WWPBTD?

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Postby TheRedQueen » February 25th, 2011, 11:53 am

madremissy wrote:Erin, I am in no way judging the situation. I just had some questions about the situation in general. Please don't get so defensive. You should know by now that I am not a judgemental person and I would support anyone dealing with their own animals. Lord knows I am not perfect with mine.

I guess since I deal with Sammy licking himself all the time (and yes he has caused skin infections with it), I really didn't think is was "hurting" himself. He is just a nervous dog and I manage it with medication. When he is doing it, I try to distract his attention away and get his mind on something else. I guess since his is constantly around me I can manage it better than trying to watch a cat that hides most of the time.

I realize that cats and dogs are different, but dealing with the situation is what I had questioned. Not questioned Liz about her possible decision but actually a question in general.

So many threads on this board have been about dealing with the situation at hand, so I was asking what makes this different. I was trying to ask questions so I could learn more.

I apologize Liz if you thought I sounded unsupportive.


I wasn't getting defensive...;) sorry if it came across that way. Just clarifying what I had written earlier (when I had less time)...that may have come across as flippant and uncaring. :neutral:

My Inara is a licker...she calms herself by licking...but she's never gotten to the self-mutilation point. My old dog, Elwood, was as self-mutilater...he'd lick out of boredom or anxiety until he got infected...he'd open up his elbow calluses (they never truly healed) until they were oozing, he'd also lick his penis until it oozed green goop. That's when I put him on some herbal remedies (not sure that did much), and more importantly...I changed his behaviors...he got more attention/exercise/mental stimulation when I saw this behavior rising back up.

With a cat...that's harder to control...unfortunately. I have a cat that was semi-feral as a kitten...Booth, and he's just now, after 2 years coming to me for petting/attention. Luckily he doesn't self-mutilate or anything I consider inappropriate...he has other cats to play with, so I don't have to provide enrichment for him. He's pretty stress free right now...but he will be the first to startle and run away-run away! He's never going to find another home, despite the fact that he was supposed to just be a foster. He won't let me pick him up, carry him, etc. I can pet his head and back, without getting harmed. People come over, he disappears and no one knows that a black and white cat lives here. ;)

The problem with Niobe and animals like this, is you have to try the medications, but if they don't work...what do you do?
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Postby mnp13 » February 25th, 2011, 1:30 pm

madremissy wrote:I guess since I deal with Sammy licking himself all the time (and yes he has caused skin infections with it), I really didn't think is was "hurting" himself.


Think about how much an open wound hurts, then think about constantly touching / disturbing it. Even accounting for different pain thresholds for animals, it still has to be painful.

When Riggs tears his feet up playing, if I touch them he will "let me know that's unacceptable", but he licks them constantly. I know they hurt him, but animals will lick even through pain. But open wounds can't be anything else but painful...

An no, I don't think you intended to come off as judgmental, I'm not meaning to sound that way either :)
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 25th, 2011, 2:47 pm

mnp13 wrote:When Riggs tears his feet up playing, if I touch them he will "let me know that's unacceptable", but he licks them constantly. I know they hurt him, but animals will lick even through pain. But open wounds can't be anything else but painful...


We were on a dog hike a week ago or so...and one of the dogs tore up their pads on the ice/snow mixture. There were bloodstains all over the snow during the hike. I stopped and told everyone to check their dogs...because someone had cut/scraped a pad. I checked my two, they were fine. A woman found that her golden had torn/cut the pad...the hike leader said..."oh, my dogs do it all of the time, it's fine, it doesn't hurt them." And the woman hiked on happily oblivious.

Now...sure, the dogs are having a good time and will keep pushing themselves and have a good time. And sure, there wasn't much we could do at that point (wrappings would have gotten really wet and made a mess). But to say that it "didn't hurt them" was the amazing thing to me...how does it NOT hurt them? They're walking on an open wound...it has to hurt. :rolleyes2:
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Postby amalie79 » February 25th, 2011, 3:20 pm

I'm sure this is too simple-- and I'm sure it's stuff you've already thought of, but I'll put it out there, anyway. :)

One of mine (The Senator) is a bit like this. She's never been a social butterfly, I found her as a feral kitten, and when we moved 3 years ago...and then when we brought DOGS in!!!-- it was more than she could take. She's an anxious urinator and skittish. Unpredictable. But she will get snuggly for a few minutes every couple of days. But if anyone moves too quickly, she puffs up, hunkers down and goes apesh*t hissing and scratching and lashing out at anything nearby that might move. When I change foods, it's a nightmare because she stops eating and eventually has to take valium to kickstart her appetite. Even changing the bowl she's fed in causes a problem.

Recently she's been more sociable. She used to sleep in the bed with me when I lived alone, but had stopped. Now she comes in once a week or so, and I'm waking up finding her on the headboard. A few things have changed that might contribute to this. First, we got a baby gate to make the laundry room a kitty only room. Next, we started on a weight loss program. By the time we moved 3 years ago, she was 13lbs when she should be closer to 9. She lost a pound on grain-free food. During that switch, and when we've added dogs to the house, I use Bach's remedies. Feliway didn't do much for us, either. But then she had a nasty run-in with struvites and has since been on Royal Canin. She's lost another 2 lbs (those happened quicker than I'd like, but still within the 1-2%/week). She's probably still a little overweight, but she seems so, so, so much happier and more comfortable. All that weight was literally holding her down.

Birdie is another of ours that's anxious. She's also had food allergies that caused her to lick a bald spot on her back. Niobe's on prescription food, right? Maybe try one of the other urinary foods? Wysong makes one, in addition to the usual RC and SD that most vets have. Or raw, or wet only... An anxiety tincture with valerian helped Robin-- I don't know how well or safely it works with cats (it's strong stuff), but it was pretty impressive with the dogs.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 25th, 2011, 3:44 pm

Thank you all for the feedback. I haven't taken anything personally or thought anybody was being mean or rude - I know this is a touchy subject and I appreciate the kindness you ALL have shown.

Missy, you asked how this would be different if Niobe were a fearful dog. In my mind, it wouldn't be. If I can't provide a good quality of life and the animal is miserable all the time, that's not fair to the animal, regardless of species, and something needs to be done.

I will try the drugs. Those of you who know me personally know I'm not the type of person to throw away an inconvenient animal. Hell, Inara would've been gone a long time ago! :wink: But seriously, I'm not taking any decision that is made lightly. I do love the damn cat.

Amalie, The Piss is indeed on prescription crap food (yay for a first ingredient of corn!). She's been on this one for over a year now. Weight-wise, she could probably stand to lose a pound, but that's about it. She has the entire basement for privacy as Inara won't go down the stairs. And during the day Inara is crated, anyway, so The Piss can feel safe.

She's on this hormone balancer for a month, so after that runs out I'll talk to the vet about prozac or something similar. Thank you all again.
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Postby LMM » February 25th, 2011, 3:46 pm

I don't have a lot of experience with this Liz but I wanted to offer a hug. I think the prozac or something similar is a good option for now. I wish you guys the best.
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Postby amalie79 » February 25th, 2011, 4:03 pm

As an aside:
Amalie, The Piss is indeed on prescription crap food (yay for a first ingredient of corn!).


That's why I wanted to go with Royal Canin. At the very least, the first ingredient is chicken meal...THEN it's rice and corn. :neutral: Our allergy girl is getting picky about food again, and may have to go on this if it's the only thing she'll eat while we figure something else out. Yay for cleaning up vomit and hairballs.

Good luck with Niobe-- I know it's not easy. Hopefully the power of modern medicine can make a difference.
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Postby iluvk9 » February 25th, 2011, 6:36 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:
I will try the drugs.


Maybe YOU can take something to relax. 8)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 25th, 2011, 6:51 pm

If I relaxed any more, I'd be dead. :wink:
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Postby call2arms » February 25th, 2011, 8:55 pm

1 more vote for Prozac. A client once brought a litter of kittens home (caught outside over 1 summer) and queen kitty there decided that every kitten coming in was VERY upsetting - and started peeing on the owner's pillows, no less (and everywhere else). Like Piss, no infection but the usually happy cat was hiding and cranky and generally really unhappy.

Prozac, voilà. Cat was muuuch happier, not fond of the kittens but no more peeing/hiding/crankiness.

There's the little slice of life in favor of doing drugs.
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