Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pooch is Not Well



This is Max, the white cat, who died Oct. 8, 2007 and Pooch. Over Christmas I left my cats for 48 hours with gravity food and water dispensers. When I returned, Pooch was dehydrated and not eating and very skinny. I "spooned" her (spoon-feed/force-feed) for a week and there wasn't any improvement. In fact, I was terrified she was about to die because she was hiding in places I couldn't find, cold, dark places. She'd also developed the "silent meow" which I believe is an indication of lack of will to live because the kitty is so far gone.

I took her to the vet Sat. the 3rd and got the bad news: liver failure. My cat, when you turned her ear in-side-out to see her skin, was yellow. When the bloodwork came back, it indicated a bad liver, which was obvious and hyperthyroid. I have pills for the thyroid - fortunately the heart and kidneys seem fine (unlike with Max) and if the liver thing is caused by fatty liver disease (meaning, the cat starting losing weight too quickly and the liver couldn't handle it), then she can probably recover in 4-8 weeks because the liver can regenerate.

Currently, I am still spooning her, though tonight I gave her "dry crunchies" and she ate them by herself and drank water. I also give her sub-cutaneous fluid infusions daily and her thyroid pill. She should weigh 10 pounds because she's a large-boned cat, but she was down to 8 lbs. 4 oz. last Saturday. Today when I weighed her, she was 8 lbs. 8 oz!!!

FYI, cats can become anorexic VERY, VERY easily. They lose their appetite and with dehydration, this can be deadly. They get intestinal cramps and nausea and won't eat. Pooch would go to her bowl, smell the food and then throw up. Once I rehydrated her and started spooning her, the digestive system started working again, but cats also develop an aversion to food when they are force-fed so I was very glad that Pooch ate her dry crunchies (kibble) tonight. I don't give them dry crunchies often because it's about the worse thing to feed a cat, but tonight I was very tired so I gave it to all the other cats and Pooch came out for it before I started preparing her wet food so I gave her a serving and she ate it all then drank water from her bowl. Tonight we both get a repreive from the spoon!

I believe that spooning, the way I do it, is definitely more humane than syringe or tube feeding so I'm thinking of making a video of it so others can learn to do it, and that's why I think Pooch ate by herself tonight. Last night she ate 1/3 serving of baby food meat and lapped chicken broth so I'm very hopeful she'll begin to eat normally by the 4 week mark and we won't have to do this a full two months. I did spoon the rest of her meal so she got a full meal.

Please send Pooch get-well vibes and prayers because I can't lose her yet. I'm still getting used to her sister Darling and my Bianca being gone (Aug. & Oct. 2008). I have Pooch and two other geriatric girls left and I'd really like one of these "original" kitties to meet my daughter.

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