Tag Archives: Pets

Symptoms & Treatment for a Diabetic Cat

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In these economy-strained times, the last thing folks want to do is add pet medical expenses to their already crunched budget.

Since there are over 90 million pet cats in the United States, at some point in time, your cat may need medical attention either at a veterinarian’s office or at an animal hospital.  In addition , since the average life expectancy for indoor cats is 14 years  {although the oldest known cat, Creme Puff, lived to age 38 and some cats live to 18, or 20}  the costs for their care is increasing along with their age.

Statistically, cats are prone to diabetes at age 9, and our cat was no exception. Since we had suspected, diagnosed and now corrected his affliction, this diary might be helpful for those of you who will experience a similar situation.

According to the National Pet Pharmacy, 40 percent of cats are considered to be obese! Only 5 to 10 percent of all cats can be classified as only slightly overweight. In recent years Feline Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes) has become almost a daily diagnosis in animal hospitals all across America. Our cats are at risk for a number of obesity related disorders. Documented research indicates obese cats are far more prone than cats of normal body weight to Diabetes, arthritis and a very serious disorder called Hepatic Lipidosis.  And the 40 percent obesity figure seems to be growing.

Along with the above, a cat’s history may have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, along with a sedentary life style.  Our cat, who used to be an active, outdoor cat and became an indoor cat, LOVES to be sedentary; he was also overweight.

Like humans, who take in more calories than they burn, Goombah, our cat, had the luxury of a feeding contraption where he could graze from during the day. He was a nibbler and visited the feeding station more than he should have and was approaching about 15 pounds when he first showed signs of diabetes.

Coupled with his obesity  (the vet’s word, not mine, I love him round) and his lack of exercise, his disease became apparent while we were on vacation. We have left him before and at the vet’s suggestion — at home —  since he is familiar with his surroundings and not farmed out where he may become disoriented and/or feel abandoned. We always left someone in charge to cat-sit, to feed and pet him. This time was no exception.

An ‘exception’ occurred the day after we departed. Our area had a forest wildfire, a devastating forest fire that destroyed 70 homes nearby and continued to char 31 square miles near our home.  Damage estimates rose to $16 million for the three-day blaze. The fire came within 3 miles of our development and neighbors tell us that ash and smoke were heavy on our street.

I’m mentioning this because the caretakers for our cat also live in our development and were anxious and preparing to evacuate if necessary. Although Goombah was being taken care of, we’re assuming that anxiety was high for both humans and animals. Goombah, just adjusting from his ‘parents’ not being there, aware of surrounding smoke, unstable feeding times and anxiety were factors, we feel, in contributing to his onset of diabetes.  Our vet concurs.

When we returned some weeks later, Gombah greeted us – he was three pounds lighter –  a lot of weight for a cat to lose in a few weeks’ time.   He was thin and his gait was different, his legs were wobbly.

He was constantly hungry and thirsty and we thought as long as he was eating, he would be OK.  But, his routine had changed, too.  He no longer slept curled up with us; he would find a corner in the house to sleep curled up in a fetal position. Something definitely was not right.  He wasn’t gaining weight and he was eating and thirsty all the time.  He didn’t play much anymore and was lethargic.

When we brought him to the vet, he was checked and his sugar count was very high and after two overnight  stays, he was diagnosed as diabetic and would need insulin twice a day.  He was given a high protein diet  (40%) and no wet food as it contained too many carbs.  No more food grazing all day; he is allowed one cup of dry food a day.

The cost for blood work every 6 months – about $75; insulin for month – about $30 – needles for a month about $15.

Goombah has stabilized and now weighs 14 pounds. The hardest thing was not giving him needles, as we thought.  The vet trained us how to do that and it is not hard to do.   Goombah purrs while he is being injected.    The hardest part was rationing his food. The vet told us he wouldn’t be happy with his lowered amount and he’s not. He meowed more and sat over his bowl and stared at it.   Eventually, he got use to the routine and is not as adamant about eating constantly.

The best part is he is healthy again – we have him checked every six months.  He no longer sleeps in corners; he snuggles with us and is his affectionate and playful self again.  He is 15 years old and we hope to enjoy his company for many more.

Marie Coppola July 2015

16 Things you NEVER say at a Party


 

We all want to walk into a party and have a good time. Some of us are extroverts and have no problem doing this. But, others, a little on the shy side, or introverts, may have a problem opening up to people. With holidays, informal and office party settings, it’s a good time to mix and mingle with co-workers, friends and people we’ve never met before or only briefly.

Looking your best and feeling confident, approach a group of people with a friendly hello, but it’s a good idea – if you want to be invited back -to never say things like this……………

1) Never ask someone in a group how old they are, especially a lady. Her bristling stance and lip pursing should warn you that you shouldn’t have gone there, so don’t make it worse by starting to guess how old she is. Back up and away from the group because you’ve probably caused some heartburn. Yes, you did.

2) Never assume somebody is pregnant because she is wearing a big overblouse and it looks like she is at least six months’ pregnant. Don’t ask when she is expecting and pat her stomach. She may not be. The look in her eyes should give you the hint that she is mortified, so smile nicely and quickly add what a pretty blouse she has on, even if you don’t think it is and it does look like a maternity top. Don’t say that it does look like a maternity top. You’ve said enough.

3) Don’t rub a balding man’s head and say, “Nice hair”. That’s like him patting you on your behind and saying ‘Big rear’. These are not good communicating skills. Comment or compliment him on his suit or shoes and if you have to say something, but leave his hair or lack of it alone.

4) Stay away from political discussions even if it is hard for you to stifle yourself. Never ask someone why on earth he or she voted for that ‘dumb idiot.’ A party isn’t the place to show how politically savvy you are. No one wants to hear how you would handle the deficit or what you would offer for health care. Either the crowd will ‘gotta mingle’ and disperse or someone will want to duel you to a shouting match over what you said and the hostess will probably make a note never to invite you again.

5) Same with religion. Jim, who has had half a bottle of vodka most likely, is not in the mood to repent over the filthy joke he just told the hostess’ teenage daughter. It won’t do any good to remind him of the Ten Commandments while he’s adjusting the lampshade over his head. There’s a time and place for serious faith sharing and this isn’t the right time.

6) Don’t ask the hostess where she got her drapes and how much they cost. It’s tacky. Ask her over coffee at another time; not when she’s handing out canapés and doesn’t want to tell you in front of all her guests that she bought them in a thrift shop.

7) Never, never ask anyone how much they make or what their salary is. People would rather tell you all about their sex life instead of divulging their personal info like how much they make. This is taboo and even family members are sometimes reluctant about sharing this with each other. Then people will offer comments and butt in with their views on what things you’re spending too much or too little on. No, no. Don’t go there. It’s none of your business.

#8) Don’t ask a man or woman how much they weigh. Again, folks, especially women, would rather tell you all about their sex life instead of telling you how much they weigh. If they do tell you, notice the rapid eye blinking (sign of fibbing) and deduct 15 or 20 pounds from what they tell you.

9) Don’t bring your cell phone to the party and talk on it all night. You came to a party for Pete’s sake and no one wants to hear you converse with someone else while they’re standing there trying to be sociable. The same goes for texting. Don’t do it. And your blackberry. And iPod. Don’t bring them. Did we cover them all? Leave them home.

10) Don’t gossip at a party. The odds are that someone will know the person you are talking about and it will be twittered and tweeted to 12,539 people who will know a secret that you weren’t suppose to tell anybody. It makes you look like a blabbermouth and others will avoid talking to you about anything other than the weather and how nice the house is decorated.

11) Don’t make flirty eyes at anybody’s boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if you are married. It’s no excuse that you had a bottle and a half of wine and are feeling frisky. It makes people uncomfortable and you could be sporting a black eye or a frosty partner the next day.

12) Don’t announce that you hate cats or dogs if the host’s pet comes into the room. The pet is probably more cherished to them than you are. And never be unkind to the pet or make fun of it. You can bet the pet will be at the next get together and you won’t.

13) Never try to guess who’s older, if two women or two men approach you and ask, “Which one of us is older?” This is a time-bomb question. You can only lose on the answer, but people love to ask this.  Just say you’re really bad at guessing ages and if they persist, ask where the bathroom is and jiggle around like you really have to go bad. Same thing applies if two women who resemble each other approach you, never, never say “You’re the mother and this is your daughter, right?  If they’re sisters, you’re black-balled for the rest of the night.

14) Don’t give a dissertation on your personal life, your woes and problems. Chances are, everyone knows all about them anyway.

15) Never talk about your sex life. It’s really tacky and they probably know about it anyway.

16) Say nothing; practice your listening skills and head-nodding exercises. Say ‘mmmm’; ‘wow’ and ‘awesome’ at intervals. People will love you and invite you back.

 

© Marie Coppola June 2013

 

Do our pets go to Heaven?

 

According to a National Pet Owners Survey, 69 million households own a pet in the U.S. – 63 percent of ALL households. This breaks down to approximately 73 million dogs, 90 million cats, 139 million freshwater fish, 9 million saltwater fish, 16 million birds, 18 million small animals and 11 million reptiles. The positive aspects of being a pet owner are too numerous to list here; the biggest negative is that that their life span is shorter than humans. We feel the empty void when they leave us.

Have you ever wondered what happens when a pet dies; and if he or she go to Heaven like humans do? Why did God make animals? In Genesis 2:19-20, we read: “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to the cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field…” Chronologically, God created the animals before He created Adam… God’s first task to Adam was to name each of the animals. God saw them as individuals and important enough to have them named accordingly.

What does the Bible tell us about God’s relationship with animals? In Genesis : 9: 13-17: “(12) “And God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations.” In God’s Love for His animals, they are mentioned in many places throughout the Bible: In Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” God looks after and tends His animals as He tends His children.

Psalm 136:25 tells us …”Who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.”  “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” Luke 12:6.   ‘And I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse…” Revelations19:11 The Old Testament makes comparisons between the eventual destiny of humans and animals. Ecclesiastes 3:19 declares, “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal.” And in Job 12:7-10: “You have only to ask the cattle, for them to instruct you, and the birds of the sky, for them to inform you. The creeping things of earth will give you lessons, and the fish of the sea provide you an explanation: there is not one such creature but will know that the hand of God has arranged things like this! In His hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of every human being! These Bible verses, our communication with God, show that animals will not be forgotten; I believe they will be there with us in Heaven. The last book of the Bible – Revelation 5:13 tells us “And EVERY creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and ALL that are in them, heard I saying, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever.”And the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the (Heaven on) earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:6-9

I haven’t read any Scripture that tells us that our particular Fluffy or Fido will be reunited with us, but since we all think our pets are extraordinary, it’s a ‘given’ that we will love and bond with any animals that may be there. What do you think? © Marie Coppola, Revised July  2017