Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kitten Nightmares

Having been born in an old abandoned house had exposed the minions to many dangerous, scary, unhealthy things. They came to me at one week of age. When the outlaw minions were two weeks old, they went to visit the vet for the very first time. Bonnie was really there as moral support for Clyde. Tiny little Clyde had a very big, serious situation to confront. He had a Cuterebra.

Cuterebra are botflies. The adults seek hosts in which to lay their eggs, using any opening in the host to do so. The eggs are hatched under the skin of the host, where they grow and evolve in the warmth and safety of the host. Cuterebra hosts are usually rodents, such as mice, chipmunks, and squirrels. Rabbits are common hosts, as well. Since cats frequently stalk areas with these animals, they often ingest or pick up the botflies and their larvae.

The larvae (maggot) itself can be picked up, in which case it will find an opening in the skin to complete its life cycle. This opening may be a wound, the nose, ear, eye, or any orifice. The Cuterebra larvae will migrate through the host's tissue until it chooses a suitable place to grow. As the larvae grow, a welt often becomes noticeable under the skin of the host animal. This is a warble. Eventually, a hole will appear in the skin. This is an air hole for the larvae to breathe. Often, it can be observed as it pokes through the hole for air.

The safest way to treat this situation is to seek help through an experienced veterinarian. The warble must be treated with a local anesthetic, usually through the air hole. The hole is enlarged to ensure full, intact removal of the larvae with hemostats. The complete area is then flushed thoroughly. An antibiotic ointment is used to help faster healing. Sometimes, an oral antibiotic is given, as well.

     Cuterebra being removed from a kitten 

Unfortunately, where there is one Cuterebra, there may be more. This is the nature of flies, including botflies. Clyde was a good example of this, as he was an easy target for the evil Cuterebra. As he turned four weeks old, he spent the day at the vet for Part Two, or Cuterebra Revisited.

This time was a bit more involved. The second warble was next to where the first had been, leaving one long, gaping wound. The first area had begun to heal but became re-infected as the second Cuterebra was taking over. There is not much room on a tiny kitten’s left shoulder. This was a serious infection. Clyde is now cleaned out, stitched up, on an oral antibiotic, and is now recovering well. Clyde is a real trooper. Thankfully, I was able to get Clyde the help that he needed.

Not all animals get assistance with Cuterebra. Wild animals, such as rodents and rabbits, suffer these horrible infestations. Many die slow, agonizing deaths. Horses can also become hosts because of their availability to botflies. While Cuterebra rarely infests dogs, cats often become targets because of the rodents and animals they stalk or hunt.

Sometimes, warbles are thought to be abscesses, injuries, sores, or “bug bites. Cats that spend a lot of time outside are at risk for Cuterebra. Naturally, cats that live outdoors are at a considerably higher risk. Strays and feral cats, like Bonnie and Clyde’s mother, cannot avoid this exposure.

Cuterebra infestations cause many secondary health issues. These parasites can attack various systems of the body, eventually shutting them down. Infection can be localized or widespread.

One system that is noticeable when compromised is the respiratory system. Cuterebra can cause visible breathing difficulty, coughing,  wheezing, or shortness of breath, along with fever. There may be any combination of these symptoms.

Another serious consideration is the neurological system. Symptoms of an affected system include dizziness, paralysis, and blindness. More unusual symptoms include odd movements such as pacing, circling, or twitching.

If the eye becomes the area of the parasitic infestation, a lesion may be noticeable. This will lead to blindness and loss of the eye.

I am not an advocate of cats being allowed to roam, even after they are altered. I have seen too much, and know too much. It breaks my heart. This is the down side of rescue. It is a reality that most never speak of, because of the nightmares the Cuterebra (and creatures like them) invoke. And, it should invoke those horrific scenarios. If the Cuterebra is ignored, it will continue on its evil, self-serving mission.

There are too many dangers outside. In my opinion, they outweigh the benefit of being there. Traffic is a serious concern. One of our feral cat rescues (Chanel) had been hit by a car and dragged for blocks. After three surgeries, we were able to rehab her enough to get around the house, though she remained disabled.

Dogs, wildlife, people, and other predators are obvious dangers. Our aging feral cat, Echo, had been shot with a hollow-point bullet, shattering her rear leg. Again, we were able to rescue and rehab her. We gave her a permanent inside home with dignity. But, she lived her golden years on three legs, never quite understanding she was safe.

Now, add to all of these seen outside fears the unseen parasites from hell: Cuterebra. It is one more very real reason to keep pets, especially cats, inside the safety of your home. May your pets never meet a Cuterebra. May their dreams always be sweet. 

~Sweet Kitten Dreams, Clyde~

CatDad & Minions

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sasquatch Captured!

Wait a minute...well...
she is big and furry...and she has big feet.

She is elusive, with many rumoured sightings of her.

But, that really is Grizelda! 
And, she is much better than Sasquatch!

Shared with:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Minion's 1st Adventure

Bonnie was amazed by her sudden freedom.

As always, Clyde took it all in stride.

Bonnie was first to investigate the outlaw hideout.

But, Clyde had to check it out, too.

It was Bonnie who first surrendered to nap time.

Clyde reluctantly gave up, too. 

Baby outlaws need their sleep.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friendly Fill-ins: Week 66

We are happy you are here for another week of friendly sharing! As always, you can find the fill-ins here and at each Thursday. On Fridays, we post the linky for sharing. The first two fill-ins are always provided by Ellen. The final two statements are offered by myself. You are welcome to answer in the comments, but if you link up, even more people can share!

We have been keeping busy with the minions. And, they are busy developing distinctly different personalities. Bonnie is spunky, emotional, and a bit impulsive. Clyde is a cuddler, loves to purr, and is much more easy going. They love to eat, be held, and they both love kisses. 

Bill will definitely be making some job moves. He is changing trucking companies, but will still be long-haul. He is going back to refrigerated (food) delivery. Hopefully, he will be able to have some more normal home time. It is not easy to be a truck driver, especially an over-the-road trucker. It is not just a "job"; it is a lifestyle. Time away from home is very difficult. 

I hope you enjoyed the Friendly Fill-Ins this week. They always make me contemplate myself and life. I never have my own answers until I sit down to write them out. When we come up with the fill-in statements, we try to offer ways to share and get to know each other. I appreciate that each of us thinks in our own way, and bring our own experiences here to share. Thank you for being part of this weekly challenge. You make this what it is.

Enjoy your weekend. Wherever you are, whatever you do, may you stay safe and be happy.

Here are my completed fill-ins:

1. Blind dates were never really popular in my circle of friends. I did know a couple of guys who always wanted me to fix them up with my friends, though. I think being a matchmaker can be just as uncomfortable as being part of the "match".

2. Many years ago, I realized that I am a work in progress. Some may even say I'm a piece of work! *wink* But, that is okay, because we are all works in progress.  The more I learn about myself, the more I am able to understand others. With that, I am better able to appreciate our similarities and accept our differences. We learn; we grow. 

3. I admire Mother Teresa because she taught hope, faith, and love by example. Her heartfelt legacy is for all of humanity. Completely poor, she had no worldly possessions. Yet, she never complained. She gave of herself in complete faith, never asking for anything in return. She lived a life of service for God. I am thankful for her guidance.

4. When people rant, it makes me think of better ways to communicate. Blustery tirades and diatribes have become commonplace. You see this every day and hear it on the news. But, these are one-sided and therefore dead-ends. They solve nothing. Communication is a two-way venture leading to understanding, and even to the possibility of change. That, in turn, offers an opportunity to work together for a common good.

Come on...
"Let's Work Together"

 Now, it's your turn. Please link up with us here. 
Or, you can answer in the comments.   

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fill-in Statements: Week 66

My co-host, Ellen of 15andmeowing, and I provide Friendly Fill-In statements each Thursday. On Friday, when we post our answers with a link-up for you to join us. We hope you will copy and answer these on your own blog, but remember to link up here. If you need help, or have questions, please let us know!

Here are this week's fill-in statements with the blanks:

Week 66: August 11, 2017
1. Blind dates ________________________.

2. _____________ years ago, I ______________________.

3. I admire                         because                             .

4.                         makes me think                              .

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

An Outlaw Moment

In their hide-out, Bonnie & Clyde take a break from napping.

Suddenly, silliness breaks out!

They are learning to play and are very good at it.

Oh, my heavens.

There will be no stopping them, now.

Unless, of course, it is time for another nap.

Monday, August 7, 2017