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Author Topic: Problems with Orijen in Australia  (Read 348661 times)
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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #495 on: January 08, 2009, 09:12:45 AM »

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragic event. I know how it feels to have a paralyzed kitty and not know exactly what caused it.

This past May (2008) Mia (avatar cat) was ripping around the basement as she would often do, when all of a sudden, she couldn't walk anymore. Her hind end was paralyzed (legs didn't function and tail was "dead"). At first I thought she had broken a leg, but I then realized it was both legs and her tail. She was crying and trying to pull herself around with her front paws but her legs would keep curling under her body and she couldn't stand up.

After running her to the vet, we determined it wasn't a saddle thrombus (blood clot) and she was not incontinent. We arranged for an MRI immediately and two days later she had the procedure (humans here have to wait weeks or months!). They scanned her entire body looking for spinal abnormalities as we thought she would need surgery.

After the scans were sent to the US (I'm in Canada) for a specialist to read, they postulated she likely had a spinal stroke or perhaps syringomyelia (common to King Charles Spaniels) and they didn't know whether she would walk again.

After weeks of kennel rest, helping her go to the bathroom, cleaning and shaving her long bum fur, "grandma" looking after her in the daytime while mom was at work, bringing her food and water, and just keeping her company and talking softly to her, she suddenly started to twitch her tail. After a few more days, she twitched her right foot, then her left. After a few more days, she used her foot to scratch her face, then the other.

Ultimately, she regained the use of her legs and tail but still has a wobbly right leg and she keeps her tail pointing left while she walks (maybe to balance). She, too, had bouts of "itchy" feet where she would shake them and bite at them -- almost like pins and needles when your foot falls asleep. Today, seven months later, she can jump a couple of feet onto things and she can run like the dickens when she wants to (we don't encourage it because we don't know exactly what happened and how). We have accepted the stroke diagnosis because syringomyelia gets worse over time, not better and is very painful.

You might consider, for those that haven't improved after months of recovery time but are still happy, a "wheelchair" that will allow them to get around and go to the bathroom as well. I was seriously looking into these for Mia as she was no longer in pain after the first couple of days. She was just frustrated and p'd off.

As this is a demyelinating condition, you may want to research Multiple Sclerosis and see if there is anything they recommend to humans that might work for kitties. Where I live, there is a disproportionate percentage of the population (when compared to other areas of the world) of MS sufferers. Makes you wonder "what's in the water."

Bottom line -- don't give up hope that your babies will recover! I know how heartbreaking it is watching them struggle. Treasure the time you spend with them, even if you are frustrated, and look for any little glimpse of improvement. It's a great morale booster.

God bless and I'll keep following the posts.

Bug
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 09:23:22 AM by bug » Logged

My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
Gypsystormshadow
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« Reply #496 on: January 08, 2009, 10:39:12 PM »

bug - thanks for sharing your story.  What a shock, a cat having a stroke.....I was so happy to read that Mia has recovered from the worst of the illness.  When I began reading your post I thought OMG the Orijens cat food scandal has hit Canada and the USA.....thankfully not.....
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raggiesrule
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« Reply #497 on: January 10, 2009, 11:47:43 PM »

Have been trying to catch up on what has been happen in the last week. Sorry to hear some cats aren't showing signs of recovery yet and glad to hear others are.

We have had a decidedly up and down week.

Hali who managed her first wobbly trot last week and had regained bladder control, made it to the top of the cat tree on more than one occasion, playing like a loon, was sleeping on our beds and other furniture and generally being the sweet MC baby she is became a bit lethargic on Saturday and crashed on Sunday - back to full paralyse and this time with joint pain. She had gone into her first call and her poor little body couldn't cope with the toxins and the changes the hormones caused.  Thank goodness for our wonderful vet who talked me through what to do - as I was terrified if I took her to the oncall vet they would kill her as her body is no longer able to cope with most conventional medicines.

A week later and, whilst she is not where she was before the crash, she is fast approaching it. Amazing how quickly she has recovered. She is already able to get up onto our beds again. Unfortunately she is no where well enough to be desexed so she may have to go through this several times again though I sincerely hope not!

Evie is walking (still wobbly), and scaling cat trees (instead of leaping up as she use to, climbs up with the use of her very strong front legs), sleeping on beds and is back to being the sweet cuddly girl she was before she was affected by this horrid syndrome. I heard a noise on top of the high book shelf last night and freaked out when I saw she had somehow managed to jump up there. She scared herself too and was very grateful to be down so I think (hope) she won't try that again for a while.

Quoi is still not walking but there seems to be an improvement in her spine and hind quarter muscle tone in the last week so we live in hope. She did manage a few wobbly steps by herself a couple of times this last week so keep your fingers crossed.

Uly is still the same - able to do everything just still wobbly on a bad day. Still yet to see him lope through the house as he use to but tail is once again flying which was wonderful to see.

Aub - yesterdays accupuncture and physio by our vet made a big difference - he was able to get up to the top of the cat trees again and was a lot more comfortable than he has been the last few weeks. Was out and about and asking for cuddles and dinner and kept waking me up through the night so he could have tummy rubs and purry cuddles. Whilst I was desperate for sleep after what we went through with Hali I was only too glad to be woken by our little man as I have not seen him like this for many months.

So I hope everyone else is hanging in there this unfortunately is going to be a long process but we will get there if we persist.

And a huge thank you to everyone for your support.

Jo

Modified cause I can't spell
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 12:25:09 AM by raggiesrule » Logged
Mandycat
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« Reply #498 on: January 10, 2009, 11:55:54 PM »

Jo,
     Thank you for your update on your kitties.  I am happy to hear that there has been progress and hope that it will continue until they are completely well again.  Will keep you and all of them in my prayers.
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catwoods
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« Reply #499 on: January 10, 2009, 11:57:22 PM »

Keeping your kitties in my thoughts and prayers, Jo. Some progress is a good sign, I think.
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alek0
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« Reply #500 on: January 11, 2009, 02:35:33 AM »

G;ad to hear your cats are recovering. Hopefully next time Hali will be well enough not to suffer such a setback. Who knows what effect would stress and anesthetic for desexing have on her, I guess it is better to wait.
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raggiesrule
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« Reply #501 on: January 11, 2009, 02:59:30 AM »

Thanks everyone.

Alex I am hoping that she has a bit of a wait before her next call - fingers crossed that you are right and she will be well enough for it not to cause such a problem again. My vet thinks it will probably take a year for her little body to be healed enough to take the anaesthetic and even then it will be risky Sad we will do the best we can given the circumstances. Apparently given the damage they have it could take 2 yrs before they are as well as they are going to get - given the last six months I can't say I am looking forward to another 2yrs of this. But I am so glad they are still with us Smiley and will keep fighting for them.

Has anyone heard what Orijen has done with the food that contained BHA and BHT I hope they have actually done something and not just announced the problem and then proceeded to ignore it. Do the US & Canada not have labelling laws that would force them to at least label it correctly?

Jo
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5CatMom
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« Reply #502 on: January 11, 2009, 03:37:38 AM »

Jo,

You're a brave lady.   

So happy to hear that your crew is getting better.  Fingers crossed that sweet Hali has no more setbacks.

Hoping the other "down under" kitties are improving, too.  Sure miss hearing about them on the CW forum.

Furry hugs,

5CatMom
=^..^=
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raggiesrule
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« Reply #503 on: January 11, 2009, 04:29:10 AM »

Hi 5CatMum,

LOL at brave - I think that's when you choose to walk into a dark place knowing the dangers there was no choice involved in us being dumped in this dark place and as far as I see it we had 2 choices - to abandon our furkids cause things had gotten a bit tough or fight for them. So as far as we were concerned choice was not something we had much of in this whole business as abandoning members of our family was never an option for us. Still isn't so we just taking each day one at a time and we keep on down the path that we hope eventually leads to the light. Have to say all your support shines a light to help us see the way. So a big thank you for that.

Jo 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 05:43:10 AM by raggiesrule » Logged
lesliek
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« Reply #504 on: January 11, 2009, 06:10:42 AM »

Jo- Very glad to hear they are still improving ! Thats a shame about Hali,but hopefully the hormones will settle down & she will feel better.
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catbird
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« Reply #505 on: January 11, 2009, 07:11:05 AM »

Thanks for the update, Jo.  I'm happy to hear that your cats are all making progress, although I feel sorry for Hali's setback.  Poor little girl.  Both you your cats have my lasting admiration for your determination in overcoming this situation.
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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #506 on: January 11, 2009, 10:48:58 AM »

Hi Jo,

Glad to hear about your family's progress and I'll keep my fingers crossed extra tight for Hali. Regarding the time it'll take for all of them to recover as much as they ever will -- our vets had told us that it would take about six months to see what Mia would be like permanently. But, cats are very determined creatures and I have to say that Mia still shocks me some days when I see her jump up on something that she couldn't get up onto before. The other day she went from the floor to the back of the couch fairly gracefully. So, even if a year goes by and Hali or one of the others isn't as good as they used to be, don't be surprised if they give you a start by winding up on a piece of tall furniture, or running like the wind and climbing a tree (when Mia did that some time into her recovery, I just about had a heart attack and I didn't want her to do it again -- I just had her out for some fresh air and didn't think she was capable of it). If their personality and demeanor are back to normal or close to it, that's half the battle. Once they aren't so sad, angry and downtrodden, they start to get their will back and that's when you start seeing more progress.

Take care,
Bug

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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #507 on: January 11, 2009, 11:23:09 AM »

Regarding the BHA and BHT. It would be nice if Champion was able to slap a "contains BHA/BHT" on their packages, or at least have their distributors post a sign, but here's the problem. Most people don't know what they are (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene) and I don't know how many, other than us here on this forum will care enough to look it up. The retailer will not want to post signs because it will affect their sales. People are still feeding their pets Iams, Whiskas, and so on and wheat and corn glutens are right on the box. I don't hold out much hope for our species (we think we're so important!).

Considering many of our human foods are preserved with this stuff AND it is noted as part of the ingredient list AND people still buy it, it doesn't bode well for the animal kingdom (we are responsible for them, after all). The science will tell you it's good in one way and bad in another -- if it isn't used, we will suffer from the effects of rancid oils and their free-radicals, yadda, yadda.

Of course the natural option is Vitamin E (tocopherols) and I, for one, will be writing to Kelloggs here in Canada to find out why they need to use BHT in my breakfast cereal when my organic cereal (Nature's Path) just uses tocopherols. Any bets it's about the almighty dollar?

For me, the best thing I could get from Champion is a production date that guarantees NO BHA/BHT. I have been feeding Orijen to my four since the recalls and now, I'm holding off until all the data is in. They like the new food they're getting (Petcurean Go!Natural grain-free) -- but I'm not happy with the sodium levels and would like to confidently go back to Orijen someday.

Champion is a very small outfit compared to the huge conglomerates owned by Johnson & Johnson, etc. I know they just opened a second plant to produce their other food, Acana (one plant concentrates on each food line). That seemed like a good move -- no cross contamination, etc. But, even with the surge in popularity of this food since the recalls, I don't think they are much beyond the original family operation that started it in the '70s. I sincerely hope this is a HUGE lesson for them, one that will make them more transparent and accountable.

I would, however, like to see them take care of ALL the vet bills incurred by these poor families because even though they are small, I'm sure they can afford several hundred Gs to try and fix what was brought on by at least partial negligence. I also think the irradiation facility and the Aussie government should ante up as well for going insane with the radiation (perhaps they've taken a few too many doses themselves).
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
straybaby
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« Reply #508 on: January 11, 2009, 05:21:24 PM »

I would, however, like to see them take care of ALL the vet bills incurred by these poor families because even though they are small, I'm sure they can afford several hundred Gs to try and fix what was brought on by at least partial negligence. I also think the irradiation facility and the Aussie government should ante up as well for going insane with the radiation (perhaps they've taken a few too many doses themselves).

Shouldn't Champion have some sort of insurance to help in situations like this? And isn't paying vet bills cheaper than lawsuits and better for a companies overall reputation? I'm sorry. It's Champion's sole responsibility to put out a safe product. Their sole responsibility to make sure it hits the retail shelves as a safe product. I am sick to death of companies passing the buck on ingredients, transport, storage, certificates, etc. How the hell does anyone think we got here in the first place? Everybody has been passing the buck on all the pet and people product issues and it just needs to stop. Champion should pay up. If they have an issue with suppliers, irradiators and/or other governments, they should deal with that on their own. It's a totally separate issue. It was their responsibility to sell safe pet food. It is their responsibility to fix the problem with the pet owners first and fully.
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lesliek
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« Reply #509 on: January 11, 2009, 05:22:41 PM »

straybaby- I couldn't agree more !
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