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Monday, July 14, 2014

Heffy from Haig Road [The Full Story]

During the first week of July, we had three new arrivals. This is the story of the first one, Heffy. 

Heffy is a stray female black and white cat from the Haig Road area, under the care of a few stray cat caregivers who feed the colony and sterilise the cats. Heffy was seen to be avoiding food and not eating, and was very feral. When cats get more aggressive or fearful than they usually are, it often indicates the cat is sick or injured. The caregivers asked us for help and we said we could take Heffy in and to the vet to get her diagnosed and cared for at our foster space. They hired a professional trapper to trap and transport Heffy to our place one night.

The stance of fear

We tried to coax Heffy to eat, to no avail. We tried to inspect her teeth but she clenched her jaw very tightly and from what was visible, there was no inflammation of gums, a common problem that causes cats to stop eating if there are no other symptoms. We gave Heffy a painkiller injection and some subcutaneous fluids and she started eating, so we knew it was pain-related.

After we brought her to the vet, and with more help, the vet was able to see that Heffy -did- have gum inflammation but it was all in her molar area. Her teeth were clean and were not decaying, so tooth extraction as a long term solution was also not feasible.

Because we want Heffy to sooner than later return to the streets where she feels more at home, we opted to give her an intralesional steroid injection, meaning a steroid injection directly into her molars. A more expensive process but we hoped for quicker recovery so as to benefit Heffy's emotional welfare.

After that, we gave her a shower, and she finally looked a tad less angry.

No more flattened ears
(stance of aggression)
We then put her on supplements that will help her depend less on steroids over the long term. It was a long shot as supplements take some patience if we want to reduce dependence on medication. She is now on a cocktail of supplements including curcumin, ashwagandha, colloidal silver, homeopathic and essential oil painkillers. Because she is on steroids she is also on milk thistle to protect her liver, as are all the cats on steroids here.

However, the intralesional steroidal jab didn't last as long as we hoped. Heffy's pain is back and she is not eating, so we will give her a regular jab of the same steroid, Depredil, and fluids since she didn't eat her food last night.

Poor dehydrated and salivating Heffy

We still hope eventually we can get Heffy less reliant on medication. Cats like Harry (who in general has very low immunity too) started out having serious gum disease like Heffy but now needs a very low dose of steroid after being on supplements. Mac too, is performing much better and needs steroidal jabs far less often now than before, even though he has FeLV -and- FIV! Supplements work.

But perhaps she will have to stay here longer than before. Well, we diffused Harmony essential oil blend (donated by cat angel Jasper) for her to feel more like she fit in with the rest of the cats, as it is recommended by vets to help integrate new cats. (Possibly might be useful for some of you out there too - see here on how to purchase.)

She is hissy again today but hopefully will be her usual (still shy but not aggressive) self soon.





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