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Learning curves and silver linings....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's accepted conventional wisdom that once a cat is trapped it learns to avoid being trapped--this is why it is important to give the trapped cat all available medical services at one go. But is that really the case? In recent weeks I've recaptured cats I previously had treated; some of them were my own housecats on a nighttime lark (yes, in the summer I do let them out).

This raises an interesting question and a possible opportunity. Many of us are trying to stabilize and manage feral cat colonies, and one of the health problems those colonies face on a regular basis is upper respiratory infections.

I propose this: That a thread/post be created to educate people on how cats with URIs should be treated. This should include full treatment protocols, along with a list of the drugs available and a weight/dosage chart for each. In a perfect world we'd leave all of that to veterinarians, but they're both expensive and overworked at the moment.

We also need to create a "virtual clearing house" for medication. There should be some place that we, as non-licensed volunteers, should be able to get drugs such as Clavimox and dosage information. I am not proposing that we dispense with vets, only that we lighten their load by treating routine infections ourselves....
post #2 of 6
I posted this on another thread about URI. I think the hardest part of diagnosing URI is determining whether it is calcivirus or herpesvirus and then making sure the right medicine is used. I think the only way to really know is when you see cats with really bad cases of either one, and then you know, unfortunately.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I think most of the URIs I've seen have been FVR based upon the symptoms I've observed and the prescriptions I've been given. But you're right, and unless it looks like routine FVR the diagnosis should be left to a vet; and how many feral cats will allow an examination unless anesthetized--something else to be done by the pros.

Still, once the diagnosis is made and the treatment is prescribed we should be able to somehow pool our resources and thereby reduce the expense of that treatment....
post #4 of 6
I've had to second guess feral cat illnesses and just slip their meds into their food. But I'm very good at looking at a cat and judging their weight within a pound or 2, and I have a vet that will prescribe meds for ferals with just a phone call. I practice predicting cats weights with both my own and those in shelters.

Sometimes you pick the wrong disease and give them the wrong meds. Sometimes you hit it right on the head. I take the side of treating them with meds that won't harm them even if for the wrong disease.

But when you are right and they regain their health, it's all worth while.

I don't entirely agree that vets are too pricey. If you develop a good working relationship with your vet, and they are sympathetic to homeless pets, they will often sell you meds for them at their cost. Mine will do that.
post #5 of 6
I would be interested in getting more info along the lines of what you propose to post, ipw. I do not have experience with medical treatment in these areas but I think it would be beneficial for there to be guidelines. I do know of situations where people are operating without them and it scares me to see that.

Just recently one of my ferals, Ace, had a URI and I didn't know what I was going to do. Lucky for me it went away after a few days (now my indoor cat Toby has it ) because I was not looking forward to retrapping her and going to the vet. I think it places additional stress on the kitties to go through that when they are ill already.
post #6 of 6

This is a webinar about feline uri on Petsmart Charities website. I haven't seen it but their webinars are really good overall and Dr. Newbury is really helpful.

Everyone may already know about these and if so, forgive me for being repetitious. I only became aware of the webinars about a year ago after going to one of the humane association conferences so I am new to some of this stuff.

A lot of these webinars are geared toward physical shelters but I have found the info to be really valuable and applicable (in degrees) to feral colonies and foster home networks like the one I work with.

They ask you to provide an organization name; I have found they do not rake you over the coals for credentials so long as you can establish that you are dedicated to working with cat populations. If this is no longer the case, let me know !

I'm glad you raised this area because I need to get my newer email address on that Petsmart mailing list LOL.
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