Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lilly Update!

I am happy to say that Lilly's "bumblefoot" (pododermatitis) is gone!
The Epsom salt soaks, hydrogen peroxide surface treatments and antibiotic creams worked well! Her feet are now free of pododermatitis. I'm so glad I caught it early and treated it immediately because, being staph, "bumblefoot" can be dangerous (it can get into the bone or tendons and cause MAJOR damage that can lead to amputation of the affected foot/leg). I treated her feet for a few days after the end of symptoms just to be sure it was completely gone. I'm still using shredded newspaper on top of the pine shavings because I do think that the pine shavings caused micro cuts on her feet, thus allowing the bacteria to get in.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lilly's Bumblefoot Update

Lilly still has pododermatitis (bumblefoot), but it is getting better (her feet are not inflamed or red anymore). Normally "bumblefoot" is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which can be quite dangerous because it can get into the tendons and bone if not caught early and treated. Luckily, I caught it early and I'm treating her feet with triple-antibiotic ointment and have been soaking her feet as well (helps tremendously!). I'm also using shredded newspaper over her normal kiln-dried pine shavings because I think the shavings played a key part in her getting this (usually a cut is the precursor to infection). She is very cooperative and lets me treat her feet and doesn't "fight."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Treating Little Piggy Feet

Lilly has come down with a case of Pododermatitis (ie. "bumblefoot"). It seems mild (it's also not bothering her it seems) and I caught it early so I'm treating it at home right now. I don't know why she got it (it has a variety of causes including injuries, lack of vitamin C, allergies, cage dirty, too humid, toenails too long, etc.) and I'm watching her closely. I'm treating her feet with neosporin (triple antibiotic) and have previously soaked them. She is also getting boosted levels of vitamin C (through fresh fruits/veggies) because a lack of vitamin C is a possible cause (though HIGHLY unlikely in Lilly's case because she eats so many fresh fruits and veggies with lots of vitamin C in it) and it can help the feet heal faster. Hopefully this will go away soon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunny's Weight Loss

Some of you may know that, for quite a while, I've been trying to get Sunny to lose weight. As I said in my last post, Sunny weighed 12.1 lbs (based on several measurements taken the same day to make sure that they were correct) before I started having her diet. After being on a diet for some time now (no special food, just her regular), I am happy to say that she has lost 3/10 of a pound. Yes, she is now 11.8 lbs! For a cat, that is actually a fair amount. She still has a lot to go (she should be about 10 lbs) but this is good progress!

Her diet (for those who have an overweight cat or just might be interested) has consisted of calorie reduction (and NO change to the types of food she gets). When I started, she was 12.1 lbs. A "healthy" cat that size would need about 240 calories to maintain that weight (approximately 20 calories per pound of body weight is the standard) but since she is overweight, I needed to feed for two pounds less (cut 40 calories from her diet each day). *This is important... NEVER (unless a vet says to do so) START a diet for a cat by cutting more than 40 calories from the diet. If weight loss is not achieved, you can start to cut more calories but start by cutting 40 calories and go from there.* So, the first thing you need to do (after accurately weighing the cat) is to find out how many calories are in each cup of the food your cat eats (for mine, it was 391 calories per cup). After finding out how many calories are in each cup, do some math (I can't tell you what to divide by since each food is different) to find the perfect amount of food for your cat to get each day (in my case, it was 1/2 cup, leaving room for a couple of treats without going over the 200 calories that she needs each day). I also came up with a plan that includes canned food (I don't ALWAYS feed canned food, but I frequently do so I needed to have that worked out too). I usually split a 3-oz can of Sheba canned cat food between the two of them. A full can contains about 95-97 calories (I had to contact Sheba since they did not have it listed on the cans or website) so half contains approximately 48 (round up to 50) calories. Then do some more math to find out how much dry you should feed and add the calories from canned to the calories from dry. This method has (so far) worked for Sunny and, once again, there was no change in the type of food she was getting (a big deal for Sunny because she is picky) and she is still able to have treats (in moderation). Sunny has also been encouraged to play more (exercise cannot be overemphasized).

Just to recap: If you have a cat that needs to lose weight, you do NOT have to buy a "weight-loss" food for them. Just limit the calories that they receive and try to get them to play/exercise more. You can also still feed treats, just use them in moderation and try to make them "healthy" treats (protein rich, lower fat treats). Canned food can be more filling for a cat (a good thing since it will make a cat feel more full) so don't limit yourself to only dry food.

Now you don't have to feel helpless trying to get your cat to lose the extra pounds that he or she needs to lose and you can get started on a healthier lifestyle for your cat!