Monday, August 30, 2010

Home Improvements

I'm sitting in bed, Walter by my side, sitting on his pedestal. This weekend was a bit of a change for him. I did some very late and overdue 'spring' cleaning. Boxes everywhere, things that were stored away were pulled out into various piles of junk around the house, with Walter safely beneath the covers of the bed. He hasn't really started to act like 'himself' until last night, when we were mostly done everything. So of course to make up for his weekend 'away', he had to be his great, very obedient self last night. It started with him jumping on top of the cupboards once again, nothing new or all that surprising actually, he did, however, decided to try something new last night.
His litter box is currently in our bathroom, conveniently located just under the roll or toilet paper, next the the wall. I heard a different noise than usual coming from the bathroom and went to investigate....ugh. Have you ever seen your cat or dog, wipe their paws after the finish making a deposit? Yeah, Walter does that too, sometimes he even actually covers his mess in the box, but he also wipes his paws on the wall, on the floor outside the box and on the shower curtain. We he must have gotten a bit more vigorous than usual with the wall.....there is a strip of drywall missing from the bottom of the toilet paper roll right down to the top of the litter box. Yup, thanks Walter. It wouldn't be such a big issue, however, we live in a rented apartment. So, in the mean time, before he can do any more damage, I had a great idea. We actually have a hanging corrugated cardboard scratching post (it hangs off door knobs etc.) that Walter has never really ever used. I had an extra picture hook hanging around and hung it right over top of the peeled paint on the wall. It seems to have worked thus far, but we can only hope.....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vaccine Day!

So today was Walter's appointment for his annual exam and vaccines, though we were a bit overdue (by like 4 months!). I packed him up in his swanky new carrier and hauled him off to work. His exam went well.....though with a few 'bumps' in the road you could say! He has gained close to 3 pounds since we adopted him over a year ago...not good! It doesn't help that his 'holistic' food is almost 500 calories per cup either, though it has worked a wonder on his vomiting episodes. Other than that, there is a suspect tooth with a possible resorptive lesion on it, so I guess I'll have to keep an eye on that. Heart sounds good, no murmur, which is great as we've been keeping an eye on his heart due to an ultrasound he had last year. Because the ultrasonographer was coming into the clinic anyways to do an ultrasound on another patient, we thought we would take this opportunity and have his heart rechecked today.
Needless to say, Walter wasn't very cooperative (very squirmy) last time, so I thought I'd be proactive and sedate him slightly prior to this ultrasound. I gave him a nice IV injection of a narcotic mixed with a benzodiazepine (like valium). Well....that didn't work too well, though he could hardly sit without falling over, he was even more squirmy. Up comes IV injection #2 (more narcotic and this time a sedative). Well, it wasn't perfect, but it got the job done.
The ultrasound showed no heart abnormalities (murmur, thickening etc), so I am just happy with that.
It has been about 6 hours since I sedated him and he is still wobbling around the house looking for food (benzo's do that!) with his eyes as big as pie plates!

Clean bill of health, now just to work on the weight thing.....wish me good luck.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lil'Lucy

Well, unfortunately, this post is not going to be about Walter today, however, it is going to be about Walter's little lop-earred rabbit girlfriend, Lucy.
We adopted Lucy almost three years ago as a teeny-tiny 6 week old bunny. We originally adopted her as a companion for our other lop, Loki. After the first introduction, Loki bit the tip of her ear off (and we never found it and now think that Loki is the first ever omniverous rabbit). Since then, they have become much better friends, however, never completely becoming a bonded pair.
Since we adopted Walter, him and Lucy have become quite the pair. The would lay together on the floor (and even in the cage sometimes), play and chase one another, and even on certain occasions, groom one another.
Lucy is a very sweet rabbit, never had any issues with her, never territorial, would love to snuggle and was just such a well-mannered and sweet rabbit. Loki, on the otherhand, is your typical male rabbit, generally territorial, though very smart and cuddly when he want to be. Actually, they are both very smart, I clicker trained both of them!

Well, unfortunately, we noticed something was up with Lucy on monday night. We had went grocery shopping, and when we came home, I offered the rabbits some fresh cilantro. Lucy has always loved her fresh veggies and hay, and she didn't eat any of it. I opened her cage to let her have some fun time, and she didn't want to move too much. Later that night, I thought I might as well start medicating her (to make a long story short, rabbits can easily go into gastric stasis, essentially colic. They become painful and anorexic, and without early intervention, it can turn out ugly, however, it is generally always secondary to another problem....diet, infection, stress, etc.). So we gave her some sub-q fluids, and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. The next morning, I brought her to work, started force feeding her, more fluids, more pain meds etc. That night we repeated everything and tried to get her to move as much as possible. By the next morning (tuesday morning), she couldn't hold her head up. I brought her in, and took x-rays. The rads showed a HUGE amount of gas throughout her abdomen, she was pale and cold to the touch. I knew this wasn't going to turn out well. We tried to stablize her...I actually got an IV catheter in (not the easiest thing to do in a rabbit, especially when it's your own animal who needs it so desperately). She was so painful and the only thing we could to to relieve the gas in her abdomen was to essentially trocharize her (insert a needle into her stomach and relieve the pressure). Shortly after that, she started to fight. I've seen all this before, in our last rabbit, Roxy. It's almost like they know that the end is near and they physically fight it.

15 minutes later, she passed away. It went so quickly, thankfully.

We have no idea what made her get so sick so quickly. But now, she's out of pain, and across the Bridge. We gave her an amazing life for 3 years, she was a very spoiled bunny, and I am thankful we were able to spend that time with her.
I know some people may think, "it's only a rabbit", but ask any one in my family or any one of my friends, I love my rabbits as much as I love Walter. They are part of our family, and we love them dearly.

When I think of the animals that we lost, I do find solstice in knowing that they are in heaven....healthy and happy. I also think of my Grandmother, who passed away in September, she was an animal lover (I think that's where I got it from), and I know that she is caring for them and loving them as I did up in heaven,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

OMG! It's Been TOO Long!!!!!

Wow! I just looked back to the last post I did....February, wow, I can't believe it's been almost 6 months since I updated the world of Walter and my mishaps!

Well, to update everyone on Walter, he's doing just fine, same old kitty, perhaps just a bit more frustrating than usual. I had him to work a few months back, I can't even remember why, but he has started to become a pretty stressed out guy en route and staying at the clinic. He doesn't get aggressive or anything of the sort, he just gets anxious. With my research in behavioural medicine, I thought "why force him to be anxious, why not give him an anti-anxiety medication to make him more comfortable", great idea I thought (gave myself a little pat on the back). We tend to do this with a few of our patients to try to make the visit at the vet a more pleasant one; we decided to go with alprazolam, or Xanax, as many people know it as, which is the only oral anti-anxiety medication we have at the present time. We came up with a dose (went low end just to be on the safe side) and popped a pill.....what ensued in the next few hours, I would have never guessed!

As with any medications, there can always be potential side-effects. With anxiety meds, they can sedate you, calm you down, make you drowsy or even make you a bit....well.....off....crazy may be a better word! The alprazolam sure seemed to have calmed Walter down, however, it turned him from a high energy cat to an insane 17 pounds of never-ending trouble making. He is normally a vocal cat, but 15 minutes after giving him the pill.....he wouldn't stop talking. If you have ever had an abnormally vocal cat, you will know what I mean. He started digging to get out of his kennel in the hospital, so I had another great idea and put him in a dog run with a plethora of toys, thinking that will keep him busy. Boy was I wrong!



Yes, that is him crawling up the kennel door.

Thankfully, his dad was at home sick that day, so I just decided to take him home and let Mike deal with it (haha!). Well, the weird behaviour didn't settle down at home. He took to walking all over the coffee table, and obviously didn't understand where the table ended and fell flat on his noggan onto the foor (which being a mom I was very concerned, but when I knew he was ok I started laughing so hard I almost had to make a trip to the bathroom!). Being a cat who is never interested in our people food (thank God), he took to drinking out of everyones glass that day as well as jumping onto the countertop, then leaping onto the top of the fridge and then gracefully making it to the top of the cupboards.


Unfortunately, he has now made this is very annoying habit and although he can get up there so easily, he can't make it down. So one of us has to crawl up there to resuce him.
The effects of the Xanax lasted about 6 hours.....then he crashed and slept the rest of the evening! I do still recommend Xanax (alprazolam) as a very good anti-anxiety medications for pets, however, this will be the first AND last time Walter ever recieves it!

Now, because of this, we have to safeguard the countertops and fridge top with X-mats to detter him from jumping......

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bonitoooooo Flakes! YUM!

We adopted Walter about 9 months ago, and for 9 months, I have been searching to find treats that he LOVES.....and doesn't make him vomit. We found some a few months ago called "We Pity the Kitties", which he does love and has even opend up cupboard doors to get at. The only issue is, the box is $8 for 20 or so treats...not very cost effective when he steals the box and eats the entire contents. So I finally buckled down and bought a carton of bonito flakes. For those of you who don't know what Bonito flakes are, its like fine, feather-like fish flakes, smokey almost. Japanese use them alot for cooking....or so Alton Brown says...
I have been told by many cat people, that their cats go INSANE for them. Although, I woudln't go as far as saying Walter goes insane for them (as he is insane most of the time), he really likes them. He sits by his food dish yelling for the little flakes...and the best thing about it....no vomit (as of yet...)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Captain Underpants.....

I think we may have to be changing Walters name.

I have heard that many cats have some sort of fetish, wether it be chewing on hair, sucking on wool or blankets, or just some weird routine that they have developed. I wish I could say Walter had a fetish like chewing on my hair, he does from time to time, but it's not his thing. His thing is something that I don't like to tell alot of people, but it's becoming such a part of our lives, that I just can't hold back anymore. As gross as you may find this, Walter loves.....underwear. Not just anyone's underwear....my underwear. From now on, I have to become a bit more assertive about where I lay my clothes out.

Walter has this thing about finding my clean underwear and deciding to play with them. It usually happens either after a shower, when I lay my clothes out, or when I've washed my clothes and I have them in my laundry basket. He will hunt down my underwear and rub up against them, eventually putting his head through one of the leg holes and walking around the house. This is no lie I tell you. I have found my underwear scattered throughout the house; bathroom, living room and even in the middle of the kitchen floor. Obviously, this could make for a bit of an embarassing mishap. I'm not sure exactly what this is about, he doesn't do this to any of my other garmants or socks....just my underwear.

It is cute though, when he walks through the house with them on, it looks like he's wearing a cape.....

I love my Captain Underpants....

P.S. I promise I'll get a picture :o)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sorry it's been forever....or should I say Furever....

Wow, it's been a very long time since Walter and I wrote our last post. Since the last update, he has had four treatments at the rehabilitation clinic, and boy, it has done a world of good. It seemed to have perked him up a bit right after the first laser treatment, but by the fourth, it's like I have a kitten running around my house again. Every time we go in there, the tech's always ask how he's doing,  and it's always been 'ok'. But now....we can really tell that it's working because the level of  troubleness is increasing! It seems every time I look at him, he's getting into trouble...jumping up on counters, playing with things he shouldn't, sporadically galloping around the house. Honestly, it's getting hard to keep up with him! As per doctor recommendations, we still need to keep him 'quiet' (yeah right), and try to ice him and stretch him twice daily....which is not the easiest task in the world, just trying to keep up with him is enough work.
For example,

Yesterday morning, I woke up and walked into the kitchen to find a bunch of my clothes strewn across the kitchen floor....nice. I guess that's a nice way of him telling me to put my clothes away. He has also taken to poucing on us in the middle of the night again, oh so wonderful to have him back to normal.....