Monday, October 01, 2007

Hello from Ferretland

I'm taking a mini-vacation now, at my friend Jodi's house in Virginia--you know, the fun exciting world of reading manuscripts and knitting! =) We are such exciting people.

Jodi, however, owns seven ferrets, and they are quite fun! I am a new and exciting thing to climb on. Trying to crawl up my the legs of my jeans is an exciting game! Trying to inspect under the back of my shirt is even more thrilling to them! And one of them, Miss Suzi, has decided that it is her mission in life to scale my shirt by climbing directly upwards on my chest, although I have tried to deter her since oh my, ferret claws are sharp.

Anyway, while I'm away, I present to you the following guest blog written by my husband, Chris, about Zoe. She has allergies, by the way.

Here's what Chris has to say:

"Jenny took Zoe to the vet on Wednesday. The vet thought that the reason she's been coughing and trying to scratch her nose on everything is that she has allergies. The best thing to do, the vet said, is to give her some Benadryl. Now, instead of buying the pills, cutting one in half, and giving her half a pill in her food, the vet thought it would be easier to buy the children's liquid Benadryl and give her 3 cc's of that every day.

"What flavor of Benadryl do cats like the best?" Jenny asked.
"They hate all of them. Just pick one," the vet replied.

So, I went to the pharmacy to get some. My options were cherry and bubblegum. The cherry might at least taste like an actual food, so I picked that.

The next day, Jenny left for the conference in the morning, so I was going to be stuck giving Zoe her first dose myself on thursday night. I knew this would be trouble, so first I spent some time getting everything prepared. I put some milk in a bowl, for her to drink afterward to get the taste out of her mouth. I got some treats to give her beforehand, so she knows that medicine time is a fun time. Finally, I filled the syringe with 3 cc's of the vibrantly red liquid Benadryl, which as expected didn't really smell like cherries but rather like cherry cough syrup.

Zoe ate her treats happily, and then I went for the kitten headlock. Now, the kitten headlock is actually somewhat hard to pull off one handed, and she managed to wriggle away from me the first time before I could get the medicine near her. After a short chase, I caught her again and managed to get a fairly secure grip. I then started trying to jam the syringe into her closed mouth. She did her best to resist, but during one attempt to bite me I managed to get it in her mouth and squirt one cc in. She immediately wrenched her head away and about half of it sprayed out on the floor. The other half, however, began to have an interesting effect. Zoe started making spitting sounds, and began foaming at the mouth. A lot. The resultant bubbly drool fell out of her mouth and made a decent sized pile on the welcome mat. I have never seen a cat drool that much. Even for a dog it would have been impressive. I tried to give her some milk after that, but she just sniffed it and I don't think she trusted me anymore. She retreated to the living room to go sulk and glare at me."


Kelly Swails said...

hahahahahaha. OMG. I know this isn't funny, but ... heeheehee.
Okay, it really sucks that Zoe has allergies but picturing Chris doing the syringe business is humorous. Here's what I have to do to give our cat Kahula liquid antiobiotics: first off, catch him when he's off guard. Don't shake the medicine before hand! It's a tip-off that Bad Stuff is happening. I basically "sit" on him by kneeling on the floor with my knees on either side of him and my feet touching behind me. This keeps Kahula from backing out and puts his face right in front of me. Shake the medicine, get the dropper full, and smush it in before he can fully realize what's about to happen. This is no time to dilly-dally. Oh, yeah; if any medicine doesn't make it into the cat, it's helpful if it finds its way to the cat's fur. They'll lick it off to clean themselves and so they'll get the medicine anyway. Mwahaha.

As I read over this it seemed a little harsh. It's not, trust me. What's worse: a sick cat or a pissed off cat? I vote sick cat.

spyscribbler said...

That bubbly drool stuff is actually a sort of vomit they do when they're stressed out.

Try wrapping her in a blanket and then scruffing her (picking her up by the skin and fur of the back or her neck). They got that from their mama, so it's a little more effective and calming than the headlock, LOL. Then in the medicine goes!

Usually. Sometimes. Once both you and the cat get the hang of it.

We've been struggling with this for a month, because so much medicine flies out of his mouth, that it goes everywhere but in! He's too heavy too scruff, 18 pounds! Zoe should be a little easier, isn't she 10 pounds or something?

I'm going to try Kelly's method tonight.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Tell Chris to switch to the pill option and buy a pill popper (ask your vet; they're like $12 and invaluable).

He'll get the headlock about the time Zoe becomes resigned to the inevitability of it.

Have fun on vacation!

joycemocha said...

When I had kitties and had to medicate them, I had to go through the method Kelly sister-in-law with a degree in Animal Science showed me how to do it. Works great for pills as well.

Oh yeah, the second part--use left hand (or whatever hand is not your primary hand). Take upper part of kitty jaw in hand. Gently ease it back. Stuff pill or liquid down throat, quickly remove fingers from biting range, close lower jaw, stroke throat until The Beast swallows. Worked wonderfully on Cthulhu the Biting-Scratching Medication wonder.

Horses are much easier to medicate. Stick the syringe up their mouth as far as you can, shove the paste in, then hold the jaw up as high as you can for about three minutes.

Bernita said...

I'd prefer to grind up a pill in some tuna...

McKoala said...

I don't have a cat, but I've heard that wrapping the cat in a towel works well - gently, so it doesn't hurt, but firmly so they can't wriggle out. Place wrapped cat between knees then you have two hands to manage the medication and head.

This also works with toddlers who need eyedrops, and that I do know from personal experience!

Kim said...

Ouch - you have my sympathies. We practically had to sit on our cat to get her to take medication of any sort.

Maybe she'll like the bubblegum one better? =)

Rachel said...

I enjoy keeping my fingers attached to my hand (plus, they're a vital part of my job), so I mash Tommy's pills up and put them as a "topper" on half a can of canned food. Course, his meds will be finished in a week, but the canned food will continue as it has now become part of the routine.

Chris Redding said...

Benadryl makes a children's fast melt. It's a tablet that melts in the mouth.
Might be easier than a pill.
I've done the pill thing and the towel and scruffing works.
And eye drops in a kids is easy. Try in your husband who hates things in his eyes!

Chumplet said...

I heard cow's milk is bad for kitties. She'll get the trots.

Making them lick it off themselves works great sometimes.

Bernita's tuna trick is usually foolproof. They'll do anything to get that tuna in their little gullets.