This morning before I left the house for my annual veterinary continuing education, I checked in here at my blog, FaceBook, Goodreads and Twitter. It's what I do every morning to make sure that I keep up with everything. At the very top of my timeline was this post:
@KaylaJameth“@mjfrombuffalo: ANY VETERINARIAN ON TWITTER PLEASE REPLY, sick cat question and I'm in hurricane zone, can't reach regular vet”
I, of course, replied to this tweet with my email address so she could tell me in more than 140 characters what was wrong. It turned out that Mr Dino had been on oral antibiotics for a few days and the medication upset his stomach. This does happen and his vet was doing a good job of making him feel better. But Mr Dino hadn't eaten in a few days and because of Hurricane Irene his own vet wasn't available to help him.
That might not sound like a big deal, but cats who don't eat for 3-5 days run the risk of developing hepatic lipidosis, a potentially fatal disease. Fortunately the treatment is easy, get some food in them. You can do this by tempting them with something or force feeding if that doesn't work.
Dino liked his canned food just fine after warming it in the microwave for a few seconds. That is an easy trick for getting cats who feel a little unwell or just have a stuffy nose to eat. So now he is on the road to recovery.
Getting advice from someone with the right background, in this case me, can be very helpful. But everyone should remember that your vet knows your pet best and can give the best advice. They can also see the patient and can tell if something else is going on. I still can't diagnose over the phone or the internet, but I can give some advice to keep them going until they can see their regular vet.
Dino will be visiting his regular vet to get his treatment fine tuned once the office is open again, hopefully tomorrow.
When we tracked it back, we found that the information had been literally around the world. The tweet originated in an area of Long Island cut off from the rest of the island by the hurricane. MJ of Buffalo sent out the request for aid. One of her friends retweeted it to spread the call. Next author Sue Laybourn of Wiltshire, the United Kingdom took up the call. One of her followers, a friend of mine in Hawaii who knows I am a vet, sent it winging my way. From Long Island to upstate New York then across the pond to the UK over a couple of continents and another ocean to Hawaii before coming ashore and trekking to Houston, TX. Quite a journey.
This just goes to illustrate how the internet, in its many guises, has made the world a cozier place. Not everything about the internet is good, but neither is everything bad. It is all what you and the people you surround yourselves with make of it. Today a few people made it a positive influence in their lives.