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Silly kitty and deodorant scare

I never would have guessed that taking Leila out of the flat for a day would leave Clio feeling uncomfortable in her own house and skin. But when I arrived home yesterday (I got to the vet's too late in the afternoon to pick up my cat), I found that she hadn't eaten all day and worse, had gone into hiding. It took me almost 5 minutes to coax her out, and she was restless, alert, and shivering. Poor puss!
Then when I brought Leila home an hour or so later, instead of reverting back to normal, she followed her listing sister (the anaesthetic still affecting her) everywhere, but carefully, in a crouch and always at a few paces' distance, sniffing the air incessantly. Clearly, she didn't trust the evidence of her own eyes; this unnaturally quiet black lump that was unsteady on its feet could never be her playmate! And then, when I got too close in her opinion, she turned protective, and turned on me! Hissing, growling, spitting...she all but attacked me for real!
This morning, she was still off; but Leila, at least, appeared to be all better.

The news yesterday was not of the good: apparently, British scientists thought they'd discovered a link between the use of underarm deodorants and breast cancer. The news report did mention that the study on which they were basing their findings had been done on a very limited number of patients (20 in all), and that the harmful substances were only present in a small number of antiperspirants, but it still shook me. I mean, I've been using underarm deodorants for years, without thinking. Up until now, the only thing I ever made sure to check in chosing my cans was that they wouldn't cause the ozone layer to decrease, but I never thought they might turn out to prove a more personal health risk!

So this morning, the first thing I did when I turned on my 'puter, was to google for breast cancer and deodorants, and now I'm slightly less worried: "Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are not aware of any research to support a link between the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data to support the theory that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer."

On the other hand, as far as I'm aware the American authorities also see no problem with GM foods, or steroids given to cattle to get a bigger T-bone steak, or the emission of hothouse gasses...so what am I to believe?

And is there an alternative to deodorants, anyway?



( 5 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Jan. 13th, 2004 04:45 am (UTC)
What a thought provoking post
The cat behaviour is very similar to my terrier's behaviour around his 'sister' (She's a German Shepherd so not his sister obviously.) When she's sick or injured, he behaves in exactly the same way. I don't think that it's so much they don't recognise the other. They sense the illness and all the sniffing and shadowing is often accompanied by licking the affected part. And not just with the other animal either. The terrier knows when my 'im indoors' has a slight ear infection even before he does and will lick it.

Interestingly, the Brits. are training dogs to do just this, give early warning signals of illness, especially ovarian cancer, apparently. There's a hormone released that the dogs pick up as a scent. We've had guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs, helping dogs, now we've got smelling dogs. (Spike in Season 7 I hear you cry?)

The alternative to deodorant? Soap and water? - Sorry - that was rude; don't know of any. It's one of the reasons perfume was invented, to mask the human 'smell'. Animals don't have a problem with it do they?
Jan. 13th, 2004 05:46 am (UTC)
Re: What a thought provoking post
The cat behaviour is very similar to my terrier's behaviour around his 'sister' (She's a German Shepherd so not his sister obviously.)

Isn't it funny how pet owners everywhere fall into the same way of thinking about their animals? Although I usually refer to my cats as sisters, in reality, they're not related. But as they're both mine, I tend to think of them as (adoptive) siblings.

I'd heard about the sniffer dogs being able to detect various forms of illness (melanomas as well as ovarian cancer, and diabetes and epilepsy too); I didn't realise there was a training programme in place for them yet, though. Aren't you Brits clever?

And no, I don't think there's a reasonably easy to use alternative to deodorants, either. Soap and water...it just takes too long getting ready for work in the morning (plus soap dries out the skin and makes it itchy and flakey); and perfume usually sets my co-workers on edge.

But do you know, I don't really believe that deodorant is actually all that necessary in this day and age, when we all take regular baths, and change and wash our clothes almost daily? We use it, because that's what our mums did, and maybe their mums before them as well, and the industry bombards us with images of gorgeous young models running along exotic beaches and posing under waterfalls. I've been using deodorants since I was 12 years old, and even now, I think I'll continue to use them until my dying day. After so many years, the act of spraying under my armpits has become such a part of my daily ritual, that I don't feel comfortable on those rare occasions that I run out of the stuff!
Jan. 13th, 2004 08:59 am (UTC)
Ok. Let's use some logic here. Do you put deoderant on your breasts? If you put something on your armpit, how in the name of god would it give you breast cancer? I heard about this ten years ago, in college and kind of assumed it was an urban legend. Looks like it's back! *G*
Jan. 13th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC)
They're making out that the harmful substances, called parabens or something, enter your body through nicks left from shaving your armpits, and gradually work their way towards your breasts from there.

But I've decided to totally discredit the theory until these first results are backed up by those of a larger, more extensive study...and even then I might not give up on the deodorants at all.
Jan. 13th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC)
They make their way to your breasts...like...breast seeking missles? *G*

I'm not being snarky, it's just..come on. You gotta admit that's kinda...far fetched. There are organic deoderants without all that stuff in them. Of course, they don't actually *work*. ;}
( 5 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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