The following post was written by Rebecca Fischer of Beccavision.com.¬†
Sometimes Life Turns You Upside Down
My name is Rebecca Fischer and I am a local artist specializing¬†in pet portraits. I am also a 51-year-old woman and a pet lover.¬†I have two cats. These facts may not be interesting to you, but¬†I promise if you are close to my age and have pets, the story¬†below will matter to you.
If you are a menopausal woman like me, you probably¬†know about bioidentical hormones. Remember the Suzanne¬†Somers book a few years ago? Basically, bioidentical hormones¬†are a natural way to replace the estrogen and other hormone¬†levels that we lose during menopause. The doctor takes a¬†blood test and prescribes a cream that is applied to the inside¬†of the arm or the back of the leg twice a day. The hormones¬†in the cream are absorbed through your skin as part of HRT,¬†‚Äėhormone replacement therapy.‚Äô
What does HRT have to do with your pets?
About a month ago, my Bengal cat (Lucy) came down with¬†a horrible cat cold. She was drooling and sneezing, eyes watering¬†and she wasn‚Äôt eating. As you may know, when cats can‚Äôt¬†smell their food, they won‚Äôt eat and can starve themselves to¬†death. Lucy is five years old. She was extremely sick and I was¬†so sad to see her in this condition. I was determined to nurse¬†her back to health, which meant holding her in a bathroom¬†filled with steam every two hours and syringe-feeding her¬†medicines. My poor Lucy suffered with this regimen for at¬†least two weeks, until she finally showed signs of recovery.
A few days later, I noticed some decidedly unusual behavior¬†from Lucy. She was howling like a siren every hour, rolling¬†around on the rug and rubbing her body against furniture.
I was awakened at 3am to the sounds of Lucy caterwauling¬†every night. It was quite maddening. I had to take her to¬†the vet.
One of the first questions I was asked when I brought Lucy¬†to the vet was if she had been spayed‚ÄĒshe was exhibiting¬†signs of being in heat. Lucy was already spayed and was five
year old. My vet, Dr. Feldman, thought that maybe she was¬†not spayed properly and should have her estrogen levels tested.
The blood test results came back for my five-pound cat,¬†showing the estrogen levels of a 30-year-old woman!! Lucy¬†obviously was in heat after all!
Finally, (it takes me a while sometimes) a light went off in¬†my head. While nursing Lucy back to health, I was handling¬†her a lot. She even slept in my arms. And, since my hormone
cream was on the inside of my arm, it was highly likely that¬†it had absorbed into her skin. My hormone estrogen cream¬†likely got onto her cat hair, and as we all know, cats lick
themselves a lot. They are exceptionally clean animals. It¬†all suddenly made sense: if the hormones enter my blood¬†stream through my skin, why wouldn‚Äôt my estrogen absorb
into poor Lucy?
The vet had never experienced this before, and I think it‚Äôs¬†because bioidentical hormone creams have not been around¬†for very long.
Finally, Lucy is over her siren stage. Nevertheless, I wanted¬†to share my story, so if you use hormone creams or any topical¬†medications, please keep them away from your pets. I now¬†only use mine on the back of my knees and cover up my legs.¬†I am not putting my cat into heat again!