In the Valley of the Shadow of Death…

monty a black cat

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There is nothing so pleasant as living with a cat and having him near you while busy and at rest. There is also nothing so motivating to get well during a serious health scare as the desire to not be separated from your furry friend. I know this from experience, because I recently took the drug Cipro for a minor but persistent sinus infection in my right maxillary sinus and all hell broke loose in my body.

Ciproflaxin has two FDA Black Box warnings on it—the strongest measure the FDA takes before finally just pulling the drug off the market. Several other drugs in the flouroquinolone and quinolone families have been pulled already. The reason Cipro causes so much damage begins with the fact that it can push the magnesium out of your cells, causing calcium to come rushing in. Your body undergoes stress losing such an important element, so after awhile Cipro also strips you of your antioxidants, causing severe oxidative distress and damage to cells. The science behind all of this is available online, in medical research journals, research studies written by doctors for other doctors to read.

All I knew at the time is that I was having severe panic attacks each time I fell asleep. My brain would yank me out of sleep and throw me right down into hell. That is the only way I can describe it. I knew that I could die.

In the morning I took magnesium and ate an orange and felt a lot better. Research confirmed that I needed to heavily supplement with magnesium and antioxidants. That is what I have been doing, and I think with time I will recover. I will also be seeing a local anti-aging doctor who has had quite a bit of success treating patients harmed by these antibiotics. He gives magnesium and powerful antioxidants intravenously. I wish I could have gotten that immediately, but he is the only doctor around who will do chelating therapy as it is considered very controversial.

I told my doctor about the AMA recommendation to test magnesium levels before giving this drug. She kept insisting, “But nobody does that.” I had to convince her that what I was saying about the mechanism of the drug was true. But because I did the research myself on the Internet, it was suspect and not easily believed. I probably saved myself from a lot of damage to my body by supplementing as soon as possible, once I understood. When I called my doctor and said I was having a reaction she did not tell me to take magnesium and Vitamin C because she didn’t know! I had to find that out on my own.

How does all this relate to cats? I’ll bet some of my anti-declawing friends are already seeing the connection, because they have compiled mountains of evidence that declawing is bad for cats, much of it from vets like Jennifer Conrad and Ron Gaskin and others. They have radiographs that show the damage and they can explain every reason amputating a cat’s toes is bad for the cat from every perspective. But it doesn’t matter. Few people look at the mountain of evidence, or take the time to understand. They, like my doctor, basically say, “But we’ve always done it this way!” The “don’t rock the boat” philosophy is stronger even then the desire to protect people or animals. You can state facts like: Declawing changes a cat’s gait and predisposes him to arthritis– yet be told that yours is the emotional argument because you are cat crazy or against freedom.

It’s a very hard battle to win, as hard as the battle to get the medical community to recognize the risks of drugs like Cipro. If they followed their own guidelines those risks would be mitigated, but they don’t. Hmmm… sounds just like the AVMA’s recommendations concerning declawing. Those aren’t followed either.

This is why we have such a hard road ahead of us trying to change this world and protect people and animals. We are the ones rocking the boat while the rest of the world yells, “But we’ve never done it that way!” I know that since I have told this story my PoC friends will do their own research and fight also to get Cipro off the market, or at least for the members of the AMA to follow their own guidelines for its use!

These quinolone antibiotics are sadly used on livestock who live in crowded filthy conditions. I’m sure at least some of those poor animals go through the hell I went through, but with no help, no supplements, no comfort found, no release given until the day they are slaughtered. These drugs were given to puppies in research studies! The study called them “immature dogs” because I suppose that doesn’t sound so bad. Every puppy went lame from the Cipro. Those poor dogs suffered and died to test this to make it safe for humans—and yet I was given it and am suffering! The dogs died for nothing! While we animal lovers may be accused of not caring enough about people, only for animals, there are obviously many people in the world who care for neither.

Although my life is very changed, at least for awhile, I am so glad for the support of our little community here at PoC. Monty has been right by me through it all. Sometimes I think he understands how seriously ill I am, other times he seems unaware. I’m not sure. I know that he is the same and I am different and it is a very sad feeling. I envy him his body that works right. But with time and care, maybe mine can work right again too.

My belief as a Christian is that there can be no poison in the cup that my Father sends me. He will use all things for good for me.

Though visitors to PoC perceive me as someone with a lot of religious faith, in truth, that faith has been at a low ebb lately. I hadn’t prayed in a long, long time. I guess Jesus wanted to talk to me, because in that horrible night of panic attacks and the fear of death or permanent disability He was there, and I prayed. I prayed knowing that even though I was in hell, Jesus was there with me and had been there before, for me, when He died on the cross to take away my sin. I was definitely walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Yet I feared no evil, for my Good Shepherd was with me.

The way I see it, I belong to God. It is He who owns me. People think they own their cats, but it isn’t true. No created being can own another. The one who owns all things is God. I’m just glad God saw fit to bring Monty and I together four years ago and to keep us together for awhile longer yet. I am also thankful that He directed me to PoC and all the friends I have here who have been so supportive. Thank you all for your prayers and words of comfort and support.

Ruth and Monty

(who is doing a good job watching over his mom while she is sick)

38 thoughts on “In the Valley of the Shadow of Death…”

  1. Ruth,
    I would love to touch base with you. I’m a floxie but only 3m out. Thank you for this article. I’m a cat lover too. I would be lost going through this without my baby, Monet. I hope to hear from you. Thank you!

    • Hi Tia,
      I hope you are well and hanging in there. How funny that your cat is named Monet and mine is named Monty– such similar sounding names. And a similar problem we share, unfortunately.
      My e-mail is ry92696(at) (substitute @ for at)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story of getting “floxed,” Ruth! It is truly terrifying, isn’t it? To have a bomb go off in your body and mind is something that is difficult to deal with for adult humans – I can only imagine how horrifying it would be for an animal to deal with. Pets and livestock are given fluoroquinolones all the time. Baytril is essentially Cipro under a different name. Neither pets, nor their people, nor veterinarians realize what is going on when an animal is suddenly suffering from multi-symptom, chronic illness after getting treated with a fluoroquinolone. Those of us who have been floxed know though. We see the harm that these drugs can do. We know how wrong it is to give them to people and animals alike. I thank you very much for telling your story and I hope that it helps others to avoid the same pain.

    There are links, resources, information and stories of hope and healing from fluoroquionolone toxicity on

    Best regards,

      • Michael,
        I am trying to send you an article about Lisa and floxiepets, her new website dedicated to protecting companion animals from these horrible drugs. It just came back. It had some pictures in it, so maybe the file was too big. Did your e-mail address change recently? Let me know. It’s a good article. Lisa granted me a phone interview and sent me beautiful pictures of her cat, Rickie, taken by a professional photographer.

  3. That really does sound like hell Ruth and how brave of you to tell us all about it as well as the connection to de-clawing. I find it incredible that this drug hasn’t been properly tested even though so many puppies died horrible deaths 🙁 as for my cats I will certainly be very careful with any drugs that my vet prescribes.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and I’m so pleased you find such support and comfort in God. I’m not religious but I know many good people who are and it must be very reassuring in the face of adversity to put your trust in him.

    Take care and give Monty a kiss from me 🙂 btw we used to have a dog called Monty 🙂

    • Leah, I think Monty is a fine name for any companion animal, dog or cat. I wish I could take credit for coming up with it, but that was my sister!

      I don’t think we really make a choice to put our trust in God, I think He draws us to Himself. He seeks lost sheep. Lost sheep don’t get unlost on their own– they die of starvation, they fall off cliffs, they get devoured by wolves. They don’t decide to return to their shepherd or even know how to do that. They left a verse out of the hymn ” Abide With Me” in our latest hymnal, because it includes the words: “Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee. On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.” Some Christians can’t admit that they leave Christ all the time, are almost constantly on the run from Him even as they claim to follow Him. I’ll admit it. He used this illness to bring me back. Again.

      Through the hardship of this experience, Monty continues to be a reminder of God’s love.

  4. Ruth MM what an awful and frightening time you’ve had, I’m so glad you’re still with us and able to tell us about your horrible experience. It really is a case of your life in their hands with drug companies and GP’s, how awful that something used to treat a relatively minor condition almost cost you your life. Take care, keep safe and let Monty comfort you.

    • Thanks, Barbara. I’m blessed, really. This could have been so much worse. But the God who brought me to it will bring me through it and I will be ok.


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