Monday, August 16, 2010

October 2009 and Myrna's Allergic Reaction

Even as a kitten, Myrna had a large pink spot at the corner of her mouth.  We thought it was cosmetic.  It proved to be an allergy.  She had had this spot ever since she was a few weeks old.  By October, 2009, we noticed that it was becoming swollen.  We thought she had gotten cut playing/fighting with the other kittens.  Then one day, it crusted over from bleeding.  At the same time, another kitten had gotten an eye infection.  Because of that, I had not been paying close attention to the others until Myrna's mouth crusted over.  Off to the vet we went.  The vet, new to the practice but one we liked, did not hear the heart murmur but did note that it was in the chart that it had been detected before.  Despite what should have been a warning in the previous diagnosis (that she had a heart murmur), the vet prescribed antibiotics and steroids to cure Myrna's mouth infection.  The infection, as we would later come to learn, was due to her allergic reaction to plastics.  The vet said it was either plastics or food, the two most common causes of allergies in cats (per the vet.)  We not only began the medications (and no, I did not think about what the ER vet had said weeks earlier about not prescirbing steroids) but we cut out the use of plastic dishes and plastic toys when feeding the cats. Not only did her infection clear up within a couple of days but has never returned once we stopped using plastic.
She was on medications for two weeks before things went wrong.

Lesson learned: when a heart murmur or other heart issue is discovered early, the cat must receive a cardioac ultrasound so that you know exactly what is the problem. Problems discovered early can be tackled with a better outcome than problems that are ignored and left to render the cat lifeless.
If a heart murmur is detected, the cat should NEVER receive steroids for any illness until the cause of the murmur and the condition of the heart is determined. Giving steroids to a cat that is ill will damage the heart further and cause conjestive heart failure.

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