Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pumpkin heads

Last year, Eddie (he whose picture is at the top of this blog) suffered a blow out of epic proportions. Seems one of his anal glands got massively impacted with disgusting solid stuff, developed an infection and then blew up like a volcano. He showed no symptoms before the blow out, so we had no idea until we saw the gaping wound. In fact, I didn’t realize that cats could even have this problem. I thought it was strictly a dog thing. That was an expensive lesson to learn. He needed to be sedated to have the wound treated, and then needed a long term antibiotic plus the donut of shame. We endured non-stop hissing from Wally that lasted for nearly a month and poor Eddie was horribly traumatized by the entire event.

This year, not to be too graphic, his butt started smelling weird. Yes, I know, animal butts and butts in general don’t smell good but his smelled weird. When I’d pet him along his spine, I’d get to the tops of his legs below his tail and I could feel big solid things in there. They seemed to be the size of big acorns and when I’d squeeze, I’d smell more of the weirdness. As was the case last year, though, he had no other symptoms – he never dragged his butt on the carpet or anything. Still, just to be safe, I took him to the vet.

I am so glad I did. Once again, both glands were horribly impacted. The vet told me that the stuff she got out of there was almost entire solid, so I’m sure the poor cat was in pain. She gave him a shot each of antibiotics and steroids, because she knew there was no way we could get pills down that cat. I’ve given pills to plenty of cats before but Eddie is not only large, he’s quite strong. When he doesn’t want something, well it’s just not going to happen.

She also suggested getting more fiber into his diet. She gave me a couple of cans of prescription fiber food to get us started. In the meantime, I asked around my friends for advice – I’ve got some animal experts among my friends and the suggestion that came up over and over again was to add some canned pumpkin to his diet.

Folks, the cat loves his pumpkin. In fact, all three of them love it. I stir it into their canned food and they eat every bit of it. This week, Kent tried an experiment and just stuck a dollop in each bowl next to the canned food. It was all gone, as though they'd used a vacuum on it.

Sadly, we aren’t yet seeing any change in Eddie’s weight. Chloe and Wally have drifted ever so slightly down but my fat boy is growing ever larger and more in charge. As long as his glands stay clear, I guess I’ll have to be happy with that.

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