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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Few Things.

First thing - BOAT KEYS! I found them. You see, I had misplaced them. I was going to use the boat one day and could not find the keys. I looked all over the darn place. For days. And then when I had given up I had a locksmith come by to make a key. He was able to make a key that started the boat - but it was not the right key.

So where were the keys? In my bicycle bag. I have this nifty thing that clamps on the bicycle seat post and holds a bag. Inside the bag I keep a variety of shit that I might need while riding the bicycle - but probably just adds weight. And for some reason the boat keys were in there.

Why?? I have no idea. I guess I figured it was a good place to put them so I would not lose them. And that worked out - I did not lose them.

THING 2 - Skipper The Cat. Skipper has been having trouble with some allergy. At first I thought it was fleas. Easy enough to get rid of - just use that once a month flea goop. The vet gave him a shot to stop the itching and Skipper was on his way.

And then next month he needed another shot. And then another. So for the past 4 months Skipper has needed to go to the vet for a shot to stop him from licking and scratching himself. This is what he looks like now. Skipper is the gray cat, the orange blob is another cat.

Notice the lack of fur. And that is only part of it. His front legs are also mostly bald.

Anyhow this is a problem. Skipper is now on a special diet. He has to eat special (expensive) hypo-allergenic food. $45 for an 8.5 pound bag. So far the only place I know of to get it is at the vet.

Now here is the problem. The other cats. Skipper does not eat very much. The orange blob eats a lot more. And then there are 2 more cats. So if all 4 of them are put on the special expensive food that bag will not last long at all.

But if I do not put them all on the same food - Skipper will have to be kept away from ALL other foods. If he eats even a single bite of the other food, and he is in fact allergic to something in it, then he will itch. And the money spent on the special food is wasted.

And it gets better! After two months (resetting the clock to zero if Skipper gets any other food) if the itching is not under control then the allergy is NOT fleas and NOT food! This means it is something else. Something environmental. Maybe pollen. Maybe mold. Florida is covered in mold. Maybe the detergent I use to wash clothes. Who knows.

So then Skipper will need a blood test, which is not that accurate. The blood test will attempt to isolate what he is allergic to. Then Ill get a vial of whatever he is allergic to and the home game version of Vet Office. Then I get to measure out exact amounts of mystery liquid in the vial and inject it under Skippers skin. At first the injections are done daily. Then every other day. Then every third day. Then once a week. And so on. I think the dosage also gradually increases as the frequency decreases.

The idea behind this treatment is hypersensitivity. The same is done to humans. If you expose yourself to high enough concentrations to whatever you are allergic to - you loose the allergy. Your immune system becomes so sensitive to the allergen that the response to the slightest trace of it is attacked with vigor.

This is also why kids sometimes "grow out" of allergies. It has less to go with growing and more to do with repeated exposure.

According to the vet, this works 60-70% of the time. The rest of the time it does not work. But 100% of the time you get to pay for the treatment. The blood test is something like $400. The injections may have to go on for up to a year. A vial is something on the order of $60 - but one vial will last a long time. Maybe even for the entire treatment.

Fun huh? Yea. Tons.


Blogger Lily Strange said...

That sucks! My cat, the late P.E. had some sort of skin condition that made his skin oily and flaky but nothing this severe. I hope he does grow out of it. That's hella expensive.

Blogger Daisy said...

Poor Skipper! Harley is having a similar problem. He has eosinophilic granuloma complex which is an overreaction of his immune system to some sort of allergen. He's gotten 3 depo-medrol shots, but can't have any more because it can cause diabetes. We tried the special diet (he ate venison) with no luck. We're trying a different litter that has no dyes or perfumes now (feline pine). It is very frustrating!

Blogger Fuzz said...

Don't you have some sort of firearms?

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Lily - Eventually Ill find out what the cat is having a reaction to. The question is when, and how much it will cost.

Daisy - Skipper got the same shots. He already shits in dye free perfume free litter. I buy the bulk clumping stuff from Petco. $10 for 30 some odd pounds is not too bad for the clumping stuff. And it clumps like cement. The Science Diet d/d is apparently duck and green peas. It smells awful. I had a cat with a flea allergy, and that was easy. Get rid of the fleas - no problem. The cat would get scabs around the neck. When I would notice them then it was time for a flea bath and more of that Advantage stuff.

Fuzz - yea, but the little cat already cost some money. He had to be fixed, get his shots, and so on. In for a penny in for a pound. Besides, Skipper jumps up on my shoulders and hangs out while I walk around.

Blogger Fuzz said...

Awww, you just like the little f--ker.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Skipper is my buddy. One of these days I will make a boat cat out of him.


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