Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trouble in Tiny Packages

I have blogged before about how we regularly foster kittens for animal rescues in our area.  This summer, we've had a few come through our home for foster.  Usually they need meds for an upper respiratory infection and socialization for a few weeks, and then they are on their way.

Our current foster kitten, Dune Bug, came to us because she was very feral and had a terrible lung infection.  In addition to antibiotics, she was also on breathing treatments each day (which we were able to give using Cort's nebulizer).  When we first got her, her whole body shuddered when she tried to breathe.  I wasn't sure she'd make it.  She would only eat when I fed her by putting canned cat food (so gross) on my finger and letting her lick it off. 

She turned around quickly.  But then two weeks later, I noticed a black rough patch on her ear.  There had been a ringworm outbreak at the shelter when we picked her up, and I was pretty sure this was ringworm.  I took her in for a check and she tested positive.  So then she started on more meds, plus daily cage disinfections with bleach, plus baths with a special shampoo (she had to actually sit and let the shampoo soak in for 10 minutes at a time) followed by a spray down with a dip that reeks of rotten egg smell.  And weekly rechecks at the vet.  Poor kitty!

Lo and behold, two weeks after Dune Bug got ringworm, Pierce got ringworm, even though I had cut off all kitty handling by the boys.  So I took Pierce to the pediatrician and he started meds.  While the kitten continued improving, Pierce did not.  Two weeks later, he had to go back.  The doctor felt like his ringworm had turned into a staph infection.  So he started on antibiotics and a new antifungal med. 

Well, then Dune Bug's lungs started sounding all rattled again.  I mentioned it to the vet at one of her ringworm rechecks, but they couldn't hear it.  A week later, though, they could.  She had bronchitis.  So she had to continue the ringworm treatment, but also start a new antibiotic. 

The good news?  Well, Dune Bug has grown a lot!  She is no longer feral and seeks out human interaction.  And hopefully, one day soon, she will be completely well and be able to be adopted by a loving family. 

I know there are foster families that take in even more needy animals then Dune Bug.  As many times as we've adopted animals from shelters, we've never really considered all the effort that might have gone into getting the pet to a healthy place where he/she was ready to be adopted.  Sometimes, there is a lot of time and love that goes into it!  But when the pet finds a new, loving home, it makes it all worthwhile. 

Readers, did any of your pets come from shelters?

21 comments:

Tom said...

...a labor of love!

Annette said...

Dune Bug is such a cutie! Thanks to you, she looks so healthy. I'm glad to hear that both she (and Pierce) are doing better after a bout of ringworm. I had no idea it could be so dangerous to humans, too! You are one amazing mom and super-compassionate animal lover. (My childhood dog Heidi almost went to a shelter, but we adopted her first. She blessed us with 17 wonderful years of memories.)

Karen Ann said...

Lisa - you are a wonderful human being. Thank you for all you do. As you know, I help shelter dogs find homes. You are spot on about all the care that goes in to getting these animals healthy and socialized - and it takes a truly selfless soul to put yourself out there for these animals and stay the course till they get to their forever homes. I currently have four dogs, two of whom would have been euthanized if they weren't pulled from the shelter for adoption. The other two are puppy mill dogs.

Betsy Adams said...

Oh My... Poor kitty... Thank you for 'fostering' these kitties... Hopefully, Dune Bug can soon find a good family to adopt her.

I think ALL pets should be adopted at a shelter... My son works for a big animal clinic in Chattanooga, TN ---and they constantly work throughout the community on getting all feral cats 'fixed' so that they'll quit having babies.... BUT---the babies get to their shelter quicker than the staff and volunteers can get to their Mamas.. It's a huge problem throughout the country...

Hope Pierce is okay now... Bless his heart.

Thanks again for doing this.
Hugs,
Betsy

Sally said...

Goodness, Lisa, you had your hands full with Dune Bug, but thankfully now she's well enough to be adopted. I hate that Pierce got ringworm also; I haven't heard of that in a long time. Hopefully, he's all better now.

You really have a loving and sweet heart.

xoxo

Ginny Hartzler said...

Poor Dune Bug. POOR Lisa and Pierce! You continue to amaze me. I think most fosters would surely have given up once their child got sick. You have such an incredible amount of dedication. Dune bug must have kept you busy night and day.You are the best foster EVER. Yes, all of our cats have come from the shelter. I would NEVER actually buy a cat from a breeder. Not when there are so many who will be put down. Our oldest cat Simba was 7 when we got him. The local shelter had put him in PetSmart as a last ditch effort to adopt before the end. He had licked all the fur off his haunches and was in the cage sitting on top of a huge food bowl almost bigger than he was. He is now the most gorgeous, sweetest, most perfect cat ever. Enjoying the words With Friends!!!

Out on the prairie said...

We get a lot of discards from people thinking farmers need pets more than themselves.There are more feral cats in Iowa than people, and a long life never happens. Hats off to you! A local shelter received pets from Texas so they would have room for hurricane orphans and received a lot of help and new homes.I went for a respiratory a few weeks ago and told them I had kennel cough, barking before I hung up. Keeps everyone on their toes.LOL

Monkeywrangler said...

Good work with the Kitties! All our dogs come from shelters or TIRR Ridgeback Rescue. We also do some fostering of dogs for the county kill shelter/humane association. Right now, we are down to our three personal dogs, and no fosters as we are trying to see how DH's hips recover with the Euflexxa treatments. But in the interim, the kid and I go to the "barn" and walk the shelter dogs tagged for rescues/transport. We aim for once a week for an hour, which usually lets us walk most of the dogs in the barn.

Lin said...

oh my. Thank you...THANK YOU for fostering! All of my kitties have come from the shelter and I can tell you that fostering makes a HUGE difference! The kitties are healthy, loving and are used to everyday "house" noises like vacuums and chattering families. It definitely helps! I would love to follow suit..and hopefully, one day I will.

Poor Pierce!

Michelle said...

We have taken in several shelter pets, through the years. They stayed with us until they passed and, in fact, two passed this year, after being with us for 15 years. Shelters animals make the best family pets. We are grateful for them, and they for us. The best deal.

Linda said...

My goodness! You and the kitty and Pierce went through a lot! Dune Bug is very fortunate.

Endah Murniyati said...

oh kitty...

DMS said...

I love that you and your family are doing this. It sounds like so much work, but you are doing a beautiful thing. :)
~Jess

Harry Flashman said...

All of the dog's either came up the road on their own, or my daughter brought them here. Most of our cats were born here, but some came from Cincinnati. My ferrets were all rescues over the years.

Taking care of animals is a lot of work and it's expensive, but I also find it to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.

In the 1950's ringworm was endemic in the South, I guess it's a lot less common now.

Jenn Jilks said...

All of ours are from rescues! The white twins were quads, and were found with mom in a dumpster. They were taken to a vet, and we took them in!
Nothing like your kitty.
We have a friend, who has 7 pigs, 18 cats, 4 horses, goats (12-ish?) plus chickens, ducks, etc.
Most of them are rescues! They do fundraisers all the time.

Jenn Jilks said...

P.S. Our Annabelle, I forgot, was dumped in a rural area, found in a barn!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I hope Pierce is doing better. I can't believe how much you have been through with the little kitty. Poor little thing. I'm happy to hear that she is doing better.

alissa apel said...

That is a lot of work, time, and money. I hope everyone is healthy in the next few weeks. Staph infections are no fun! Mica had a scary one of those in his neck.

I wish I could adopt pets. I just try and not have them with all my allergies.

mail4rosey said...

That is a lot...for you guys and for kitty!! My son and his wife foster. Every once in awhile they keep too, lol. If it were up to my DIL, they'd keep them all!!! Well, most of them. ;)

Nas said...

You are such a nice person. Thank you for fostering them and loving them.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh my goodness; your family is amazing for doing this over and over. (Poor Pierce!)
Two of my three orange cats were from the shelter and one of them had been in a foster home prior for illness. Our Ozzie boy (RIP) was from a rescue and had been with a foster family for a while while he gained weight and got through heartworm treatment. I hope everyone is feeling better at your home.