Mona in therapy

Mona went for a chiropractic treatment today by a vet who integrates Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western veterinary medicine and chiropractic. Not that Mona cares what type of medicine the vet practises. For the first time ever, she meowed constantly in the car while driving to the vet. Perhaps she was afraid she was going to lose something else…

Looking for something in the cat room at the vet's
Looking for something in the cat room at the vet’s

The vet, Marlene, was upset and angry that Mona lost her leg due to a vaccine. Why don’t they fix the vaccines? She also believes no vaccinations after the kitten vaccines. At her clinic they do titer testing. I know there is a lot of debate about vaccines – which ones, how often, live, adjuvanted …. Bottom line, a vaccine injection gave Mona cancer and I HAD HER LEG AMPUTATED TO SAVE HER LIFE. Yup, I still get a bit angry. I had her vaccinated to protect her and it could have killed her.

Moving on. Here’s Marlene’s prescription for Mona:

1. Because Mona’s cancer was so aggressive I need to brush her and feel her whole body for lumps every day.

2. Gentle playing with strings and feathers so Mona moves slow to get her balance. Going fast is easy, she needs to go slow to strengthen.

3. Massage her back and pelvis to keep the spine moving. I hope I remember her technique.

4. “Power Mushrooms” to enhance immune functions and it contains herbs that may have an anti-tumour effect (according to Chinese research).

Chiropractic massage. Mona's relaxed.
Chiropractic massage. Mona’s relaxed.

After just minutes of massage Mona was flaked out on the couch. Not a peep from her on the way home in the car. I’d say she likes these kind of vet visits. When we got home her happy tail was up and she was prancing more than thumping. I hope you all can find rehab or after-care for your tripawd kitty or dog in your community.

Kerren and Mona

14 thoughts on “Mona in therapy”

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been thinking chiro care would be a good idea for Kender since she has to walk differently now. I’ve been seen a chiro for a few years with good results! The only one I used to know of I found out had moved. But thanks to a talk with a friend, I found out about a local holistic vet! I think I’ll be calling him this week to set an appt for after her stitches come out.

  2. Man, Mona’s experience makes me really worried about shots now. I think the rabies and distemper shot killed our black lab, but I don’t really know how to get out of getting shots. Our previous doctor said we could skip rabies for our husky; she just needed to write a note

    But with a new kitten whose already lost a leg? I don’t know what to do.

    I’m glad Mona is OK though and that you were able to save her.

  3. Hi Smore’s mom,
    Marlene, the vet, said that kitten shots are essential, but no vaccines after that. However, in some states an up-to-date rabies vaccine is required. You can research the topic and will find many opinions. One thing to consider is her lifestyle – is Smore going to be an indoor only cat? If so, then she is at less risk. You can learn more about the type of vaccine (adjuvanted, etc) and how long it is good for. However, although there is a rabies shot they say is good for 3 years, a vaccine experts say it is good for 7 years, so why give every 3 years? Jerry has suggested this topic can go under the “anything goes” forum – perhaps I’ll start a thread there.

    By the way, Mona hopped up into bed today for cuddle time. She hasn’t done this in weeks and she gracefully go off the bed. Amazing. She feels good.

  4. Mona…restless in the car…afraid it meant she might lose something!!!! 🙂 🙂 Brilliantly funny!! I mean, not really funny, but yeah, great wit you have!!

    I’m with you on the vaccines. I do think cutting edge vets are far more aware about vaccine issues n ow and are willing to forgo pushing them, write letters, whatever.

    THANKS for the great update and adorable photos and comentary

    Hugs and love to all!!!

    Sally and Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

    And you hav EVERY right to be furious, ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS!

  5. Oh, just saw your reply to Smore….good.

    Love that Mona jumped up on her bed!!!!!! Seeing the sparkle come back is the best feeling in the world!!!!!

  6. Hi Malinda,
    I think Mona is feeling better today. I haven’ started her on the Power Mushrooms yet because I need to buy a pill splitter. I’ll be interested to hear what you learn from your holistic vet. Mona wasn’t interested is a massage after we got out of bed – she’s back at the stream hoping to catch a bird (there are none around). She never caught one with 4 legs.

  7. Hi Sally and your joyous household,
    They said that pets don’t think of the past or miss their leg but obviously Mona is missing something – she was looking under the pillow for it! Joking aside, she has associated the car with something scary. Marlene said to tell Mona her leg is gone to save her life (seems a bit kooky, but why not?) I think this rehab is the best I can do for her right now. Have a great day playing frisbee!

  8. Love love love this vet, who is it?

    You put it so well….you vaccinated to protect her and it could have taken her life. Wow. I agree, when will science get this right? Agggh!


  9. We use titers at our practice as well and prefer them, but it’s always important to get both sides of a story.

    1) Most places in the US legally require you to have your cat vaccinated for rabies, you don’t have the choice of doing a titer (though I wish they gave us that choice).

    2) No one knows exactly how fast a titer can go down – we check yearly, but there’s no guarantee that an individual pet won’t loose protection mid year.

    For us a we deal with the same dilemmas that human medicine is facing right now – a lot of people are worried about over vaccinating their kids, but now we are having mumps and measles outbreaks.

    It always feels obvious when your pet is the one that got the tumor because you did do the vaccine or when your pet dies from the virus because they didn’t get the vaccine. The hard part is balancing the two.

    I think we can all work toward getting more people to do titers and trying to push vaccine companies to test the vaccines show they last longer.

  10. Hi Jerry, this vet is Marlene Smith-Schalkwijk who sold the clinic and “retired” but she seems to be working a couple of days a week. Here is her website with some good articles that others may be interested in:

    I’ve seen a big change in Mona from this one chiropractic visit. Now I need to massage her to maintain the movement in the spine. So far it’s not going too well – it’s just a game for Mona. When is she going to take me seriously?

  11. I don’t know how to respond to an individual’s comment so I’ll do it here.

    Regarding the vet’s statement of “trying to push vaccine companies to test the vaccines to show they last longer.” Perhaps as a vet you may be successful however I am cynical about that. Although it’s in our pet’s best interest to have vaccines that last longer and are safe, I don’t see how it’s in the best interest of the pharmaceutical company. Their interest is to make money. Vaccines that are given more often = more money.

    Thanks for the information on titers. It’s another option for pet owners to consider. I went blindly down the vaccination path and now I will ask more questions.

  12. Hi Mona’s mom (or dad?)

    thanks for the update and response. I planned on taking her outside for walks on a leash, but now I don’t know. My vet wants to know if I want the feline fiv vaccine as in if she’ll be indoor/outdoor. Oh so many things to think about. This is another instance where the ability to see into the future would be so helpful!

    1. Regarding FIV vaccine: from what I’ve read it is a non-core vaccine which means geographical location and lifestyle is considered. While all cats should have core vaccines at sometime in their life.

      The FIV vaccine is usually recommended for fighting cats or those living with a FIV-infected cat. The cat should test FIV antibody negative first. This vaccine does not provide protection from all strains of FIV. I would look at the risk/benefits before giving this to my cat. It is a series of 3 doses and I believe adjuvanted only exists. You might want to discuss it further with your vet.

      I found this website helpful when considering vaccines:

      Before Mona lost her leg I knew nothing about vaccines and blindly over vaccinated my cats. Now I will research first and ask a lot more questions.

      Kerren, Mona’s mom

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