Friday, May 31, 2013

A Crisis Averted!

As many of you know, Cody suffers from allergies.  He is on a veterinary diet, but I am inclined to think, and the vet will be revisiting this, that his allergies are in fact, seasonal and not diet related. Approximately every three months Cody breaks out in miserable "hot spots", red, oozing patches on the top of his head, just above his ears.

If you look at Cody's head
you will see the "evil hot spot"


When Cody has a flare up the vet begins a course of Prednisolone which  often involves approx. 10 days of pills.

In our household, I am the "piller." My husband does not know how, nor is he comfortable "pilling" a cat. **Note:this is particularly upsetting because Cody is easier to "pill" than any cat I have ever seen. You simply trick him with food, grab him and plop the pill in his mouth. Cody is food-obsessed and it works like a charm, EVERY TIME.

A week or so before BlogPaws, I was obsessed with Cody's head, knowing it was nearing time for him to have another flare-up. I was on the alert.  My husband was a wreck. He kept telling me to "quit putting this out in the Universe." Every time poor Cody just passed within my view, I would say "Let me look at your head!" Two nights before I was to leave for BlogPaws it happened. The evil "hot spot" appeared. I promptly went into maniac mode.


I paged my vet, who, being the angel that he is, promptly returned my call. I began crying and shrieking  "Cody is having another flare-up, I am scheduled to leave for a conference in the next two days and my husband cannot pill a cat! What am I going to do?" I had missed last years conference due to a kidney stone attack and there was no way I was going to miss the conference two years in a row.


Vet to the rescue! He had me bring Cody in first thing in the morning. While waiting, I noticed changes that had been made to their remodeled facility.




I couldn't tell you if the Feliway worked, because Cody is quite good at the vet and always has been. I did like the effort on the part of our vet to make their environment more comforting to the cats that visit that are much higher strung than Cody. Cody has thankfully always been a "take things in stride" kind of cat, mostly if there is food involved!

While I waited for the vet to enter the exam room, I  surveyed the new "cat friendly" decor:


And...it was time to test it out with Cody who wasn't impressed with the "new digs" at all! 

It was mean Mama who put him up on the ledge, he did NOT go there willingly!

Cody wanted NONE of this new "cat-friendly" exam room. He disliked it so much that he actively sought out the comfort of his PTU.


Before shooting this video Cody DID get back in the PTU because I had left the PTU door open! After unceremoniously "dumping" him on the table, I locked the PTU door to prevent a re-entry!

But Cody wasn't going to give up!

"I know I can get in here!"
"It has to open, I know it has to!"
"Now where did that latch go?"
"They got me...I'm trapped"
And then we got him!
Thankfully all turned out well, Cody was given a steroid shot (which normally we don't use, but due to my husband not being able to "pill" him, we had no choice.)

Cody returned home,  I left for BlogPaws the following morning in TEARS because I had never left home with one of my pets not being well.  I was even more upset than I would have been leaving under normal circumstances.

Cody's Dad did a great job on "head patrol." I called numerous times a day for updates, and aside from a few terrifying  "I'm not sure how his head is" reports, when I returned home he was completely healed!

A Crisis Averted!

87 comments:

  1. SO happy things went well for Cody while you were BlogPawing it up!
    ...I love those ledges your Vet put in! Very cat friendly, despite Cody's aversion. I had to giggle though...I've never seen a cat try so hard to get back INTO their carrier!

    Our vet uses Feliway in all the rooms too and the cats are totally separate from the dogs. I think it helps quite a bit...though it's hard to tell since Katie is a terrified cat-turned-monster at the Vet and Waffles thinks it's a party and he's the guest of honor.

    ; ) GG

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    1. Cody is more like Waffles. He is definitely a "people cat" The vet marveled when he first met him (when Cody was about 10 or 11 weeks old) at how "fearless" he was (and often still is!) He is super good at the vet so that is why it was hard for me to judge whether or not the Feliway really worked! Plus, since he lives with a dog (and did when he was adopted) they don't really bother him

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  2. The vet here did the same thing, trying to make the clinic more "cat friendly." It doesn't help - I still loathe it there.

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  3. That's PAWsome that your husband took good care of Cody. Pawsome to your vet too. Having a cat friendly room, WOW! It's Cody's first time and next timer will be fine. Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. Nope wasn't really my first time, just my first time with the cat stuff there :)
      Love, Cody

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  4. so glad the Cody's flare healed up quick,xx Speedy and Rachel

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  5. Aw Cody, we can see you were not impressed by the new 'cat friendly' rooms. We are glad you head is all better.
    Purrs,
    Cindi Lou & The Kitty Krew

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  6. Yay Cody! I guess that does sound like seasonal allergies. Poor guy. The new vet clinic renovations look pretty nice. We used to use the feliway spray on angry kitties. A few spritzes in their cage here and there in an attempt to calm them during their stay.

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    1. I am good at the vet! I don't need that Feliway junk :)

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  7. Hey Cody!! Glad things are better for you- I've got seasonal allergies too- drive me crazy every season...hope things keep going well for you... Noah

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    1. Noah what do you do for yours? Hope they aren't acting up now!

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  8. Poor Cody....well, I just bet you MADE your hot spots heal up quick so your Mama who was so far away from home wouldn't have to worry about you so much! Atta boy....and Cody - those cool new facilities at your vet office are pretty cool looking....but I'm with you - NOTHING makes going to "Mr. Doctor" FUN!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

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    1. you got that right Sammy!!!! I could feel my Mom's nerves from Virginia all the way here! MOL!

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  9. Awwwwww Cody!!! Awwwww listen to your warrior call and look at you, you handsome boy!! We love that your vet's made the exam room kitty friendly - we hope you get to like it eventually - it was just all so new!! We hope you have tons of treats after your bravery!! Glad you are feeling better!! Take care
    x

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    1. "warrior call" Ohhhhh I love it!!! Thank you for calling me a "handsome boy" I am so flattered! Mom laughed at my meow in the video MOL! xoxo

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  10. So glad Cody's head healed so quickly. I can only imagine how hard it was for you to leave him.

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  11. I am so glad Cody is better and that their weren't any problems while you were gone! Keep well Cody pal!

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  12. Those steroid shots really do work well. And they are not as harmful as some people think they are.The cat is so much better to be comfortable. Take care.

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    1. Yep they do but the vet says they are not good to use regularly. We only did the shot because of Dad not being able to pill.

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  13. So glad Cody is OK and a crisis was averted. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. thank goodness yes!!! Hope you had a fabulous Friday too! Love, Cody

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  14. So glad Cody is OK, how nice of your vet to make the room more cat friendly. We do not want to come out of our carriers at the vet and are anxious to get back in them ASAP. ~Socks & Scylla

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  15. I so feel for you in the waiting for it to happen. I was dealing with Jack and his urinary issues so I was doing something similar over here.

    Many purrs for Cody and one great big karmic headbutt for your vet and his attempts to make the vet visit less stressful for kitties.. I just love it.

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    1. Ohhhh noooooo! Poor YOU waiting for Jack's issues too!! Nothing, nothing worse!! I will definitely send over the "karmic headbutt" LOVE IT!

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  16. Aw, poor Cody. I never saw a cat try to get into a carrier before - impressive Cody! Well, glad you vet is trying even though Cody didn't care for it. My pup Zaya had bad allergies too and we used to battle that in the summer down his spine constantly, even the shots didn't seem to help after a while and he'd have to sometime wear the old lampshade head so he didn't add to the misery of it. I used tea tree oil sparingly once from a friends recommendation when it first began before any sores and never had issues after that. Might ask you vet about it.

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    1. Thanks so much Max! I might just ask the vet about that! Actually I am quite blessed because Cody is SUPER GOOD at the vet, always has been!

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  17. Awww poor Cody (and you!) I can imagine how stressful that must have been to have to leave him when he wasn't feeling well. I'm so glad everything worked out for you both.

    My Tara does the same thing...walks right into the carrier at the vet's office because she knows it's her ticket home!

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    1. OMG Melissa the timing could NOT have been worse! I am truly jinxed when about to leave for BlogPaws lol. Awwww Tara does the same thing, I love it. You are right, "it's their ticket home" love it!

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  18. That God Cody is okay now. Having pills is so not cool...but mama does it to help. Have a great weekend. :-)
    Lots of purrs,
    Dushtu

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    1. actually Cody is SUPER GOOD about being "pilled" It's just my husband who can't do it! lol. You have a great weekend too!

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  19. Poor baby. The only thing that works for my Lily is Atopica
    Benny & Lily

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    1. I have never heard of Atopica. Just went to the website but thought I would ask you to tell me more!!

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  20. My Cod Caren we could be related! Glad he is okay now!

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    1. LOL! OMG Meg you should have seen me! Thank COD my vet gave me his cell phone number years ago when Bobo was nearing the Bridge. He KNOWS I only use it if I think there is a crisis (well, in MY mind lol). He was a complete Angel. I was a total raving maniac. I was terrified! Thanks so much! Cody is good now til the next flare-up which I hope doesn't coincide with ANY major events!

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  21. I love those kitty ledges!

    Cody, I hope your hot spot heals soon! (((HUGS)))

    My Timmy gets allergies too; I notice whenever I have the runny eyes and nose, so does he. He is indoor only, and I keep the windows closed during pollen season, but I think some of that stuff finds its way into the house anyway.

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    1. Hmmm...you just made me think of something. I had the windows open quite a bit just around when this flare-up happened. I will have to try and be more cognizant of whether or not the windows had been open when he has a flare-up.
      Poor Timmy!!! Hoping he isn't experiencing any difficulties either!
      I love the kitty ledges but Cody could have cared less lol.

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  22. Glad this worked out for Cody. We love Feliway. Our vet uses it in his mobile clinic. Did you see our Vet 101 on hot spots?

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    1. Hi Layla...I believe you had it a while ago? If so, yep! I did. I didn't notice Feliway having any impact on Cody at all, that being sad, Cody really doesn't have a problem at the vet to begin with so maybe that is why it wouldn't be evident to me. BTW THANK YOU for your kind comment the other day!

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  23. Glad all went well for you Caren. I am the "nurse" in our family too so can imagine how you felt about leaving. So glad Cody is doing well. My cat Billy gets an ear problem-brown discharge in his ears-that is absolutely seasonal. Tests are always negative for mites and infection. It starts in late spring--when my allergies are kicking up too. Hope Cody doesn't have any more problems.

    http://www.DeborahJulian.etsy.com

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    1. Deborah oh no!! Poor Billy! Poor you! But...is David able to care for Billy's ears if you aren't there to take care of them? That's the operative question! lol. Sadly, Cody has been having these flare-ups every few months for the past few years. I soooooooo wish they would stop!! Sending healing thoughts to Billy too!

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  24. Oh my goodness, Caren! Once again you and I were on the same wavelength. While I had a great time at BlogPaws, I have never been more stressed out in my life. My Jazz is not doing so well and I had to leave him home with Dan who was terrified of taking care of him. We have to try to feed him every couple of hours because he is losing a lot of weight and Dan just does not have the mental capacity to do it without getting frustrated and giving up.

    I was literally calling him every two hours, to the point he finally got so mad at me that he told me to stop calling because I was stressing him out so badly and making matters worse…

    Anyhow, glad Cody is doing better and I am glad we are both back home where we can take care of our babies!

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    1. Deb I am telling you it must be some sort of astrological thing with us! OMC!!!
      First, poor Jazz...you are going through a MUCH worse time with Jazz than I am with Cody and my heart goes out to you. I don't know how you handled it all as well as you did at the conference.
      Dan and Lenny are similar. I know I was stressing Lenny to the max, God help him if Cody wasn't well! lol.
      I pray that Jazz will improve, my thoughts and prayers are with you!
      xoxoxo

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  25. Oh dear!! I am sure kitties pick it up when we are stressed, especially when we are stressed about THEM!! lol Vicious circle eh!! It does make me laugh when cats go all "low slung" when they are nervous. Poor little thing. I hope he, you, Dakota and Hubby are all ok now !!xox

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    1. love the "all slung" lol! But...in my defense, he has these flare-ups approx every 3 months whether I am losing my mind or not! (I just might have expedited this one though!) lol

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  26. Caren,
    For future reference, our Gracie is on a course of prednisone now. I told the vet that she is our very hardest cat to pill- and I've had a lot of pilling experience! The vet was able to have a liquid version of the drug formulated- chicken flavor. She isn't happy about it - but a quick squirt in the mouth is SO much easier than pilling.

    Glad to hear that Cody has recovered.

    xxoo
    Maggie

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    1. Hi Maggie!
      Oh nooo Gracie is on prednisone too? Poor baby!! I used to give my Angel Bobo medicine in liquid version, he never cared for it much. He was much harder to pill or give any medicine too than Cody is.
      Keep me posted on how Gracie is doing!
      xoxoo

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  27. Me again- Caren I was also reading about the benefits of coconut oil for cats to clear up rashes, improve their coats, etc. Have you looked into it?

    Maggie

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    1. too funny!!! Read the comment I just left for CK (below!) I MUST try it!
      xoxo

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  28. My new vet examines me in my PTU. It's the same type as yours. They remove the screws and I feel safer inside it. Wondering how the coconut oil works because Andrea said it cleared up Star's "hot spot" quickly. BTW, Locking Cody out of the box was cruel INSO. Just meowin'. Disclaimer: TW doesn't feel the same way.

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    1. CK THAT is a good idea! My vet and I just dump Cody on the table!! MOL!!! Oui Oui's Mom was a doll and brought me a jar of coconut oil to BlogPaws to try. I have been leery about trying it on Cody....but...I DID use it to make some GREAT panko-crusted chicken!! MOL!! I may try it on the next flare-up. Oh and YES I have to agree it WAS cruel of me to lock poor Cody out of the PTU. But it WAS funny! I am such a mean Mama!
      xoxoxo

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  29. How wonderful to have a cat friendly room at the v-e-t place - Mum dare not utter that terrible word as we immediately start rubbing the back of our necks in anticipation of being stabbed. The upside of our vets is that they are all ladies except for one man but he mainly deals with farm animals. They don't like the ladies much but they have no intention of being stabbed by a (whispers) man.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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    1. You girls kill me! I love my vet and he is a man (well, there are women vets there too but our main one is a man!)
      xoxo

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  30. My cats don't think the pet friendly room would help them either. They hate going. So glad they got you in before your mom had to leave.
    Sue B

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  31. Poor Cody. That spot looked angry! I do hope you'll give the coconut oil a try (start with a low dose) as it cleared up Tutu's itchy butt spot really quickly too.

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    1. I want to give it a try but you have to convince my "nervous nellie" Mom who will probably want to run it by the vet first!

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  32. I am glad your vet came to the rescue and that you got to blog paws ( mums ambition ). That vet practice looks fabulous in that it does so much to try and calm the cats down. Glad all is well now.. Hugs GJ x

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    1. thanks so much GJ!!! You had better be eating!
      xoxoxo

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  33. Glad to hear Cody is feeling better! That hot spot looked painful...and then missing his mom too! Thank you for sharing your vet office too...I will keep a better eye next time I go with one of my fur kids to see if there is anything like that they can do to help make the whole experience less stressful.

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    1. Amelia thanks so much!! Thankfully he is doing fine now...til the next flare-up! Let us know how your vet does!

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  34. Well, we are certainly glad that Cody is all healed up! That must have been so upsetting to leave him while he was not well. We totally get that! Hugs!

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    1. it was awful and ohhh yesssss I know you understand! ((((hugs))) back at ya!

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  35. Cody, we agree with you...no matter how "cat friendly" they make the place, we still don't wanna be there! We're glad you didn't have too much problems with your allergies and that your mom got to go to BlogPaws.

    We think Ernie's allergies are environmental/seasonal as well.

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    1. Mom is glad that she got to go too so that she could FINALLY meet your Mom! Hoping Ernie's allergies don't give him too much trouble

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  36. OMGosh, Caren... you must've been out of your mind with worry!! Your poor baby, with that dreadful hot spot. :( Thank goodness everything turned out "purrfectly"! (I confess to having a good chuckle over the lame reports you got back, though; the times I've gone on a trip without my husband, and gritted my teeth at the "Oh, you know, he's fine," answers to my anxious questions wanting to know EverySingleThingMyBabyHadDoneThatDayInMyAbsence... grrrrrrrrr, for sure, LOL.) All's well that ends well, eh? (Even if Cody remains unimpressed with his vet's remodeling... ;) ) xoxo

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    1. OMG GlamKitty YES!!! You summed it up purrfectly! You sooo understand! xoxo

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  37. Yay for having the crisis averted. Cody does not seem particularly amused with the "cat-friendly" exam room. I'm not sure I like to be pilling a cat :)

    Thank goodness all turned out okay in the end. And when I say "end"..um, ignore me and have a darned good weekend.

    Penny's human,

    Gary :)

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    1. lol klahnie! You have a good weekend too!!

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  38. Whew, glad things worked out. This does look like environment rather than food.
    Dad is the same if we are sick. He is so happy to be working at home now. Even though he is in sisfurs stinky dog half of our dope-lex he can pop in all day with just stumping up the stairs.
    Purrs Cody glad you are better.
    Timmy T

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  39. Poor Cody!!! Our vet said that the red dots on the head are definitely a sign of allergies, so good job to your Mom for being so vigilant! I know some people think us moms worry too much about our fur kids, but I say I'd rather be a bit too overprotective than not protective enough :)

    We are so glad Cody healed up! We wonder if you could give him some Benadryl every few months for his allergies? Our vet recommended some for Carmine once. Of course, have your mom ask the vet before she gives any to you (we know she will anyway cause she's a great mom!).

    Carmine always wants back into his carrier at the vet, too, Cody! Me being a mean mama locks the door until the vet has seen him. We actually have to take the carrier apart when it's time to get him out at the office because he's too scared to come out on his own, and he won't come out if we try to "dump" him.

    Hopefully, you won't have to go to the vet for a while nows!

    Purrs,
    Carmine, Milita, and Jewel

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    1. Thanks Carmine, Milita and Jewel! Yep, I knew it was allergies because Cody gets this ALL the time! The vet has Cody on special food, we are going to be re-visiting this because I am starting to think that it isn't a food allergy at all. I know it is an allergy though, I am just thinking that it is probably environmental.
      Thanks for the Benadryl suggestion, I will ask him for sure but so far he has never mentioned it!
      I am laughing because often we have to take the carrier apart too!! I dumped him this time though! lol
      Sending you ((((hugs))))))

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  40. We have never had good luck with pills with any of our cats, and we have had a few with allergies (usually of the contact type). I've always gone for the steroid shot. Do you think this is bad for the kitties? It always seemed to work so I never thought about it before. Okay, so the vet has new shelves and Feliway (with which I have had some minor success) but do they spray some Feliway on the shelves between kitties or use some other type of kitty friendly disinfectant? If not, Cody was probably upset by smells of other kitties. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Misty May, Mauricio, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette.

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    1. All EXCELLENT QUESTIONS!
      1) I do the pills with Cody because he is great about taking them.
      2) Yes, my vet said the steroid shot is MUCH stronger and isn't something that he wants to give to Cody on a regular basis. We only did the shot this time because it was an "emergency" situation since my husband can't "pill" him
      3) Excellent question about the care of the shelves, I have no idea. Frankly, Cody had NEVER walked around in an exam room before, I had put him on the shelf, he didn't go there on his own. Shelves or no shelves he wouldn't have been thrilled. He is good at the vet but would have acted the same whether he smelled other cats or not. Your question was excellent and I will have to try and find out the answer to that! xoxo

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  41. Oh my! It must have been stressful!
    Purrs

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  42. Dear, dear Caren -- I simply cannot tell you how much you've helped me with our problem. I will try.

    1. First, I quailed at how awful this must have been for you and then I gvelled at the happy ending. I simply cannot imagine you functioning at all away from home while this was going on. I'm so glad you're past it! My gosh. What an ordeal. Kidney stones one year and then this. Honestly. Times to try a guardian's very soul.

    2. Your helping me shift my thinking from diet to seasonal is actually freeing. I realize that's kind of a funny thing to say, but really I want to consider a wide range of options and the seasonal aspect opens things up considerably.

    3. Now I'm realizing that I might have been thinking in this direction -- noticing that Bugsy has had what might have been mild versions of this in years past, during "transitional" seasons, meaning spring & fall. But I had my head set on the flea issue. If it had been (or is) the flea stuff, that would have been (will be) a big problem, because let me tell you, we grow 'em big and tall down here. They are TERRIBLE. What would I do if Frontline doesn't work (I think they feed on it) and Advantage caused this horror? I simply don't know. Course it might still be that -- the package insert says something about "rare sensitivities" -- but hey, if kindred-spirit Detroiters like you and me share this affliction in our beloveds, well then maybe it really is seasonal.

    4. Because you are such a big macher in the blogging community, just look at all those comments. With so much helpful perspective. Isn't that simply awesome wonderful. Yay you for being such a rock-star, to attract such a great crowd around you.

    I must check out cocoanut oil. The Atopica stuff is too scary for me, but the cocoanut oil -- or teatree, but that's mighty strong stuff, I wonder about that -- sounds like a winner. I will check w/ my vet too.

    So again, thank you so so so much for chipping in over at our place. I just need to subscribe to your blog (why haven't I done that?? no idea!!) and we can stay in more regular touch that way. Specially because I'm only posting once in a blue mooon for the next 2 months.

    Take care & happy days. Again and again I thank you.

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    1. my dear dear friend I am happy to help! I do not think it is a reaction to flea meds, you saw yourself that the "hot spot" looks soooo much like what Cody gets!
      Also, I am NO WAY "big macher" in the blogging community! You are way too funny!
      Please keep me posted. I am also going to be consulting with my vet about gradually getting Cody back on to "mainstream" food because even eating the expensive veterinary formulas this is STILL happening, which leads me to think that his are purely seasonal or environmental.
      Please, please keep me posted!
      xoxoox

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  43. Dear Caren -- just a quick note for now, but I wanted to let you know that our vet suggested cortisone cream (she mentioned "Cortaid"). I've been using a version of Cortaid on Bugs for a week now and slowly but surely it seems to be working so far. I bet if I'd have used this stuff earlier the situation wouldn't have got so bad. If you're interested, the most basic version out there on the market is the best idea -- be sure to avoid any versions with aloe vera or zinc oxide (both toxic to kitties). Walgreen's "Maximum Strength Hydrocortisone 1%" -- with only the hydrocortisone plus mineral oil and white petrolatum (the cheapest version, probly b/c it doesn't have all the Xtra stuff) is what we're using. I want to write more on this at some point but can't now . . . . All our best to you, Anita & Bugs & Barney

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  44. Oh yes and one more thing. My vet said Zertac would be ineffective, because the allergen pathways are different for respiratory as opposed to dermatitis. So I'm thinking the same would be true re Benadryl.

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  45. Whoops -- found Layla's post & Dr. G. says no cortisone creams. Cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination and drinking. Bugs is doing the last two. Dr. G. recommends Vetericyn. I checked w/ my vet and she was not impressed; gave me that "no good data so don't have an opinion" thing. A physical-therapy friend says "It's just super-oxygenated water." But Dr. G. says it has "very dilute amounts of compounds found in the bleach family." So -- it'll keep things clean for healing, I guess. I'm going to get some. Dr. G. seems like a good 'un.

    Here's the link to the Layla / Dr. G. post: http://catwisdom101.com/vet-101-feline-hot-spots/

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  46. Well -- dare I say we're on the upswing? Vetericyn!! http://catself.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/bugs-is-better/

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