Saturday, April 28, 2012

Snalbert Keeping Me Busy

Our furry little volcano, Snalbert, has found a new way to erupt. He's been sneezing, snuffling, and breathing loudly for the past couple of days. He's working his way through each chapter of that classic feline handbook, How to Worry Your Person.

Let me put it this way: the vets are now calling me to see what's new with him.

He asks me for food about 15 times a day — no exaggeration; if anything, I'm understating his demands. But he usually just sits there looking at it and at me, because he can't smell it. Even though it's the same old kibble or Fancy Feast in the same old bowl he's been enjoying for a couple of years, if he can't smell it, it's suspect. So we're also syringe-feeding him. I also put a few very stinky, trashy treats on top of his food. He'll eat those and often get a few accidental nibbles of real food while he's at it.

I started giving him nose drops in retaliation to try to help his congestion. I make a warm saline solution, pull a wildly wigglng Bertie onto his back on my lap and aim a dropper at his nostrils. If I'm successful, he rewards me with powerful sneezes and he breathes comfortably for awhile.

Snalbert ponders the ambiguous nature of kibble. And,
yes, my kitchen is a disaster area; I'll explain in a later post.

The vet thinks Bertie might carry the herpes virus, which can be dormant until a cat's immune system is compromised by illness or stress. Then it causes upper respiratory symptoms: congestion, runny eyes. It's a good theory; our beautiful Bunnelina had herpes, and could have passed it on.  So, it's off to the General Nutrition Center for lysine, which can help cats get over an episode. Lysine comes in big tablets, which we crush and mix with his food.

Perfect timing, Snalbert. Three days ago, I threw out a pill bottle loaded with lysine that I'd carefully crushed two years ago, just after the kittens arrived and Bertie and Possum came down with the calici virus. Lysine isn't proven to help that, but they were both so ill that we were trying anything and everything. Three days ago, I thought to myself, "Why do I need to keep this? Only Bunny had herpes."

Good work, Snalbert — keeping me on my toes like the Top Cat you are.

1 comment:

  1. That #$@! Herpesvirus! 80% of cats have been exposed to it and yep, it lays dormant...just worrying us Catmoms...I give Lysine, too, cuz it can't hurt. The warm saline is good too. Hope 'Bert's' immune system kicks in and he gets well soon.

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