Diseases & Conditions
Whitecough and greencough are the most common chest infections known to the Clan cats. Whitecough is the milder form, but if untreated, it can develop into the much more severe greencough. Cats usually catch it during leaf-fall and leaf-bare, and sometimes it develops into large-scale epidemics. It can be fatal for elders and kits, and it has claimed the lives of several cats. It spreads quickly and is highly contagious. Medicine cats treat it using catmint.
Poisoning is the ingestion of a substance that causes harm to the body, such as:
- Eating or drinking poisonous substances or plants such as deathberries. Kits are the ones who usually fall victim to this, being curious and unaware of the danger.
- Eating poisoned or rotten prey or drinking tainted water.
- Inhaling too much smoke from a fire.
- Being bitten by a venomous animal such as a snake.
If only a small quantity of poison is ingested, the cat usually just receives a bellyache, but larger amounts can cause death. Medicine cats treat these bellyaches with yarrow or nettle leaves, while mild bellyaches can be treated with juniper or watermint. If a cat has been severely poisoned he/she may become unconscious for a length of time.
The cats sometimes fall victims to infections carried by rats. Burdock root is used to stop infection from rat bites.
A cat may lose his or her eyesight or hearing due to old age or from accidents and infections, or birth defects. These conditions usually end their career as a warrior, as they cannot hunt or fight efficiently, and must retire as elders. Kits born with defects usually die young unless they have special skills compensating it. Kits that are white with blue eyes have a higher chance of being born deaf.
A condition usually associated with elders, the joints gradually degenerating with age, causing pain and difficulty to move. Damp environments can cause the appearance of this condition, so apprentices must make sure that the moss they gather for bedding is completely dry. It is usually treated using daisy or ragwort poultices.
A toothache is caused by a cracked tooth, cavities, or an infection in the mouth. Alder bark is used to soothe the pain.
Fever is an abnormally high temperature of the body. It is not a disease in itself, but it usually signs the presence of an infection, such as greencough or an infected wound. If needed, it can be treated with feverfew, borage or lavender.
Chills are mostly associated with cold weather or being submerged in cold water for a long period of time. Although this condition is mild and is not a disease. Kits and elders are more at risk of dying when they get a chill. Licking a cat's fur the wrong way gets the blood flowing again. A poultice of lavender, catmint and feverfew is also a good remedy.
Wounds are injuries when the skin and the muscles beneath are torn, cut, or punctured. They may put a cat's life in danger due to blood loss, infections, or the damage of the organs. Wounds are the most common injuries, due to the cats always fighting enemy Clans, badgers, or foxes.
Minor wounds heal on their own in no time, but severe wounds must be treated by a medicine cat. This treatment includes cleaning it thoroughly with the tongue, stopping the bleeding by pressing cobwebs on it, and applying poultices to prevent infection and help it to heal. Herbs used in the poultices include goldenrod, marigold, burdock root or (in the case of rat bites) wild garlic. If the wound becomes infected, chervil or horsetail is used as well. The pain can be eased with poppy seeds or willow bark.
Sprains are injuries to ligaments of a joint, caused by being stretched beyond their normal capacity and possibly torn. It causes severe pain and decreased ability to move the joint. The cat must rest for several days.
Joint dislocation is the displacement of a bone from its normal joint. Medicine cats treat this condition by first feeding the patient poppy seeds to make them sleepy so they don't feel it as much, and then forcing the limb back into the joint.
The paw pads may crack while walking long distances on hard surfaces, or due to cold weather. Elders are especially prone to this condition. It is treated with a poultice of coltsfoot or yarrow. Dock leaf poultices are also used to cool cracked pads.
A broken bone is usually the result of an accident, such as falling down from a high place, or being hit by a monster. Cats most often break their legs, and while medicine cats try to bind the bone with cobwebs, the injury usually results in the cat remaining crippled for the rest of his or her life.