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Elliott Orange's Asthma Adventures

Jules Vern prepares to go to the Bridge

July 17th 2007 6:02 am
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This is a very sad day, and one that is completely unnecessary.

In honor of Jules' valient fight against vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS), I want to give some important information that might save another cat from this aggressive, horrible condition.

VAS tumours are so aggressive, that even when they are completely removed, within days or weeks they come back again. We saw this first-hand with our beloved orange "Blockhead" - literally before he had healed from his surgery, the tumour was already regrowing beneath his stitches.

There are a number of things that can be done to increase survival chances:

1. the new American Veterinary Medicine Association guidelines are to give vaccinations in the rear flank. FeLV and Rabies are the two vaccines that are implicated in causing VAS, and these two, especially, should never be given between the shoulder blades, but always as low down on the rear leg as possible.

2. Request that the rabies vaccine be given at a separate time from other vaccines, combo vaccines stress the immune system and the chances for side-effects or developing VAS goes up.

3. Most states now require Rabies to be given only every three years - you can also request a titer test be done first to see if its needed, if the cat still has immunity, a booster is not needed.

4. FeLV and other vaccines are now recommended to not be given more than once every three years - if your vet is still giving yearly boosters - go to the AVMA site and print the recommendations and take them to your vet.

5. There are new vaccines available for Rabies and FeLV that do not have an adjuvant - which is the suspected cause of VAS. The new vaccines are modified-live instead of killed, and the one for FeLV is not injected into the bloodstream, both of which makes them safer.

6. There are many vaccines that are not necessary, especially for inside cats - do your research!
Humans don't get boosters every year or every few years, why should animals??

7. Read one of the good animal health books about the potential side effects of too many re-vaccinations: Richard Pitcairn's book, or Martin Goldstein's "The Nature of Animal Healing"

8. Purr for Jules Vern and his family - as this shoud NOT have happened, and they had no way of knowing the dangers since the vet never told them. I hope that another cat may learn something from Jules Vern's misfortune, so that something good can come out of this terrible loss of a wonderful, brilliant orange cat.

A very sad, frustrated, Elliott Orange


Birthday Musings...

February 23rd 2006 5:57 am
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Yes, its my birthday, I am two years old today... and what an eventful two years its been.

The first month or two were spent in an apartment where a man threw us across rooms and at walls, yelling all the while... Luckily, my siblings and I were resilient and acrobatic!

Then, my mother and my siblings and I were rescued by my human momma and taken to a new home - with STRANGE cats already living in it! THAT was a challenge at first - not as much for me as it was for them, I have to say.

Then, my brother Max moved out to a new home, although my other brother Oliver is still with me. At about a year old, I started coughing more and more often, and having difficulty breathing. I became very lethargic - afraid to play or exert myself for fear of passing out or having a breathing attack.

Eventually, my human mother noticed that I was hacking more often than was seemly - and we went to the vet. They took x-rays and listened to my lungs... they suspected asthma...

But first, they gave me antibiotics and sent me home?? A few days later - I almost died from a very severe asthma attack - I was turning BLUE! That was terrible and scary - but I was given some inhaled meds that helped keep me breathing. The vet then determined that I had a collapsed lung from the respiratory distress - and its collapsed to this day.

Finally, my mother insisted I be prescribed inhaled medication for asthma! And I've been doing well ever since. After just a week of the inhaled steroids, the attacks stopped. Now, there's only an occasional cough which is treated with my rescue in inhalor.

Over the past year, many cats have come and gone from my house to new forever homes - but I always get to stay. I'm a permanent resident, along with my brother. We try to make the rescued cats feel at home, we play with them and welcome them.

My female friends in the house just had surgery this week, in preparation for finding a loving, new home...

Things are going pretty well - I've had alot of excitement in my two years, and I have alot of friends to cuddle with and play with...

Happy Birthday to Me!

Elliott Orange


A breath of fresh air

November 11th 2005 5:17 am
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Well, its Autumn, and as lovely as it is to have the windows open, and smell all the intoxicating scents of birds, rodents, neighborhood cats and dogs... it seems to be having a possible detrimental effect on my breathing. *sigh* Its sure rough to be a cat who can't enjoy the great outdoors without coughing... I suspect leaf mold, pollens, and other culprits are out to ruin my olfactory fun.

This month I've had to put up with receiving my rescue inhalor in addition to my inhaled steroids, almost every day! Enough is enough! How much can one feline be expected to put up with!

Although I have learned that if I just hold still for about 15 seconds, I suddenly find myself breathing freely again - so I've stopped fighting the inevitable.

For all you easy breathing felines out there who haven't experienced this disease, take a moment during your daily hours of meditation to focus on your breath, and thank the feline goddess for it! Don't take anything for granted, we have to remember to be thankful for the things we often don't think about, like being able to breathe! Its truly underrated!

And hey - its a good time to get in practice - almost Thanksgiving, when there's turkey, yummy mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and other treats to be thankful for!

Winter's coming soon, and I don't know how that stale winter air is going to affect me. Check back around the holidays to find out!

Keep breathing, my feline friends!
Elliott Orange

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Diddle (In
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Blockhead (In
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