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Gairdia... HELP! Bathing a cat?!?!?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
In April, we adopted a new kitty from the SPCA... suffice to say that the day after our checkup time frame 'expiration date', she came down with a nasty case of diarrhea and of course, it's Gairdia. (She was seen by a SPCA vet as recommended within 5 days of bringing her home, but given a clean bill of health.)

Now, a full month later, three antibiotics, and money out the wazoo, and more anticipated, since we are on the last round of antibiotic, and if this doesn't work... vaccination plus a booster. Supposedly, this will clear the problem up... why didn't they do that in the first place?!?!? They said she had A LOT of Gairdia.

We have now been informed to give her a bath after she goes to the bathroom and clean the cat box. Great... I have to give a cat, who hates water, a bath everyday... feel my enthusiasm?

I am getting gradually more frustrated with this because of the amount of money we are paying that I feel the SPCA should be covering. Yet, no one informed us of any outbreaks, and only muttered under their breath... make sure you take her to the vet...SPCA will pay for it... which I DID and look where that got me today! I am sooooo upset because it should have been caught sooner before the deadline, because now, I have paid $75 in fecal tests, $30 in antibiotics, $75 in a vet check up... and soon another $60 in vaccinations, plus I'm sure they will take on another $75 for the vet to give the vaccination... not to mention the original adoption fee which we figured was not bad for a free vet check up included... Now, we expected some small simple things such as, fleas, and round worms, etc, but not this never ending endeavor...ARRGGGH!!!!

And the sad thing is that I am very frustrated with my Vet, who I have become progressively unsatisfied with the quality of care for the last few years and now wonder about the competence of some of the staff... unfortunately, I can't afford to take her to another vet and spend more money for another Vet exam.

So, any advice on how to give a cat a bath? Should I use any special soap or just water? The Vet office isn't helping me much at this point, and I'm getting very frustrated with this. What about food, should I try any special food that may be out there on the market, or supplement that can help?

I have now two cat boxes for her alone (we have three in the house) and I am going to start to swap the cat box out, just dump it each day, and then throughly disinfect one box, while I just put a small amount of cat sand, enough for her to use, and keep switching and disinfecting while she is on this new antibiotic. Vet seems to think she's picking it up from cleaning herself. So, is there a good disinfectant out there that will kill Gairdia, or will bleach be enough? I also have a problem of carpet... since we have carpet and she tracks in and out of the cat box, is there something that I can use on the carpet to help keep things disinfected? (If this makes sense, but this is what the Vet Tech just told me... three antibiotics later... could you have given me that advice when we started? Geeshhh....)

So, as you can see, I'm frustrated, annoyed, but I am trying to remain positive. Any advice would be sooooo much appreciated, because I am really frustrated with my vet office at this point. Thanks for sticking with me and reading to the end!

post #2 of 13
I find it easier to give cats baths if you keep thier feet out of the water. Hold it under a slowly running facet instead of letting them stand in water in the tub. Least with my old cat, he was much more calm that way. He still didnt like it, but would at least take it in stride.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hmmm... I'm not sure if she'll go for that, since she's very clausterfobic too. Doesn't like to be confide in anyway, or restrained.

I will have to try it... somehow. LOL. Oh, this is going to be a huge challenge, power struggle, you name it.

You know, this might be one of those funniest video moments... I think I'll have to set up a video camera...
post #4 of 13
I can't give you any advice on the bath problem, but have you tried fendendazole for giardia? I've had amazing success using it and even on extreme cases of giardia, it works(although it may take a week or so).
Not sure if you already know this or not, but giardia is infective as soon as it passes out of the body. Make sure to clean the litterpan very frequently. Also, bleech will not kill giardia. The best thing to use is very hot/boiling water. Clean everything very often, and keep the kitty very clean.
Good luck. It is a nasty parasite to get rid of.
post #5 of 13
I don't see how the SPCA would have any knowledge of the Giardia, they told you to take the cat to the vet within 5 days because that is standard. Most every decent shelter tells you to do that. they do the best they can to get the cat out of a not so good situation and into a good one. They vet the cat for all the basics and that's it unless they see another problem. If it happened AFTER the cat was adopted, you cannot hold the SPCA responsible.

Anyways. I hope your kitty gets better! Good luck! I highly recommend looking for a new vet for vaccines because at the cheap clinics here, it is $10. no reason for it to be any more then that especially not over $50
post #6 of 13
I know vaccinations around here are around $60-70. We don't have low cost clinics or anything like that. I wish we did though. So many more animals would be vaccinated then.
I wouldn't hold the shelter accountable. I'm sure the cat didn't show any symptoms at the shelter, since if it did, they would never have adopted it out, and even if they did, it would have gotten diarrhea from the giardia before the 5 day vet check.
Also, them being a shelter, they are only trying to help as many animals as possible with the limited space, resources, and staff available. Outbreaks of viruses/parasites are not uncommon since they house so many animals in so small a place. Most parasites and viruses have a period after contraction, before it becomes infective and symptoms show. Sometimes the animal gets adopted right after contracting something and the shelter has no idea.
Also, I believe giardia is infectious right after it is injested. If so, it would have caught the disease right before you started noticing the symptoms.
post #7 of 13
Sorry to hear your kitty has such a nasty bug. There was some good kitty bathing advice in this thread over in care and grooming:
post #8 of 13
It seems those that are young and or small can be harder to deal with than larger cats when it comes to giving meds or bathing.

Consequently I needed to bathe my young Boo and rather dreaded the upcoming experience. Hoping to make it a little easier and with less scarring to me I put a harness on her and that helped immensely. I can't say the bath was a wonderful bonding experience, but it ended up being much easier with a harness to hold on to.
post #9 of 13
Bathing a cat -- usually a 2-person effort for us:

We fill up a bathtub or a large plastic tote-box with warm-hot water, prepare all the towels and shampoos, and grab the "victim" and close the bathroom door. Then we lather and let him walk around in the sudsy water. Then into a second tub of water for rinsing. Then towel-wrap, another towel-wrap, and off to a sunny location + treats.

It ain't pretty, but it works!

P.S. clip kitty's nails beforehand!
post #10 of 13
Dilute Clorox bleach solution (at 1:32) can be used to disinfect cat cages/areas, or QUAT disinfectant can be used -- read this in a textbook, but don't know about this cleaner. Are you simultaneously treating the other cats, too?

Good luck. Metronidazole is supposed to be highly effective & safe in treating Giardia (like in people). Maybe a different vet will be more helpful & supportive. Again, good luck!
post #11 of 13
1:32 bleach is safe to use around animals as long as its completely dry before the animal touches it, however it won't help with the giardia issue since giardia are resistant to bleach. One of the only things that kills it is just plain hot hot water.
I too would clip kitties nails before tackling the bath. It will save your arms.
post #12 of 13
if you can try cat bathing wipes, so that you dont have to tramatize both you and the cat on a daily basis. there cheap too! those or baby wipes.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
No, we know she got it from the cattery at the SPCA, there is a major outbreak going on in my area, and the SPCA will pay for the vet bills pending I get all the information together... They also DID know but didn't want to disclose due to not having anyone taking the pets for adoption. Yes, I'm aware that it's 'standard procedure' for them to advice a vet visit- that wasn't the problem. What I was upset about was that it should have been caught BY the SPCA approved vet she was seen with. The first initial check up that SPCA did pay for. But it wasn't, I had to take her to my own vet... and they diagnosed her- that was shady.

Her first antibiotic was a regular dose of Metronidazole for two weeks that seemed to work, however a week later she had a relapse which they suspect is because she reinfected herself by cleaning after using the box... at that time, no one told me to clean the box. I was simply just scooping the clumps out as I normally do morning/evening.

Her second antibiotic was Albendazole for a week, that did nothing. And I still wasn't told to clean the box, etc...

Her latest antibiotic is a higher dose of Metronidazole, but now, I am disinfecting, cleaning, and quarantined her to one room. We'll see if it helps now! It's quite exhausting. I have been able to bath her bottom each morning and night. She doesn't like it, but she is tolerating it pretty darn well for a cat! My other cat, hell no I won't be able to get him in the water, what so ever... but she will tolerate it and I do it as quick as we can, get the job done! Than she gets treats.... mmmm.

After this, the vet (I finally got to a very through vet- our vet office is an active vet hospital- with interns- that every time I spoke to someone via at the office or by phone, it was NEVER the same person... frustrating sometimes because one person would say this, and then another person would say that... but FINALLY, I got in touch of someone who knows what they are doing!) is going to give her a vaccination.

Thanks everyone!
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