Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pets, Worming and Fences

Well, it has been decided - we are getting a hot wire for a fence to keep Buck in. We hope to have it installed within the next two weeks. We'll just bite the bullet and put it in. I think we can manage to keep it clear of growth. Maybe I will put cardboard and mulch under it all the way around to keep anything from growing there. I can also dump the wood ashes in the tough spots to kill the growth without poisoning the ground or animals. Salt works well too. We'll have to cut back all those blackberry bushes!

How high should the wire be and what do we do about the 2-3 ft of snow? Will the snow drifts over it short it out?

We just have to get through the next couple of weeks with Buck chained a lot. He's unhappy and, therefore, so are we. He's the joy of our lives right now and we'd do just about anything for him - except let him wander free around the neighborhood.

We take him outside and play every day. I let him run around with me when I am outside but I have to keep him in sight or he will quietly sneak off and go through the fence. I think I have found where he is getting out and will fix those couple of spots today. Then we'll see how it goes. He will have to be chained when we cannot keep an eye on him, at least until we get the electric wire in place.

I wormed the pets today, all three of them. I know that roundworm powder package says that it's easy with no vomiting or wrestling with the critters (I paraphrased). I have used this roundworm powder about every three months, since
Abby came to us about a year ago.

I wasted an entire box the first time, following the directions. The paper that comes in the box says that you take the food away until the pet is hungry. Then give them a little, put the worm powder in the remainder, then let them finish it. Not fuss, no mess, no vomiting, no hassle, etc. etc. etc.

Ha!

Both Abby and
Shadow turn their noses up at anything with that powder in it. They simply will not eat it. I have even put it in tuna and they wouldn't eat it and they LOVE tuna! All I have to do is start opening a tuna can and I have two cats at my feet. It's not the can opener, it's the tuna. They love it - but not with the worm medicine in it.

So, I came up with a plan several months ago. I dissolve the powder in a little water and put it into a syringe. I then squirt this liquid into the back of the cats mouth. Of course, I have to hold each one wrapped up tightly and wrestle with the critter to get it all down. I only squirt a little at a time, giving them the opportunity to swallow it. I have done this a couple of times in the past year and it works ok, of course, both cats were just born summer 2009, so have not been very big at the past wormings.

This method seems to work well for Abby the tabby. She is still quite small and light. Usually Abby is the feisty one, biting when she wants down and always grabbing and playing, but a real sweetie and dear to our hearts! When I wrapped her up tightly in my polar fleece sweater, she just snuggled down into it and relaxed. I think she liked it, at least until I start forcing her to swallow that horrid stuff.

She doesn't like that.

Shadow on the other hand, is usually very mild. We call him the "Little Gentleman" because he is always so polite and easy going. He never shows a claw or bad attitude to anyone, not even Buck. He and Buck have become buddies, sort of. He will purr and rub against Buck and hang with him, until Buck starts to play rough, then Shadow runs away. Shadow purrs all the time whenever anyone comes near. He loves everyone and puts up with anything, always purring - HOWEVER - he has grown into a very large, stocky and unbelievably strong fellow. I didn't realize how strong until I tried to wrap him up and feed him the worm medicine with a syringe. It become immediately clear to me just how much muscle he had grown since the last time. I got a deep long gash of a scratch, but did manage to get it all into him, on him and on me. I gave him and extra half dose for this reason.

He forgave me and purred when I came to see him later to ask his forgiveness for having to put him through that and, as usual, I cleaned up cat barf this morning.

What do other people use to rid their cats of roundworms? There has got to be something easier that doesn't cost an arm and a leg or a visit to the vet!

Giving worm medicine to Buck was a piece of cake, or a muffin as it turned out to be. He just gobbled it all up and licked anything left behind. It went down totally unnoticed and as quick as a wink. I don't think he would need it if he would just quit EATING THE CAT POOP out of the litter box! Dogs! You would never catch Shadow doing that! He's too high falutin' to eat anything other than cat food and fish. Shadow won't even eat raw hamburger!

So all three pets get wormed at the same time.

Abby the Tabby, on the other hand, will eat whatever she sees Buck eating. She ate an entire dry cracker a couple of weeks ago because Buck got one! Abby and Buck are not friends - not at all. He would love to play with her but she's just too little and won't put up with anything from him. She won't back down either, so this usually results in Buck getting a few clawed swats on the nose whenever he gets near her. He has learned to just back off and ignore her.

He absolutely adores Shadow! I'm glad Shadow has learned to be friendly with Buck. It's so sweet!

Here are my questions:

1)Is there something easier that I can use to rid my cats of roundworm without a vet visit? (Cats don't eat pumpkin seeds or garlic.)

2)How high do I need to put the electric wire?
3)Will the snow drifts short out the electric wire and how do we overcome this problem - It is not possible to keep it shovelled all around the 3.5 acres of fence. Perhaps a higher, second, separate system wire, turning the bottom one off in winter?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!
I apologize for the lack of pictures. (I will add some later.)

8 comments:

Patrice said...

Sheryl,
There is something not only easier, but non-toxic. Food grade diatomaceous earth. I use it all the time. I even use it on our family as a supplement. Read the website that I'm giving you. The company is run by a Christian family. The website has so much interesting information. We are using it to lower cholesterol, worm animals, etc.etc. My hubby says we'll all be on it for life. I see improvements in hair, nails and skin already and we have only used it for a month.
www.earthworkshealth,com

I was amazed at all the ways folks use it from the testimonials.
Hope it helps.
Patrice

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

You know what, Patrice. I knew this! It's forgotten info! Thank you so much for reminding me!!!
Now I need the dose by weight for cats and some advice on how to feed it to them...

I used DE on my chickens and seem to have discarded that information when I sold the chickens.

I am going to get some immediately. It's easily obtainable. I will check out their website, although I am in Canada and those online places that do ship to Canada usually charge an arm and a leg to do so. I think there will be a local place to get the foodgrade for livestock, which we can also use.

So, how does one feed DE to a cat? Is there an easier way? At least he won't be barfing.

Patrice said...

Make sure you get food grade. Also, the website I gave you has dosages.
I just mix it in with things that the pets like to eat that are wet foods. It really has no taste, but the texture can be kind of funny.
Take care.

A blog by the "Farmer" said...

Hi!

It's not natural - but I give our Night Cats (they are wild, and not really ours) a product made by Safeguard (same maker as horse/goat wormers). It comes in a very very very small pill. I slip it in their food and they never know.

I've never heard of diatomaceous earth. I'm going to read the link from Patrice.

Farmer

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi farmer! Thanks for the info. I will look it up and see if its available here. DE is great stuff. I used to sprinkle it in the dusting area for the chickens and in their winter dustingbox in the coop.

DayPhoto said...

Worming is a problem. I use the pill and poke it down their throat, they don't like it much but I still do it. I also only worm when I see worms. On advice from my Vet. Let me know how you like the diatomaceous earth.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Kathleen From Eggs In My Pocket said...

Enjoyed reading.........and sorry.......I don't have any answers to your questoins. blessings,Kathleen

Janey said...

We constantly battle fleas with our cat Kasey, even though she never goes outside. Weird. So we have to treat her with Frontline.

Anyway, the fleas always bring tapeworm. I get the medication in bulk online, but it comes in powder form that I dissolve in water and squirt down her throat like you've done for your cats. If there's a better way, I'd like to know what it is! Kasey won't eat anything but dry cat food. She might eat one bite of tuna or other meats, but that's about it.