Welcome to Kris's Korner!
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Kristiina began her college career in 2008 as an English major at Sierra College, with the hopes of becoming a writer. Shortly after Kristiina received her associate’s in English, her cat became injured and she realized her love for caring for animals. Kristiina decided to make the unnerving decision to change her educational plans and join the veterinary technology program at Yuba College.
We See this one a lot here at the hospital! Check out June: Feline Urinary Health! (FLUTD)
Hello! My name is Oliver and I’m a 6 year old orange tabby cat. I live with the human named Julia. She’s okay as far as humans go, but her greatest downfall (in my utmost important opinion) is that she doesn’t allow me to roam the great outdoors. If I go outside, I’m on a harness and leash, which I know is only because the human worries about me wandering off alone.
Anyway, I don’t much feel like going outside today. I’ve been a little down the last couple of days. The human, Julia, has allowed the other human, Eric, to move in and his stuff is everywhere! There are boxes next to my cat tree and next to my litter box and next to my food bowl! Not to mention the newspaper everywhere! Don’t get me wrong, I love to play in the newspaper and boxes, but the human Julia is very organized (a little bit of a neat freak, if you ask me) and all this clutter is stressing me out!
Of course, I am an almighty cat and I hide my feelings very well, so the humans don’t notice that I’m upset. It has been two days of this madness and I have been keeping to myself under the bed. Today, I don’t much feel like eating. I licked a little of the gravy from the ever so delicious wet food the human gives me, but I just can’t bring myself to eat it all. My tummy just doesn’t feel right. The human Julia asks in a very concerned voice, “Why didn’t you eat all of your food?”, but I just give her the tail (none of your business, human) and walk to the bathroom to use my litter box.
I only drank a little bit of water, but man I feel like I could pee a river! I assume the position, ready for the great relief and…. OW! It hurts! I’m trying so hard, but only little drops come out and it feels like razor blades!
The human Julia comes rushing in (can’t I get some privacy?) all frantic and concerned. After a look-see (again, privacy please?) she exclaims “Oh no! There’s blood in the litter box! Eric, I have to take Oliver to the vet. Please find the carrier.” Okay, two words I never like to hear: vet and carrier.
I yowl the whole way to the vet, but once we get in the vets office, I become quiet (maybe they won’t notice me). When we get into the exam room, the nurse places a cold metal instrument that is plugged into her ears on my chest (you look real funny, lady) and looks in my mouth (this is annoying) and proceeds to take my temperature…in my hind end! Such an insult! She is quite lucky the Almighty Oliver is not feeling well or I would tell her exactly how I feel about the situation. The nurse states that I am stable and proceeds to ask the humans questions such as:
When did you first notice Oliver straining to urinate?
Has he been eating and drinking?
He didn’t finish is wet food this morning, which is very unusual.
What type of food do you feed Oliver?
How’s his energy level?
He’s been hiding under the bed lately.
Have there been any recent changes to Oliver’s life?
My boyfriend moved in a couple of days ago.
After the relentless questions, the nurse fetched the doctor: the woman in the white coat. The doctor does all the same things as the nurse, except the temperature, and then proceeds to run my lower belly. I give her a low growl as a warning-this is very uncomfortable, lady! She stops pushing on my belly because she knows the Almighty Oliver is boss! She tells the humans I have Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.
The human Julia begins to cry and I’m just starting to panic when the doctor says, “It is completely treatable. Since he is only partially blocked we can send him home on medications. You’re lucky you caught it when you did. I would prefer to get a urine sample (just how does she plan to do that?), but I can feel that his bladder is too small. We will send him home on pain medications and antibiotics. He will need to be on a strict prescription diet for 4 weeks and then we will recheck. If all is well, we will be able to put him on a higher quality maintenance food. You should know that cats are more susceptible to this occurring again after it happens once. Also, try not to add anymore stress to Oliver’s environment. Stress and diet play major roles in FLUTD.”
The relieved human Julia wipes her tears and thanks the lady in the white coat at least 100 times. (Sssshhh human! I just want to go home!)
The nurse shows Julia how give me the medications (by the way, I’m pretty sure this is torture) and then we go home.
It has been 7 days since we went to the vet. I’m feeling much better and it no longer hurts to use the litter box. The new food is tolerable and the canned stuff helps, but I sure do miss my Friskies! The pesky human threw it all away.
When we got home from the vet that day, the human Eric finally cleaned up all of his mess! Although I’m still unsure about how I feel with him in my territory, I am not as stressed as I was previously. As with all humans, I will just have to show him my almighty power! Speaking of, it is time for me to go attack his feet now!
Check out these resources for more information
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD):
Traveling with your Cat:
The season is coming! May's topic for Kris's Korner is Rattlesnake Awareness
Hello! My name is Rex and I am a 2 year old yellow lab. My human is the best human ever! He spends time with me every day and gives me belly rubs. I know I’m a spoiled pup. We love to spend as much time as we can outside. We get very restless when the weather won’t let us go outdoors, but now it is warming up and it hasn’t rained in a couple of days. My human says it’s springtime, whatever that means. It must have something to do with the sun peaking out of the clouds again. I’m very excited for our adventures. My human tells me that today is my birthday (whatever that is) and we are going on a great adventure to celebrate! He says it will be a day full of all my favorite activities.
My favorite activities are eating, playing fetch and swimming at the river, so that’s just what we are going to do. The walk to the river is fun as he throws sticks for me to fetch along the way. We often run into other critters: squirrels (my favorite to chase even though my human won’t allow it), birds, mice, lizards; we even saw a bear once! My human tells me the woods are full of dangerous things, so I must stay close to him (to protect him of course).
Finally we get to our favorite swimming hole, and I run and jump right in! My human runs in with me, but he doesn’t stay in the water like I do. He likes to lay on the warm rocks, but today, my dearest human gives me his full attention (since it’s my birthday and all). He never takes a break from throwing the sticks. It really is the best day!
On the final throw, he throws it extra hard and it lands on the other side of the river! I swim across the current (no matter how tired, I never give up on a stick) and find the stick on the bank. This bank feels warmer because there aren’t any trees to shade the rocks. I finally find the stick, but it is right next to an even better stick! This new stick is about the same color and size, but it is striped and one end of it is moving and making a rattling noise. Can you imagine? A stick that moves! My human and I are going to have so much fun with this one!
I try to paw the stick closer to me and the rattling noise is getting louder. It wants to play too! I bend over to pick the stick up in my mouth and….OUCH!!! The pain is so dreadful and I feel like my face is on fire. I’m positive my head is ten times its normal size. Who would’ve thought that a stick can bite? I’m stunned and going into shock and all I can do is yell, “Ow! Ow! Ow!”. That’s when I realize that my human is braving the cold river and swimming across to me. At first, I think I’m in trouble because he has that look like he does when I chew on something I’m not supposed to. I’m barking at him and saying “Dad! The stick bit me! It bit me!”. He takes one look at the stick, still rattling a few yards away, and looks at my face and says “Oh no, Rex! You got bit by a rattlesnake! We must go to the hospital right away!”. I don’t know what a rattlesnake is, but I’m sure it can’t be good. This must be one of those dangerous things that I’m supposed to protect my human from. Well, I think I did my job! I just sure hope I never have to protect him from that thing again!
On the way to the hospital, I try to rest, but I can’t get comfortable because my face is on fire. My human tries to speak calmly to me, but his voice is shaky and I know he’s worried. He keeps mumbling words like “vaccine” and “rattlesnake” and wondering if I’m up to date, whatever that means. I just want the pain to stop.
When we arrive at the hospital, a sweet nurse approaches me and says that she is going to help me. She escorts us into a room (the same room I always get shots in, but I also get treats, so it’s not so bad). She offers me a treat, but I can’t even eat because I hurt too badly. The nurse asks my very worried human questions and assures him that I did have my rattlesnake vaccine this year. My human sighs in relief.
The doctor comes in with a shot (for the pain she says) and injects it under my skin. I don’t mind as long as she doesn’t touch my face, which she doesn’t. She ensures me that she only wants to make me feel better. The nurse then tells me that I’m going to have to stay the night with her in the hospital. I’m scared to leave my human who is telling me that everything will be okay and that I will see him tomorrow, but the medicine must be kicking in because I feel so much better!
My night in the hospital goes well. Of course I miss my human, but the nurses and assistants check on me frequently and give me plenty of belly rubs. I have fluids running into my arm (which feels a little weird) and the nurses give me medicine regularly. When the pain subsides enough, they even give me canned food! What a treat! I only ever get this on special occasions at home. I sleep comfortably through the night and the next morning the doctor is examining me. She is gentle and tells me everything will be okay. I have been feeling much better and I think she and the staff have something to do with that. The doctor then tells me that I get to go home!
I’m so excited to see my human. When I see him in the exam room, I jump in his lap. I really want to lick his face to show him how much I missed him, but my face is too swollen, so I just rub my body against him and wag my tail. I know he’s happy to see me as well. He doesn’t stop smiling and he keeps giving me belly rubs. On the way home, he tells me that I’m lucky I didn’t need the anti-venin (I don’t really know what that is, but I take his word for it). He says my hospital bill would have been twice as much (although he would have paid for any care necessary, of course.) He goes on mumbling how happy he is that he decided to get me vaccinated and he’s so happy it wasn’t worse. I don’t understand all the things he is saying, but I’m happy to be on my way home with the best human ever! Note to self: In the future, don’t play with sticks that rattle!
Check out this link information on the canine rattlesnake vaccine: