I haven't looked at any Facebook page and don't know if you are talking about something different ... but if you are talking about the kitten that was modified by a team at the Mayo Clinic (which is what the video report you linked to is about) ... then I think you have things confused.
The Mayo Clinic team is researching a way to help both humans and cats fight HIV (in humans) and FIV (in cats) which are very similar diseases. Both cats and humans have types of proteins called restrictive factors that are ineffective against FIV/HIV. The researchers inserted an effective monkey version of the proteins into the cat's genes/genome. At the same time, they inserted a jellyfish gene that causes the glowing ... for tracking purposes.
This was done by researchers as a means of giving a visual clue to see if the insertion of the gene that codes for proteins that are effective in preventing FIV were produced throughout the body and passed to future generations.
The researchers had no intention of creating a "designer" cat for people. There is no intention of using this method directly with cats or people in general. It was simply a way to help researchers understand how the restrictive factors can be used in future efforts to help protect cats and people from FIV/HIV.
If this was just a way to exploit cats for money ... then I think most people would be against it. But as a means used in a limited fashion in important medical research, that does not cause physical harm to the cat, I have no objections. It should not be used to make glow-in-the-dark pets ... and that was not the intention of the Mayo Clinic researchers. If it can help with research that will lead to saving the lives of millions of people with HIV and millions of cats with FIV ... I think it is valid research.
Here is a quote of two paragraphs from that article:
"The technique is called gamete-targeted lentiviral transgenesis -- essentially, inserting genes into feline oocytes (eggs) before sperm fertilization. Succeeding with it for the first time in a carnivore, the team inserted a gene for a rhesus macaque restriction factor known to block cell infection by FIV, as well as a jellyfish gene for tracking purposes. The latter makes the offspring cats glow green.
The macaque restriction factor, TRIMCyp, blocks FIV by attacking and disabling the virus's outer shield as it tries to invade a cell. The researchers know that works well in a culture dish and want to determine how it will work in vivo. This specific transgenesis (genome modification) approach will not be used directly for treating people with HIV or cats with FIV, but it will help medical and veterinary researchers understand how restriction factors can be used to advance gene therapy for AIDS caused by either virus."
Admittedly, I know more about cats than dogs. But my understanding is that Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone) is uncommon in dogs but very common in cats ... and, conversely, dogs commonly get hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone), whereas that is rare in cats. So, I might look for other things first.
The short answer is that your vet needs to do more testing to see what is going on ... or, refer you to a specialist (e.g. veterinary Internist). I'm not a vet or tech and can only guess ... but I would wonder if there is an intestinal problem, or maybe insufficient pancreatic enzymes, etc that is causing your dog to not digest or absorb nutrients from food properly. Unfortunately, I think cancer can also sometimes cause an increase in appetite while causing weight loss. But I'm sure there are many other medical possibilities that your vet would know.
Declawing is actually the amputation of the toes ... roughly equivalent to amputating all your fingers at the first knuckle. I hope your vet explained to you what the procedure entailed before doing it. Most vets advise against it except as a last resort. As you may be able to imagine, it is an extremely painful procedure. I would let your vet know. It may be that your cat needs more, or a different type of, pain medication.
On the other hand, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that the problem is pain from declawing. There is always the possibility of something else, either from the spay surgery (which is abdominal surgery and can be painful for a few days, too) ... or, it may be something completely unrelated. Only your vet can determine if there is some other cause after doing a physical examination and perhaps doing some blood work or other tests. Hopefully it is something minor and will clear up quickly, but I'd encourage you, at least, to talk to your vet. The vets here can give you possibilities but without a physical examination, they can't tell you exactly what the problem is.
Sorry for the long reply. Just wanted to add a couple other thoughts.
As with all vaccinations, the kitten should have a good check-up by the vet first, since it is recommended that vaccinations only be given to healthy cats.
If you haven't already, your vet will likely want to give a worming medication, particularly since your kitten is from a stray (some types of worms can be transmitted directly from the mother).
With the vaccinations for Herpes/Calici ... be aware that the vaccines will not prevent infection. The vaccines are given because they will lessen the symptoms of the viruses if the cat becomes infected. They are important because both Herpes and Calici can be serious and sometimes fatal in young kittens. But if the kitten should get a slight runny nose or watery eyes, it doesn't mean the vaccines did not work. Rather, they help keep the symptoms mild.
On the other hand, the Panleukopenia vaccine is very effective and will prevent infection. After the booster as an adult, the protection is felt to be for life.
All the Core vaccines must be boostered as an adult, one year after the last of the kitten series (generally at 1 yr, 4 months old). After that, the recommendation is to booster Panleukopenia/Herpes/Calici every THREE years. The Rabies must be given according to the label of the vaccine being used ... either 1 or 3 years.
It is common for kittens/cats to have MILD post-vaccination reactions, e.g. soreness, being quieter, less appetite, etc ... for 2-3 days. That is actually a sign that the immune system is reacting to the vaccines. But, vaccines are biological products and there is always the possibility that a few kittens will have a more severe reaction ... in which case you would need to let your vet know.
The general principle in vaccinations is to give the vaccines that are needed ... but don't give any more than is needed.
The best info on feline vaccination is in the 2006 AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners) Feline Vaccination Guidelines. They were written by an "Advisory Panel" composed of many of the top veterinary specialists in immunology, infectious disease, feline medicine, etc. The Advisory Panel has just been reassembled to update and rewrite the Guidelines but it will take them a year or two. The current 2006 Guidelines are still the best source of info on vaccinations.
Since the Guidelines are long and technical, I also recommend the personal website of Dr Richard Ford (at North Carolina State Univ) who is one of the co-authors of the Guidelines. He has created a series of tables that summarize the recommendations of the Guidelines, along with notes on recommendations since the Guidelines were written. His website is: http://www.dvmvac.com/
That said ... the Guidelines organize Feline vaccines into three categories: 1) Core Vaccines - vaccines which they feel EVERY kitten/cat should receive, either because the disease is very serious and/or very common. Currently, the Core Vaccines are: a) Panleukopenia (sometimes called "Distemper" though it is really a Parvo virus), b) Herpesvirus-1, and c) Calicivirus Herpes/Calici are VERY common upper respiratory viruses. d) Rabies which must be given in accordance with local laws.
2) Non-Core Vaccines - vaccines that are recommended only if there is a known risk of exposure. The Non-Core vaccines include: a) FeLV (i.e. Feline Leukemia) - this is actually considered "Core" for KITTENS who are VERY susceptible to the virus if exposed. If there is ANY possibility of the kitten getting outside, they recommend giving the FeLV vaccine (two doses, given 3-4 weeks apart). But ADULT cats have a natural immunity to FeLV ... they can still get it but it is difficult for them to become infected, so generally adult cats do not need FeLV unless they are outdoor cats that like to fight. b) FIV (i.e. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, sometimes called "Feline AIDS"). This is generally only given to outdoor fighting cats ... and even then, many vets/specialists prefer not to give FIV vaccines. There is some concern that the vaccine does not give good protection ... and, once vaccinated, the cat will test positive on all current FIV tests, so there is no way to determine if the cat has the disease or is testing positive because of the vaccine. This can be a death sentence if the cat ever ends up in a shelter. c) Chlamydophila felis (formerly called Chlamydia) - this is a bacterial infection that causes conjunctivitis. It is considered uncommon in N America and can generally be treated easily with antibiotics, so the vaccine is not normally recommended unless there is a known exposure risk. d) Bordetella - another respiratory disease (which is also one cause of "Kennel Cough" in dogs). It is also a bacterial infection that responds to antibiotics and not recommended unless there is a known exposure risk.
3) Generally Not Recommended - Vaccines that the Advisory Panel members recommend NOT be given because the vaccines do not protect. Currently there is just one vaccine in this category: a) FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
The three Core vaccines: Panleukopenia, Herpes, Calici are usually given as a single "3-way" vaccine. It is recommended that it be given as an injected "Modified Live Virus" vaccine.
If possible, the Recombinant Rabies vaccine is preferred. Most strongly recommend avoiding all Killed Virus Vaccines because of the inflammation they cause that can increase the risk of a very aggressive cancer at the vaccination site.
Also, it is VERY IMPORTANT that the kitten receive a final kitten series vaccination (for all the Core vaccines ... though only 1 dose of Rabies is needed) at or after 16 WEEKS of age ... or the kitten may not be fully protected.
You've been given good advice about the bite. Cats have normal bacteria in their mouth that can make some people quite sick, so if the bite wound gets worse, you should definitely get it checked quickly. I know of a number of people who have been hospitalized after a simple cat bite, but responded well to IV antibiotics. If it is your other hand (i.e. the one without the bite) that is now itching, it might be an allergic reaction to the medication ... or, something totally unrelated. It would be a good idea to check with your doctor.
I don't want to be an alarmist or scare you ... but I'm concerned by your comment that you were bitten by a "stray cat". Do you still have the cat and/or know where it is ... and more importantly, its vaccination history? My concern is the possibility of Rabies. While the risk is probably pretty low and there are few cases of Rabies in humans each year in the US ... it is also true that there is more Rabies in cats than in dogs in the US. I would ask your doctor about it, if there is any possibility. The good news is that the post-exposure series of Rabies vaccinations isn't so bad anymore. I live in Quebec, Canada, and my parish priest had to go through the series a few years ago when a bat got in his home. The vaccinations were just given in his arm. Again, I don't want to scare you (and I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with your itchy hand) ... but Rabies is not something you want to take a chance with.
You need to talk to your vet about this. Some states give vets waver authority on Rabies vaccinations. All vaccinations are labeled to only be given to "healthy" pets. I believe that most vets will try to avoid vaccinating an older dog/cat with health issues, if possible. Your vet can let you know if Texas gives vets the authority to waver the vaccination. I've heard this discussed at vet conferences among vets who have this dilemma in states that do not give waver authority. One suggestion is for the vet to recommend or offer the vaccination, and then have the owner "decline" the vaccination and write that in the record. The laws generally do not require the vet to "give" the vaccination, but rather require the owner to "get" the dog/cat vaccinated ... i.e. it is your responsibility, not the vet's. Which means that you can decline the vaccination if you feel confident that your dog will not bite anyone and is low risk for Rabies (e.g. stays inside and is only outside under supervision).
From the perspective of immunology (i.e. whether or not your dog is actually protected from Rabies, in contrast to the legal requirements) ... if your dog has been vaccinated as an adult, within about 7 years, she is most likely protected. One of the top veterinary Immunologists, Dr Ron Schultz, at the Univ of Wisconsin, is currently doing two concurrent official "Rabies Challenge" tests ... one at 5 years and the other at 7 years ... to demonstrate immunity according to government standards. They fully expect that the dogs will be protected for at least 7 years. I think they are currently in the 4th year of the study. The outcome doesn't guarantee that the states will change their Rabies laws ... but it will, at least, show that dogs are indeed protected. But , of course, until the studies are done, it is not currently proven.
Dr Richard Ford (NC State ... and along with Dr Schultz, is a co-author of both the AAHA Canine and AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines for vets) tells the story of an older cat that was given a Rabies vaccination. The cat was, I think, around 18 with end stage kidney disease ... and the vet gave it a Rabies vaccination. The cat died three days later ... and the state veterinary board was angry and wanted to discipline the vet for doing something so stupid. Dr Ford was consulted and he had to tell the veterinary board that they couldn't do anything to discipline the vet because, at that time, NC did not give vets waver authority. My point is, even the veterinary board understood that it is bad practice to vaccinate a geriatric pet with serious health issues. So, my guess is that your vet will not refuse to treat your dog if she isn't vaccinated.
But you need to discuss it with your vet ... and if Texas will allow vets to sign a vaccination waver based on age and health status, that should take care of your problem. And, if she was vaccinated with a 3-yr Rabies vaccine within 3 years ago, then you don't have any problem.
I live in Quebec which doesn't have any Rabies requirements (though they probably should). With my last cat, once she began developing geriatric issues, her vet agreed that she didn't need any more vaccinations. Dr Ford, on his personal vaccination website states that in his opinion, after about 10-12 yrs old, if previously vaccinated, dogs/cats probably don't need further vaccinations (though he is careful to say that Rabies laws should be followed).
Do you have a friend who can help pay for a vet visit ... maybe put it on their credit card and let you pay them back when you are able? Or ask the vet if they have any extended payment plan, e.g. care credit, etc.
When a male is not able to urinate and appears to be in pain, it can be a major emergency and he needs to be seen by a vet NOW. The male's urethra is smaller in diameter than a females and males are more likely to completely block. If it he is blocked and doesn't get veterinary care to unblock him ... the urine has no where to go and at some point (possibly within hours) the bladder can burst, which is a fatal event.
It is possible that he has a bladder inflammation (cystitis) which can be painful but is not an emergency ... but with cystitis, he would likely be passing some urine. Normally, giving as much water as possible is a good thing ... but if he is blocked and the water/urine has no where to go, it could make matters worse.
I hope you can find a way to get him to a vet ASAP. Only a vet can determine if he is blocked ... and have the equipment to unblock him. His breathing hard and apparent pain would make me scared that he is blocked. I hope you can find someone to help you with payment. I really think he needs veterinary care immediately.
I'm just a simple cat owner, but have a number of friends who breed pedigree cats. Your cat's behavior sounds very typical. Cats are still very close to the wild with their natural instincts. They still think in terms of predators and prey. In the wild they would move their kittens periodically to help protect them and hide them from potential predators. It is a natural instinct. Putting them in a play/exercise pen may seem like they are safe to you ... but the mother may feel like she is out in the open and feel vulnerable.
You may want to try to give her some place where she may feel more secure ... like a large box in a dark corner or in a closet. I think some of my friends who breed use a large plastic storage box with clean towels, etc. Even so, some mother cats will still want to move their kittens periodically. I have no personal experience with it, but I would try to work with your mom cat and not force her to keep the kittens in the pen for now (when the kittens are a little older and toddling around, the pen may be a good place for them). You might try setting up a dark cozy place for her where she will feel more secure and hidden from predators. Maybe you could throw a blanket over the living room table that she chose, to form a type of tent. Her instincts are to protect and hide her kittens.
I do hope you will be getting her spayed once the kittens are weaned ... and that you will find good homes for the kittens.
I think the foundation of your problem was taking the kitten away from her mother and siblings at 5 weeks of age ... which is too young. I'm just a simple cat owner but have some friends that breed pedigree cats. They never let their kittens go to a new home prior to 12 weeks ... and most wait until at least 16 weeks (give the last kitten series vaccination at 16 weeks, then wait 7-10 days before the kitten goes to a new home). My current kitten (now 2 yrs old) was 22.5 weeks old when I got her.
Those first few months are very important for a kitten to learn social skills. One of the important lessons is how to play and that biting hurts. Normally, kittens will play with their siblings and they will teach each other when to stop and when biting hurts. But a kitten that goes to a new home at 5 weeks hasn't had the chance to learn the lessons from its siblings and mother about biting and rough playing. It will be more difficult for you to teach her now.
Having the dog as a playmate isn't likely to help since she needed to learn the lessons from other cats. Cats still have a lot of wild instincts, and dogs are a natural predator. Cats and dogs can often become friends ... but a cat's natural instinct is to either hide or attack a dog as a potential predator that might hurt the cat.
I think most cats will get better about biting as they get older. It is always important not to play with the kitten using your hands as a toy. If she wants to bite something in play, give her a toy that she can chew on (be sure there are no small parts that she can chew off and eat ... which could cause a life threatening intestinal blockage). I've heard a number of suggestions on how to handle it. Some suggest, if the kitten bites your hand, not to pull your hand away quickly (which encourages the biting) but to hold it still and calmly put the kitten down. Others suggest saying a loud "ouch" to try to get the kitten to understand that it hurts (though that doesn't always work). Many suggest doing a "time out" ... when the kitten starts biting/scratching, set her down and pay no attention to her for a couple minutes ... or, if that doesn't work, put her in the bathroom for 5-10 minutes to calm down. The idea is to not reinforce the bad behavior and for the kitten to learn that if she bites then she won't get the attention she wants.
I think that once a kitten starts biting at a young age without learning about rough play from siblings or its mother, it can be a real challenge to stop the habit. But it is important never to get angry with her or use any force. She won't understand and she may just bite more. Cats aren't dogs and don't understand forceful discipline. Always be gentle and loving with her and try to redirect her behavior to a toy, or ignore her for a couple minutes. Hopefully she will grow out of it.
I agree with not using drugs. However, you could try getting some Feliway (it comes as a spray or a plug-in diffuser ... the diffuser may be better). Feliway isn't a drug, but rather simulates cat pheromones ... that helps the cat to relax. Many vets and specialists recommend Feliway when cats are stressed and/or have behavioral issues. You can check with your vet about it. It isn't a drug and to my knowledge has no negative side effects.