Dodge’s trip to the vet


Alison's cat Dodge So here we are in another month!  Where's the year going?  How lovely though to see a return of the sunshine and all my daffodils in bloom in the garden.  A little warmer too, which has helped me get used to less hair around the collar!  A little less of a foxy hair style than Alison Young – but hey I can't compete with these spring chickens!

I promised to update you on my cat Dodge's health, and I'm delighted to tell you that he's up and well again.  You may remember last week I mentioned that I was about to take him to the vet as he wasn't feeling too bright, and had been drooling everywhere… in fact I had to chastise myself for getting a tad shirty with him when I thought  he'd wee'd on the bed.

He had in fact been dribbling so much that there was literally a huge damp pool on the cover next to him. The emergency vet said he was possibly feeling nauseous but that we should get him checked out. So that morning I donned my protective clothing, locked the cat flap, shut Dodge in the bedroom and went to get THE IGLOO!

It's actually a wicker cat basket that looks like an igloo, but once spotted by our furry felines, it induces a state of mad panic which results in them escaping to the darkest deepest corner of the house, only to return once the vet's strict appointment time has passed.  Luckily by hiding the offending basket around the corner Dodge was none the wiser and having shut him into his transporter, off we went. 

Over the years I have become more familiar with conditions such as ear mites, ticks, fur balls, and field mites – not myself suffering with them you understand, just the cats. However, our vet's suggestion as to what may be causing poor Dodge to salivate sufficiently to keep a small lawn moist, came as somewhat of a surprise to me… in fact it was more of a question than a suggestion….'Would you know if Dodge has been licking a toad?' What kind of question is that?!  It's not as though I follow him around constantly, or even ask him where's he's been – it doesn't work with teenagers so why should it work with a cat?!

I wondered if he had been seeking out a frog to kiss perhaps… we all know the fairy story. All that said, poor Dodge was definitely suffering from a reaction to some form of poison, so the vet suggested putting him on a drip and keeping him in overnight. He definitely wasn't feeling himself as he let me put him back in THE IGLOO without a murmur. But I knew he'd be fine after some professional TLC.

It was a very different cat I picked up the following day – all perky and bright – and I couldn't help but smile as the vet advised me to keep him away from toads in the future to avoid the same thing happening again. Any advice, suggestions or recommendations as to how I might do this would be very gratefully received, as would your stories of similar happenings.

Have you ever heard of this before? I did read whilst at the vets about some ghastly sort of lug worm that can grow in an animals stomachs if they eat snails… perhaps that's only if they're not cooked in garlic.

Anyway, as always it's great to hear from you, and I thought you might like to see another picture of my lovely cat (above) to prove that even after licking a toad you can still look incredibly handsome!


  1. Lynda R. April 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison.Really pleased to read Dodge has recovered from his big drool.Poor little thing!.However, I don’t have a cat, but did have two westies.(But only the one now.)The Dawn Bibby “Lucy” variety,and I can remember when they were quite small they licked a frog!O no!..and it was very frightening to watch the results.The both of them at the same time, believe it or not,were running outside throwing up the thickest of foamy froth.In fact it was the size of their actual gullet,it was horrendous to watch,but thankfully was over in a few minutes…It felt like hours!..well,that’s given you a good appetite I’m sure.Enjoying your blog Alison.

  2. Lewis H April 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

    Apparently the common or garden toad ‘Bufo bufo’ ( not kidding!) belongs to a family of toads that can produce a poison in one of its salivary glands( the parotid) which the toad uses as a defence against predators.This particular ‘poison’ (acetyl choline) has many diverse effects on the bodies of cats and dogs since it is identical to the chemical that controls several systems in the body including all the ‘innards’ and their movements, (including switching on prodigious production of saliva), muscular control and probably brain function….It is also potentially fatal so your handsome cat was very lucky…it probably tried to mouth a toad only to discover that it felt nauseous…I suspect your handsome cat has learnt a lucky lesson and will avoid toads/ frogs for its own sense of survival.
    Incidentally this toad can also potentially ooze this acetylcholine substance( other species other compounds) into a bowl of water so be careful that drinking water is fresh and has not been sat in by a frog ( amphibious,wet skinned for breathing eg Rana temporaria) or toad ( dry skin warty looking land based with shorter hind legs than a frog) In this country froggies don’t tend to be poisonous (I dont think they are, unlike toads that can be…)
    I am hopping off now to eat some frogs legs and pommes frites …bon chance. : )

  3. Debz April 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison. Poor Dodge – glad he’s on the mend. Cat’s really are a crazy breed aren’t they. Your Dodge looks a bit like my Ainzley a very handsome devil. I know what you mean about cat’s and their carriers. Ainz HATES his which is unfortunate as he has to see the vet every 3 months as he has a heart problem. Ainz tends to be hoodwinked into his carrier but boy do we suffer both on the journey there and back. He usually has a nice wee just as we get out of the car so he is practically swimming in the stuff by the time we get in there!! Once he managed to get there without disgracing himself until we actually got into the waiting room where he didn’t wee himself, it came, rather loudly, from the other end!! I have never been so embarassed in all my life. The whole waiting room was in hysterics. Ainz had to be taken into the back and be hosed down by a lovely lady wearing a big rubber apron. His hisses and meows could be heard by all. He came back out to us looking so smug as if to say “Told you I’d make you pay for this indignity” Good job we love him is all I can say!!

  4. alison keenan April 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Crikey Linda that sounds awful! Poor little things, and as you say, horrendous to watch! Thank you for ‘sharing’ – and I’m glad I had eaten quite a long while earlier! My Lucy told me that apparantly the ‘lug worm’ thing to do with snails is actually Lung worm as it gets into an animal’s lungs! Blimey who’d be a dog :) Glad you’re enjoying the blog. I’m enjoying sharing a snapshot of your life too. Do keep in touch and enjoy the rest of the week,
    Love Ali x

  5. alison keenan April 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

    Lewis, are you sure you’re not having a laff!! I can’t believe the name of the toad, but am hugely impressed by your knowledge of toads and frogs, and on a serious note realise now that poor Dodge escaped relatively lightly. As far as checking my drinking water, it’s usually something a tad more alcoholic I’d be enjoying in a glass in the garden on a balmy evening.. Any frogs or toads once in the glass may choose to remain, so hopefully I’d spot them :) Hope your week’s going well.
    Love Ali x

  6. alison keenan April 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debz, You have made me laugh! Sounds like Ainzley definitely saved that one up for you! Thank heavens it was said lady in rubber apron and gloves who saved you the chore… imagine if he’d have waited until you got home! I have enough trouble trying to get a tablet down Dodge’s neck let alone hold him still to hose him down! I hate the yowling on the way there and back and find myself apologising profusely to him…..Willows is almost as bad although slightly less loud. Hope you’re having a good week and thank you so much for writing to me -it’s lovely getting the feedback.
    Love ali x

  7. Lewis H April 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Alison for your reply
    I will try to enjoy some laughter this Easter weekend but I kid you not about the Latin Names and there are far funnier ones in use by Biologists world wide ( maybe you won’t be surprised that the Thrush seen twittering in hedgerows etc is universally known to scientists as Turdus turdus) YUP. Of course you could do as I did and use the ‘GInormous’ resource known as Google / yahoo or other search engines … I wish I had had such a Teaching Aid when I was a student of A level Biology before briefly doing a 5 year stint as a medical student at St Mary’s Hospital in London University way back in the late 70’s ( hence hazy knowledge of species names and principles of drug action)….
    Anyway I did mention my current situation re life events but I will take solace in the kindness of human nature and I wish you and yours a festive Paschal season … Be Lucky and keep laughing( specially like your comment about ‘nobody laughs that much to get so many laughter lines…’! :D
    Happy Easter tide

  8. alison keenan April 19, 2009 at 10:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lewis,
    Just returned from a weekend away with a few girlfriends, and told them about the weird and wonderful names for various species of birds and frogs that you had regaled me with. They were mighty impressed! I agree completely that life would have been a great deal easier with the fabulous resources available now through the internet, but think it does take away from the whole process of having to work through something which I believe makes you more likely to remember it! Five years as a medical student – I bet you’ve got some stories to tell…. a la Green Wing and Scrubs… no doubt some laughs too :) Hope you’ve had a good weekend.
    Ali x

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