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                     The Catnip Patch News
      The Official Publication of The Feline Rescue Network
      6/30/01 Issue                                         #4
      Linda Pollack Mercer, M.D., Editor
      By subscription only! Welcome to your next issue of
                    "THE CATNIP PATCH NEWS".
      You are receiving this newsletter because you
      requested a subscription. Unsubscribe instructions
      are at the end of this newsletter. 
               => From the Editor's Desk
               => The Cat Doctor is in!
               => News Tidbits for those owned by Cats
               => Bookmarks for Cat Lovers
               => Product Review:  Kritter Spritz
               => The Spotlight The Dog who rescues Cats
               => From our Readers
               => Feline *Freebies*
               => Editorial In the eye of the beholder..."Humane"
               => Catnip Patch Humor
               => Classified Ads [none this issue]
               => How can *you* help rescue efforts?
               => Subscribe/Unsubscribe information
       . HHH
        From the Editor's Desk
        There is a POLL for subscribers online NOW. Please help
        by telling us what sections you want to see more of! This is
        the first of several polls that will be conducted
        Remember my question about Cat vaccines and Program
        supplies? Well, it appears the overwhelming favorites
        with the lowest prices available on vaccines and flea
        treatments (including Program) are
        Follow up on the News from last week, as promised
        Is cat litter harmful to your or your cat's health?
        Breathing a chronic significant amount of silica
        dust can certainly cause severe lung damage in
        humans (Silicosis) so some caution should be
        taken with cat litter. It is advised you choose a
        cat litter with low dust content and if you have
        any chronic respiratory disease, like asthma, wear a
        mask while working with cat litter. Silicosis has not
        been reported in cats and the incidence, if any, is
        likely quite low. If your cat does have asthma or
        other chronic respiratory disease, When cats do have
        asthma, it is recommended that owners reduce levels
        of any dust in the home (including using dust-free
        at litters) as well as aerosols, etc to try to
        remove triggers for asthma attacks.
        Linda Pollack Mercer, M.D.
        . HHH
      The Doctor is in The buzz about Lufenuron (Program)
        by Susan Little DVM, Dipl ABVP (Feline) &
        Linda Pollack Mercer, M.D.
      Lufenuron (PROGRAM) is a product produced by CIBA Animal
      Health. This product is marketed an insect growth regulator
      which interferes with the development of normal chitin
      (the hard outer shell of the flea is composed of chitin)
      and thus results in the death of the immature flea. It is
      not an insecticide and does not kill the adult flea, but
      rather prevents the immature fleas from reaching maturity
      so that over time, the fleas in the household die out. The
      cat product is generally given orally in a liquid form
      once a month mixed with food, but is also available in an
      injectable form which lasts 6 months.
      It appears to be a very safe drug in all animals in which
      it has been used. Rare side effects might include vomiting,
      lethargy, diarrhea, itchy skin or loss of appetite.
      There is about a 6 to 8 week lag period between
      starting with Program and the reduction of adult fleas
      on the pets who are already infested so for flea
      *treatment* (as compared to prevention) it is often
      used in conjunction with some "immediate kill" flea
      products which may have significantly more adverse effects.
      Ever since an article (1) was published on the use of
      Lufenuron (Program) in the treatment and possible prevention
      of ringworm, there has been a great deal of interest among
      breeders and rescuers and many questions about
      its use. However, the published study was 
      looking primarily at pet cats and dogs, not at
      multi-pet populations. Control of ringworm in catteries
      and shelters has challenges not addressed in the
      article and those with multi-cat populations might not
      expect to get the same cure rates.
      The interest was based on the report that in cats treated
      with Lufenuron full hair regrowth occurred quickly and that
      of the cats examined individually on a daily basis by use
      of fungal culture, mycological cure was detected within
      7 to 14 days, while clinical recovery was complete within
      10 to 15 days. Though there was one recurrence in this
      group of tested cats reported with positive culture
      result obtained again 35 days after treatment, even that
      reported case showed negative culture results for the
      next 8 weeks after a second round of treatment was given.
      While Lufenuron's efficacy in *prevention* of ringworm
      was not tested, the prospect that this would work has
      encouraged many people to switch flea preventive
      methods to attempt to prevent both fleas and ringworm
      It is hypothesized that Lufenuron works against ringworm
      because the mechanism of action (interfering with the
      synthesis and deposition of chitin in the growing
      organism) happens to be as destructive to growing fungi
      as it is to growing fleas because fungal cell walls
      contain chitin. It is reported relative safety is
      also apparently related to its action being specific
      for chitin production, as humans do not produce chitin.
      Lufenuron appeared not to have adverse effects when
      used in the study at higher than usual doses
      according to the report. However, Lufenuron is not licensed
      for use for ringworm as yet at any dosage. It is licensed
      for prevention of flea infestation at a somewhat lower
      dose than used in the study. It is therefore very
      important that pet owners give informed consent for the
      off-label use of this drug if it is being used
      exclusively to treat ringworm or in doses exceeding
      that used normally for flea treatment.The truth is that
      we don't know what dosage of Program should be used to
      treat ringworm. The researchers who published the study
      picked dosages for convenience, not because
      they had any other specific reason and a lower
      dosage may well be just as effective.
      Dermatologists, however, are currently recommending
      using Program at *100 mg/kg*, repeated again 2 weeks
      Initial reports from our patients, fanciers and
      rescuers, based on subjective reckoning and user
      testimonials rather than scientific study, sound
      promising though certainly further objective scientific
      study needs to be done to ascertain whether this indeed
      the panacea for treatment of ringworm that one might
      hope for and what dosage is best used.
      One last word... this caution about fleas and
      flea treatment A common misconception is that
      fleas and other parasites are not a problem in the
      winter. This is not the case. The fact is, your cat
      may be exposed to parasites more often than you think
      in the winter. Midwinter warm spells can produce ideal
      conditions for fleas to emerge and, under the right
      environmental conditions, fleas can survive, and even
      reproduce, indoors during the winter. If you're using
      a flea preventive, use it year-round. Weather patterns
      are unpredictable, and flea season can start before
      you're ready.
      1. "Use of Lufenuron (Program) for treating fungal
      infections of dogs and cats 297 Cases (1997-1999)"
      JAVMA, Vol 217, No 10, November 15, 2000
                *Disclaimer* Any advice given is not intended to
                diagnose or treat individual cats and a veterinarian
                should be consulted for all health problems.
                Author Information
                Susan Little DVM, Dipl ABVP (Feline)
                Bytown Cat Hospital, Ottawa, Canada
                Linda A. Pollack Mercer, M.D.
                Please note that Dr. Little will be on vacation
                during the month of August. The next four issues
                will have her article on early spay/neuter in
                four parts.
        Feline Spongiform Encephalopathy (FSE) was first identified
        in Great Britain in 1990. Since then there have been 87
        cases, one in Northern Ireland, one in Norway and one in
        Liechtenstein. Although Britain has a large cat population
        they would not normally have been subjected to close
        neurological examination in the past. Nevertheless,
        sufficient numbers of FSE cases have been seen and
        investigated to permit an association with BSE to be made.
        Obtaining lifetime feeding history for cats is not easy,
        so although all have eaten foods that would be expected
        to contain specified bovine offals, no particular type of
        food can be implicated. The epidemic in cats is thought to
        be a useful model for past human exposure to BSE. The
        number of feline cases has declined dramatically.
        Interestingly, when brain tissue from some of the early
        cats identified identified as having FSE, was inoculated
        into mice, the incubation periods and lesion profiles
        in the mice was indistinguishable from that produced by BSE.
        In exotic cats there have now been nine cases in cheetahs
        (three were diagnosed abroad but originated in Britain),
        three in pumas, three in ocelots, two in tigers and two
        in lions. No cases have ever been reported in North
        America. The association between BSE and FSE is highly
        suspected but not yet proven.
        * Sixty-two percent of cats and dogs sleep with their owners.
        As pets age, changing sleep cycles can result in loss of
        rest for pets and people. The AVMA has suggestions to help
        everyone get a good night's sleep. Read more about it in
        the story, "Changing Times Bring Good News for Graying Pet
        *Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have
        discovered evidence of the cat scratch organism in ticks,
        suggesting that the arthropod has the potential to transmit
        the disease."We cannot say for certain that ticks are
        vectors of these diseases, but at the least we can say
        they carry Bartonella DNA and could be potential vectors,"
        says Dr. Bruno Chomel, Professor of Zoonoses at UC Davis
        and one of the investigators on the study.
        * Nels Pedersen on... why cats purr
        * Did you know George Bush's cat was named "India" and that
        this has caused people in India to be angry?
        * "Oh My Cat" Perfume for you and your cat to share?
                *-----------------HOT TOPIC------------------*
                Table scraps or baby food containing even
                a tiny amount of onion can cause serious
                and possibly deadly aplastic anemia in cats.
                *-----------------HOT TOPIC------------------*
      Bookmarks for Cat Lovers Great Cat Sites of the month!
      A great way for cat rescues & entrepreneurs to make money.
      You can create and sell T-Shirts, mugs, mouse pads and more
      with your own designs on them (rescue logos or just your
      own personal designs) You just upload a picture, and they
      create a complete store-front for you - completely FREE.
      It's easy and doesn't take long - plus it's a lot of fun.
      [And if you do sign up The Feline Rescue Network gets a
      credit for the referral]
      Marketing NonProfit Organizations
      From Kansas State University
      Dogs and Cats are susceptible to skin cancer
      Cancer in Pets..What Pet owners should know
      Quality of Life increases for Aging Pets
      Reminder Say 'Thank You' to Your Veterinarian By
      Nominating Him/Her for Hartz(R) Veterinarian of the Year
               *---------------NEED A PETSITTER?-----------------*
               Want to find a pet sitter? Check these sites
               *---------------NEED A PETSITTER?-----------------*
        . HHH
        When my "Brandylion" was dying at age 15 he got much
        more attention that my 14 year old "He-man" and "He-man"
        showed his displeasure by annointing a corner of my room.
        After Brandy died, that stopped but the carpet in the
        corner never smelled the same and on high humidity days
        that scent carried throughout the room. I tried everything, I
        thought. The enzymatics did nothing, others left the room
        smelling of vinegar, even X-0 only ameliorated the odor
        until the next time the humidity soared.
        In response to the request in earlier issues, a subscriber
        suggested I try a new product. I contacted the manufacturer
        and received a sample of the diluted (spray) product
        and applied it to the area several times.
        It's been very humid this week. So now I can tell you
        THIS IS GREAT STUFF! Since my cats weren't
        re-annointing the spot I can't say that cats won't
        still smell something... but I can't! I do suggest that
        you try it and do let me know what your experience
        is with it when you do! (BTW, it also works very
        well on my once-stinky dog who would roll in
        goodness knows what immediately after each bath)
        The product is called Kritter Spritz and the more
        more concentrated version is called Odorgone
        Here's there URL
        SPOTLIGHT The Dog who rescues cats
        I can't present it any better than is done on this website,
        so check it out!
      Feline Freebies & Discounts
      Iams Less Active Weight Loss Kit
      Brochure, "Rib check" technical bulletin,
      portion control bowl and measuring cup, coupons
      Phone 1-800-863-4267
      Mon-Sat 8 am-8 pm EST
      Register for a chance to win free Iams cat food for a year
      Cats Only Nutritional Supplement Samples
      Free Cat Websites
      Coupon for a free 18 oz. box of Purina Cat Food.
      Call if you're in the U.S. It is all automated.
      Free Pet Safety Kit
      Free Pet Decal
      Essential Kitty Care Kit
      Coupon for Purina Kitten Chow,Essential Kitten Care
      Booklet Pet Music CD (soothing music for your kitten
      while you're away)
      Odorlockers. Join their panel and get coupons
      and deals on their scoopable litter
      SideStep - a program for travelers a little program that
      puts an icon on your desktop and on your browser. You
      can instantly check prices, hotels and more as it opens up
      a side window (where your "Favorites" are) and let's you
      check 20 airlines or so according to the criteria
      you want (time, price, etc.) and then shows you
      those in order of priority.
      From our Readers
      Because of the length, letters to the editor will not
      be included here but can be found at
      In the Eye of the Beholder.. what is Humane
      There's a general consensus among animal lovers on what is
      humane, isn't there? When severe abuse is discussed there
      seems to be no argument. Everyone also seems to agree
      that pets deserve to be treated kindly and provided with
      adequate food, shelter, water and veterinary care.http://
      However, other ethical considerations can boggle the
      rationale mind and face us with ethical dilemmas...
      Take the issue of Trap-Neuter-Release in feral cat
      colonies under hot debate now. The question that animal
      lovers are disputing is Is it more humane to trap, alter
      and release MANY cats with the available funding or is the
      humane and ethical course to use the money for
      proportionally fewer cats and trap, *test*, alter and
      release only those cats who are found to be FeLV and
      FIV negative? Is it humane not to test at a time you could
      and release positive cats to die FeLV deaths after
      they've spread the disease to countless other cats? Or
      more humane to spay/neuter more cats and have less
      still procreating and fighting for meager resources? While
      condemning "irresponsible owners" is it not the
      responsibility of those who trap for spay and neuter to
      also test the cats? If indeed the cat's "guardian for a
      day" is it responsible not to test and to then release them to
      After grappling with that question, move on to another
      Is it more humane to Test, Trap, Alter and Release
      (TAR) than to place in a shelter where they MIGHT be
      adopted but most likely will be euthanized? And if we
      consider it more humane to release to a managed colony ..
      what double standard is used when some humane
      associations think it's more humane to euthanize than to
      allow an adoption by someone who has children (just
      because they have children) or who lives in an apartment
      (rather than owning their own home)?
      On another front, we find yet another ethical dilemma.
      The "traditional" shelters (that perform population control
      euthanasia) loudly proclaim that *they* are the most
      humane -- that a humane death is preferable to no-kill
      shelters, turning animals away when they become full.
      "We don't turn any animals away to suffer on the streets,"
      they point out.
      On the other side of the humane "line in the sand," those
      proponents of "No Kill" insist they have the higher moral
      ground. Some have even charged that traditional shelters
      depend to a large extent on filling and having high
      euthanasia rates to justify their funding.
      A conundrum! And not just on an intellectual plane...there
      are no easy answers.
      Presently, we find a situation where Operation Catnip,
      one of the major players in TNR has suspended FeLV
      and FIV testing "for the greater good" of funneling more
      of their money into spay/neuter, while the one FeLV cat
      they trap and release may well infect the whole colony
      and lead to the death of the colony...in which case, which
      greater good is served?
      Or take, for instance, the case of the Arizona Humane
      association refusing to participate in, and thereby dooming,
      an agreement that would provide $10 million dollars to
      local shelters through Maddies Fund. There are those
      who believe that it is the height of arrogance on the part
      of Arizona Humane and its President, Kenneth White, to
      assume that theirs is the only way. The fact is that the entire
      community of Maricopa County, including Phoenix, will be
      deprived of the benefits that the $10 million infusion of
      much-needed funding for sterilization, education and
      adoption programs (the very programs that Ken White
      admits are needed) because Arizona Humane refuses to
      cooperate. And 20,000 animals will likely die because of
      this intransigence.
      Similar programs are working in other cities and states
      throughout the United States. Even the entire state of Utah
      has dedicated itself to the kind of effort it will take to
      eliminate needless euthanasia of homeless animals. Positive,
      incentive based programs to promote sterilization, education
      and adoption have been shown to be the key to community
      support and cooperation, and are thus long-term solutions. In
      fact, a Maddies Fund grant is dependent on that very
      collaboration (that Ken White refuses to give) among all of
      the animal groups, including local animal control
      departments, and equally dependent on no government
      mandates for sterilization.
      It does appear that the No-Kill concept IS sound IF there is
      community collaboration. There MUST BE a facility (usually
      a public animal control) that will euthanize, mainly the old,
      infirm, or so severely behavior disordered that a quality of life
      cannot be maintained.... but also as a safety valve for
      population control. Counter-balanced by an active no-kill
      concept via shelter and rescue groups that the people can feel
      good about supporting with their donations and go to for
      adoptions. All this, of course, works only if bolstered by the
      necessary programs for increasing return-to-owner rates
      and adoption rates, and easy availability of voluntary
      programs for low-cost or free neuter/spay. It "takes a
      village" to cure problems.
      You may want to check out
      This editorial was written by
      Linda A. Pollack Mercer, M.D.
                          *----------Geriatric Cat Tip----------*
                          In geriatric cats, diseases such as
                          hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
                          and hypertension (high blood pressure)
                          are often associated with behavior
                          changes such as episodes of annoying
                          *----------Geriatric Cat Tip----------*
        Catnip Patch Humor AMewsment
        "There are many intelligent species in the universe.
        They are all owned by cats." --Anonymous
        "Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any
        harm to ask for what you want." --Joseph Wood Krutch
        Cat Cartoons
        Picture Perfect
      Can you help Rescue Efforts?
      How you can help
      Copyright The Feline Rescue Network
      Copyright 2001 Linda Pollack Mercer, M.D.
      Catnip Patch Newsletter information
      Online archives can be found at
      Linda Pollack Mercer, M.D.
      The Feline Rescue Network
      60-B West Terra Cotta Ave. #160
      Crystal Lake, Illinois, 60014
      "There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching
      down and helping to lift someone up" - Bernard Meltzer
      Feline Rescue Network at www.felinerescue.net
      The Feline Rescue Network specializes in linking up
      great homes with great kitties. Learn the latest in caring
      for your cat or kitten by subscribing To The Free
      Catnip Patch News at http://www.felinerescue.net

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