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Teeth Cleaning Success

If you read the previous post on the blog you know we weren't able to clean Merry's teeth last week.  He wasn't able to go under because he couldn't breath on his own.  So this week my vet tried again using a different anesthesia.  It was successful this time. Though it turned out quite expensive.  When Merry went in the previous week my vet could tell he has a lose tooth, but that was all she could really see at the time.  When I picked him up he had like 8 teeth pulled!  I did have his teeth cleaned in May 2012 so I didn't think it had been that long and then 2 years before that.  He has never had teeth pulled before now.  I don't know how they got so bad.  She did say that when a cat is diabetic their teeth will go bad... but that bad~!!  He was under anesthesia for 50 minutes and so she didn't take xrays because he was under so long.  Merry gets sooooo moody at the vet.  I had to go in the back and move him into his carrier.

The vet did say she wants to see him in two weeks but she can't even get near him.  I asked her how she would look at his mouth and she said from a distance.  Well I am not going to pay $50 for her to stand away from him and say he looks good.  I have been feeding him wet food for the week, and of course he is on all kinds of medication.  I am going to start softening his diabetic dry food so he can eat that from now on.  I think with all those teeth gone it's going to be too hard for him to eat normal hard food.  His eyes also wigged out the night after his dental.  One eye was fully dilated and the other was not.   I googled this and of course this is a major sign of stroke.  Luckily my vet will email after hours if you email her so I emailed her right away! She did say this was a symptom of coming down off morphine.  But it was still very scary.

Be sure to get your cat's teeth cleaned. I had NO idea this is how bad his teeth were.  I would've never know he was in pain.  His breath did stink real bad so that's how I knew it was time.  Plus my vet had 10% off this month for dentals so I saved a lot of money there too. 


Yellow teeth are the ones removed