Friday, April 20, 2012
So, here is the point I have been moving towards -cat lovers need to be very cautious about handling ANY outdoor cat. Please assume any stray is NOT current on rabies vaccination, and therefore a potential carrier of the disease. All it takes is a bite or scratch to your skin. I ALWAYS wear leather glove when approaching an outdoor stray, as a precautionary measure, and you should too. Even a kitten. Any animal that is afraid or startled will bite. PLEASE don't put yourself in the position that a very good client of mine found herself in last month: having to euthanize a stray cat that she was trying to rescue because she got bit in the hand, therefore the cat HAD to be tested for rabies ( which requires microscopic testing of brain tissue -gruesome, but true.)
Takeaway facts. Rabies kills people. Rabies is easy to prevent. Wear gloves around ANY stray cat.
Dr. Maureen Flatley
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Upon examination, Butch's leg muscles were too weak to support his body, and although he was purring and kneading, he was not himself. To identify exactly what we were dealing with, I ran a complete blood workup on Butch. While waiting for the test results, Butch accepted an IV catheter and fluids to help with his hydration, and was willing to eat small amounts of soft food with some persuasion. The lab tests showed a dramatically low potassium level in his blood. Potassium is an essential electrolyte in blood that is in part responsible for muscle strength.
Cats with hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood), are at risk for severe muscle weakness. Certain medical conditions such as kidney disease or diabetes may lead to low potassium because of potassium loss in the urine. A chemistry panel evaluates the potassium level as well as kidney function, liver function and blood sugar. Without a chemistry panel many diseases, like hypokalemia for example, can go undiagnosed.
Butch received IV potassium during his hospital stay at the Fox Valley Cat Clinic and oral potassium supplement at home over the last week. I just recheck Butch yesterday, and he looked like he was feeling much better -playing with his cat friends at home and eating up a storm, and even putting some needed weight back on. Kudos to Butch's owners for being great cat owners and quickly recognizing that Butch was in need of medical care. We at the Fox Valley Cat Clinic love you Butch! Great to see that your spunky attitude is back and that Life is Good!
Dr. Maureen Flatley