Should you ever have to dose 20 cats with Panacur, I'd recommend body armor and leather gloves. Wait, I don't think you can pry open their mouths while wearing gloves... Oh, the joys of being a responsible breeder.
I took the Wedding Gifts in for their 12 week check up. Dasha and Natania were happy to provide fresh, stinky stool samples to check. Upon looking at them, Dr. Grover saw something kinda suspicious, but she wasn't quite sure what. She said at the time that it could be giardia, but it didn't look "typical". Nobody was exhibiting symptoms, so I wasn't too worried. Plus where in the world would my indoor cats have gotten giardia???
Monday we got the results back from CSU. Yes, it is giardia. Turns out the giardia if fairly common and quite easy to pick up in our part of the country. Something as innocuous as one of the cats eating a fly could be where it came from. Or maybe Colter picked it up on one of his walks and then left a nearly invisible speck of poop in the house that one of the cats picked up. Who knows.
When they called with the news, they talked about what we needed to do to treat the six kittens. Being me, I said, "What about all the other cats? Don't you think that if one cat in the house has giardia, they all might?"
And so yesterday when I took the Rulers in for their first kitten exam I picked up a whole bunch (like that technical measurement term?) of Panacur, a variety of syringes and directions to dose the cats at .25 cc's per pound of cat. With kittens and cats ranging from 2 pounds to 12 pounds I have a whole realm of doses to measure out each night. I weighed all the cats and made a list of who gets what. As Brenda suggested, I'll check them off after I medicate them. In theory, it sounds doable. Round up the cats, then one at a time give them the Panacur. Once a day is all -- I can do that.
I did Shira first. Ye gads! For 8 pounds of cat, she sure can put up a fight! Not to mention that she managed to get free as I shot the last bit of Panacur in her mouth. No chance to hold her mouth shut and massage her throat to make her swallow. End result -- Panacur on the counter, the doors, the floor, her ruff, me... I'm glad Sue (the veterinary nurse) suggested I do this in the bathroom.
I clean up the mess and collar another cat -- Talia is the next lucky victim. She was better behaved and I feel more confident that she actually got a full dose. However, I have wounds on my legs where she dug in her back legs trying to escape. This led me to another revelation -- first clip everyone's claws then torture them with Panacur.
After doing a couple of the kittens, I had to go pick Jeremy up from youth group. I came home and proceeded to dose everyone else, checking them off as planned. I then wiped up the bathroom floor, the doors to the washer and dryer, the bathroom door, the front and sides of the bathroom vanity, the sink, the counter... I noticed this morning that there are little white drops of Panacur out in the hall and on the wall opposite the bathroom door. I think I had at least a cc of the icky white stuff clinging to my hands and another (or more) stuck on my clothes.
One day down, six more to go...
Day Two Brenda offers to help and Merrelyn suggests the burrito technique (wrapping the cat up in a towel so only their head is free.) Between the help and the burrito plan, things go better. Only a few cats have to be dosed more than once due to their foaming the medicine out of their mouths. Zeke wiggles out of the burrito. We learn to hold on tighter.
By the end of Day Three we know who requires a burrito wrap and who can be trusted to hold reasonably still. The cats are also starting to get onto us and aren't terribly thrilled when I catch them. But some of the kittens, intrigued by the closed door are foolish enough to hang out in the hallway and become easy prey. I no longer have to wash down walls and floors when we're done with medicating everyone.
Day Four Brenda helps before leaving for Albuquerque with Comet and Kalira. Makaio, Shay and Natania have all gone to their new homes (along with their Panacur) and I'm thankful for having only 15 cats to drug over the weekend.
Days Five, Six, and Seven Jeremy helps with the Panacur admin. He's really pretty adept at holding the cats still and we have it down to a routine. But regardless of how good we've gotten, I'm still thankful it's all over with. Brasen and Talia win the prizes for the best behaved and least likely to foam. Shira and Zeke win the prizes for the worst behaved and most likely to remove one's skin as they wiggle free from the burrito. Zeke is the only one smart enough to hide from me when he realizes medicine time has arrived.
So I've learned some more about my cats -- useful things that will come in handy if I ever need to dose 20 cats at a time again.
Geez, I hope not!
(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)
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