Posted by Sue (Gainesville, Fl) on 11/01/2014
I hope some of you will take the time to read about my situation and maybe have some ideas of what I should do to help my cat. Those of you who have tried to handle extremely fearful feral cats will have an idea what I am up against, but the others may not understand, may think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. If I could get vet help for this cat I would, no matter the cost. I love her.
She's a fourteen yr old rescue cat who has lived with me, inside only, for 13 years. But she remains extremely wild and is so anxious toward strangers that a visit to the vet, or even a home visit, is impossible. She had a "dead" eye when I rescued her and it was no problem until a few months ago, but now appears badly infected. The problem started in the tissue around the eye. It started getting red and growing; then it would shed, seem to be ok, then it would repeat. As it worsened it began to go through a vascular stage where the tissue would enlarge and engorge with blood, then what looked like a clot would fall off, it would bleed, and the next day it appeared to be healing. But it never really healed, and now there is a bad odor and what appears to be pus running out of the eye. This still seems to be something to do with the tissue around the eye, not the eyeball itself which still appears to be intact. I think her sinuses are involved, and she seems to be bothered by her ear on that side also. Thankfully, she doesn't seem to be in frank pain and is still eating and drinking, but is definitely getting worse slowly but surely.
I suspect she has hyperthyroidism and possibly compromised kidneys too. Because she is so hard to handle, vet visits, surgery to remove the eye and the aftercare are not possible. The vets I've spoken to also said that the surgery might kill her because of her other health issues.
I can pet and brush this cat but if I try to pick her up or do something aggressive like grab her to restrain her she will avoid me from now on. The last time I tried that she avoided me totally and would not let me near her for over 3 years. She understands what a live trap is and will not go near it, so that's not an option for a vet visit.
I want to do what I can do to at least keep her comfortable for however long she has. or better yet, clear up this infection. The stress of strangers seems to be too much for her and her level of panic is so great that it even terrifies me to see her in that state. She literally climbs the walls trying to get away. I have read here about the ACV application to the shoulders and I feel certain I can do that. She probably will let me wipe her face with a damp cotton ball. She seems to like salad dressing, so I can probably get some ACV into her. Right now I'm giving her Colostrum mixed into her food along with a whole food type vit C product. So far she rejects the L-lysine I mixed with food. Force feeding is not an option. I may get to do it once, but after that she probably won't live long enough to ever learn to trust me again.
If any of you have any ideas about handling this cat or about what may be wrong with her eye or about any other treatments I can try, please respond. I plan to purchase the goldenseal tincture and try adding that to the wash for her eye, assuming she will allow me to swab her face with the cotton ball.
To those who have expressed your disgust with the vet industry, I want to say that I agree. I can afford whatever outrageous fees they charge, but I need to sedate this cat to even get her into a carrier for the trip to the vet. Not one vet I've spoken to will prescribe even one dose of a sedative for her until they have seen her. They are all so hysterical about people diverting the dose to a human drug addict that they will NOT help. I actually located a man who could dart her with a blow dart; a man who is known to the local vet community, and he was willing to do it, but we couldn't get the vet to provide the narcotic because he hadn't seen the cat yet. It's hopeless. The reality is that vets just don't care very much about feral cats or about those of us who are trying to care for them in the feral colonies or in our homes. I have completely lost respect for these people who are supposed to love and care for animals
So one thing is certain. There will be no help coming from a vet despite my ability to pay. My cat will survive this or die from it depending on what I can learn online about treating her with home remedies. She and I are at the mercy of you readers who may have suggestions for helping her because I am totally out of ideas.