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Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I’m watching you….and everybody else!

Dear George,
I must say…THIS IS the advantage of our “color”- sometimes …we can go undercover or….notoriously unnoticed.
We can act as the “eyes and ears” of a spy agency or a hidden camera for different purposes! (see the photo attached) But the reason I’m writing to you today is actually to get your secretary’s advice concerning a health issue of one of my friends.
I know she’s busy with her exams but one of my friends has an eye problem – his eyes gets “tears stain” without any eye infection or anything. The tears are not clear either; the tears/stains are reddish/brown and are bothering him only once in a while.
His vet put him first on an antibiotic unguent that did nothing and then on Lysine.
Is he safe to be on Lysine for the rest of his life? Any idea? Even while on Lysine the tears stains come back once in a while. Any other cat that had this problem? Any explanation why is this happening?
Grateful (on behalf of my friend)

Dear Bentley,
Humans occasionally, very occasionally, are useful.  Celia, whose studies I find extremely irritating, nevertheless was able to research several papers about Lysine. Apparently about 90% of animal hospitals in the USA, UK and Australia give Lysine to cats that have the Feline Herpes Virus 1 (FHV1). FHV1 causes "goopy eye" in cats, stays in the body life long and like cold sores in humans is likely to surface during times of stress.
The theory of giving Lysine, a food supplement, was that it reduced arginine levels, an amino acid, which in turn reduced the herpes virus's ability to reproduce. Thus cats treated with Lysine shed less virus and would recover faster. It's a great idea. And because an attack of FHV (like cold sores) usually goes away eventually anyway, vets thought it was the Lysine that was working.
But it doesn't work. In practice it makes no difference at all. The latest scientific paper on this drug says it is ineffective and should not be used (details in a PS). This isn't just because it doesn't work, it is because cats need arginine, an essential amino acid. So lowering the level of arginine may be bad for the cat's health. I suggest Bentley gets his human to find the full paper on Google Scholar, downloads it, and shows it to his vet.
It looks as if it would be better for Bentley's humans to concentrate on giving him a stress free life (look here).  He needs good nutrition, lots of interesting things to do (look here) if he is an indoor-only cat, a settled routine, and sensitivity to how much affection he wants from humans. 
Lysine supplementation is not effective for the prevention or treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection in cats: a systematic review 

Bol and Bunnik BMC Veterinary Research (2015) 11:284
Background: Feline herpesvirus 1 is a highly contagious virus that affects many cats. Virus infection presents with flu-like signs and irritation of ocular and nasal regions. While cats can recover from active infections without medical treatment, examination by a veterinarian is recommended. Lysine supplementation appears to be a popular intervention (recommended by > 90 % of veterinarians in cat hospitals). We investigated the scientific merit of lysine supplementation by systematically reviewing all relevant literature.
Methods: NCBIs PubMed database was used to search for published work on lysine and feline herpesvirus 1, as well as lysine and human herpesvirus 1. Seven studies on lysine and feline herpesvirus 1 (two in vitro studies and
5 studies with cats), and 10 publications on lysine and human herpesvirus 1 (three in vitro studies and 7 clinical trials) were included for qualitative analysis.

Results: There is evidence at multiple levels that lysine supplementation is not effective for the prevention or treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection in cats. Lysine does not have any antiviral properties, but is believed
to act by lowering arginine levels. However, lysine does not antagonize arginine in cats, and evidence that low intracellular arginine concentrations would inhibit viral replication is lacking. Furthermore, lowering arginine levels is highly undesirable since cats cannot synthesize this amino acid themselves. Arginine deficiency will result in hyperammonemia, which may be fatal. In vitro studies with feline herpesvirus 1 showed that lysine has no effect on the replication kinetics of the virus. Finally, and most importantly, several clinical studies with cats have shown that lysine is not effective for the prevention or the treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection, and some even reported increased infection frequency and disease severity in cats receiving lysine supplementation.

Conclusion: We recommend an immediate stop of lysine supplementation because of the complete lack of any scientific evidence for its efficacy.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Help us! We are being poisoned by cruel people.

My release after being spayed.
Dear George ,
We need your help and the help of every single one of your readers. My friends and I have a huge problem. I can see no way out. I have been bereaved  and there are too many humans out to get me. I am far away from your cosy life in the Cotswolds of England. I am in Spain's Costa Blanca but you can see us on our Facebook page here.
I live in an area beside the sea, called El Mojon. I live under apartment blocks and in gardens, but mainly hang around a derelict building which humans call " The Hermitage. " It is unsafe, but the humans let their children play around there.
They sometimes throw stones at us, and shoot at us with toy guns. Our area is filthy with litter but it is all we have.
I've heard the humans arguing among themselves - often and loudly. The local humans were shouting and waving their arms at the humans who bring our food and water. The locals swept away our food and crushed our water dishes under foot. They called us dirty, they said that we were sick and had fleas. They even said that we were the cause of rat and cockroach infestations.
Worse was to come.  My sister Phi and I were curled up together - half- asleep. Gamma, our mum was out hunting. It was quiet - except for a few fireworks - but we're used to those. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow - darting back and forth in the grounds around our building. The shadow was throwing something . I caught a whiff of it. Quite nice. But, I thought, this was strange. Our usual people talk to us in kind voices, and put our food into clean dishes. This Shadow was throwing the pleasant- smelling food everywhere....... then left.
I knew something wasn't right. Phi got up to investigate. I called her back - but the lure of food was too strong for her. She ate the food, as did several of our friends. I watched them die. My beautiful ginger and white sister - the prettiest blue-eyed girl - staggering around until she fell to the ground; her lithe, young body concluding and writhing in agony - struggling to breathe. I heard the grasping, choking, sounds.  I don't know how long it took for her to die. Time stood still for me. There used to be a lot of us in this area - around 70 - now there are only around 15. Am I lucky? I don't feel lucky. I feel afraid. Afraid that there will be other Shadows, and that I shall not recognize them for what they are.
If you cannot help me , George, please spread the word and try to educate the so- called human race that animals are indeed all equal.
Your bereft friend ,

Dear Chi (and all my readers),
There is a petition here, which I am hoping all my readers wherever they are in the world will sign, then share on Facebook and Twitter. This is the tragic photo which accompanies it.
These were healthy cats (as you can see from the photo) licensed to be where they were and ear tipped to show that they were neutered and would not expand the population of feral cats. 
I want to send a message that people worldwide think this is unacceptable. That it gives Spain and the town involved a bad image.
We know that there are loving good people in Spain who will find this hateful too. So please would they sign the petition too.
Yours sincerely

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Finding a chiropractor for cats

Dear George,

You didn’t hear from me lately as I was busy seeing a chiropractic doctor twice a week. I would like to share my experience with you all. I’d like to educate other cats and their human pets as too many times humans are not aware that there are other alternatives to allopathic (medical) care and they give up on us way too easy! My mommy read some of Dr. Schoen’s articles and somewhere he mentioned that a “good chiropractor can do miracles” and a “bad chiropractor can do much damage.” The problem is how do you recognize a good chiropractor? I’d tell you how – by the results he/she gets! One way is to ask around, wait by his/her door and ask the patients. Another way is by referrals from people you know and trust. But, I’m sure that anybody interested will find a way.

Last time you heard from me I was doing some intense chiropractic treatments at the holistic vet but, neither I or my mommy were too excited about the VOM geek – it was painful, too much pressure on my spine! Mom gave me a break and start asking around. She came across Dr. Leo Rosenberg, a chiropractor doctor for both us and our human pets! How wonderful! His nickname is “Dr. Miracle” and indeed he did some amazing things healing lots of cats, dogs, horses and of course humans. He is in practice for over 50 years. But, let me tell you about Dr. Leo. When I first got to his office I thought we got the wrong address and actually this was an “emergency vet clinic”; as one dog was going in and one dog was coming out! I learned that people travel from a long distance with their pets to get treated by him. I was a bit scared but he was such a sweetheart: very gentle, soft spoken, pocking fun and giving me the best massage I ever had on my back! He was very gentle in giving the adjustments, no cracking bones! It is a gentle, cumulative process! Actually I was so relaxed on his lap that I started purring. I felt much better right away and I could see progress in my getting back to normal; no more pain after treatments, actually being pain free and more active! Honestly….after his treatments l felt like I was coming from a spa not a doctor! I even got a” pink bathrobe” at home for the occasion (as you can see in the photo).

The funny thing is that Dr. Leo has two sons: Paul who sacrificed himself for humanity – he treats only our human pets (as they are more twisted then us) and Mark – who is a much younger but identical copy of Dr. Leo (even the voice) – who treats both animals and their human pets. Just like his daddy! But George, I don’t want to take to much space with my letter. Anybody interested can visit Dr. Leo’s website at:

There are some videos posted there. And anybody interested in my particular condition and treatment can ask me privately. I’m sure you have good chiropractic doctors in UK as well. Amanda is one of them (you posted her contact info in an older post).

George, I sincerely hope that humans will consider all medical alternatives when it comes to their health and ours.

Love to all


Dear Cayenne,

Thank you for your experience which I am sure will be useful for other cats. Here in the UK chiropractic help cannot legally be given to animals without a vet's referral. Which is sensible because you need a chiropractor who understands animals and has experience in the field. The same applies to physiotherapists and osteopaths, some of whom also treat animals.

Celia says she isn't too keen on alternative health remedies but I notice she visits physios and osteopaths when her back hurts and takes a few supplements each day... sort of hypocritical, I think. But that is humans for you. She says she thinks alternatives should only be used as well as, not instead of, proper medical treatment. Grudgingly, I will admit that this makes sense.

Yours musingly,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pain - how do you tell if your human is in pain?

Dear George,
I am looking after an elderly human who has some health problems. I am finding it difficult to know when she is in pain. Obviously when we cats are in pain, we hiss, scratch or bite if somebody tries to pick us up. She doesn't do any of this when I crawl up the bed and sleep close to her. However she does make odd noises - sort of intakes of breath, wimpers and yowling noises. Is this pain?
Yours worried

Dear Annie,
Humans show pain in a different way to us. Apart from scratching or biting when being picked up, we stay silent. We don't make crying noises when in pain. That's because Nature has designed us to stay quiet in case a predator hears us and kills us. Look at it this way, a cat who cried loudly after a car accident would pretty soon be eaten by a fox here in the UK.
We are much much more stoic than humans, who really are pretty wimpish - another sign of their innate inferiority. We usually just go very very still - stay in our beds quietly resting, may not eat, and possibly have to pee outside the litter tray if it is too far away or too difficult to get into.
Humans are noisy and show their pain in their faces. You will see her face sort of twist up. She may have an intake of breath, as you have noticed. Some humans even shout, swear, yelp or cry. Poor creatures. Just not brave enough in the face of adversity.
There's not much you can do for her anyway, Annie. Go carefully on the bed, so that she isn't tempted to push you off. Purr loudly. That really helps a human who is lying unable to sleep. Purring acts as a kind of therapy for them. We have a responsibility to our pets so try to be helpful, even if you despise her lack of courage.
Love George

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why do these apes think we don't feel pain?

Dear George,
I am a very senior lady cat of 19 years young and despite living all these years there is one particular thing (amongst many) about apes that utterly confounds me. Why do so very many apes (including rather too many vets) come out with nonsense statements such as "they don't feel pain like we do" ? All I know is that pain hurts and makes me miserable.
How else can a mammal feel pain? Do apes have sole rights to both the feeling of pain and its alleviation?
Where does this crazy ape belief come from? After all, felines and simians are still mammalian and have similar nervous systems.
We cats do show our pain and discomfort albeit with more dignity and less fuss than apes, who can't resist screaming, jabbering and yelling about anything and everything in their strange primate world.
I tell my apes when I hurt, I have trained them to be observant, but I really would like to know why so many apes believe that only apes feel pain in a way that deserves attention?
George, where did this insane belief come from?

Kind regards,
Angel of Everycat (

Dear Angel,
Humans are dumb animals - dumb meaning foolish. They are also the most arrogance species in the world. They think they are special and different
, forgetting that they are just mammals like us. So because they think this way, they believe we don't feel pain. All living creatures feel pain. As you say, it is just that we deal with pain in a dignified and silent manner, unlike them.
This is particularly important for older cats who may have painful conditions like arthritis. Cats with arthritis may not even limp. The only sign maybe a reluctance to jump on or off the bed. Or just relative immobility in the cat bed. We are so brave and stoic that we suffer without symptoms but a vet has just published a paper suggesting that older cats sometimes need painkillers even though they are not limping. So, hey you human pets reading this, start doing a bit of simple observation and empathy.
You may be inte
rested in the attached illustration of the tree of life. Traditionally, humans show this with humans at the top, on the grounds, they think, that they are top animal. A friend of mine, evolutionary scientist Charles Purrwin, has reorganised this so show the top species. What is it - cats, of course. Purrwin says I can publish this here. You can see the gorilla on the left and a little below, in his proper place well below cats, a sort of stick man - Homo non sapiens.
Yours ever,

PS. Lovely green eyes and a very good joke on your subsequent comment, Angel.

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online