Aby-a-Day – November 2: Urine luck (Serious Sunday)

This week, Jacoby has had another urinary tract infection flare-up.


It started with him trying to pee in first one litter box, then the other…and then the first one again. Lather, rinse, repeat. So on Thursday morning, while he was trying to pee again, I slipped a little dish under his bum to collect a urine sample. And…it wasn’t yellow, like it’s supposed to be. It was pink. And I’m sure you know what pink urine means: blood. (When you have a cat with UTI issues, it helps to have a very bonded relationship; obviously, I couldn’t collect a urine sample myself from most cats, but Jake doesn’t mind if I do something like put a small takeout container under him while he’s trying to pee!)


So I called my boss to tell him I’d be late, called the vet to tell them we were on our way (they don’t open until 9am on Thursdays), and we were off to see the vet.


They took a better urine sample from him (it was still bloody), and gave him his first dose of a new medication.


Of course, he took it perfectly – Jake’s great at taking pills.


The prescription that we were given was for Cerenia, which is mainly used to prevent nausea in dogs and cats, but also has an off-label use as an anti-inflammatory. We’ve never been prescribed this medication before…and I’m not entirely sure it worked. His usual UTI cocktail is Phenoxybenzamine (an antispasmodic which also increases urine flow) and Bruprenex, a pain reliever. After 24 hours on just the Cerenia, it was obvious that he was still in pain…and he was still feeling like he needed to pee when he didn’t. I went back to the vet to get his usual medications…and by the next morning he was back to his old perky self. The Phenoxybenzamine and the Buprenex work that quickly, at least with Jake!


He also got an antibiotic, but that was in the form of an injection rather than pills. He’s had Convenia twice before, the first time to treat his chin acne, and then again the last time he had a UTI in April.


He took that well, too. And by today, Sunday, he’s back to normal – he not finished with his medicine yet, but he’s chasing Angel, knocking stuff over, and climbing up to the top wall shelf. If he was a kid, he’d be going back to school tomorrow.

UTIs, crystals and blockages are serious business. Jake’s never had a blockage, but he does have crystals, and he eats only prescription UT canned and dry food – and mostly the former. He is also the reason we have a drinking fountain for the cats. If you notice the warning signs (trying to pee over and over again and/or peeing in the wrong place when the cat NEVER pees outside the box), do not hesitate. Drop what you’re doing and go to your vet. Not to scare you, but an Aby breeder friend of mine lost a healthy young stud male to a blockage. She had been away, and the pet sitter didn’t know the signs. He looked like he was just asleep when she found him…but he was dead. She had an autopsy done, and he had a urinary blockage. He was only about two years old.

One thing that I am considering getting is Perfect Litter. It changes colour when your cat has a UTI, so you have another warning sign to look for. And as luck would have it, right now, the company is giving away a month’s supply of litter just for the cost of shipping ($4.99) – and they give you a $5 coupon good on your next purchase. Hauspanther posted about this on Thursday, the same day Jake went to the vet – talk about perfect timing!

Fashion Friday Extra: Medical Pet Shirts from The Netherlands

Rebecca Rebecca Eagland posted photos of her young blue Aby, Moon, wearing a red onesie earlier this week on the Facebook Abyssinian Cat Club. Moon had surgery this week for neutering complicated by one undescended testicle and came home with stitches all up his abdomen, but instead of having to wear the Cone of Shame, Moon’s vet put a shirt on him instead.

This ingenious shirt (which is similar to the Thundershirt) comes from Medical Pet Shirts and was developed in The Netherlands by veterinarians as an alternative to the old-fashioned Elizabethan collar. Made in styles for dogs, cats and rabbits, these shirts are thoughtfully developed to protect pets during recovery. Moon’s shirt cost a little over £15.00; not as cheap as a cone, perhaps but much cheaper than the cost of restitching if he pulled his stitches out!

It seems to be working; Moon doesn’t seem to mind his shirt at all. The website says they have distributors in the US and Canada as well as all over Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, but since they are only available through veterinarians, I don’t really know how you can get your hands on one, yet.

I will say that if I’d have had one of their protective leg sleeves when Jacoby had his escalator accident, it would have been a lot easier keeping his bandages on! Those seem to be only made for dogs, though…at least, for now.

Aby-a-Day – July 15: “The best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter — he’s got to just know.” (Cartoon Tuesday)

We all just went to the vet for everyone’s annual check-up a couple of weeks ago…


The Aby is based on Jacoby, of course, and also this Abyssinian in this Iams commercial from a couple of years ago:

And the “regular cat” is based on this guy:

And yeah, that fist bump with the vet? Inspired by BCB’s Paulo

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – July 11: Jake’s first vet visit (Friday Flashback)

Even from the very first time he ever went, Jacoby has enjoyed visiting the veterinarian.

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These were taken on 4 August 2009, when Jake was just 3½ months old.

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Even at that young age, he was making friends!


He was also very interested in food…



In the exam room, he just explored. He was fearless even then.


It was to be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Aby-a-Day – July 10: Just another day at the vet

To Jacoby, a visit to the vet is not a big deal at all.



In fact, I think he rather enjoys it.


Even though he gets his temperature taken, and he gets a vaccination, Jake is his usually happy self in the exam room.


The table is a scale, too. Jake weighs 10.2lbs on the scale at home, too.


Jake’s always been rather cheerful at the vet; I think part of the reason is that I’ll take him along for the ride when some other cat has an appointment.


“Okay, why isn’t he petting me?”

Aby-a-Day – July 9: Wordless Wednesday (I do NOT weigh that much! This scale LIES!)



Aby-a-Day – July 3: When is it time to go to the dentist? Tooth hurty!

As I’ve posted in the past, Angel hasn’t got the best teeth. She gets Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs) and she’s already had two extractions, when she was four years old.


Now she’s seven, and she just had another extraction. She went to the vet today to get a tooth that was not only being resporbed but was dissolving in her jaw. That tooth was in pieces in her mouth, held together by her swollen gums. I’m pretty sure this was a Stage 4 lesion: Extensive dental hard tissue loss (cementum or cementum and enamel with loss of dentin that extends to the pulp cavity); most of the tooth has lost its integrity.

There are several theories as to what causes this in some cats and not others. Of course, one is that some breeds are more prone to this than others, with Abyssinians, Persians, Siamese, and Oriental Shorthairs heading up the list. However, I think it Angel’s case, it may be due to her rocky start in life: “Viral infection at the time of tooth development leading to a defective and susceptible tooth.” Since other parts of her obviously had problems with viral infections when she was a kitten, it makes sense to me that it would have affected her teeth, too.


My vet is awesome in that she gives us a “Dental Report Card” for each cat after every cleaning, regardless if there are any extractions involved. In this photo, the “before” shots are on the left and the “after” shots are on the right. Look at the circled tooth – that’s the FORL! See how little of the tooth you can see compared to the same tooth on the other side of her mouth? And it was painful, too; Angel didn’t even want her chin touched. It didn’t seem to affect her appetite, though.


She had bloodwork done before her procedure on one arm, and she had IV fluids and anaesthesia in the other. She was also prescribed a new pain medication I’ve never heard of before: Onsior. Onsior was only approved in the US fairly recently (April 2012), and it works differently from most NSAIDs in that it specifically targets tissues that are inflamed. It’s also especially easy to give to cats, which is an important aspect of any feline medication.


Despite everything, she was pretty perky when she got home. And she was hungry since she had to fast and couldn’t have breakfast.


She wasn’t really in the mood for Jacoby’s shenanigans, however.