Friday, July 19, 2013

Where there is no vet.

We actually have a vet, but I just called their office and they want me to pay $140.00 to bring in my "problem child", plus whatever other expenses they figure are necessary.

I have barn cats. This is the time of year the Queens have their kittens. Usually they have them at the barn, in some inaccessible place among the stacked hay bales, and I don't see the kittens until they are weaned and playing.

But this year we have some kind of eye infection going around. The mother cats are bringing kittens up on the porch that don't even have their eyes opened. The eyes are badly infected and without going into detail I have to clean them out with hot water, then try to medicate them.

I used Gentamicia Sulphate, which I have used in past years for eye infections. It seems to start them healing but suddenly the infection comes back.  I am trying them now on Ciprofloxacn, suspended in artificial cat milk. I give it to the kittens with a syringe. Just started doing that today and will see how it goes.

But if anyone else knows of a remedy for eye infections I'd be glad to know of it.  I sure don't want to go into the vet with six kittens because I'd walk out of there with turned out pockets.

In the meantime, I'm researching my do it yourself medicine books for anything that might help.

If it works for people, it ought to work ok for cats and dogs 
(see Matt's comment. Some things that work for people don't actually work for some animals.)

Quite aside from the expense associated with going to the vet, the more I can do for myself the better off I am.  I used to give my dogs the rabies and distemper shots they needed, until the state passed a law that only vets could do it. Of course, I could buy enough vaccine at the farmers depot to do all the animals and more for $20.00. The vets charge $60.00 per animal.  That's another one of those laws I have suspicions about in terms of who pushed it through in the state capitol, and what their motivations were.

If there are any vets reading this, I know you have to live and I know you have overhead. When my ferret was sick I took him to the vet, and spent $700.00 trying to save him.  He died, but at least I had the satisfaction of knowing that everything that could be done for him, was done.   These more common maladies, I prefer to take care of myself.


  1. you might see of you can find where they are sleeping at night and clean the bedding area out. It might be hiding in that stuff.

    1. "If it works for people, it ought to work ok for cats and dogs."

      Doesn't work for aspirin, just so you know for future reference, poison for cats.

      I don't know if you can even get the stuff anymore to dip the dogs for fleas and ticks, but this will kill the cats.

  2. It's true there are some things you can give people that you can't give animals. I bought this book on taking care of ferrets, and it had a whole list of things that I would have thought would be helpful, but which would kill the ferrets. That's why, when my ferret got sick, I was pretty much dependent on the vet. She didn't know much about ferrets, but she did teleconferences with a vet in the southwest of the state, who specialized in "exotics". The poor guy got the best of treatment but he still died. I didn't care about the money.

    You can still get dog dip with a coal tar base for ticks and such, and it surely would kill cats. I use a spray from Walmart, by Hartz, for that issue with cats.

    The barn cats don't ever come inside, so they sleep where ever they find themselves a place, usually in hay stacked under a shed roof. I don't let them inside the rest of the barn, or the shop, or house because they are half wild.

  3. oh Harry - so sad that you are dealing with this issue...and soo sad about your poor ferret. i used to have to travel to the us, england and australia all of the time...i always brought my cat with me and paid $18 bucks for a few pills to put her down during the flight as i always took her as my carryon baggage (in a proper an expensive carryon-pet bag). anyway, i met a vet a few years later and he told me that the pills i was paying for was gravol cut in 4!!! i could have screamed. gravol was cheap as crap...and it worked on the cat (mind you - you have to cut each pill in four!)

    as for your kitten's eye situation... we just took in a little stray guy that someone dropped off "in the country". he always has crap in his eyes. when we took him to the vet, the vet said some cats produce more crap in their eyes than others. and he told us to wipe it with a warm cloth and that seems to be working fine. the vet didn't charge us for anything more than fixing our little guy...$99 bucks here. i hated fixing him but we have 2 other male cats who are fixed so had to do it.

    your friend,

    1. Kymber, he died a couple of years ago now but I still miss him. He had a lot of character, as most ferrets do. I suppose it is eccentric, but I couldn't tolerate the idea of just putting him in the dirt, so I made him a nice tomb out of a big pretzel jar. I put his favorite rubber toys in there, the shiny things he had hidden away in his stash (ferrets love shiny things), some coins, some little bitty doll house sized greek jars I got in Athens, with some ferret food in them. Then I buried that, and built a cairn of granite stones over it. Then I planted him three shrubs around it so it would be a nice place. It's up on the hillside with a great view of the mountains. I get awfully attached to them and all that made me feel better. Like I said, I'm eccentric in some ways I guess.

      I think this current malady among the cats is related to the horrific weather we have had. So much rain, for so long. Mushrooms and fungus growing up around the place. Mildew on some of the outside logs that make up the walls of the house. It's rare for a bunch of kittens with different moms to get eye infections like this.

      The cats we have that are tame enough have been spayed, I get the females fixed if I can catch them.

      It's all in a days work, eh?

    2. oh Harry - that's not eccentric, that's love. i am so glad that you made him a cairn and then planted him some shrubs! how wonderful! as for the kittens, i still don't have a clue. maybe you are right and it is because of the rain and fungus. it is very weird for that many kittens from different mothers to all have infections.

      people drop kittens, cats and dogs up here all the time. we are always trying to find homes for them and fix them. the first stray we took in did not get along with our other 2 males...we took him to the shelter to be fixed and a woman called us the next day and asked if he could be given to a mother and daughter - we were thrilled. then we found a home for another little stray that was already fixed. then we got our little frankie blue eyes...our 2 male cats allowed him in the house and played with him. so we fixed him, not because he was aggressive, but because our other 2 male cats are older and fixed and we just didn't want any probs. all 3 are now like guard cats. i love pets. and i love what you did for your little ferret!

  4. Like in my case, you need to make friends with a vet tech. One of my best buddies is the office manager at a huge vet practice....he takes care of my cat, when needed. I'll ask about the meds.

    1. Stephen, I appreciate it. I can't really justify paying our vet a fortune just to walk in the door if I can handle this on my own.

  5. Hi Harry,
    I have been a vet tech since 1974. I've worked with all farm animals, most domestic pets and not a few exotics. I raised a litter of Bobcats and was foster mom to a day old Cougar until she was 3 months old and big enough to go back to the game farm.
    My med kit always has NFZ Nitrofurazone in a puffer bottle for eye infections. It is easy to apply, just a little puff in each eye as often as needed until the infection clears up. I grew up in a ranching community and know a few ranchers who use it on themselves! You can find it here:
    or at your local vet supply house.
    I once owned a feed store that was being over run by rats tearing up feed bags in the warehouse. A customer talked me in to taking her ferret when she moved out of town. He ran loose in the store at night and as you say, I never saw him kill a rat, but they moved out lock, stock and barrel!
    Good on you for doing right by the kittens.

    1. JF,
      Thanks for the tip on the medicine. We don't have a vet supply store anywhere near here but I can sure use the internet to find it. I am out of options if giving the kittens the antibiotic in synthetic milk doesn't work and their eyes are bad. This gives me another option I can start on right now.

      Ferrets are great to keep rodents away. Not to mention, they are outstanding pets. Because my kids are grown and gone, and my wife's work takes her away a good bit, I could get lonely up here on this mountain pretty quickly without my ferrets. Two of them are really old, pushing 100 in ferret years, and I feel like we have a lot in common. ;-)