unvaccinated

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Anti-vaxxers “targeted” Minnesota’s Somali community. Now there’s a measles outbreak.

  • Minnesota’s Hennepin County is in the midst of the state’s largest measles outbreak since 2011. Nine cases have been reported since last week, and officials expect the number to rise.
  • So far, all of the cases are among unvaccinated children. They have something else in common too: The affected children are all part of Minneapolis and St. Paul’s Somali-American community.
  • According to a health department official, Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community has been a particular target of the anti-vaccination movement, colloquially known as “anti-vaxxers.”
  • “They’re very much engaged with and targeting this community,” Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease division director at the Minnesota Health Department, said in a phone call Wednesday.
  • According to Ehresmann, anti-vaccine groups began to target the Somali community around 2008, amid concerns about autism among Somali-American children.
  • Anti-vaccine groups started reaching out to the Somali community and showing up at community health meetings, she said, disseminating misinformation linking autism to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR. Since then, the population has seen a “steady decline in MMR vaccine rates.” Read more (4/19/17)

follow @the-future-now

Before I start this little spiel, I need you all to know: I’m not hating on people who don’t vaccinate their kids, and while I know for a fact BASED ON facts that vaccines don’t cause autism or other “defects”, I’m all for continuing research to make them even better and safer.

But you know what really, really scares me about the anti-vax movement? As a future Public Health Professional, the thing that scares me most about this is the fact that our cultural mindset has become so CHILL about vaccine-preventable/”childhood” diseases that there is even room for such a movement. Let me explain.

Do y’all know what an R0 is? The R-naught, as it is called, is the basic reproduction rate of a disease. It tells you how many new infections can come from one existing infection. For example, an R-naught of 3 (R3) means that, on average, one sick person will infect three other people. Every disease has an R-naught, some greater and some lesser.

Do you remember when everyone was freaking out about Ebola? Everyone was terrified of catching it, because it’s SOOOOO contagious and deadly, right? Ebola has an R-naught of 2. That’s it. R2. One person with Ebola, on average, will get 2 more people sick. And we were freaking out about that.

Well guess what? Measles is the most contagious disease known to mankind, and it has an R-naught of 18. 18. One person with measles will give it to 18 new people, and those people will give it to 18 new people EACH, and so on. That’s what happened with the Disneyland outbreak; it’s so ridiculously contagious that just ONE sick child was enough to start an epidemic.

And yet very few people are as scared of measles as they are of Ebola. Why is that? One reason could be the nature of the disease, sure; Ebola is terrifying in its progression and symptoms. But I would suggest that a major reason is that measles has been so well-contained by vaccination that people no longer fear it. It’s not a part of every-day life anymore; this disease is no big deal because nobody gets it, because so many people are vaccinated against it. Let’s put this another way.

What are the diseases that scare everyone the most: Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and SARS are pretty high on the list of terror diseases. But let’s look at the R0s, shall we: Ebola-R2. HIV/AIDS-R5. SARS-R5. 

Now let’s look at diseases that people are voluntarily rejecting vaccinations against: Measles, Pertussis, and Diphtheria are the major ones. Their R0s? Measles-R18. Pertussis-R17. Diptheria-R7.

Everyone focuses on the former set of diseases– rightly so, I suppose– because they’re more dangerous at the present time. What makes them more dangerous? Not their R0; it’s the fact that there is no viable treatment, and NO VACCINE. Seriously, that’s why the medical community is worried about them. There’s no way to treat or PREVENT their spread biologically. Well guess what? There’s no viable treatment for Measles or Pertussis, and only limited treatment options for Diphtheria. That’s why the medical community doesn’t focus on them as much, because we can prevent them at the biological level, safely and effectively.

But now that the Anti-Vax movement has taken hold so firmly, the medical community is now being forced to once more worry about diseases it had almost eradicated. And not only that, it’s endangering herd immunity for the people who can’t receive their own vaccines due to compromised immune systems. I’m allergic to eggs, so I can’t receive the flu shot, but I’m also asthmatic so I can’t get the inhaled vaccine. I rely entirely on the people I associate with to keep me safe from the flu by getting their yearly shot. This made public school a living nightmare, because almost NOBODY got their shot. They caught it, and while it didn’t affect them TOO terribly because they were generally healthy, when I caught it, it was very dangerous because of my asthma. And then there’s that time when I caught the flu, and then right after because of my weakened immune system, I caught Whooping Cough from someone who hadn’t been vaccinated. I HAD been vaccinated, but my body was so fatigued from the flu that it couldn’t keep up with immune demands. And so I caught it.

Have you ever had Pertussis (whooping cough)? It’s hard enough on someone with full lung capacity; it can break ribs, it makes you cough so hard. You cough until there is literally no air in your lungs, and you have to inhale so forcefully it makes the “whooping” sound that gives it the name. It’s painful beyond belief, and it can last for weeks. Some people will survive it. But add that to asthma, or to a young child, or to an elderly person, and you are looking at either permanent damage or death, no exceptions. When I had it, I was about 6 years old, and asthmatic; I spent 81 hours awake because the coughing was so violent I physically couldn’t sleep. I tore abdominal muscles. I vomited during coughing fits and aspirated the vomit. I was actively dying. The doctors could barely suppress the cough enough for me to breathe at all. My inhaler wasn’t helping, none of the cough syrups or breathing treatments were helping; I was getting pneumonia on top of the virus. It was Hell. I was LUCKY that I didn’t die.

Who would wish that on their child? Nobody, I hope. And if you KNEW you could keep your child from ever experiencing that, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to ensure their safety?

Or would you look at the safeguard and say, “Nah. I’ll take my chances with my child’s life.”?

That is what the anti-vax movement is doing. Perhaps not purposefully, but that’s the end result. These aren’t just names on syringes designed to make a child cry; the diseases are real, and real threats to health and life, and the vaccines are how you prevent them. Yet we are so far removed from the impact and effects of these diseases BECAUSE of the peace brought to us BY vaccines that people now feel no qualm about refusing vaccines.

That’s what scares me about the anti-vax movement; people have become so complacent that they no longer worry about these very real, very deadly diseases. They’d rather risk their child’s life than get a shot? The side effects of vaccines are unproven (nonexistent), but the efficacy of vaccines are very much proven.

When the pertussis vaccine first came out, people jumped on it right away. They were so grateful to have it, and for a while everything was smooth sailing, and whooping cough was on the decline. Then, in the 70s, some groups started claiming the pertussis vaccine was causing brain injury in young children. Less than 50 in 15 million cases were reported, but it was enough to scare people away from the vaccine. And children began dying again. It was later discovered that it was NOT the vaccine, but the result of infantile epilepsy, that caused the brain damage. People began once more vaccinating their children, but not before hundreds if not thousands had died.

And that’s what’s happening now. A falsified claim scared just enough people that time-tested, lab-tested, fully-proven, totally safe vaccines are being rejected, and we’re already starting to pay with lives. And I’m scared it’s going to get worse. People don’t really grasp the full import of these diseases and the necessity of the vaccines until they have experienced the disease. I’m scared that it’s going to come down to new epidemics before people will realize the mistake of not vaccinating.

Right now we’re still in the semi-safe zone. Enough of the population is immunized that we could probably keep most pandemics of these diseases at bay. But if this movement keeps gaining momentum, there might come a day when measles and pertussis could once again destroy thousands of people yearly. Imagine if some terrorist group weaponized Ebola and used it against this country; so many people would die, because we have no vaccine for it, no way to prevent it. That is what could happen with diseases like mumps, rubella, measles, pertussis, Diphtheria, and polio. Except it wouldn’t be terrorists using a disease as a weapon; it would be some kid in your child’s class, or your neighbor across the street, or the guy who delivers the mail to your office. That’s how life used to be, and if someone from the pre-vaccine era could see us now, they’d weep for joy at the idea that we can prevent these horrific diseases; and then they’d weep in sorrow at the idea that people are voluntarily turning down that safeguard.

It’s true, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective; I was immunized, but still got Whooping Cough (lowered immune function, if you recall). But you know who didn’t get it? My baby sister. My big sister. My cousins. My mother and father. My classmates, the other kids at my doctor’s office. The nurses at the hospital. The pharmacy workers. Their children. The kids my mom taught at school. All those people were safe because of vaccines. And you know what else? When I was in India, I was exposed to polio. Didn’t get it. Know why? I was vaccinated. I was exposed to chicken pox in 5th grade. One unvaccinated kid got it, and the other 4 kids in our class who weren’t vaccinated got it. But you know who didn’t? The rest of us who WERE vaccinated.


Vaccination may not be perfect, and the only way we will improve them is by continuing research. But the fact remains that as they are now, vaccines cause no lasting side effects (injection site pain goes away), and are extremely effective at preventing dangerous, painful, debilitating, often deadly diseases. Let’s keep researching, yes, but in the mean time, PLEASE vaccinate. It’s not worth your life, or your child’s, or anyone else’s. Vaccines save lives, not destroy them.

How to weed out the assholes:

Abortion isn’t bad.

Gay people can be gay all over the place just like straight people are straight all over the place.

People deserve food and housing.

Yes, racism still exists.

No, you can’t say “n***er”.

Keep your unvaccinated kids away from me and people with compromised immune systems.

Don’t murder black kids.

Vegan isn’t cruelty free.

*waits*

An Open Letter to Anti-Vaxxers who Fear that Vaccines Cause Autism

So I found a documentary called “Autism: State of the Union” that talks about autism being caused by vaccines and how this need to be cured. I commented that we don’t need a cure. We need acceptance. And then another guy comments on how autistics have mercury poisoning and “How can you tell them to accept themselves” and shit.

I am currently taking a Logic and Critical Thinking course in college. I have passed both of the exams we have taken in the class.

Therefore let’s discuss the “vaccines-cause-autism” claim, using categorical logic and conditional statements:

Let’s make
V=vaccines
P=Vaccinated people
A=autism
U=Autistic

This is the anti-vaxxers’ claim:

All P are U.

This is science’s claim:

Some P are U.
Some P are not U.
If V cause A, then all P are U.
But some P are not U.

Even if everyone else in the world who had been vaccinated was autistic, except for just one vaccinated person, they are still the counterpoint.

There are also unvaccinated people who are autistic.

If what anti-vaxxers claim is true, then everyone who is unvaccinated would not have autism. But some do.

Therefore, we can logically conclude that V do not cause A.

Can we talk about how autistic children (who were born autistic, mind you) are now catching whooping cough despite being vaccinated because enough unvaccinated people caught and spread it that it has become vaccine resistant?

Or are we going to conveniently ignore that toddlers are dangerously I’ll because anti-vaxxers can’t wrap their heads around their choices literally putting autistic (and allistic) children at risk of life-long disability and death?

Because if it is he latter, I have an autistic parent of an autistic toddler that has a middle finger that is REALLY awesome to look at, and I’m sure they would just LOVE to show it to you.

Unless your kid is medically incapable of getting a vaccine, give your kid their vaccines. You are literally killing someone else’s kids because of your imagined conspiracy theories. We - that is, autistics - are not your fucking shield. And we shure as shit are not your anti-vaxx bullshit rhetoric Gotcha.

Me: “hey please don’t let your 9 week old puppy wander the store unleashed because our doors are open and they could run out into traffic also your dog is unvaccinated and could pick up a life threatening disease”
The Customer™: B-B-BUT THIS IS A PET STORE!! FIFI SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO ROAM AROUND AND PISS EVERYWHERE AND EAT YOUR PRODUCTS LIKE NATURE INTENDED!!!1!1!1

Popular Anti-Vaxx Arguments w/ Rebuttals

Starting with the most popular…

So where did this idea come from? Back in 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield released a study stating that vaccinations cause autism. The claim has since been discredited after multiple scientists were unable to reproduce his results. As anyone who works in science knows, the ability to reproduce research is one of the foundations of the scientific method. Therefore, if your research is not reproducible it is not valid. 

Furthermore, even if vaccines could cause autism, the fact that you would rather expose your child to deadly, preventable illnesses versus them being autistic shows that your priorities are way out of line. 

And the next one is…

How could my unvaccinated child get your vaccinated child sick anyway?

Well, that might be reasonable if I only cared for my own child’s health, but believe it or not, as a future physician, I am concerned for everyone’s health. There are children who cannot get vaccines secondary to allergies or deficient immune systems. The fact that other’s find these children unworthy of protection through herd immunity is outrageous. 

Here is a rough example as to how herd immunity protects those who cannot receive vaccinations:

None of these diseases are really that bad anyway. It’s just a minor rash. 

Really? Is that why an estimated 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die of preventable diseases across the world each year? We live in a country in which vaccines are readily available and relatively inexpensive. We are privileged in that fact, yet there are those who act like vaccines are an atrocity.  

And last of all, my favorite…

What proof is there that vaccines even work anyway?

Yes, maybe you didn’t live through the times of smallpox to realize how devastating of disease it was. It’s hard to realize the efficacy of vaccines when we don’t actually see their direct effects. But lets take Syria for example. Syria was declared free of polio in 1999. But the disease re-emerged approximately two years ago after conflict. Less children were vaccinated resulting in the disease affecting 100’s of children.This disease can leave your child paralyzed for the rest of your life. Would you want to carry that burden when you could have easily vaccinated your child? 

The U.S. has been polio free since 1979. We could potentially see polio re-emerge in the United States if people stopped getting vaccinated. We, as a whole, can eradicate these diseases. We are already experiencing a large outbreak in measles due to people not vaccinating. Let’s use common sense and vaccinate!

Acceptance isn’t

“I accept my autistic child as they are,” screamed the martyr Autism Mom as they put their child through every therapy imaginable to make their kid look indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers.

“I accept my child as they are,” screamed the martyr Autism Mom whose unvaccinated autistic child (who was “near vaccines in the doctor’s office and caught autism”) just gave an immuno-suppressed child whooping cough.

“I accept my child as they are,” screamed the martyr Autism Mom as they injected bleach into their child’s rectum and ignored the pained wails of someone whose intestines were being burned.

“I accept my child as they are,” screamed the martyr Autism Mom as they held a plastic bag over their child’s head until the child went gray and lifeless.

When you hear a splatter in the Isolation room and your heart drops… Because you know exactly what that sound was…. Parvo.

Vaccinate your puppies, and don’t take them to dog parks/pet stores until they are fully vaccinated! Even then I would be Leary taking them until they’re older, as I’ve seen fully vaccinated pups get parvo as well- though it usually isn’t nearly as bad as the unvaccinated or pup who only had one vaccine.

We’ve had at least one parvo pup in every night at the ER. A little chihuahua was brought in last weekend, just started symptoms the night before, and her littermate was dead by morning. She was going strong, starting to act like a puppy, was on iv fluids and meds- and went south very quickly, and died within hours despite treatment.
These guys were here over the weekend, the one on the bottom I know was doing well, not so sure about the pup on the top (all the bloody diarrhea was from the pup on the top).

A Friendly Reminder

To please please vaccinate your puppies against parvo. It’s been a really bad summer for it in some areas, and I’ve lost count of the number of puppies we’ve had come into the clinic with parvo in the last few months. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to watch a previously healthy, happy, bouncy puppy suddenly become so sick and often die because it’s unvaccinated.
Vaccinating is such an easy way to keep your puppy healthy. The parvo vaccine is a series of three, and you can start your puppy’s series at 6 weeks of age (or younger if they’re at high risk for contracting parvo). Make sure to have them vaccinated at a veterinarian instead of purchasing the vaccine at the store. These may seem like the same vaccine, but if it’s store-bought, there’s no guarantee that the vaccine was handled properly. It may have been left unrefrigerated, causing it to be ineffective. Vaccines from veterinarians have been correctly handled and are the most effective.

anonymous asked:

Do you think ALL vaccines should be mandatory or just certain ones?

All. To go around unvaccinated is like keeping a dump in your backyard. Some will say it is your property and your personal business, but it also harms other people - crows who carry garbage to other places and rats who start damaging property of other people. Same with vaccinations - if you’re not vaccinated, you’re a field for new diseases to evolve, and those diseases will affect others. And others didn’t consent to it.

Herpes zoster gangrenosa (Gangrenous shingles)

Shingles, also known as zoster or zona, is caused by the Herpes zoster virus. It’s been known since ancient times, and was written about in eighth-century Arabic texts and late Roman writings, though at that point the viral cause was still not known - nor was its connection to any other conditions.

You may know herpes zoster from the other disease it causes: chicken pox. Having chicken pox is a prerequisite for developing shingles later in life. The varicella vaccine does not cause the virus to infect the body, so does not lead to shingles. Though shingles can develop in anyone who has previously had chicken pox, more than half of the cases in the United States and Canada are in patients over the age of 50. Unvaccinated exposure to someone with shingles by someone who has never encountered the varicella virus before will result in chicken pox.

When you get chicken pox, your body fights off the virus, but stops attacking it once the virus is hidden away within the ganglion of one of your major spinal nerves. It can remain there indefinitely, but if the immune system wanes (as it does with age or certain conditions) or the body is stressed, the virus will begin replicating within neuronal cell bodies, and the virions (virus particles) are carried through the axons of the nerves to the skin, causing inflammation, blistering, pain, and itching, within the area of the skin innervated by the spinal nerve that the virus was dormant in.

Continuing pain long after the eruption has subsided is called postherpetic neuralgia, and is not uncommon among those who develop shingles. One way to decrease the chance of this developing (as well as decrease the chance of shingles altogether) is vaccination. While the shingles vaccine does not eliminate the possibility of developing the condition, it drastically lowers the complication rate (such as the poor fellow seen above, with gangrenous weeping sores), particularly of continuing intense pain. In the past, exposure to children with chicken pox provided an immune boost to those who had already contracted the disease, but as more and more kids are being vaccinated for varicella, the adult shingles vaccination has proven even more effective than re-exposure.

Portfolio of Dermochromes, Volume III. Jerome Kingsbury, 1913.

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Unless you want your weekly dose of rage, stay out of the Facebook comments on that post. I picked some of the more sensible ones, but there are certainly anti-vaxxers having a go at ‘cowardly, money-hungry vets with double standards’. 

The problem for northern Australia horse vets is basically this: Hendra can kill you. Hendra can look like anything in a sick or lame horse. The vaccine is the best prevention we have. The alternative is wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with is time consuming to use, and restricts your mobility, and often FREAKS OUT the horse. Wearing PPE increases your personal risk of injury, as it’s harder for you to just get out of the way of a flighty horse. Horses freak out at raincoats and plastic bags for goodness sake! What do you think they’re going to do when the human is basically dressed as a plastic bag in a scary mask? Also, the vaccination is currently not mandatory, but the VETERINARIAN is responsible for any damages to humans from a Hendra case, even if they provide PPE to the horse owner, and the horse owner DELIBERATELY IGNORES the veterinarian’s instructions. 

That’s right, even if the know-it-all horse owner still says “No, I am not following your instructions or advice”, if the horse turns out to have Hendra, then the veterinarian is still legally liable. Not the horse owner. 

A veterinarian is a busy person, and simply unable to stand there all day enforcing proper PPE use by a horse owner until a Hendra test comes back (1-4 days). 

The only solution to many of these vets, to prevent their risk of death from this virus and the serious threat of career ending litigation from which they have no protection, is to refuse to see non-vaccinated horses.

You might say ‘But they have to treat!’ and the answer to that is, “Well, not really.” A veterinarian does not have to attend an animal if they reasonably believe that doing so would put themselves or their staff in danger. 

“Moral duty of the veterinarian!” Oh, what about “Moral duty of the horse owner”?

“It’s my choice!” Guess what, it’s the vet’s choice too. 

The only way you can justify ‘your choice’ to not vaccinate for Hendra in endemic areas would be if you, the horse owner, had legal liability for the case. As it is the veterinarian’s legal liability, it is the veterinarian’s choice. 

Want to still go on about your choice? Campaign to make horse owners legally responsible for their unvaccinated horses, not the veterinarian telling you to vaccinate. You want the choice, have the responsibility. These clinics have no other reasonable option to protect their staff, medically and legally, other than refusing to see unvaccinated horses.

Oh, and if you’re still one of those self-righteous, stubborn fools who think the world revolves around them and their ‘choices’, one of those saying “I’d NEVER go to a vet that requires vaccination,” then I need to tell you this, but those of us that support mandatory animal vaccination for human safety are thinking,

“Really? You promise? Thank-you!”

A FEW years back, an acerbic friend of mine who was a recent transplant to Los Angeles told me that she itched to write a satirical novel with the following narrative:

A group of wealthy, educated people in Santa Monica who deliberately didn’t vaccinate their children subsequently take them on a “poor-ism” trip to a developing country. The goal is to make them wiser and more sensitive to suffering in the world. While being sensitized, the kids catch diseases that they could have been inoculated against. Some of them die.

As a plot, it lacks subtlety (and compassion). But as a parable, it’s crystal-clear. You can be so privileged that you’re underprivileged, so blessed with choices that you choose to be a fool, so “informed” that you’re misinformed.

Which brings us to Disneyland, measles and the astonishing fact that a scourge once essentially eliminated in this country is back.

You’ve probably heard or read about the recent outbreak traced to the theme park. But there’s a chance that you’re unaware, because it hasn’t received nearly the coverage that, say, Ebola did, even though some of the dynamics at work here are scarier.

It started in mid-December and is now believed to be responsible for more than 70 cases in seven states and Mexico; 58 of those are in California, which of course is where the park is — in Orange County, to be more specific.

As it happens, there are affluent pockets of that county where the fraction of schoolchildren whose parents have cited a “personal belief” to exempt them from vaccinations is higher than the statewide average of 2.5 percent. That’s also true of some affluent pockets of the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.

It used to be that unvaccinated children in America were clustered in impoverished neighborhoods; now they’re often clustered among sophisticates in gilded ZIP codes where a certain strain of health faddishness reigns. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter last year, the parents of 57 percent of the children at a Beverly Hills preschool and of 68 percent at one in Santa Monica had filed personal-belief exemptions from having their kids vaccinated.

Why? Many of them buy into a discredited theory that there’s a link between the MMR (mumps-measles-rubella) vaccine and autism. They’re encouraged by a cadre of brash alarmists who have gained attention by pushing that thinking. Anti-vaccine panic was the path that the actress Jenny McCarthy traveled to innumerable appearances on prominent news and talk shows; she later demonstrated her singular version of concern for good health by working as a pitchwoman for e-cigarettes.

Other parents have separate or additional worries about vaccines, which can indeed have side effects. But they’re weighing that downside against what they deem to be a virtually nonexistent risk of exposure to the diseases in question. And that degree of risk depends entirely on a vast majority of children getting vaccines. If too many forgo them, we surrender what’s known as “herd immunity,” and the risk rises. That’s precisely what health officials see happening now.

— 

FRANK BRUNI, writing in the New York Times, “The Vaccine Lunacy.”

Another reason to hate the rich.

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Hey guys, I know I’ve been MIA lately with my big move to Louisiana along with starting my clinical year of vet school, but I just wanted to share this story/reach out and ask for positive thoughts and prayers.

This little guy came into the clinic tonight when I was helping out in the ICU. He was found in the middle of a field and a Good Samaritan brought him in to the teaching hospital because he thought we could learn from him. The doctor on duty proclaimed that although he is perfectly healthy, his congenital deformity makes him pretty unadoptable (he was born with those spaghetti legs, they are not broken). So he stated that he would euthanize the kitten unless any of us wanted him. He said if they took it to a shelter, it would be euthanized on arrival because of his legs. I was interested because I didn’t want the kitten to die, so I asked him to let me think about it. He gave me until the end of his shift to decide, and said he wasn’t passing the kitten off to the doctor on the next shift; it needed to be adopted or he would euthanize it.

Now, I know that this doctor may sound like an uncaring asshole from the way I’m telling the story, but I can tell you that he was very nice and in fact does care about the animals under his care. However, in a hospital as big as the one I’m at, if you kept every bleeding heart kitten that came through the door, there wouldn’t be space for actual patients. Being a vet means making hard calls or we would all be on “Animal Hoarders”.

So I decided to give the kitten a chance. I named him Lieutenant Dan, got him some kitten food, and brought him home. He’s currently in a wire dog crate in my bathroom because he’s unvaccinated and I don’t want him near Charlie or my dog Beckett (I haven’t talked about him much because he was a family dog living with my parents but I brought him with me to Baton Rouge and he’s doing great here!)-

Here’s the crappy part of Lt Dan’s story. I suspect he may be incontinent. He has a bob tail that points towards his head, and between the funky legs and the short tail, there is a good chance the nerves to his bladder and/or poop region are messed up. He hasn’t pottied since I got him, so I don’t know for sure. It’s encouraging that his hind end is clean, but like I said, that short tail and bad leg combo is not encouraging.

So if he is incontinent, I will have to bring him back to euthanize him. There is no way I would be able to care for him for the next year with my schedule. It’s unfair for him to be in a diaper or in a cage for an entire year, especially when I’ll be gone for 12 hours or more at a time. And I can’t take on the commitment of a diapered cat for the rest of its life. It’s not like my schedule will slow down after I graduate vet school.

However, if he IS continent, he stays! I’ve already talked to one of the doctors about getting his hind legs amputated. He moves around fine with just his front legs, and I would probably get him a little wheel chair.

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope that Lieutenant Dan can control his bowels and bladder. And if any of you think I’m a horrible witch for condemning him to death just for being unable to control when and where he eliminates, I’ll tell you that I am considering his quality of life. Yes it breaks my heart that he may have to die. I may have saved his life today only to watch him die on Monday and that sucks balls. But I wanted to give him a chance when nobody else would.