Published November 3rd, 2013 by

I have been a cat lover since a tender age. I own five cats and wouldn’t hesitate to get more if I had more space in my apartment. Last year, I lost two and three more had to visit the vet to survive. It was heartbreaking for me to know that I would have saved the two kitties had I acted early. The problem was, I couldn’t quite identify whether they were being just their normal selves or not.

That said, my two cats had severe roundworm infestation. The surviving three were suffering from mange. I took time to learn more about these two conditions. Interestingly, they are hard to detect unless they are quite severe. I’ll discuss each of these conditions focusing on their causes, prevention and treatment.

Roundworms in cats

Roundworms are the most common type of parasitic worms that infect cats. The infestation can be mild or severe. They can be life threatening to kittens especially in cases of heavy infestation. Unlike other types of worms which generally attach themselves onto the intestinal walls, roundworms are simply swimming within the intestines. Adult worms can grow up to 6 inches in length.

Ingestion is the primary way through which roundworms find their way into the cat’s digestive system. For kittens, it’s usually through breast milk. Adults usually ingest the roundworm eggs through food and contact with the feases of infected animals.

Once in the cat’s digestive system, the roundworm eggs hatch into larvae which travel through the bloodstream to different parts of the body. The larvae then travel to the intestines where they mature into adults and start reproducing. In cases of severe infestation, the roundworms will travel to the lungs and might be coughed out. Hatched eggs can be passed out in feases or remain dormant within the intestines. In pregnant queens, the eggs might find their way to the mammary glands and transmitted to the kittens during breastfeeding.

Preventive measures for roundworms include worming the cat frequently. Emptying the litter box regularly will minimize contact with infected feases.

Treatment for roundworms usually involves administration of medication that kills the adult worms. This needs to be done regularly to ensure that any hatched eggs are terminated.

Mange in cats

Mange is a skin infection that affects cats. It is caused by mites which aren’t visible to the naked eye. The condition can also affect other pets such as dogs. Mange causing mites can infest almost any mammal or bird including man.

There are different types of mange each depending on the type of mite. These include scabies, otodectic mange, demodectic mange, and, sarcoptic mange. Transmission of mange causing mites is usually through contact.

Despite being invisible to the naked eye, mange causing mites will usually infest a specific part of the skin. As the female mites burrow into the skin to lay eggs, the cat will usually scratch the area to ease itchiness. Fur in the surrounding area starts to fall off leaving open scabs.

The mites will usually infest specific parts of the cat’s skin including but not limited to the neck, nose, ears, face, paws and genitalia. Once detected, mange should be treated immediately to prevent further spread of the mites. Cats are usually dipped in a solution to kill the mites.

Published November 22nd, 2013 by

The lower back is an extremely sensitive part of the body. It provides support and acts as the link between the upper body and lower body. Due to its positioning, lower back pain isn’t an unusual occurrence among adults. I actually had to seek accompany my friend to a doctor for lower back pain treatment during her first pregnancy.

There are many reasons why lower back pain occurs. Lower left back pain in particular can result from different factors. These can be mild or serious. In some instances, the back pain can be treated at home but if the cause cannot be identified, medical help will be necessary.

Who is affected by lower back pain?

Pain in the lower back will affect anyone. However, it’s more common in young adults and senior members of the society than in children and teenagers. Studies also show that the cause of low back pain in young adults will very likely differ from the cause of pain in the lower back in senior members.

Pain in young adults will most likely be caused by factors such as tissue strain, degenerative disc disease or health conditions affecting the kidneys. Pain in older adults on the other hand will most likely be caused by conditions that cause joint degeneration such as ostereoathritis.

When lower back pain doesn’t require immediate medical action

There are instances when the back pain won’t require a visit to the doctor. In such cases, you should be able to identify the cause of the pain. For example, back pain that results from lifting a heavy object straining the lower back muscles. In such a case, you can easily treat the pain through application of ice and simple exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles.

When lower back pain requires medical attention

Lower and middle back pain will require medical attention if its source isn’t identifiable or, if it’s caused by an underlying medical condition. In the latter instance, treatment for the underlying medical condition will be necessary. Examples of such conditions include the following.

Conditions affecting the kidneys and urinary tract can cause pain in the left lower back. Conditions such as kidney stones can cause serious pain which can be felt in the back and abdominal area. This pain is referred in that; it comes from the kidney (organ) and not the back itself.

Conditions affecting the female reproductive organs can also cause pain in the lower back. Like the kidneys, the female ovaries are located in the lower back area. Conditions such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis and fibroids can cause pain in the back if not treated.

Spinal tumors can also cause lower back pain. As the tumor grows, it applies pressure on the nerves in the lower back area causing pain.

A viral infection in the spine as is the case with shingles can also cause lower back pain. The viruses are usually dormant but if provided with the right conditions, will attack the nerves in the spine causing pain in the patient.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that’s mostly associated with age. It can however be linked to obesity and involves the degeneration of bone tissue. If affecting the spine, the patient can experience acute or chronic pain in the lower back area.

Published December 5th, 2013 by

Ever since I was little, I have come across people suffering from different conditions of the feet. Some were mild and easy to treat while others were a bit severe and needing medical intervention. During my early teen years, I had my first foot sprain and, it wasn’t one of those painless affairs. Over the years, I have been fairly free from conditions affecting the feet until recently when I started having a tingling-numbness in my right foot especially after sitting for long. It usually goes away if I stand and walk for a couple of minutes.

Although worried about this condition, I haven’t had the time to visit a doctor for consultation. I have however taken measures to ensure that I minimize its occurrence through some home treatment methods. The following is a short guide on how to treat mild foot sprains and tingling in the feet.

sprained foot

Treating sprained foot at home

Many medical practitioners agree that home treatment of a foot sprain consists of a four step plan. This includes resting the foot, immobilizing it, application of ice and keeping it elevated. However, this is only applicable during the first few days after the injury occurs. These four steps help to promote fast healing and recovery of the foot.

There are other treatment methods that help to strengthen and further promote quick recovery. The first step involves promoting mobility of the sprained foot. The goal of this step is to encourage flexibility of the injured ligaments and tendons. Mobility should be increased gradually. If a specific movement causes pain, it should be postponed until later when the foot has had time to heal. Some mobility exercises include stretching, gentle twisting and walking.

The second step involves strengthening. This ensures that the sprained foot can handle the body’s weight. Simple exercises such as light walking and flexing of the foot muscles are great.

Finally, try alternative exercises which are geared toward returning the foot to full functionality. For example kicking on a football or sprinting will build on the foot’s strength and flexibility.

Treating tingling feet at home

Tingling and numbness in feet can be caused by a number of different factors. However, most cases result when pressure is applied to nerves in the feet and or if there’s poor blood supply to feet. Some of the home treatment methods include the following.

The first and simplest home remedy for tingling feet is changing your posture. Whether you are standing or sitting with your legs crossed, simply changing your position will promote blood flow to the affected area and relief is felt within minutes.

Second, if sitting on a hard surface such as non cushioned seats causes feet numbness, adding cushions can help prevent tingling.

If you are taking medications you suspect are causing the tingling effects, stop taking them and consult your doctor. Some drugs such as aspirin have been found to cause tingling as one side effect in some patients.

Finally, eating a diet rich in vitamin B has also been found to help reduce tingling in some patients.

Published March 17th, 2015 by

We recently visited a children’s clinic near our school to put up a mural of sorts on one of their walls. We will do it for free as part of our art club’s push to make doctors clinic in and around our area to be more kids and visitor friendly. It is our belief that the persons who are in those same clinics already have too much problems on their hands and it would be a welcome respite for them when they get to see the colorful creations that we are going to make for them.

We already have done a couple of them on several of the clinics downtown and we make it a point to do the children’s clinics first, as seeing the smiles on the children’s faces really brightens everyone’s day. They are also the ones who are more helpless and have still many years to go in life, so we thought that we get them help fist.

We usually do our thing on Sundays when the clinics are closed so as not to torture anyone with the smell of freshly applied paint or the other chemicals that we use like varnishes and paint thinners to name a few. It usually takes us the whole day to finish a whole wall and another two days of site visits to get to see the final results.

With regards to our recent visit to a children’s clinic, we were very much affected by the site that we saw. We are nonetheless familiar with sick persons as we have been visiting clinics for a long time already, but seeing sick children never fails to bring our spirits down, and it is especially disconcerting when it is a baby that is sick.

There was this baby who cried her eyes out while we were there. You can see that she was having so much trouble by the paleness in her complexion and the redness in her face due to too much crying. The mother said it was constipation in newborns that was bothering the little angel and that they were there to ask advice about it.

She said that it happened just recently and that it came with the newborn growth spurts that the baby was experiencing. She also told us that she noticed the baby just grew a lot in such a short time and along with it, or probably because of it, came the baby’s voraciousness in feeding,

We just commiserated with her and the baby and then it was their turn at the doctor. You could not help but to feel for the baby in situations like these as they truly are in pain because of their illnesses. What that baby is suffering from is probably normal and part of her growing up, but you can’t help but feel sad for her.

Well that is what we are here for apparently and that is what keeps us going with our cause. We aim to bring a little cheer to an otherwise dreary scene, all in our own little way, and the best way we know how. Paint them pictures of the happiness that is sure to come later in their lives.

Published April 15th, 2015 by

My grandfather, who has been my mentor and my inspiration in my making my kind of art, decided to pay us a visit last week and I was very much happy about it. I value the times he visit us and I see them as wonderful times for catching up on things, as well as getting abreast of his many experiences when it comes to paintings and stuff.

I used to watch him a lot of times when he painted, back when I was just a small girl. He would sit in his small stool outside, sometimes just standing amidst the surrounding scenery, and painted the whole afternoon away. I was amazed about how concentrated he was when he is painting and it seems that nothing could ever bother him, not even the strong breeze which was common in our area beside the sea, or even the sunlight which was sometimes strong enough to singe the skin of ordinary mortals.

Nothing ever frazzled him when he was painting and that was what piqued my curiosity about the thing that he was doing always. That was my grandfather and painting, two distinctly different yet totally inseparable things. One creates the other while the other gives purpose to the first, if you know what I mean.

It was only I among his grandchildren that followed after him and it was I whom he passed on the things he knew about painting. When I was big enough to draw, he used to take me with him on his frequent trips to drawing spots almost every other day. He carried twice the stuff he used to carry as it was already two persons painting instead of only him.

He carried two easels, two sets of brushes and coloring implements, and two stools, one big and one small for both of us. He didn’t even look tired or bothered by carrying such a load, instead he looked very much happy that someone was interested in the thing he loves.

That was my grandpa and he taught me everything I know about painting. I used to look forward to those times I get to bond with him, and the things he taught me, I use until now, not only the painting stuff but also the many life’s lessons which he too imparted on me.

sprain fingerIt is a little bit sad to see him at such an advance age with arthritis in fingers and all the things associated with age. One digit of his left hand he cannot use anymore because of the sprained finger he got when he was still young, which apparently he didn’t get treated as he believed it will heal itself out in time.

He still paints, which is good news, but on a very much different scale. Gone are the big heavy easels and the myriads of brushes and palettes he used to bring with him every time he paints, which are now replaced by two pencils and a sketchpad, which he always brings with him everywhere he goes. Well what can I do? That’s my grandpa and I love him still.