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Author Topic:   Sick household
fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-12-2004 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
I haven't been on here much b/c of my computer problems and now my sick kitties. I have been observing/volunteering at my vets office b/c I am thinking of going to vet school and need the hours for when I apply. A little while ago a sick cat came in and I helped take care of her. I must have brought it home to my kitties b/c 10 days later they started getting sick. It's a long incubation period, but they are all indoors and haven't been exposed to anything else. They all have the same symptoms that the cat at the vets had. The symptoms are: open mouth breathing/panting, fever, sneezing, some with runny eyes, and lethargic.

It started with some sneezing. They were dry sneezes so I thought it was from allergies or something. Then I saw one of them panting. 2 others were panting and 3 others were looking sick. I took 4 of them in and got Doxycycline and was told to give them asprin. They were panting b/c of the had high fevers. So I have the sick kitties in quarantine with a humidifier running. More and more of them are getting sick, but I am catching them before they are as sick as the first four. As soon as someone sneezes they go in the quarantine room. I know have 9 in the quarantine room, 4 more on the brink and 5 that are well. The 4 that are really sick have been switched to Baytril, the others are still on Doxycycline. I feel bad for my sick little kitties. I will have to be more careful when I handle someone sick at the vets office.

Two interesting things about their illness:
1) They weren't very congested in the upper respiratory area. Only one had bad lungs.

2) Before I took them in I gave the worst one a dose of oral amoxicillin. The next day she was the only one who was really better, so I gave a dose to the other 3 who were really sick. They got a lot better after the amoxicillin even though it isn't normally used to treat this sort of thing. Chessmind, you seem to know a lot about antibiotics, any ideas?

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mybigfunny
Member

Posts: 40
From:
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 03-12-2004 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mybigfunny     Edit/Delete Message
I'm sorry that your doing such a good deed ended up with your kitties getting sick. I hope they are all better soon.

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-12-2004 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Oh no Fleafly . I'm sorry to hear your kitties are sick. Hope they all get well soon....be sure and keep us posted.

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Chessmind
Member

Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 03-12-2004 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
I'm so sorry your fur animals are sick.

It sounds like your cats have some kind of viral/respiratory infection (caused by bacteria), because of their symptoms, how it's spreading to other cats and what the vet has prescribed. Was he/she able to narrow down what kind of infection they got?

As for your question regarding the Amoxicillin and the cats getting better: They got better because they have some kind of bacterial infection (which leads to viral/respiratory infections) and Amoxicillin is a broad spectrum penicillin antibiotic used to treat various infections caused by bacteria. So, to answer your question, Amoxicillin is used to treat these types of infections. It just depends on the vet which type of antibiotic they choose to use (i.e. Amoxicillin or Clavamox or Clindamycin or Doxycycline).

Just a couple of warnings about Doxycycline and Baytril that I thought you may want to know about (unless your vet has already informed you).

Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic commonly used to treat Chlamydia and other infections in cats. It can be taken orally (pill form or liquid form) or 'injected' via syringe. The problem with the tablets is that they must be given water directly after they swallow the pill. These pills can commonly get stuck in their esophagus if not washed down with water right after. The problem with this, is that if it does get stuck in the esophagus it may cause severe inflamation (esophagitis) which can result in scar formation. In a nut shell it may make it difficult for them to swallow for the duration of their life. So, water after the pill is given is very important. Unless of course you are giving them liquid form, in which case forget everything I just said.

Baytril is an antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It's made by Bayer and they sent a letter to all vets warning them of their product at certain dosages. Basically, Bayer said that their product has been linked to altered vision, partial and complete blindness.

I don't know how much you are giving your kitties of the Baytril. Bayer found that their product is safe from the above eye problems if only 5mg/kg/day were given. This means that only 5mg/per kg of body weight/per day. If you are giving them more than this I would ask your vet if they could take something else (i.e. some of the antibiotics listed above to treat infections). This doesn't mean that %100 of cats that take more than 5mg/kg/day all get eye problems, but it does happen. Not a risk I am willing to take with Handsome.

Lastly, I think it's great you're thinking of going to vet school. You would be a great vet, because you love animals. Those are the best kinds of vets (IMO). When you go there to help out at the vets, wear scrubs (long sleeves) wear shoes that stay there. Wash your hands, change clothes before you go home, put scrubs in plastic bag, wash alone with bleach, after touching scrubs wash hands. A lot of these infections can be carried onto your clothes/body and infect your kitties. They can also spread airborn (sneezing), saliva (grooming and feeding bowls). Really difficult to contain. If I was you, I would just have all the cats on some kind of antibiotic.

I hope everything goes okay and every single one of your kitties gets better soon.


[This message has been edited by Chessmind (edited 03-12-2004).]

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-13-2004 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the sympathy. Most of the kitties are doing better. Moo is the only one who seems to be worse so I am switching him over to Baytril. Also Moo and Merla aren't really drinking, so I am giving them water to keep them hydrated. I need to pick up some pedialyte.

I am pretty confident that it is bacterial b/c the illness seems to be responding to antibiotics. My vet wasn't able to narrow down the type of bacteria. I need to talk to her about it some more. She was saying that they get things that go through the animal shelter and they have been able to culture some things on autopsy, but I'm not sure if my cats have the same illness that they get up there. She was saying they can culture out the bacterias that kitties are vaccinated for and the ones that are vaccinated seem to get the sickest. A little puzzle for my epidemiologist mind to ponder.

I was curious about the amoxicillin working b/c my vet said that it normally doesn't work on respiratory problems. Maybe she meant that they don't normally prescribe it for respiratory infections. I was curious if that would tell me anything about what kind of bacteria they have e.g. gram negative etc. I will have to look it up.

I do know about needing water after Doxycycline. Also, they throw up if they get it on an empty stomache. So I make sure they eat, give them the pill them give them 1.5 - 3 cc of water depending on how much they will tolerate.

My vet usually uses Baytril as a last resort b/c it is so strong and so expensive. She only uses it when other things don't work. The cat who came in there sick, Peggy, ended up getting better on Baytril after going through all of the other antibiotics first and a miserable 2 weeks with several vet appointments. We just put the 4 sickest on Baytril b/c they would have probably ended up needing it anyway and would have been miserable longer. I did not know about the problems it can cause, I will check their dosage to see how much they get. They get one tablet once a day but I don't know how many mg the tablets are.

I was down to 4 cats who weren't sick, so I am just medicating everyone. I am a public health person and thats how you control diseases in people, prophylaxis of contacts. And I have a household of contacts! This way I figure it wont just keep cycling through the house. Once they are better I will disinfect everything and we should be okay.

If I do become a vet I would be a public health veterinarian, I would still work as an epidemiologist. I am actually looking at a combined DVM/PhD program. But I would be able to work with rescue groups to donate my time and services to help animals. I would really enjoy doing that.

For the most part the kitties seem to be better. The ones that aren't sneezing are getting released from quarantine. I want to contain the contaminant so it is easier to disinfect. Every hates me b/c I keep sticking pills down their throat, but it has to be done.

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-13-2004 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
quote:
If I do become a vet I would be a public health veterinarian, I would still work as an epidemiologist. I am actually looking at a combined DVM/PhD program. But I would be able to work with rescue groups to donate my time and services to help animals. I would really enjoy doing that.

Wow Fleafly...that sounds great. If you decide to go through with it I wish you the best of luck.

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kyles101
Member

Posts: 227
From:Perth, Western Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 03-14-2004 02:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyles101     Edit/Delete Message
that got me thinking. is it safe or not to pat other pets at vet clinic waiting rooms? its never entered my mind and seeing your post got me thinking. vets use clavamox here to treat respiratory infections. thats so cool youre going to go to vet school. i was thinking about taking a vet nurse course this year but i thought about that when i was going through a good patch [i have cystic fibrosis]. but now im going through a bad patch i thought maybe its not such a good idea.

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 03-14-2004 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
I've thought about that too Kyles101. I used to visit the SPCA frequently where I would handle a number of cats. Just to be safe I would change my clothes and wash up before touching any of my cats at home. I don't usually get to pet other cats in the waiting room at the vet because they are usually in crates.

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Chessmind
Member

Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 03-15-2004 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
How are your kitties doing, Fleafly? How's Moo? Is Gary okay? And Pretty Boy Fluff?

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-16-2004 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Everyone is a lot better. Saturday and Sunday Moo and Merla were very sick. I was really worried about them. I ended up feeding them food and water through a needleless syringe. Then Monday morning they were both up and moving around. They have both been eating and drinking and seem pretty active. Moo is still really congested though.

Pretty boy Fluff is fine! He went to the vet today b/c he had a fluid pocket on his ear. My vet said normally those are blood from them bursting a blood vessel by shaking their head. If you don't get them drained it will shrivel up the ear and give them cauliflower ear. His turned out to be serum, not blood. She was very puzzled by how it happened. They drained it with a needle and put a few stitches in to close the space. He didn't even have to be put to sleep, he was very good!

Gary is good. He sneezes every once in awhile but is in pretty good shape. All of the cats are sick of me shoving pills down their throat! Some of them have been avoiding me a little bit. They don't understand I am trying to make them better.

I asked my vet about the Baytril side effects and she said she calculated the dose taking that into account. I figured that she had. She's a very good vet.

About handling cats other places. I always pet the cats at Petsmart or wherever I see them. This is the first time I brought anything home. I think it happened b/c:
1) I had more than casual contact with the sick cat. I held her while she got subcutaneuous fluids and while the vet ran some bloodwork.
2) I went straight home after that.
3) I pet some of my cats before I changed clothes.
4) This particular bacteria/virus is extremely virulent.

I think in normal situations you are fine. Unless a cat sneezes on you, your clothes shouldn't get anything on them. Just make sure you wash your hands. I guess it is a wake up call to be more careful. I'm just glad my cats are all going to be okay.

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Chessmind
Member

Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 03-16-2004 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Fleafly. Thanks for the update. I hope little baby cow Moo keeps on getting better and of course the rest of the bunch. You must of been very proud when Pretty Boy Fluff was so good at the vets. I'm glad your vet knew about the Bayer dosages. I'm sorry they don't understand that the pills are for their own good. It's hard when you care about them so much and you are doing everything to help them, but they see it as you being 'mean' or 'annoying' when you give them their meds. It's times like this that some of us wish we were fluent in 'Cat'. I wish all your kitties a speedy recovery.

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ticktop
Member

Posts: 20
From:By the Bay Calif
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 03-19-2004 01:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ticktop     Edit/Delete Message
Lots of good informations reading the posts. Thanks. PS I hope they all feel well soon!

[This message has been edited by ticktop (edited 03-19-2004).]

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