Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fly Free Ozzie

April 29, 2011--Today, Ozzie takes his final journey. May he soon find the peace he seeks. From his Mom:
Ozzie suffered another hypo attack earlier this month while no one was home. His overall health has deteriorated quite a bit to the point that his vet and I both believe he may no longer be happy or comfortable. Sadly, we've scheduled an appt tomorrow night to have him put down. Of course I wish things could have turned out differently, but I'm glad we we're able to have him with us for an extra four years since his diagnosis. We are really going to miss him.
********************************************************************* March 24, 2011--Ozzie needs a new situation. I haven't much time to write, so I will simply cut and Paste his Mom's answers to DCIN's rehoming questions.
Good morning, I saw your post on the FDMB site and I wanted to write. I have an older cat who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2007 and hyperthyroidism later on. Due to my own health and financial concerns, I have to face the fact that I need to find him a better home as I am unable to give him the proper care without neglecting the rest of my family's needs. I read on your website that you help find homes for special needs pets like Ozzie. I'm not sure if your organization can help me of if you are aware of any resources in my area that I can turn to. Here is the information for the rehoming questions on your website: 2. Ozzie Brewer (Ozzie bear, o-bizzle, the bear, etc) 3. He lives Kingston, PA 4. He's a domestic shorthair... mostly all grey. 5. His age was estimated at 5 when we adopted him in Dec 2001... so he's probably 14. 6. He was neutered but not declawed. 8. Dry Iams - the highest in protein. He won't eat wet food or table scraps... only dry kibble. He does well on Purina Naturals, but one of my other cats is severely alergic to it, so I can't offer it to him. His appetite is always strong... this is most likely due to the thyroid issues. 9. He is very underweight due to the thyroid issues. 10. He was always deathly afraid of leaving the house until about 2 years ago. Now it's hard to keep him inside. 11. Ozzie is very easy going. He doesn't bite or claw at all. He does scratch the side of the couch regardless of what scratching posts I've had, but what cat doesn't. They are confined to the downstairs of my house mostly to confine the damage from his peeing. Ozzie has always wanted to pee on throw rugs, plastic bags, bookbags, or anything similar left on the floor. It's just been easier to keep him away from the bedrooms. I imagine that this is why the original owners surrendered him. It wasn't until his diabetes took over that he began to pee on wall-to-wall and large area rugs. He sleeps on chairs or on the floor. He's good and doesn't get up on tables or the counter. He's not a lap cat, but loves affection and likes to stand in front of you or on the arm of the chair while you pet him (for hours if it's up to him). Other than the peeing he is a good, good boy. He's always been kind of smelly and prone to dental plaque. But his temperment is such that most people pick him as their favorite of my three cats. He's great at the vet. Only once did I hear of him giving them a hard time. He doesn't like to ride in the car, though and cries the whole time. I boarded him at the vet once for several days and he came back dirty and smelly, so I never did that again. But he was good for them then. 12. Ozzie has two brothers, Caesar (18) and Truman (12). Caesar was my cat from the time he was a year old. I adopted Truman in 1999 as a resuce when he was six months old as a buddy for Caesar, who was acting lonely and depressed. Caesar hated him and followed him everywhere to make sure he wasn't touching his stuff (it worked like a charm!) Ozzie was adopted by my (now) ex-husband in 2001 - the year we met. The three cats moved in together in Feb of 2002. Caesar and Truman fight like brothers and Ozzie never really warmed up to either of them. It's not that they fight, they rarely interact. Ozzie occasionally challenges Caesar's alpha-status and gets put back into #2 place. Truman is content with being at the bottom of the pecking order. Other than that, they kind of mind their own business and keep to themselves. They'd all rather a person's attention than each other's. My son Charlie is 5. He and Caesar have an adveserial relationship - one is jealous of the other. Truman is the cuddly one so he's Charlie's buddy. Charlie and Ozzie barely interact - they're just kind of indifferent towards each other. However, when I sat Charlie down to talk to prepare him for what was happening with Ozzie, he was upset. He'll be very sad to see him go. He even offered up Truman (his favorite) in exchange. We also have a goldfish that Ozzie has absolutely no interest in. 13. This is going to be a tough transition for everyone. It's a decision that I've tried to put off for the last year, but the good of my whole family, this needs to be done. I try to stay in tune with my pets, especially having two special-needs ones, because of how quickly their health can take a turn for the worse. I've noticed over the years that his peeing episodes, and now his glucose levels fluctuate according to changes in the house. For example, if I move the furniture, do a repair on the house, etc, I know that this will effect him. The diabetes came on when my ex-husband, his rightful owner, left in 2007. I've been convinced for some time that he suffers from anxiety, and if it could be treated, he would level out. I haven't had luck finding a vet to take this seriously. Or a family member for that matter. 14. He was diagnosed as diabetic in the fall of 2007. My father died in Feb 2007 and my ex-husband left in Aug 2007. There was a tremendous amount of turmoil in our home. It effected all of us differently. Ozzie began (for the first time ever) peeing on wall to wall carpet. Nothing made him stop. Finally, I took him to the vet and they made the diagnosis. All of my friends immediately told me that I had enough stress in my life and to put him down. If you knew Ozzie you knew that it just wasn't a possibility. I gave him a chance and I don't regret it. 15. I'm not aware of DKA. He has had several hypo episodes. He was on insulin until I read about diet changes, which, once made started his first honeymoon in Oct 2008. He did really well until in Feb 2009, when Caesar became critically ill and was hospitalized for a week for a bowel obstruction and a diagnosis of high blood pressure. A month later Caesar was diag with hyperthyroid and a month after that CRF. I was told he wouldn't make it through the summer. Ozzie left his honeymoon stage during Caesar's treatment. I was treating Caesar w/ 2 meds 2x per day, IV fluids 1x per day and Ozzie with insulin 2x per day plus testing 1x per day. Caeser's treatment left him "doped up" looking and miserable. I looked back and noted the change in diet and changed back to the original food. Within two months Caesar was off all of the meds. He's doing great today. I've tried to give them separate food in separate dishes but it's impossible. Caesar pushed ozzie out of the way and ate some of his food. Within a day he was seriously ill again. So ozzie's been through several honeymoons since then. He'll be fine for several weeks or months then his BGL rises again and I give him insulin. Then, out of nowhere, it will drop sharply and he'll be hypo. His first hypo episode happened two summers ago and resulted in a $700 hospital stay. Since then he's had two hypo episodes, which I've treated myself. I give him honey through a medicine syringe and sit with him until his BGL gets to a safe level. It takes about an hour. His BGL was much more stable and predictible before his diag of hyperthyroidism. He takes tapazol for this. Now with this diagnosis, he requires more frequent testing, which I'm not capable of. 16. When he was diagnosed he was very bloated and heavy, drinking all the time, and peeing in places he wouldn't normally pee. 17. He drinks all the time and pees in places he wouldn't normally pee. 18. He is on PZI insulin and Tapazol for the hyperthyroid. 19. My mother has been a diabetic for 20 years, so she has been great for helping me understand the condition and testing. She taught me how to use a home testing kit. Ozzie's vet, on the other hand, insisted that I come to the office for testing so that they could use a special unit just for animals. At $50 a pop, that's not practical to come weekly. And his BGL fluctuates so frequently, a normal reading on Saturday might leave him suffering at 380 for the rest of the week. 20. I haven't kept a log. But I was able to keep it in the 80 - 120 range when he was honeymooning. when it's high, it can go up to 380 or 400. His lowest level during hypo was 26. 21. He has a history of dental problems. He has placque on his teeth even though he eats only dry food. His last cleaning was in 2003. His last vet suggested it not a good idea to put him out for this proceedure because of his age. They scrape plaque at his visits. 22. Just innapropriate urination mostly when his BGL is high. 23. I believe he is current on his vaccinations and has never tested positive for FIV/FeLV. I can get vet records. 24. See above. I switched vets this past year. His current vet (same as Caesar's) seemed more interested in keeping them medicated. I was chastised for what I did with Caesar's meds and they wouldn't take the time to discuss my concerns that ozzie seemed to be getting worse. He had one visit at a new vet that charged more for more expensive testing and left me with no more information than I already had. I can obtain full copies of his history. 25. I have health issues myself. Ozzie's illnesses have taken over my family. My time is spent cleaning rugs and basement floors. Sometimes I don't know that he peed somewhere until days after it happens when my son accidentally finds it. His reoccurrance last year destroyed my basement floor. I need to get it repaired, which will cost thousands. I need to pull up my living room carpet. I've been replacing carpet with vinyl until Ozzie gets well. Every time he has a flare up, my health deteriorates and I miss work. I personally have frequent flare ups - all coinciding with his episodes. I'm not sure that I can keep ozzie and care for him in a manner he deserves. I certainly can't keep up with it and I know that my house is becoming less and less healthy of an environment for myself and my son. This wasn't a decision I came to lightly. All I want to do is to be able to take care of my family. This situation isn't good for anyone. Ozzie's a very good boy. I think he'd do really well in a home where someone can take the time to pet him as much as he wants to be pet, monitor his BGL as often as it needs to be monitored and give him the diet and medication that will help with his conditions. 26. I don't believe he's at risk for euthanasia unless things continue on this course. I'm told daily by people in my life to put him to sleep, but I know that he can be happy and healthy under better circumstances than I can provide. Just because I can't do it doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a chance. 27. He was adopted from the local SPCA in Dec 2001 by my ex-husband. When my ex-husband and I divorced in 2007 he expressed that he was not interested in taking Ozzie (no cats per the lease, girlfriend didn't want him, etc) and I could do what I wanted with him - he would gladly sign him over to me. When the medical issues started, I contacted the SPCA to find out what I would have to do to legally adopt him. I was told that I couldn't, and that if his legal owner didn't want him he'd have to bring him back to be surrendered to them. I asked if at that point I could adopt him and they said that he'd be evaluated to see if he was a viable candidate for adoption. I said that he has a medical concern and is older and that they would probably euthanize him. They said that would probably be the case. I hung up and never called again. My ex-husband has told me several times that he'd just put Ozzie to sleep. Early on, he agreed to watch him for two nights while I went out of town. I came back to find him locked in his carrier and smelling like urine. I never asked him to watch him again. I've paid thousands for medical expenses and boarding when I have to go out of town, draining my savings and putting off even day trips when I can't find someone to watch him. I've sat up all night scrubbing carpets and held him for hours so that he doesn't hurt himself when he's coming out of a hypo episode. I'M his owner, not him. And I wasn't going to let him die because of a technicality, I'd rather be arrested. If it came to the point where he would have to be euthanized, that would be my responsibility to take him, no one else's. I owe him that much. 28. No, just that, like I said above, he's easily effected by changes in his surroundings. Lots and lots of petting helps with this and makes him happy.

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