The war I may not win?

I wonder if this is a war we may not win. We have certainly lost a few battles and the things did not turn out as I expected.

I had to mix the first batch of medicine against TF with a protection mask on my face and put in the cats’ mouth. It took about 2 hours every day to medicate them all. They of course did not like that. Sometimes they drooled. It did not taste that well, perhaps. But maybe it was not THAT bad, since the most were not drooling or spitting it out. The medicine we got was ‘produced’ in Sweden, but actually it is just a cheap powder for birds, 10% Ronidazole that they imported from Germany, repacked it, and sold it to us about 70 times the commercial price in Germany. But what were our options? Ronidazole is obtained only via license in Sweden.

The powder made for birds was not the appropriate form to give to cats; it is the very formulation that scientist and one of the world’s most famous researcher on TF in cats, Jody Gookin is against, since you cannot guarantee the dose that cats get is exact every time. Some cats get cured from it, some don’t. I read about cases on German discussion boards where cats died. Ours did not have any side effects, and I am happy for that, although they did not get cured.

We tested the cats as a part of the study we are in 2 weeks after the finished treatment and only Claire and Miii were negative. All six kittens were still positive and also four of our big cats. So, only 2 out of 12 cats were negative after a 2200 EUR treatment (20 000 SEK) and a lot of time and effort from our side! That felt like a disaster.

I saw no pattern there. Claire and Jossan were isolated with the kittens, and Claire licked the small bottoms all the time, so she should have been positive. But, she was not. (It could have been a one-time thing, but she was tested a month later, and she was still negative.)

Also, Maven, who is not a Siamese, has her own toilet box (she likes Pee-Wee, Siamese hate it), got really bad and she was alone in one room, since poor thing had watery diarrhoea.

Two-three kittens got a bit better at start of the treatment, but after a week they started having soft smelly stool and blood in it. I tested them immediately after the finished treatment (that test was not a part of the study) and they were positive. 😦 Ronidazole just did not seem to work. I wondered if TF our cats had was resistant to the medication, but then, Claire and Miii got negative. They could have gotten TF-negative on their own, though, that is not impossible. They got it 5-6 months before the time they got retested, and sometimes cats can get rid of TF on their own during that time (9 months in average).

But no kittens could move to their new homes, since their owners-to-be already had other (TF-free) cats and I also wanted to cure the small and big ones.

To cut the story shorter, and omit many details – the new medicines were ordered, our veterinary found the new company that could get it for us, this time in capsules, from England, good form (100% Ronidazole). Surprisingly enough, they were cheaper, and although kittens got up in weight (the dose is proportional to the weight, the dose is 30mg/kg, so if your cats weigh more, you pay more), we paid about 75% of the price for the first batch. And the form of the medicine was good, and capsules are so much easier (and less risky for my health) to give.

Our veterinary suggested that the kittens should move to their new homes and be medicated there, to minimise the risk for re-infection at home, since we had so many cats. At the same time, it is not a good way to bond with your kitten you’ve just got with putting the pills every day for two weeks in its mouth. I proposed to the future owners of the kittens who had homes who waited for them to get them immediately after the treatment was done. There were risks, but also, it was better for many reasons – if someone else at home still had TF and its quantities grew again, the cured ones could get it back. The cats were isolated, but not one and one, we found that pretty much impossible.

One owner to be took her kitten 4 days before the medicating was done, and finished it at home. Another couple took their kitten home immediately when the treatment was done. One decided to wait. One was travelling abroad, and could not pick her kitten. One kitten’s future owner changed her mind (not because of TF, but because of a beauty fault that the kitten developed; she was supposed to go into her breeding program). Dexter we did not have heart to sell.

As I write this, I am still waiting for the results of the tests after the second Ronidazole treatment. The cats at home had an occasional diarrhoea after the treatment, but right now they seem fine. The two kittens that moved are well in their tummies, and no foul smell, and the cats that they live with are also well in their tummies. No matter what the results of the tests are, I would have made the same decision as the ones who took the kittens did, but I did not want to decide for others. There was not right or wrong here, only “risky in this way”, or “risky in that way”. My other option was to find new homes to the kittens where there were no other cats, but their future families opted against it. And that was not the option I would be happy about either. The homes that were waiting for the small ones were the perfect homes.

It is a very hard situation, emotionally, and in many other ways, both for us and the owners to be; they waited for their kittens for so long, and then I did not have good news for them after the first treatment, and we had to wait for a long time for the medicines to arrive, just to go through all of it again. Our veterinary was fast to obtain all the licences, and to help us, but that is the procedure – it takes time. So bad. I did not think this will be such a nightmare. I thought we were prepared.

The kittens who moved are very loved and happy in their new homes, Tsuki and Ender (called Ozzy now) moved. The kittens that stayed are also loved here, but they will need to move to their new forever homes soon. Our big cats are okay with the small ones still being here (they are six months now!), except for Jossan that occasionally hisses at them, saying that it is time they move, and Claire that became angry recently and thinks they should move. It is normal reaction, they are moms, and in the nature they should push out their small ones out of the nest at some point. Albert and Leroy think that it is good that they are here, we should have 200 cats, they love cats! Maven and Miii are okay with them, they play and run around gladly with the small ones.

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All the kittens on the cat tree

The kittens are big and beautiful, you would never think that they had (and maybe still have) that parasite. We love them so much, and we hope that this nightmare will be over soon.

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Dexter, Elric, Eleonora and Electra

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Electra

 

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27 comments on “The war I may not win?

  1. Oh my Jelena what a terrible time you have all been having !!! I am so sorry for you humans and for the felines ! I am also sorry that one was ‘rejected’ because it wasn’t ‘perfect’ – I can understand because the new owner wanted to breed but .. it’s still a shame. Poor baby !!! They are all SO beautiul – and I am sure once they have all gone to their forever homes you will find your home so ‘quiet’ !!

    When they have gone – and hopefully all the remaining cats are parasite free – will that mean they won’t get it again? I mean .. they can’t pick it up from ‘around the house’ is it only contracted by direct contact with a sick cat ?? I so hope you will have healthy cats soon and that you will be able to breed again soon when you are all ready!!

    Much love to you all !!!

    • Thank you! Yes, if we get rid of TF and our cats are tested negative, our cats cannot get it from just being outside. Hopefully all will be back to normal. TF is not easy to get, not really.
      TF is transmitted via mating with cats with TF or getting a new cat without having it tested negative against TF before. If I knew how common TF was, and if more breeders were open about it (the majority won’t tell that they have it, or think that it is okay, since it is so common, or simply do not test for it), this would have probably never happened to us.
      We tested against many other things before mating, and even before, in regular intervals, but not TF (Albert was tested once, negative, few years ago). Our cats were always so healthy! Well, now we have learned something, the hard way.
      But, that is how it is, we work with living beings, they can get sick. You can never test them against everything, there will always exist things that scientists have not identified yet. But, we are trying our best to breed healthy and happy cats and get them well again when they get sick or injured.

  2. Such gorgeous babies.

    It sounds like it was a very exhausting time with the treatments. I hope the second round of treatment has worked.

  3. You will win this war!! We (me and Eleonoras new family) are crossing all fingers and paws :-). You are doing such a good job ❤

  4. hi, u wrote in your posting you has a source for 100% Ronidazole. Would you mind sending me the contact-adress/homepage?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi, I saw this online: “In the UK it can be obtained upon receipt of a signed named-animal prescription as capsules from Nova Laboratories, Tel: 0116 223 0099; Fax: 0116 223 0120; email: sales@novalabs.co.uk, and Summit Veterinary Pharmacy Inc, Tel: 0800 440 2471; Fax: 0800 440 2473; email: info@svprx.co.uk; http://www.svprx.co.uk/. While the VMD have agreed to our use of this chemical in these cats, they strongly recommend that detailed records are maintained and that no cat is treated without first obtaining informed, signed, owner consent. In addition, we should compile data on all potential adverse effects: send case information on any potential adverse effects to Danielle.Gunn-Moore@ed.ac.uk.” This is copied from here: http://www.icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/tritrichomonas-foetus-infection-cats
      I got our Ronidazole on a prescription from our veterinary. That prescription was sent to a Swedish pharmaceutical company that imported those from UK, I think just from Nova Laboratories. A special license was needed for every cat. You cannot buy it without prescription.

  5. and I hope your cats will get well again soon. This TF is known now for so long time, and nobody seems to find a better way for treating it. It really sucks….

    • Thank you. It is hard to get rid of, and we have been struggling for some time now. I’ve heard of many that cannot get rid of it in the latest 1-2 years in Sweden. My veterinary said that other veterinaries also reported inability of Ronidazole to eradicate TF infection in many cats they treated lately (in Sweden).

      Our cats feel well and have little to no symptoms now. We will treat the ones that are here once more, retest and wait after that. They can also get rid of the parasite themselves, but not always.
      TF is a more persistent parasite that I expected. We were as prepared as one can to treat it (or so I thought), and it was much harder to fight it than we expected. 😦

      Many that have Tf in their catteries chose not to treat it (I mean breeders). There is a lot of silence around it. TF is very expensive to treat (at least in Sweden) and hard to eradicate. Many chose to continue breeding and go to shows as usual, without treating their cats. I begin to think we cannot get rid of Tf for good in the cat world. 😦

  6. we had the problem in 2012; the cats were tested positive. They were treated with the bird-powder for 2 weeks. They seemd to be well. Retest showed, TF was gone.

    in 2013 there was a study from our vet-university; 8 samples came back clear.
    In late summer I did a normal testing, all clear.
    Then one cat got sick, cause he had been in the catrun for too long; and with that… the stool problem appeared. I had him tested for bacteria only, as I had no new cats, no studservice,… and we had Clostridia.
    Ok, I thought – can be handled by food.
    But…. 1 week, 2 weeks – did not get better.
    At the time beeing, an other girl was pregnant…. she was totally ok.
    Then finnally I had the sick cat tested, and there it was…. TF! But how??
    Then the pregnant girl delivered her babys, and all seemed well. (the other cat was seperated).
    Then she started having cow-cookie-stool. the kittens were growing.
    But as soon they started eating themselves, 2 ot them got problems.
    One of them almost died, so I gave him antibiotica, cause everybody said, that ronidazole in so small kittens is no good idea.
    Finally he grew and grew…. and I stopped with the a.b.

    A few days later, the stool was like water. So I started treating all cats (did not want to start not simular).
    I got from Germany tablets, each one containing 20mg Ronidazole.
    First I thought it is a good idea, cause I can be sure that they have exact their amount they need (not like the powder).

    Thats 1.5 weeks back. Yesterday the little guy started again having problems. So does one other cat (real problem to get medicine into him, he will either bite you or you won´t be able to apply all tablets to him)
    All other cats seem to be fine until now.

    On J.Gookin´s page I read that kittens should not get it, but if necessary only 10mg/kg.
    Maybe that is the reason why there was a fallback….
    The kittens had too low dosage and the boy did not take all the medicine.

    So now they are seperated together and I´m, testing one group after the other.

    I´m already that freaking out, cause I have no idea where I got it this time?!

    • Chrissi, I am so sorry to read about what you are going through. 😦 It is bad enough to have to struggle with a parasite (or anything, for that matter) when you only have grown up cats in the cattery, but when you have kittens as well, it is very exhausting, physically and emotionally.

      I have been desperate many times and for a long time now. Our cats got TF via matings out of cattery, so we had to wait during the whole of their pregnancies and until the kittens were 12 weeks to treat them.

      Before the veterinaries had double the recommendations for treating TF, and all I knew that treated it, got rid of TF. Now it is only 30mg/kg once a day, and it sometimes gets cured, sometimes it comes back, and is hard to get rid of. I am sceptical towards the new recommendations.

      We are now medicating our cats with Tinidazole, twice a day, 30mg/kg.

      I’ll mail you my private email adress and contact details, so that you can call me or mail me if you need someone to talk to and/or exchange ideas with.

        • Hi, they are doing fine. We are done with medicines and waiting few more days and then we will retest them. No side effects at all. They got Tinidazole twice a day, 30mg/kg for two weeks.

          • Did you ask how long the treatment must be off bevore retesting? Cause some PCR can detect dead TF too, and test would be pos then, isn´t it?

  7. I have asked and here SVA tests cats 2 weeks after the finished treatment. One of our kittens’ buyer found online that DNA can show in tests for a month, even though there are no living TF anymore and the cats never get sick again. So, 2 weeks may be too short to retest, one can get false positives. I am not aware of any consensus on when one should test at earliest and be sure.

  8. Hi there. I have 2 cats and one has tested for TF. Just wondering how your cats are doing and if I’m going to ever beat this thing (already on my second cycle of Ronidizole). Please let me know if you can and thank you!

    • Dear Jennie, we won that war. Our cats have been repeatedly tested negative since they got cured. They feel well.
      It took us though a few rounds and a lot of tears, money and work to get them free. I hope you will succeed! It is possible. Give them food low in fat during the treatement (tf feeds on fat), probiotics and simethicone drops, so that the medicine can reach all the parts of colon without having the air bubbles preventing it. And some have to go up in dose to 35-45mg/kg once-even twice a day.
      Good luck!

        • You can give them anything with lower fat content. I would recommend Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calories and especially – Royal Canine Intense Hairball. I am very much for giving plenty of wet food to cats in ordinary case, because of the kidneys. But temporarily, while treating for TF keep them on dry kibbles, I heard that is preferable. TF thrives in wet environment.

      • May I ask what form of Ronidazole you gave the cats? I’ve given mine liquid before and now powder in capsules. They spat out the liquid so that’s why I’m trying powder capsule for the second round.

        Also, where do I get simethicone drops? From the vet?

        Thank you so much for all your help!

        • First we gave them the powder form, did not work – they drooled and spat and got underdosed. Then we got capsules, I do not remember where from the pharmacy ordered it on our veterinary’s prescription. Possibly from the US or the UK. That went much better!
          Simethicone is prescription free, can be bought in the pharmacy, it is given to the babies for example (even grown ups) before meals, I gave a few drops 2-4) directly in mouth to the cats, 2 times a day.

        • No problem at all!
          2 weeks, but one friend’s cat, fertile male, under her vet’s recommendation, was treated for 4 weeks and with a higher dose. Fertile males for some reason are sometimes harder to treat. But almost all the cats I know of were treated for 14 days.

    • I don’t know. Corona is usually not dangerous if it does not mutate to FIP and that happens very seldom. I’ve read that 80% of catteries have corona. So, I would not worry about that.

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