Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Changing Seasons & Sick Kitties

The fall season is always a beautiful time of year. The Leaves are changing colors, brisk nights, warm days and the beginning of the holiday season. But for some reason, sick kitties have a different reaction. The days are getting shorter and the air can be damp and chilly on rainy days. Kitties with arthritis begin to ache and feel their age. A couple of years ago those of us with sick kitties noticed this phenomenon where our cats began physically reacting to the changing seasons, even before it started. Their reaction is extreme in comparison to a healthy kitty who usually loves the changing temps. My healthy ones have begun playing again and running around the house at night. The hot temps all summer made it difficult for them to find much energy.

Things may be going well and your sick kitty may be stabilized for quite awhile. Then suddenly for no reason you can find, here it comes; nausea, vomiting, inappetance, tummy troubles, diarrhea, etc. Right on cue! September is here and although we’re as happy as clams that it’s not smoldering hot anymore, our babies are having a serious setback; unprovoked and almost uncontrolled. Because cats are so much more sensitive to everything than we are, I suspect it’s not one thing in particular but many small things setting off their conditions.

Change in daylight means longer nights and more sleep time for them. There's less time for eating, which is what a sick kitty needs. Ragweed, grass, nettle and other fall pollens are worse than ever. Ragweed thrives in dry, hot weather and the extensive drought we’ve all experienced here in the U.S. is helping ragweed explode. I believe they do affect our pets as well. Even my two healthy ones have recently begun sneezing. For that I give L-lysine twice daily. I also recommend following my instructions for spring allergy care:

Nights are getting cooler and those temperature fluctuations can cause many aches and pains to flare up. If your kitty is older and/or has arthritis, this can be tough. They’re used to the summer warmth and even having the a/c on became a habit. Now it’s time for a warm fleece blanket and a thermal pad or bed for your little one. I don’t have any explanations for the nausea, vomiting, etc. except that one symptom can lead to another. As many of you have realized by now, it really doesn’t take much for the whole system to go awry. I think when they get older or have a chronic condition like IBD or CRF, it’s just very difficult for any change in their routine whatsoever. I’ve seen kitties with chronic pancreatitis have attacks in the fall even though they were completely stable all summer. You’d think the days getting cooler and less humid would only help their condition! But it seems to be the opposite. You may have to make temporary changes in their medication doses in order to compensate for whatever their body is experiencing so speak to your vet about that if it happens.

So if you think it’s your imagination that your pets tend to have a setback at this time of year; it’s definitely not. It happens more often than you think and unfortunately it’s happening with several of our babies right now. Cats remind us that our bodies are very much affected by the tides, the sun, the moon, the seasons and the years. Nothing can change the fact that nature is the boss. And cats seem to have a direct line with Mother Nature. 


Tigger Tales said...

Awesome and informative blog article! It came to mind that this might be true for my Tigger, so I looked at the spreadsheet I keep for him. He has CRF and his Creatinine and BUN went up this exact time of year last year and this year, and the numbers are almost identical. He was stable the rest of the year, and his numbers were lower. Interesting.

IBDKitties said...

THAT'S AMAZING!!! I'd like to see others keep these kinds of records for this reason. Do you remember how long it took to stabilize him last time?

Tigger Tales said...

Tigger has been having regular blood panels done ever since February of 2011. He was at around 2.5 Creatinine and 55 BUN from February through to the end of August. At that point his Creatinine went up to 3.4 and his BUN to 59. Four weeks later, in October, his Creatinine was 2.8 and his BUN was 49. The only change we made was increasing his fluids to three times a week. His Creatinine and BUN have been about the same until last week when his Creatinine measured 3.4 and BUN 61.

I am anxious about what his next blood panel will reveal; I am praying that the numbers will lower again, but at some point I know they won't.

I took your advice and plugged in his pet safe heating pad. He's laying on it right now. :)

IBDKitties said...

I'm certain that Midnight went through this last year at this time as well. At some point for her she won't recover either but each and every time I just do what I can and pray she will. That's so sweet, I'm glad he's comfortable.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

finn N lacey...tell yur mom knot ta forget ...N we iz seer ee is bout this...spiderz N stuff head inside N de fall N sum of em can cause bad reactshuns ta kittehs if bitten