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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:53 AM
chinakitten chinakitten is offline
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Kitten health care with limited resources in China

I moved to China from the U.S. and got a new kitten recently. Chinese vets are not very good, so I had a question about whether or not I absolutely need to spay my cat, since I don't really trust the vets here. I live in a high rise apartment, so there is no risk of the cat getting outside and mating. I know that spaying might prevent certain cancers like ovarian because you remove the ovaries, but is there really a health benefit other than that? I've read that spayed cats live longer. Is that really true and why is that?

Just so you know, I've caught my vet prescribing medicines not needed just to earn more money, lying to me about my kitten having a mild form of distemper (which I don't think is possible) in order to get me to buy expensive vitamins, not doing things in exams that should have been done (I found out my kitten had ringworm myself, it was not caught by the vet when I took her to her initial exam) and also recommending 3 vaccination shots when only 2 were needed. (Luckily, I double check everything they say on the internet and by looking up medicines myself.) So that is why I don't really want to let my kitten under the knife with these guys. I'd really appreciate some honest answers! Thanks!

Also, I'd like to feed my cat a raw diet, but I worry about the quality of the food supply here. I can't exactly go to Whole Foods and buy organic free range chicken, if you know what I mean. Any comments on that? Would it be worth the risk? Thanks!
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Old April 17th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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With regard to longevity after spaying - most of this information is from dogs and not cats. It can help and it will reduce the ovarian and uterine cancer development, etc... The main reasons that people spay cats though is the fact that they can get pregnant so easily and that they are induced ovulators. This means that some cats rarely go into heat but some can seem like they are constantly in heat. Usually the behaviors of female cats in heat is enough to have owners spay them very quickly. If she does not go into heat, then perhaps you can wait until you find a veterinarian that you trust, be it in China or somewhere else.

With the animal abuse issues that occur in China, not to mention the human right issues, I would image that finding good veterinary care in China would be a great challenge. How many vets are there in China? Are they rare? Are there vets that work on just dogs and cats or are they more geared towards food regulation? Sorry, just curious.

Hopefully this forum can help out.

As far as the raw food diet, others here may be able to help you out. I personally am not an advocate. However in China with the melamine issues, I do not know if cat food is in any way reliable or not in China? Is dog and cat food an issue in China?

Good luck.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:33 AM
chinakitten chinakitten is offline
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Thanks so much for your advice on the spaying Dr. Lee, I really appreciate it! I will wait and see how often my cat goes into heat before deciding what to do.

As for your question about finding good veterinary care in China, yes, it is a challenge! I live in one of the most modern parts of China and I'm actually taking my kitten to the best pet hospital in a city of 5 million people. I don't think that my vet is a total dummy, he certainly has experience and knowledge, but he's not thorough or careful, and his ethics are highly questionable. He appears to be fond of animals, but more fond of money. What unfortunately happens is that he takes advantage of the fact that many pet owners will just believe anything he says. Luckily, he is much more careful with me now since he knows I double check everything he tells me.

This is the case with normal human doctors in China as well. For example, once I went to the doctor for a UTI (which I get once every two years) and he told me I needed surgery (when I well knew that I only needed a few doses of antibiotics). The legal system here doesn't exactly protect people from bad doctors. These are just the normal kind of things you have to deal with in any developing country, but probably more so in China because of its incredibly large population. Not only the Chinese government is guilty of human rights abuses, but the general population (particularly in big cities) doesn't exactly care about the rights of the individual. Nor do most of the individuals (especially lower class people) expect to have human rights.

Vets are not rare in my city (Shenzhen), there are surprisingly quite a lot of them. China's middle and upper class is growing, so small purebred dogs are very popular here. Cats are a little more rare. But I think a lot of them are probably not really vets. Hospitals here are highly profit driven, so hospitals and clinics pop up everywhere, the care is just not very good.

Friskies and Fancy Feast (as well as Dog Chow) sells in China and I also see some Japanese and Chinese brands. Its not widely available, but there is dog and cat food. I heard Friskies and Fancy Feast are like the bottom barrel of cat food though and its hard to know if Purina would have the same American quality control standards (not that they are necessarily that good in U.S. anyway) in their cat food for the China market, so that is why I'm considering alternatives. What do you think about these two brands? Do you think it would be okay to just give my cat Fancy Feast canned food?

One more question - I suspect my kitten might have roundworms, since she has a slight pot belly. Do I need to confirm her having worms though some kind of fecal test? My fear is that if I ask for a test, the vet will just tell me she has it, even if she doesn't. What kind of medicine would you recommend for roundworms and is it harmful to take if she doesn't have it? She is almost 4 months old.

Thanks!!
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Chinakitten,wow,what you describe sounds scary,but I am really not surprised.seeing cats/dogs are sold at the market for meat,their fur etc..
Maybe you could try making her own food,I don't know how available meats are,but if you cook chicken really well it should be ok.
I have no recipe but I am sure someone could give you one,did you check our food -forum??
I don't suppose buying food off E-Bay is allowed??
If you suspect ringworm,I would take her to this questionable vet,only let him give you meds for it and research it before giving it to your kitten.
Good luck with your little girl
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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Glad to see you are making yourself as knowledgable as possible so you are not taken advantage of over there.

This is an great place to help you. Sugarcatmom is our cat guru here, as well as Growler .....they will both be able to give you excellent information.

I would be most concerned about the Chinese and Japanese brands since that is where their ingredients will be sourced from. As Chico mentioned, it may be better if you make your own food for your kitty. If you can feed raw that would be best.

Start a new thread in the Food Forum here and list all the American and Canadian brands that are available to you.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 08:31 AM
raclyn72 raclyn72 is offline
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maybe this will help

Hello!
I am also living in China. I have been here for going on 6 years and have acquired 4 cats and 1 dog-all rescues from the streets here in China. I saw your post on the pets.ca website and perhaps can help with some of my experiences -actually nightmares in dealing with these "vets".Being here, I have also had to learn ALOT about cats and dogs. Luckily haven't had too much trouble as far as their health. Knock on wood. I have kept their vaccinations to a minimum (they will all be coming back home with me to Canada when I do leave here) so I unfortunately have to keep their rabies shots up to date. Didn't want to do this to my cats as they are strictly indoor but I have to. The dog I also rabies vaccinate in case she got away from me or something-but she is never off her leash except for her occasional "houdini- yes I can escape from a leash when I am really freaked out". Although I really wish I didn't have to do it every year but in China the law says it must be done yearly. Anyway, I totally understand your concern in whether or not to let one of these vets fix your cat. I got almost all of my animals when I was living in Fujian province-near Shenzhen.We then all took the train up here to Shandong last summer. The first vet was terrible and totally botched all of my females operations. They all had to get redone. They went into heats 6 months to 1 year later after their first "operation". When this happened I got back on the internet and did more reading. You could double check the following info. When animals don't get fixed, yes it possibly increases their chances of certain diseases but they could also get another very very serious disease called Pyrometa? not sure of the spelling. This could be a deadly disease if not caught in time. My dog had her first botched operation and then 1.5 years later she got very very sick because of this "Pyrometa" I then had to get her fixed again. I love my animals very much and didn't want to put them thru the operations again but I didn't like what could happen in the future with their health. If I was back in Canada I would have better access to homeopathic/alternative type medicines which I agree with more than chemical medicines. I have solved their earmite problems naturally, am working on ridding them of worms naturally, my dog is on a raw food diet which I love preparing for her. When the cats were babies they were also on the raw diet but now they eat the Friskies crap. Except for these spaying/neutering operations I have found ways to treat the occasional problems naturally. Have you noticed how some of the products or medicines in the pet stores here look like they fell off the back of a truck? Yeah, I wanna buy that. Send me an email if you want, I got some more info I could share with you. I just found a great website that ships to China and they sell parasite/worm tinctures. I will be getting my second order from this company and half of it is herbs/ homeopathic stuff for the animals.
Carolyn McIntosh
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinakitten View Post
Friskies and Fancy Feast... What do you think about these two brands? Do you think it would be okay to just give my cat Fancy Feast canned food?

One more question - I suspect my kitten might have roundworms, since she has a slight pot belly. Do I need to confirm her having worms though some kind of fecal test? My fear is that if I ask for a test, the vet will just tell me she has it, even if she doesn't. What kind of medicine would you recommend for roundworms and is it harmful to take if she doesn't have it?
While Friskies and Fancy Feast may not be the best, they do meet the AAFCO standards required here in the US and I would recommend that over a chinese brand.

As far as deworming, panacur (fenbendazole) is readily available through the internet and covers a wide variety of intestinal parasites including roundworms. It is very safe, even if the patient is without any intestinal parasites. It is usually given once a day for 3-5 days.

Thank you for giving us so much information on the veterinary options in China. It was interesting, albeit slightly depressing.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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Raclyn,Great that you might be able to help Chinakitten
My cats were on"crap" Fancy Feast for quiet a while and are now eating Wellness canned exclusively.
Also,here in Canada now,rabies-vaccine is every 3 yrs.
Like Dr Lee says,I am sure FF is better than any Chinese cat-food.
So,you are flying home with 4 cats and one dog,that's wonderfullucky guys/girls
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Old April 19th, 2008, 07:38 PM
raclyn72 raclyn72 is offline
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To be fair, I have met one or two vets that aren't all about the money. This is after talking to many. Unfortunately, alot of them just aren't experienced enuf. In the time I have been here, I have met only 2 people who keep cats as we do. For the most part cats only have a job to do. Catch the big rats we see running around. In my village they don't even look at cats so we have to travel to the next big city when necessary. I felt absolutely horrible having to put my cats and dog thru second operations.
Here the rabies vaccinations are required yearly. I know in Canada it is only required every 3 years. I read somewhere that only like 3% of the dogs here are vaccinated which is very saddening considering how many dogs I see walking around daily. I have to control myself and not bring anymore home with me! It's going to expensive when we all go back to Canada and I have already started looking into pet shipping companies.
I definitely wouldn't feed them any Chinese brands of food. I can get my hands on 1-2 brands of western kinds so I do that.
Because I made the decision to not go to vets here anymore unless it is totally life threatening I have been really looking into ways of prevention. There is alot of info out there on the net in regards to home remedies/prevention and they are all very simple grocery store items like using olive oil (earmites), or apple cider vinegar(keeping a healthy bacteria level,keeps away fleas also) and many more!
My dog eats raw chicken breasts and drumsticks. On top of her meats I put a vegetable mush that I make. Slow cooked (using a slow cooker) plain carrots, broccoli, pumpkin (good for getting rid of worms) and a little garlic (also good for getting rid of worms altho some people agree/disagree with giving your pets garlic) I blender this altogether and throw it on top of the meats. I also give her a little apple cider vinegar. Cats won't touch it in their magnetized water bowl so now I just spray some on them and they lick it off and give me a dirty look.
The raw food should also be served at room temperature or warmed up a little. Cold food/drinks are bad for our/animals stomachs-diarhea. This is according to Chinese medicine. I serve the meat at room temperature and warm the vegetables a little.
I have tried many different kinds of meats but she loves chicken. I don't think my dog has worms but I am looking at prevention. The newest member of my "family" brought some friends with her. Worms. I'm going to go at that with parasite tinctures or food grade Diatemaceous Earth powder. 2 out of the cats have visible worms so my newest mission is to get rid of those little beasts. With so many animals in my house I never have a dull moment
Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen(near you-bus or train ride) have western vets if that is something you would consider. After going thru this Pyrometa scare with my dog I would definitely get my cat spayed. Unless you plan on breeding her. If you do decide to spay her, don't let them talk you into simply "tying" the fallopian tubes. Go into the surgery room and watch the operation. Get them to take everything out -except the uterus which is pretty difficult.
Seriously save yourself the incredible frustration (I've been thru this so many times here it is depressing)and the potential harm to your cat-giving your cat chemicals he doesn't need-future sicknesses or whatever. For the most part it comes down to you being a foreigner and they see dollar signs. Sorry to say that but...
Another thing I have been wondering about. When we went for the rabies vaccination this year none of them had ANY visible reactions after. These are 5 animals that I live with 24/7 and to my surprise I saw nothing different. Something could be happening internally but I hope it isn't. Makes me wonder if he even gave them the vaccine or shot them up with vitamins. This would not surprise me in the least, him saying he did but he didn't. On par for what happens here. I won't be going to the vet here any more,unless I have exhausted ALL the home remedy possibilities.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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it is every 3 years for rabies and you only have to have proof they were vaccined and have the proper certificate to say their blood is negative for rabies. I dont know if quarantine is needed for china though!

sounds like your having a horrible time in China... i think your best to hit online for medications and ask other ex-pats what they do for animal care

good luck i imagine your feeling very at the moment.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 08:33 PM
raclyn72 raclyn72 is offline
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I plan on leaving here in about 3 years. Some of the research I have done in regards to when we do go home. My cats and dog will have to go ahead of me (8 days) to Beijing or Shanghai to a "quarantine" facility. There they will get the final paperwork to get on the plane for Canada. From what I have read -correct me if I'm wrong, they have no quarantine in Canada as long as the paperwork is correct. I'm anticipating nightmares about that whole going home ordeal -a hostage situation-seriously! Them (this countries government officials) saying you need this this and this or your cat/dog has this this and this-give me more money or you can't have your animals back. So the only thing I can do is keep them healthy and arm myself with as much info as possible but that may not even help in the end. Cuz I will just pay the money. It is incredibly Alot of foreigners who come here are maybe only here short term so they don't take on the commitment of owning an animal. And to be honest if I had known how difficult it would be owning a pet here I don't think I would have done this. But now they are part of my family and my responsibility. Some of them come here, get an animal and then just dispose of it when they leave the city or China. There are a few expat websites but the animals forums are pretty slim or they are talking about Beijing or Shanghai regulations or whatever. Regulations vary alot depending on who you are talking to here. And it comes down to the dollar. Sorry to be so cynical but I have had and heard too many bad experiences when it comes to foreigners and their pets. ChinaKitten -solve your cats problems by yourself whenever you can. Import medicines if necessary, and go to the vet as little as possible.Consult with a vet back home if you can also.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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Raclyn,wow,I cannot imagine what you are going through and the worry with having to ship them home to Canada,but I would do the same.
You have 3 yrs to work on it..
As for the rabies vaccine,my cats do not always show a reaction to it,except one of them developed a large bump at the site the last time,which eventually went away.
I have this absolute distrust of anything Chinese,abhor their human/animal right horrors and can for the life of me not understand how a country like China was"awarded"the Olympics.
I am hoping you have contact with Chinakitten,that all will turn out well with her kittens
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Old April 20th, 2008, 07:04 AM
chinakitten chinakitten is offline
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Raclyn72, thanks so much for sharing your stories, it's really helpful! It's so nice to meet someone else who is in China too! I think I might consider taking my cat to Shanghai to get spayed because I occasionally go there to visit friends anyway. Shanghai definitely has some great vets. But I'll have to check into if I can bring her on a plane or train. Do you know anything about that? Is there anything special you have to do or can I just bring her aboard in a pet purse?

You said you are in a village, so you must have had a much harder time than me. Shenzhen is a big city with a decent amount of rich people who spoil their pets, but the only problem is that Shenzhen is notorious being the most money grubbing city in China, so that's why the hospitals here are not good.

I appreciate everyone's sympathy for my situation, but I agree with Raclyn, China is not all bad and people are not all out to get your money. I was just venting some frustration. There are lots of good, hard working and honest people here, just as in any other country. The majority of people in this country have a hard enough time getting by on 1 or 2 U.S. dollars per day, feeding and caring for their children is a challenge, so they don't have the same respect for pets as we do. Although the animal abuses here are real, I'm sure that one day, when China is a rich country, they will likely love their animals about as much as we do and there will be a lot more awareness on how to take care of our furry friends The change I've seen with the treatment and care of pets in the last 10 years is already quite significant.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by raclyn72 View Post
I plan on leaving here in about 3 years. Some of the research I have done in regards to when we do go home. My cats and dog will have to go ahead of me (8 days) to Beijing or Shanghai to a "quarantine" facility. There they will get the final paperwork to get on the plane for Canada. From what I have read -correct me if I'm wrong, they have no quarantine in Canada as long as the paperwork is correct. I'm anticipating nightmares about that whole going home ordeal -a hostage situation-seriously! Them (this countries government officials) saying you need this this and this or your cat/dog has this this and this-give me more money or you can't have your animals back. So the only thing I can do is keep them healthy and arm myself with as much info as possible but that may not even help in the end. Cuz I will just pay the money. It is incredibly Alot of foreigners who come here are maybe only here short term so they don't take on the commitment of owning an animal. And to be honest if I had known how difficult it would be owning a pet here I don't think I would have done this. But now they are part of my family and my responsibility. Some of them come here, get an animal and then just dispose of it when they leave the city or China. There are a few expat websites but the animals forums are pretty slim or they are talking about Beijing or Shanghai regulations or whatever. Regulations vary alot depending on who you are talking to here. And it comes down to the dollar. Sorry to be so cynical but I have had and heard too many bad experiences when it comes to foreigners and their pets. ChinaKitten -solve your cats problems by yourself whenever you can. Import medicines if necessary, and go to the vet as little as possible.Consult with a vet back home if you can also.
the best thing to do is contact the airline your flying with I dont know if China is part of the pets scheme but Canada is meaning if you fly air canada there is no quarantine from specific countries...
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Old April 20th, 2008, 04:47 PM
raclyn72 raclyn72 is offline
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plane or train

Hello ChinaKitten,
How long do you go to Shanghai for? A week? Or only a couple of days? The cat would obviously be in some pain for the first day or two ,have stitches and generally unhappy.Taking the plane -faster, but I don't know if they would let you put a cat on the plane if she was in such a state-so soon after an operation. Know what I mean? Again don't know how long you would be spending in Shanghai. 3-4 days I think would be ok.I use those plastic cat carriers,they have some real small ones too- this way she can sprawl out and not be kind of scrunched up.Train, the cat would not be able to be with you. She would be placed in another compartment on the train. Make sure you tell the train officials you need to go to this compartment and visit her, give her food and water. It took us 3 days to get to Shandong from Fujian. How long is the Shenzhen-Shanghai trip?
For plane or train you need to find the animal control/quarantine in Shenzhen and Shanghai and they will give you the documents needed for your cat. When me and my animals moved up to Shandong -from Fuzhou, Fujian, the animal control people didn't even look at my pets,no needles or nothing. Might be different for you, rules vary depending on who you talk to at that momentI paid about 100- 150rmb for all their papers- I forget and this was for 1 dog and 4 cats. Do you want some help locating vets in Shanghai? I can help by looking on the internet if you want. Yeah, you can go to a western vet! Glad you're in China too.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 07:54 AM
raclyn72 raclyn72 is offline
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vet info for shanghai

PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful)
#15 722 Xin Hua Lu (next to Kai Xuan Lu, Changning District)
5254-0611
I have only read good things about this hospital, professional, think this place is owned by foreigners, a little more expensive than others

The following 2 have Western Standards Accreditation
Jing An Hospital
Dr. Beryl Lo, DVM
131 Changning Rd (near Jiangsu Rd)
6226-6112

Gu Bei Hospital
Dr.Christian Chang DVM (Ohio State University)
507 Wu Zhong Rd.
6242-5599 or 5477-5163

The website I have been ordering my natural medicines from for me and the gang is called www.herbalremedies.com.
They ship to China, accept credit cards or Western Union.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 12:36 AM
chinakitten chinakitten is offline
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Thank you for all your help! You are an
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:31 AM
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I think I might consider taking my cat to Shanghai to get spayed because I occasionally go there to visit friends anyway. Shanghai definitely has some great vets.
I was going to suggest either taking your cat to Shanghai or if you can to Hong Kong being closer and more Westernized than Shanghai.

As for the food I would go with Fancy Feast unless you are positive you can get really really good quality meats, bone & organs to raw feed, given your location I would also want to add Cat multi-vitamin that will include Taurine, Iron etc to be sure she is getting enough especially if you cannot find quality Beef/red meat.
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