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Blest Sunday: Lexi: A Life Forever Changed

Hi everyone, Mommy A here. Friday was Rainbow Bridge Remembrance day. I had intended to share about the profound relationship Lexi and I had and the way she changed my life forever. While I don’t believe in a rainbow bridge, I do believe in heaven and every day I think of and remember Lexi. So, I hope you’ll allow me to share what a Blessing Lexi was today.

 

Lexi lays on scratcher Blest Sunday

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The Truth About Cystitis

As We Found It pt.1

Well here we are a few weeks after meez diagnosis with Sterile Cystitis to tell ya’ da truth as we have found it. We told you then what we were told by da VET. We told you dat this was very common ‘specially among cats who eat Blue Buffalo foods and dat it was caused from too much protein in da diet. Yep we wrote it as we was told, but we also included dat mommy wuld be duin’ a lot of little research herself. Just didn’t seem right dat an obligate carnivore kuld be eatin’ too much protein?.

 dw-Dezilowproteinmeme

Meez sure glad you don’t believe everything your told mommy. Me just wuldn’t like eatin’ salads and cereals.

No sweety you sure wouldn’t have, nor could you survive on those. Quite frankly I’m sick and tired of hearing from vets and pet food companies that cats, who everybody knows are “obligate carnivores,” need less protein. And I’m tired of pet food companies including so many ingredients in their foods that cats don’t need, can’t process and that could literally kill them.

 

Me thinks we oughtta ‘splain what dat means. Wikipedia says Obligate means by necessity. And Carnivore means flesh (meat) eating animal. In plain human English dat means Cats MUST eat meat. So how is it dat me kuld eat too much meat?

 

Pull up a chair and let me tell ya' a stowry.
Pull up a chair, get’cha’ a cup of joe, tea, or whatever you dwink and let mommy tell ya’ how it is.

That’s just exactly what I wanted to know baby, and one of the many reasons I like to research everything myself. And the biggest thing I found in my research was not the amount of protein in cat foods but the amount of carbohydrates. High carbs can cause inflammation in the bladder and thus bring on a bout of Cystitis. Your grain free diet was full of them as are many cat foods regardless of quality or price, grain free or not. Pet parents almost need to become scientists to understand the labels on their pets’ food. The photo on the package is rarely indicative of the actual ingredients in the bag or can of that food in your cabinet. You can read the Truth About Pet Food for more information about what’s in your pets’ food and the FDA regulations, etc. Again, there are many other places to gather this information and you need to research and decide for yourself what is fact and what is fiction.

 

Ingredient list on bag of Blue Buffalo Basics Cat food

The ingredient list of the food Dezi was eating.

Ingredients on the Hills bag the vet recommended below:

Ingredients

Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, L-Lysine, Fish Oil, Lactic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Carrots, Choline Chloride , Taurine, Iodized Salt, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Carnitine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Calcium Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene

Sterile Cystitis can be called a myriad of things such as, Idiopathic Cystitis, Urinary Tract Infection, and others. Anything having to do with the lower urinary tract is put under the umbrella of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. Altho’ Sterile Cystitis is NOT an infection.

 

Sterile Cystitis is a condition that can affect both cats and kittens, male and female alike. The first occasion of Cystitis often occurs in young cats between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. The name implies an inflammation of the bladder of unknown origin with no infection present. In other words, they don’t really know what causes it. And altho’ there’s no infection, the cat is most likely in pain.

 

 

Vets make assumptions and all too often give bad or outdated information. We were told Dezi was eating too much protein and that the prescription diets for this condition (like the one for Lexi’s CKD) had a lower protein percentage and would clear up her symptoms. And that a lifetime switch would keep it from coming back.

 

Another assumption is that stress is a leading factor in causing Cystitis. For cats, stress could be anything. In general (not always) cats don’t like change. They are creatures of habit. Anything out of the ordinary can stress a cat. Boredom can cause stress as much as a thunderstorm or a house full of guests.

 

You can find a list of “typical” symptoms all over the internet, but I will list them here as well.

1. Frequent attempts to urinate

2. Straining in the litter box

3. Crying out while in the litter box

4. Blood in the urine

5. Urinating outside the litter box

These are the main symptoms that alert to a problem in your cat or kitten’s urinary tract. BUT Dezi had none of these symptoms. Altho’ Dezi went to the litter box 4-5 times a day, she never strained or cried out and there was never blood in her urine. She wasn’t drinking excessively, altho’ she did like to play in the water fountain, thus justifying her 1-2 extra trips a day. When she did use the piddle pads instead of the box, it was always because the box had been used and not yet scooped. If she poops before urinating, she won’t go in the same box. The only time she will do both in the box at the same time is when she urinates first. Yes I know she’s got a few strange quirks, but that’s my baby girl and I love her no matter what.

 

So what were Dezi’s symptoms you ask? What caused me to think a urinalysis would be a good idea as it’s not really part of the complete exam the vet was offering? Well a lot of you know I lost Lucky to a urethral blockage, and Dezi was mimicking some of the behaviors that he had. So we are going to list them as well because feline health is so important and they can hide an illness so well.

 

1. Excessive licking/cleaning of the genitals immediately after urinating.

2. Appearance of spraying without actually spraying. Example: Tail straight up, cat backed up to wall/chair/leg/etc. and then tail shimmies/shakes with no urine produced. (This is something both Lucky and Dezi did when they got excited so I never thought it was a symptom of anything other than joy. They would both sometimes chatter at the same time. However, Dezi no longer does this regardless of her excitement level so this is a symptom of a problem).

3. Smaller than normal urine clumps.

Dezi laying on cat tree ledge in harness
Meez harness helps keep da stress down durin’ a funder storm.

With Sterile Cystitis there is also the possibility that crystals have formed in the urine/bladder. There are 2 main forms of crystals called Struvite and Calcium Oxylate. Since this didn’t happen in Dezi’s case we won’t go into them here, but you can read more about them at uvma.org.

With a condition that has no real explanation as to it’s cause, how do you go about treating it? Something you should be aware of is the fact that cats can have this condition and have it clear up on its’ own in a week or two with no treatment whatsoever. Since there’s no infection, antibiotics are not helpful and should be avoided so your cat doesn’t build up a tolerance. If you’ve been alerted that there’s a problem then no doubt your cat is in pain. Since the bladder is most likely inflamed, an anti-inflammatory may be prescribed for 1-3 days as well as a pain medication by your vet. If you suspect anything is wrong with your cat’s health, please see a vet immediately.

In Dezi’s case, there was no infection and no formation of crystals so after a few days of an anti-inflammatory, pain meds and an increase in hydration, she appeared to be doing better. We also began a food change as I personally didn’t like her eating the BB kibble due to the ingredients. (We’ll cover all of this in another post) We have urine pH testers on their way so that we can test her urine pH and be sure, but she is leaving larger deposits in the litter box fewer times a day now and no longer “faux spraying”. She can also leave the litter box without plopping down immediately to clean her genitals.

   

As you all know, I’m not a fan of prescription diets from any manufacturer since they are all based on the studies done by Hill’s Pet. Instead of doing their own research they rely on old studies performed by a food manufacturer more than a decade ago. Now having said that, you must make the decision for your own cats. I only ask that you do some research before you believe everything you’re told. Vets are an invaluable resource, but even they don’t know everything, and can’t keep up with all the new information and studies. And you know your cat better than anyone. Okay, off my soap box now and back to the known facts.

 

Cats don’t drink like other species so a wet diet is preferred to aid in keeping them well hydrated. Water fountains are also a good choice because cats like fresh running water. (please clean your pets’ water bowl or fountain regularly.) A batch of cooled nip tea, cooled chicken broth or a few ice cubes in your pets drinking water may also entice your cat to drink more.

We’ll be discussing Dezi’s food change and supplements in a future post as well as the stress relieving supplements and changes we are making in our everyday lives so that we can lessen the possibility of a recurrence of Sterile Cystitis or any other FLUTD’s.

Dezi and Lexi say Thank you for helping us.
Fank you all fur helpin’ us. Our Chewy box arrived today wiff our noms, litter and pH testers.

Well mommy ifin anypawdy was wonderin’ where me got meez wordiness from, they be wonderin’ no more. MOL We know this is a long posty, but it’s full of good infurmation and in human English so it shuld be easy fur everypawdy to read. This post is in no way a comprehensive look at Sterile Cystitis, but is the truth as we have found it.

Dezi = Blue

Mommy = Black

Red = Links to resources and Lucky’s story 

Till da next time………………………………..Be Blest!!!

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Dezi and Lexi      

That Chair Moves…

Hey Dezi since we are going to run a series about the training we received to become Service cats for mommy, I was thinking maybe we should tell the story of when mommy got her first wheelchair. Even tho’ that story would really be about Lucky. what do you think?

 dw2096lwc

Me thinks that’s a great idea sissy. Me never gets tired of hearing your stories ‘bout Lucky. And mommy thought it was a good idea fur her to type out our dictation in mostly human speak so that if somebody needs it translated to a different language they can. And those that have a little trouble reading our regular posts can understand everything. These training stories are impurrtant and serious. That’s not to mean that they aren’t sometimes funny cuz we can be characters, but they’re serious cuz what we learned is real and is meant to help our mommy live an independent life.

 

Yep Dezi you’re right. And I’ve gotta tell ya’ your training was probably the most fun of all mommys service cats. But we’ll get to those stories soon. Today I’ll tell ya’ ‘bout mommys first ever wheelchair and my then Meezer brofur Lucky.

 

It was a really really long time ago. I was still practically a kitten at 3 years old. My brofur Lucky was a whole 28 days older than me so we were both still big kittens. That seems like a lifetime ago now but it’s still clear in this old girls mind. Anyways one morning a man came to our apartment and brought mommy a new chair. This wasn’t like any other chair she had, it moved. Mommy could put this chair anywhere she wanted in the house including the kitchen all without lifting a finger or breaking a sweat. It sure did look scary cuz mommy wasn’t vey good at steering it and she kept running into walls and doors and tables and well generally anything that was in her way. Lucky and I had to watch our tails or she might have run over them too. (she would have never done that)

 dw Lexi and Lucky play

Lucky and I meowed ‘bout it a little and thought that this new chair was going to be a great help for mommy except…If her driving was this bad while she was mobile then just what was it gonna be like in the mornings when she couldn’t actually move?, Oh kittens were we ever in for a surprise. Lucky seemed to be really interested in the workings of this chair and would hop up in it when it was still and when mommy was just sittin’ in it. We both loved mommy so much and our favorite place was (and still is) in her lap. Well Lucky would get in mommys lap and then rub his face on the joystick and put his mouth on it and push at it. So a light bulb went off in mommys head and she put Luckys paw on a button on the arm of that moving chair and pushed it down. It beeped at him and he turned and looked at mommy fur reassurance but he didn’t jump down. So mommy did it again and again until Lucky was pushing the button on his own. We found out that button was the power and turned that moving chair on and off.

 

It wasn’t long before Lucky would push that button all on his own even without mommy askin’ him too. And then he went and pushed the button and put his mouth on the joy stick and bit it. When he did that, it pushed the joystick forward and the chair moved. Well he quickly pulled his mouth away from the joystick and looked up. Mommy said his face said it all. He wasn’t sure whether to be proud or terrified.

 

Me remembers that feelin’ sissy. OMC The first time the chair moved meez heart nearly jumped outta meez chest. MOL

 dw Lexi and Lucky window

Yeah Dezi I magine that’s exactly what happened to Lucky. But he was so happy to be in mommys lap that he didn’t move. Mommy took full advantage of his love and gently put Luckys mouth back on the joystick and gently pushed so the chaiir moved a little more. He got scared and wanted down. So mommy gave him a big hug and kiss and told him how pawsum he was and put him down. He scampered off to hide. He didn’t go far tho’ and he kept his eye on mommy when she went looking for me. This whole thing had scared da bajeebuzz outta me and I had hid under the covers on the bed. I thought fur sure there was no way mommy would be able to find me. Somehow she seemed to know the bump in the bed was me, and she grabbed me up and loved all over me while taking me to the chair.

 

First thing we did was go fur a ride. Hey, this isn’t as scary as I thought it was gonna be. It’s actually kind of fun. I could even see the countertop from mommys lap in the kitchen where she prepared our meals. I got to thinking this might not be so bad after all. So when mommy repeated the steps she took with Lucky on me, I soaked it all in. I was driving in no time at all. I wasn’t any better than mommy, but I was driving. MOL Okay, really I was kinda scared and wanted down right away. And it did take a week fur me to get used to the chair being around. But once I got used to it, I learned really fast. Mommy said so. She also said she was very proud of Lucky and me. Back then we didn’t have a working camera much less a video camera. There was a whole year mommy didn’t get to take photos of any kind of Lucky and me. She hates that, but there’s nothing she can do ’bout it now. Except to tell you to take as many photos as you can and don’t delete anything. Buy those little thumb drives or external hard drives or whatever you must to store them on, but you will regret throwing photos away. (mommys PSA fur the day)

dwLexi and Lucky-- (1280x806)

Y’all were so brave sissy. The chair sure scared me at first. Meez so glad y’all were able to learn to drive the chair and help mommy.

 

Me too Dezi. And I’m glad that even tho’ it scared you, you were able to overcome that fear and help mommy too.

 dw4424

Yeah Lexi it’s really not that scary and knowing that me is helping mommy is the best feeling ever. We’ll be telling more training stories ‘bout Lexi and me. These stories altho’ true are not meant to be a training handbook or guide. Countless hours, weeks, and months of repetition went into our training and we couldn’t possibly cover every minute. If you have specific questions you can email us via our contact page and mommy will try to help you. The ADA just published a question and answer document about the Service Animal act that you can read here. It may answer some additional questions that you have that we didn’t cover.

 

Till the next time……………………Be Blest!!!

 

 

Dezi = Blue

Lexi = Green

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Dezi and Lexi

cat-animated

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs

I'm Dalton, a Rat terrier mix and I came here in Sept, 2017, I was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. My birthday is 8-20-2016. My Gotcha Day is 8-27-2017. And I'm Pipo, I'm a Siamese, my birthday is 12-26-2004; my Gotcha Day is 2-14-2005. We also have Angel MrJackFreckles, (2-5-2018); and also we have Angel Minko, (6-18-2017). There are also Angels Groucho, Simba, Suki, & Toki. We meezers used to be known as WeBeesSiameezers. We'e all from Michigan, Dalton came here from Texas.

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