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Old 12-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

I have a large Stray/feral cat that I need to get to the vet to get a shot of Convenia for an eye infection. I'm not sure if he ever had a home but he has been homeless and coming for almost 3 years to eat on my front porch, only stopping to eat and run until recently. He hissed and growled at me for the first year, and ignored me after that. A month or so I noticed him sitting on the porch for a long time after he ate and then wandering lost like around the front lawn looking up at the street light. When I went out to check on him his eyes were swollen and I don't think he could see very well so I sat out near him and talked and sang to him. He finally went home about 4 in the morning. I got some antibiotics from my vet and gave him some every night but he didn't come around more then the once a night. I sat out with him and talked to him while he ate the canned food I put the meds in every night. Three weeks ago he suddenly jumped on my lap. Afraid he was going to attack I covered my face but he started kneading and purring, rubbing up against me and settled in. Now he comes every night and sleeps on the loveseat till just before dawn. I go out and cuddle him for a while and was putting BNPH ointment on his eyes but it didn't seem to be doing much. I also give him Viralys in his food and have tried cloths dipped in warm black tea to wipe his eyes which helped a bit. I've been trying to get him into a crate to take him to the vet but there is a reason he's lived on the streets so well. He's very wary and also huge. My Elijah is 14 1/2 pounds but this guy is a lot stockier. I've tried putting all kinds of treats, food etc in the crate but no such luck. He panics if I try to pick him up and I've gotten a few nasty scratches. He always comes back though. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The Big Guy has wormed his way into my heart.

Lori
This is Big Guy with his new heating pad in the potting shed. Unfortunately he will only go in if I'm with him and won't stay, preferring to stay out in the weather on the porch.

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Old 12-07-2009, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

His Poor Eyes
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

Wow, what a chunky boy!! Has he been neutered? He has that classic "tom cat" face!

While I don't have a ton of experience with this, it might be worthwhile to contact a rescue/shelter near you. The one I am associated with has a load of have-a-heart traps. You can rent one (by leaving a refundable trap deposit), use it, and then return it. There may be such a program near you! I don't blame you for being cautious with him, but it would be fabulous if you could trap him and get him seen. Those eyes look painful!

You are such an angel to this guy. He is very lucky!

-BP

(Edited because I see you've already tried a crate!)
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

Thanks for your reply. No he's not neutered yet. That's on my list too, though I'm not sure the vet will do that till his eyes are better. I've tried the humane society in the next city before but they're pretty useless in this respect. We don't have any other TNR or rescue organizations in the area. I really wish we did as the vet bills can get expensive doing it privately, 2 spays and 6 neuters in the last 18 months.
My neighbour has set out traps that he borrowed for a couple of raccoons that were coming around and caught every cat in the vicinity (that's how I got my little feral caught and neutered) but the Big Guy. I will ask him if he can borrow them again but the cat just stays away from anything that looks suspicious. I'm so frustrated as I want to help him. I'm sure my vet would give me more antibiotics for him if I could just get by the receptionist. URGH!!
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

Wow, he is a huge and beautiful kitty! I sure hope you can help him, he definitely knows he can trust you. If you cannot disguise a trap well enough to get him to enter, you may have to try again to physically get him in either a trap or a larger cat kennel. His eyes look like a definite problem and to prevent permanant damage, he really needs to be seen/treated asap. His eyes could be anything from a kitty virus to entropion, but IMO, all eye issues need to be seen by a vet. If you use the wrong type of med on an eye injury that requires something else, you can do permanant damage to the eye.

I would place a small-ish but thick blanket or large/thick towel over your lap and have the trap/crate nearby and *ready*, as in: door open at waist height OR set up on its' end so the open door faces up. When kitty gets on your lap, pet and snuggle him a bit, maybe quietly explain what you need to do (this helps *you* remember what you need to do and why) and then smoothly pull one edge of the blanket over him, grasp him firmly by the scruff and get the other edge of the blanket over him, trapping his legs and head so he cannot see or move very well and quickly place him in the carrier.
IMO, a larger carrier set on end with the open door facing up would be best. Maybe already have a heavy towel in there to cushion his landing but you'll sort of have to just dump him unceremoniously in there, tangled up in the blanket, and shut the crate door asap to prevent him being able to untangle and jump out.
As you can guess, you may only have ONE chance to do this. Good luck!
heidi =^..^=
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

I got the Big Guy to the vet this morning! He has entropion in both eyes, worse in one then the other along with an infection. I have Fucithalmic gel to apply at least once, hopefully twice, a day. He goes back in a week to be neutered and get the necessary surgery on his eyes. I am so glad he's going to be alright.
I ended up buying a double door intermediate sized plastic carrier, with one of the doors on the top. I have been getting him to follow me into the cellar the last few days so last evening I spent a couple of hours sitting on a step stool down there with the cat on my lap and the open crate beside me on the floor, the top of it at knee level. I had sprayed the towel inside with Feliway. He sniffed it but mainly ignored it. I gave him some catnip and he loved it and wriggled around on the floor before getting back up on my lap so I sprinkled a little in the crate and he went right in and wriggled around in there. I nearly fell off the stool!!! I couldn't believe it! I've never used catnip before but read that it helps relax them. I just pet him and talked quietly to him while he was in the crate. I didn't close him in there then as I have a standing appointment for him at the vet but wasn't sure when I could get him in and didn't want to have to leave him in there too long. He went in a couple of times and then went back out to "his" porch. Early this morning I led him into the cellar again and we followed the same pattern and this time I closed him in. He was ready to go with no more clawing and biting!! He was really agitated and ended up with a bloody paw but did settle down after a while and did really well at the vet. He didn't have to remove him from the crate but just worked through the top. Now I just have to do it again next week.
Thanks you for the suggestions and for helping with the confidence and push I needed to just go for it.
Lori
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

Yay! What awesome-great news! I'm so sorry it was Entropion, but then again, I am very heartened by the vet scheduling surgery next week because that means the vet doesn't think too much permanant damage has occured. Another "Yay!"
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

I would make very sure your cat has entropion in his eyes.
I just went thru a horrible situation with a rescue cat that a vet
told me had entropion. We use several vets with our TNR group.
I had this first vet who diagnosed it as entropion do the surgery.
I call him Dr. R.

A week later my favorite, well educated vet, Dr L
was doing a wellness check on several of my new fosters
and looked at her eyes and said that isnt entropion. Dr L
arranged for me to go to a vet specialist in eyes and I was told the
same thing. This is not entropion. This surgery has done more damage
than good. They had to do reconstructive surgery on her eyes. The
vets told me entropion is common in dogs but not in cats. A lot of
vets that deal in general practise misdiagnose it as entropion in cats
because they see so many dogs with a simular condition. But if they
looked into it a little deeper vets would realize entropion isnt common
in cats like it is with dogs.

4 surgeries later my cat is now good to go. But I feel so guilty for
causing it extra pain and extra surgeries it had to endure. She is such
a sweet quiet skiddish kitty. Thank goodness the vet specialist offered
to do it at cost for us. Please please please get a second
opinion for this fine young fellow. He has definitely picked you to help him
You are his voice and helper in this situation. I dont want you to learn the
hard way like I had too. You are such a kind person to take this kitty
on and help him.

This is what White Sox looked like to repair the misdiagnosed eye problems
of entropion. She had over 30 stitches with placinta grafts in both her eyes.

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Old 12-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

Hi Merry
Thanks for posting. It's given me thought. When the vet's office called today to check on how the Big Guy was doing, I asked for the vet to give me a callback. He wasn't in, his partner was, but he should call back on Monday. He was pretty sure that's what it was with his exam and because of BG's constant squinting. He showed me how the bottom lid and eyelashes were curled under. When I talk to him on Monday I'll ask to have the other vet take a look too before any surgery takes place. The cat is going under to be neutered at the same time so they can probably do a much more thorough exam with him unconscious. I trust this vet as he does not advocate surgery unless it is absolutely necessary.

Lori
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting Feral/Stray Cat to the Vet?

Also meant to say I'm so sorry that poor White Sox had so much to go through and how lucky she is to have you be there for her.
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