Pet Tales

Gizmo has an itch he can’t stop scratching

A couple weeks ago, I woke to find that my cat Gizmo had pulled out a large chunk of hair between his shoulder blades. The bare spot was kind of oozy, but not bloody. I cleaned it off and tried to make sure he wasn’t scratching or licking it. After a couple days, it looked like it had a scab and was healing.

Last week, I arrived home to find that he had torn off the scab and had been scratching the area until it was bleeding. I tried to clean it up, but he was completely obsessed with it, agitated and meowing constantly.

Concerned, I called my veterinarian’s office and at their recommendation I hustled him in. By the time I arrived, Gizmo was panting, drooling and in a panic.

They took care of Gizmo immediately. Dr. D walked in and told me that Gizmo had a temperature of 104 degrees, that he was panting too hard, was itchy anywhere you touched him and could possibly have a seizure. He recommended sedation to calm him, a steroid to help with the itching and an antibiotic. At this point, I was in a panic myself.

After receiving the shots and waiting a few minutes, Gizmo’s eyes glazed over and he settled down a little, but his back leg was still trying to scratch his back. Not knowing what had caused the itching and the high temperature, Dr. D recommended Gizmo go to the emergency vet to have him watched overnight.

Gizmo spent the night hooked up to an IV. He was sent home the next day with some meds, his temperature under control, and a bandage that made him look like he was wearing a vest.

Gizmo had been very tolerant of the bandage and taking his meds. Monday, I took him for a checkup at the vet. His sore was healing nicely, and the vet decided the bandage could come off. About a half-hour after getting home, Gizmo was licking and scratching the area again, so I had to rebandage him.

I still don’t know what started this. I hope that after he heals, this will be over.

Animal events

The Pooch Pageant begins at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Morro Bay City Park. Prizes will be awarded for best of each class: large, medium and small. Professional photographs are available for competitors. The Best of Bay Award ceremony at 4:45 p.m. ends the festivities. The entry fee is $5 per dog; spectators get in free. All proceeds benefit the Morro Bay Mutt Mitt program. There is no preregistration. For more information, call 234-7279 or e-mail to

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The Atascadero Horsemen’s Club will meet Tuesday at Players Restaurant in Atascadero. An optional dinner begins at 6 p.m., program begins at 7, and the general meeting at 8.

Guest speaker, local horse trainer Krista Koenig, will share her winning training techniques with her “Wild Rose Does Tango” presentation. Visitors and prospective members are welcome. For more information, call 703-3675 or visit

Jennifer VanderSmith is The Tribune’s pet columnist. E-mail her at