Is It Cat Scratch Fever?

IMG_0049Several months after Gem began taking medication for a recent heart dis-ease diagnosis from the cardiologist, he suddenly had no ability to lift his head or move and his breathing was seriously labored. I took him to our regular vet clinic, Veterinary Holistic Care.  Dr. Maniet, our seasoned homeopath and holistic vet was out of town (she’d been our vet for sixteen years at that point).

We met with Dr. Raichura.  When she drew blood, it came out like water!  I immediately felt it was due to the aspirin he was taking. Cats metabolize aspirin differently then humans do, so it’s risky to give it to them.

All heart medications were stopped, including the aspirin. Dr. Raichura gave Gem a shot of penicillin and prescribed several more over the next three days to bring his high fever down.  As I observed Gem during those days, it was clear he was not getting better. I brought him back in.

Dr. Pema was on duty. She thought Gem may have Cat Scratch Fever. All his symptoms pointed in that direction, but Gem’s main symptoms occurred more in humans than in cats, though he did have a constant fever, weight loss, and anemia. We spoke with the cardiologist about the heart medication and its side effects–she said she had, “never seen a cat react as Gem did in all her years of practice”. I told her, I thought I had given him aspirin two days in a row, rather than separated four days apart, but she didn’t think that would generate a fever. Then we discussed Bartonellosis (Cat Scratch Fever).  She thought it was a good possibility Gem may have it, which was good news. If it was Cat Scratch Fever, Gem had a good chance of surviving. We did another blood test to check. It was negative.

Gem’s case was complicated. He had a long history of FUS and now a heart murmur and asthma which appeared six months earlier, along with a mysterious rash that came and went on his belly for six months. Everything we tried for the rash didn’t clear it up. Finally we gave antibiotics and more diet changes and it cleared up (turned out that Gem was eating the neighbor’s cat’s cat food–Meow Mix).  The other issue was borderline hyperthyroid levels, but the doctors, including the cardiologist, were not convinced he was hyper-thyroid.  If his heart condition was caused by his thyroid, it was reversible. I though, continued to feel that the baby aspirin had to be part of Gem’s anemia and collapse.

I told Dr. Raichura and she agreed, continuing with aspirin for Gem’s heart condition was risky.  The conventional method and Chinese Medicine, were not giving us the results we were hoping for in this case. Said there was nothing else she could think of doing and to see Dr. Maniet immediately.  Thank goodness she had returned from her trip.

I make the appointment with Dr. Maniet, who has worked with thousands of complex cases over a twenty-five year period. My cats have been her patients since they were kittens, and we (my cats and I) trust and know the holistic path much more than the conventional.  Many folks think homeopathy, and other alternative practices, are a hoax or are invalid, which is truly too bad for them. I choose the most energetically alive approach (mindful and integrative), rather than going through a somewhat limited and narrow approach (allopathic) to what is possible regarding healthcare choices for me and the cats. In this case, even though we still couldn’t link Gem’s fever with any known condition, we certainly had nothing to lose, especially since the conventional approach seemed to be harming more than helping.

homeopathyWhen we saw Dr. Maniet she suggested that since Gem was used to natural medicine that we stick to it.  He was dying right before us.  In a split second of seeing Gem, Dr. Mainet suggested, “Naja, he needs Naja.”  Naja is a homeopathic remedy made from Cobra venom. When victims are attacked by a Cobra, its bite leads to enlargement of the heart and respiratory failure–the two main symptoms Gem was suffering with. Homeopathy works by taking minute diluted amounts of a plant substance to avoid disagreeable side effects (in this case venom), which is then mixed with alcohol and water. This mixture creates a mother tincture, which is then diluted further and compounded with a milk base to form what are know as ‘pellets’.  When the remedy is taken, the body’s innate immune system is stimulated to bring the body into homeostasis, creating harmony with the waging symptoms within.

Dr. Maniet seemed sure about her conclusion, and we decided to trust the homeopathic approach. My cats have been patients at Veterinary Holistic Care since they were kittens. I even worked there for many years and earned great respect for vibrational homeopathic medicine. It had cured many ailments me and my cats suffered from over the years, with no negative side effects. We experienced strengthened immune systems and healed in each and every occurrence.

She made up a dosage bottle for us. We went home, I gave him the remedy and Gem’s symptoms abated overnight!  I gave him a dose of 4-5 drops each time he had symptoms of labored breathing. With each application, the symptoms disappeared. Six months later, Gem continues to be better, his thyroid levels continue to be borderline and his heart murmur is not detectable at all!

Thanks to conscious medicine, Gem is alive today living a happy healthy life. Thanks Dr. M.

(Gem lived for three more years after this.  He passed at seventeen in the care of Dr. Maniet, myself and Robin Byrd-healer and holistic nurse).


Gem’s Heart

This summer Gem was scheduled for dental cleaning and extractions, but due to the discovery of a heart murmur, we needed to see a cardiologist first, so we went to see Dr. Jacobs.  Gem’s sonogram revealed an enlarged heart and the need for medication. Honestly, I was relieved to find out just what was going on with him, because I was aware of how discontented he was. I had thought it was his tooth, but it turned out his abrupt and anxious behavior was due to his newly discovered condition.

Gem has always been a cuddler, the best in fact. He really likes to curl up close to the nape of my neck and sleep for a bit, many times laying right on my heart.  His purring, breathing and heart beat always felt smooth and put me to rest, but not in the recent months.  His behavior, in fact, in the last few months, was obnoxious! He was attacking Clea more than ever and just not himself. Now I understood why.

I was willing to do whatever the doctor suggested, even though we mainly followed a holistic protocol.  We went straight to Knowles Apothecary to get Gem’s prescription filled!  In addition to the ________ Dr. Jacob prescribed, she also prescribed a quarter tablet of baby aspirin 2x a week.  After giving Gem one dose of his medication he became calmer and back to his old self.  We were all relieved, including Gem.

In hindsight I recall Gem having a cough over the years that seemed unusual. Now I know it was a heart condition and asthma slowly progressing which didn’t show up until recently.