Hello Cat Lover!

Today's edition will cover:

Pet weight loss contest...
Antifreeze poisoning...
New cure (?) for Feline AIDS...
Cool web site....
Cool cat, shared by a reader...

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CATS IN THE NEWS
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Now here's a great idea!

A veterinarian in the Chicago area held a weight loss
contest for her clients who wanted (and needed) to deal
with their pets' weight problems last year.

They started on August 1, 2007, and the contest ran until
Feb. 16 of this year. The results were posted to an Internet
news site on March 5 (where I found it).

Though both dogs and cats were entered (and supervised by
the vet to ensure good health), the first place winner is
a cat!

Jemima, a 3-year-old female domestic shorthair, lost
28 percent of her body weight, going from 17 pounds down
to a svelte 11 pounds.

Her owner says Jemima is a new cat! She's playing and
zipping around their home now, and seems much happier.

"We started the program because we are committed to improving
pets' life expectancy and well-being," said Dr. Joanne Carlson,
the vet who sponsored the contest.

All winners received prizes, which included a "goodies bag" and
gift cards ranging from $25 to $100.

If you are in the Chicago area and would like to be part of
the next event, you can call the clinic at 847-670-8488.

The article appeared in the Daily Herald, an area newspaper.

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According to the "weight loss" vet above, here are 7 tips
to ensure a healthy lifestyle for your pet:

1. Maintain proper diet
2. Provide regular exercise (it's good for you, too!)
3. Provide only healthy treats or snacks
4. Provide adequate amounts of fresh water daily
5. Stimulate a pet's mind with plenty of attention
6. Stay in touch with your vet for regular exams, etc.
7. Provide identification, in case your pet gets lost,
so you can be more sure of a safe return.

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HEALTH ISSUES - antifreeze poisoning
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A couple issues ago, I included a story about a kitty
that died, possibly from antifreeze poisoning.

Since then, I have done some research, thanks to Lee,
who wrote in with some questions and comments about this
subject.

I just lost my sweet Teddy cat, a male tuxedo, who was about
4 or 5 years old. Initially, we thought it might also
be antifreeze poisoning, as he was staggering and could
hardly walk. He was eating just fine, but I ran him to
the vet immediately, as this had just started, and poison
was first on my mind.

After numerous blood tests, and a week on IV treatment
along with some IV antibiotics to fight possible secondary
infections, Teddy lost the fight... only a few days ago.

The bottom line turned out to be liver disease, and there
was nothing I could have done about it. His kidneys tested
OK, and that was the first indication that it was NOT
antifreeze. And probably not any other poison, either.

Anyway, I still want to share what I found out, as I've had
this on my mind a lot this past week. Amazingly, someone has
discovered that there is an unusual, but risky, remedy for
antifreeze.

Vodka.

Here are two websites with some information about it:

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/vet00/vet00015.htm

http://www.2ndchance.info/antifreeze.htm

They are a bit technical, but you can share these with your
own veterinarian, just in case you might need the info someday.
In Teddy's case, it was good that we didn't jump into the
vodka remedy right away, as it would have further compromised
his already weak liver and ended things more quickly.
(So, it's debatable.)

Also, it seems cats are a lot more sensitive to alcohol than
dogs, so it's more likely that the remedy would work better
for them than for cats.

Anyway, I miss my Teddy, and will always wonder if there was
anything I could have done to prevent his death. He was not
over-vaccinated, and he was not poisoned. The vet says most
probably a genetic weakness, but that sounds too much like a
"blanket" remark, as if I wouldn't understand the technical
explanation (I AM a doctor, sir), or else he didn't have one.

One more thing to note is that while this episode seemed to
crop up overnight, the problem with cats is that they usually
get very bad before it's noticeable. Cats are very good at
concealing sickness or pain. By the time you notice anything,
it can already be too late. I just don't know what I could
have done differently for Teddy, though.

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New hope for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline AIDS (FIV):

A company in Scottsdale, Arizona, has developed a treatment
for these two common but hopeless diseases, in the form of a new
product called LTCI, which stands for Lymphocyte T-Cell
Immunomodulator.

T-Cyte Therapeutics, Inc. developed the drug and IMULAN
Biotherapeutics is the only company currently licensed to
distribute it.

It can only be obtained through licensed veterinarians who
know about it, so if you have an infected cat, you might want
to ask your vet if they are aware of this new treatment.

Their web site is www.imulan.com. (I want to know how much
it costs! I have FOUR cats here with "kitty AIDS.")

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WEB SITES
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Here is a very clever "book" online that will tug at your heart:
http://www.alleycatphotos.com/book.htm

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A SMILE FOR YOU ;-)
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Thanks to Gail for sharing some amazing photos of her cat,
Ginger, who loves bubble baths! What a cat! I just had to
show you, and Gail has given permission for me to show you:

http://www.theproblemcat.com/misc/gingerbath.html

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Do you have any interesting stories to share about your
cats? Send them in and I'll put them here in
this newsletter. (Include your name and website
if you have one, and I'll give you a "plug" for
your website. Or, anonymous is OK, too. It's
up to you.)

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here is where they are stored:
http://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?catsgalore

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