Saturday, April 5, 2014

Henry Improvement

Henry just vomited for the 7th time today, change of clothes for me because he got me with it. Can you imagine how much laundry I'm doing? I have to get a new carpet cleaning machine. I wore the hose out and it broke off tonight. However, he came out of severe respiratory distress for the first time in over 2 weeks!!! Guardedly, I think he's turning the corner and gaining the upper hand against this awful pneumonia.

At first, I thought the increase in vomiting was because my new batch of glucose solution was too "ricey." So I diluted it. But then I realized it's his lungs finally draining. Wednesday, he spent an hour in an oxygen tent and received an inhaled antibiotic and I've been diligent with the coupage and today he's stayed out of serious respiratory distress, meaning breathing with his mouth open and gasping like a fish out of water and his sides and throat heaving. Instead, it's mild respiratory distress where his sides are retracting, but his mouth is closed and his nares are not flaring.

His appetite remains very good, but I do have to limit his intake to avoid aspiration, which is a little sad because he wants to eat more. The vomiting was starting to alarm me today until I realized it contained very little food and was very clear. His nose was wet and runny all day yesterday, too. I remember how Apple drained her lungs with her bout of pneumonia and it's pretty much the same with Henry. I still give him 100ml of subcutaneous Ringers Lactate Solution every night so dehydration isn't an issue. What I learned about pneumonia is that hydration is paramount. Once dehydrated, the fluid, pus and bacteria in the lungs thickens and dries out, acting like cement in the alveoli so air can't get in and be exchanged into the bloodstream. So what I do is keep Henry hydrated, do coupage (patting his back and sides) at least 4 times a day to loosen the fluids in the lungs and move it around so it can come up and not stay and incubate bacteria in the same place, make sure he changes position for the same reason, keep the air around him moist, and keep him fed.

I'm thrilled that he's recovering. He's even enchanted my vet. He is the most loving kitty you ever saw. He follows me around like a puppy dog, huge eyes waiting to catch mine. He greets me at the door when I return from being out. Even in his sickened state. It's thrilling to see him feeling better even in tiny increments each day.


Jennie said...

So glad to hear Henry is improving. Unlike Henry's vomit, my kitties throw up hairballs-and hairballs can be messy as there is liquid that comes with it. So fully understand the amount of laundry that accompanies the vomit. In my case, laundry is usually the kitty blankets or towels. Henry, sending well-wishes your way. Keep improving and less "up-chucks".

Anonymous said...

Please make sure Henry gets a LOT of meat and egg protein. Meat baby food is easy to digest, easy to syringe feed, and very high quality protein. Cats have an extremely unusual metabolism that requires a lot of protein and especially arginine. It's really important not to give a cat (especially a sick one) any feedings that don't contain arginine. A single meal without arginine can actually kill a young kitten, or an elderly/sick/underweight adult cat. Cats also cannot regulate the activation of deamination enzymes, which go into full action whenever they eat anything, and start digesting protein without regard to how much (if any) protein the meal contained. I'm sure you can figure out where that protein-for-digestion comes from if it wasn't in the food.

I don't know if I can put a link in a comment, but if it doesn't work, go to "" and search for the article "Idiosyncratic nutrient requirements of cats appear to be diet-induced evolutionary adaptations" in the journal "Nutrition Research Reviews" -- full-text is free opne-access.