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What was/is wrong with little Tiggs?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I seem to find all of the sick strays! But then again, better me than someone who wouldn't try to help I suppose.

Anyway, a couple months ago my boyfriend and I found a stray and took it in his house. We gave her a small, comfortable room in the basement to be her own (as his cat is NOT friendly and we couldn't bear to leave her outside) and named her Tiggs. She appeared to be no older than 9 months old as she was VERY small, even for that age. When we found her, we noticed that her third eyelid wasn't usually receding when she opened her eyes as it should have. I thought it may have been from the extreme cold, and thought nothing of it. The more time we spent with her, the more we noticed that her stomach was quite large and hard. We looked up signs of pregnancy online and she seemed to fit that bill to a T, so we prepared kittens. Then, unexpectedly, she started going to the bathroom very frequently and many times had diaherrea. We didn't have the money to take her to the vet, and she was always cheerful and never seemed to be in any pain, so we waited it out. After a little while of the bathroom problems they stopped, her stomach began to recede greatly and her third eyelid started staying in its' place. And that's about the point we're at now. She eats a lot considering how small she is, but other than that she seems to be completely normal.

So I guess what I 'm wondering is...what did/does she have? These are some distinct symptoms, but the only thing I could find as a possibility from the site is salmonella, which I'm not sure is right. Anyone have any ideas?
post #2 of 6
First of all thanks for taking her in and looking after her! I know you say money is tight but she really does need a vet check up and deworming. The symptoms you describe could be several things but after being outside and possibly badly nourished or exposed to parasites from the things she has been eating and from other cats, she must have at least a look-over.
post #3 of 6
I would agree that this cat needs a vet. Rescuing is fine, but part of rescuing is at least one vet check in the beginning to test for disease, clear up parasites, do a flea check and ear mite inspection, spay or neuter. If you don't have the money to take care of the health needs, there really is no point in rescuing cats.
post #4 of 6
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I didn't mention in my first post that since my boyfriend and I are both students, his mom decided that she would help us out with taking care of this cat. (Especially since the cat loves her and she'd like it to be her own personal kitty.) Anyway, she had made a vet appointment for her a week or so ago but had to cancel it because of an emergency trip for her work. So now I have to keep reminding her to make an appointment. I don't want to be pushy about it since she's doing this out of kindness, but I don't want her to forget about it, either! Anyway...I just wanted to let all of you know that I'm not trying to self-diagnose or not see a vet...I just wanted an inkling of what's wrong with this girl before seeing a vet. By taking her in I did realize that I needed to take her to a vet, etc...but as I lost my job recently and I'm a full time college student, it's become more difficult than I thought. (I used to work at a pet place and therefore got a HUGE discount at a vet...but that's no longer happening. It was nice when I used it for the other stray I took in...but no more!)
post #6 of 6
Flowerbelle had problems with her inner eyelid, and it turned out to be a herpes virus. It required a lot of meds. Unfortunately for her it never improved, and we had to have her eye removed. This doesn't sound like what your kitty has, but that's my experience with it.

As to her tummy - it could easily be numerous things, so I don't think there's anyway you can attempt to diagnose before seeing the vet. That said, it is very likely to be parasite-related. I haven't ever rescued a stray or feral that didn't have parasites. Many fight them themselves, so infestations can grow and diminish with time, but they're never completely rid of them without meds that can only be gotten from a vet. The over-the-counter-treatments for internal parasites only cause the cats to flush them from their system, they do not kill them. And both OTC meds and meds from the vet only treat adult parasites, not the eggs, so without a follow-up treatment for the cycle of the particular parasite, the cat just gets a reinfestation.

Also, be aware - if your vet says she's got parasites and you take the standard treatment (panacur), unfortunately around the country in increasing numbers various internal parasites, round worms in particular, are becoming resistant to the treatment. So if you finish the two rounds of treatment, you really need to get another fecal sample to the vet to ensure there are no more parasites in her system. It took us 1 1/2 years to eliminate internal parasites from several rescued ferals.
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