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Force/assist feeding, I feel awful

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've made a few other posts about Arthur, his vet appt. yesterday didnt tell us much, maybe a diseased liver, maybe just a virus. But he isnt eating at all. So I got out the food processor, the Iams and some water and made what now looks like a chocolate shake (Im picking up some Hills liver food tomorrow). So anyhow, I was hoping for a little support, Arthur looks just miserable, even worse than before. I've given him about 50cc today and Im giving his tummy a few hours break. I just feel so bad, I cant even get a little tiny purr out of him
post #2 of 25
I force fed stripe when she was at the end with her Crf.
She hated it also.
I hope your cat feels better .
post #3 of 25
I am so sorry to hear about Arthur. I hope the force feeding helps until the vet can figure out something better. My Sammy died of liver cancer. While he was on prenisolone, he did well. Not great, but better. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
post #4 of 25
I am so so sorry you are going through that. Force feeding is so so hard. Kismet had to be force fed for 3+ months due to liver failure and it was awful, she pulled through though because of the force feeding. As terrible as it is, remember you are saving his life doing it. Take your time, small frequent feeds....... warm up the food a little bit, talk to him the whole time and tell him you love him and it's for his own good. It got me through it......

The vet probably did this, but if you look at the skin by his ears check if it's yellow. If it is it might be liver problems, which makes the cat nauseous and unable to eat. Did the vet do bloodwork, that should also indicate if it's the liver....

Good luck to you, and keep us updated.
PM me if you need any advice.
post #5 of 25
Glad you were able to get Arthur in to see the vet again. The bloodwork should be back soon (hopefully tomorrow) and that could help narrow down what's going on.

Please take a look at this site: www.assistfeed.com
Click on the link at the bottom of the page where it says Yahoo Feline Assist-Feeding Group

I've been assist feeding (not force feeding) my oldest kitty for a long time. That site was very helpful to me. Don't feel bad about feeding him this way. You're getting him through a rough time right now; he needs nutrition, period. You might try MAX CAL by Eukanuba. It's a very high calorie canned food, meant for syringe feeding. It's carried by vets. If your vet doesn't carry it, have him write you a prescription for it and call around to other vets until you find one who has it. It's not the most high quality food (it contains by-products and a preservative), but on a temporary basis it's very useful. My cat was on it for several months and I believe it helped save her life, since like Arthur, she'd suffered significant weight loss.

It's good that you're waiting a few hours between feedings to let his body process the food. It also gives the liver a break.

Is Arthur drinking on his own? You want to avoid dehydration at all costs.
Did your vet check for this? It makes cats feel miserable and is dangerous if not alleviated.

Hang in there, you're doing a good job. Just keep encouraging Arthur and giving him lots of reassurance (even though you're worried) by sticking to as normal a routine as possible for him.

Lots of good wishes to you & your handsome boy
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys
Arthur isnt doing at all well today, he's weak and not drinking as much, but that's probably because he's drinking his food through a syringe. Im hoping to get him to the vet for an IV later today, but I have to work until one (AHH). I will be PMing one or two of you but I just wanted to post real quickly before I leave for work. His eyes/mouth arent yellow but his blood was, it only took 15 minutes for the blood. The vet said it wasnt conclusive. Some levels were slightly high, some slightly low so we just dont know. He's so lethargic that I cant help but be in tears most of the day, but it's amazing to hear that some of you have been assist feeding for an extended period, this gives me hope I'll keep you all posted.
post #7 of 25
i'm sorry to hear arthur isn't having a good day. i have no advice but wanted to send tons of for your precious boy and for you.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I decided to check his ears before I head out the door, they are quite yellow (except for the tips) Im so worried
post #9 of 25
you're taking him back to the vets later though aren't you? try and take comfort from some of the posts on here about very sick kitties that have pulled through.

where there's life there's hope.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
I decided to check his ears before I head out the door, they are quite yellow (except for the tips) Im so worried
I'm sorry! but no matter what happens don't give up hope. The best thing I can reccomend is going to this site and joining.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-Assisted-Feeding/

Let us know what the vet says and just know that you are doing the best you can for your baby
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
I decided to check his ears before I head out the door, they are quite yellow (except for the tips) Im so worried
You should get Arthur to the vet ASAP. The yellow ears are a sign of jaundice, which could be due to many things: liver disease, feline leukemia, feline peritonitis.

If your vet can't figure out what's causing Arthur's illness, please get a second opinion.

Let us know as soon as you can how he's doing. All good wishes to you and your boy.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
We just got back from the vet. I got a different vet this time (who I actually liked better), and he told me that the blood work said something different from what the regular vet told me, so Im a little upset and unhappy about that. It's his liver though. We gave him sub-q fluids and I brought the bag home so I can give him more tomorrow. I'm also going back to pick up my liver food tomorrow but until then it's just the Iams. The vet said he could be getting worse before he gets better, and not to give up hope yet (he also said dont cry) I just wondered though, he got a pretty big shot of B12, and that's why his pee is so yellow but I wonder if it could have turned his skin a little yellow too. They said to keep doing what we're doing, with the feeding and just to keep an eye on him, and that it could take several weeks to see progress. Thanks so much for all the vibes guys. I've been in tears most of the day but Im really trying to be positive
post #13 of 25
stick with this vet. He's right, it'll probably get worse before it'll get better. And I say it's OK to cry, just try not to be too emotional when feeding, and don't give up hope. You have tons of support! for arthur....
post #14 of 25
The skin yellowing is from the liver and not the b-12. You are doing a great job. Positive eating vibes and I hope you see some good progress soon
post #15 of 25
I'm so glad you got another opinion from a vet you like.

There are many different types of liver problems - was this vet able to narrow down what might be going on with Arthur? There are several liver values on the bloodwork that give the vet information. Depending on what kind of liver disease, there are meds Arthur could be taking that might help him. That's why it's really important to know exactly what you're dealing with.

There's a very good natural supplement that you could give Arthur called milk thistle. It's been proven to be beneficial to ailing livers - human patients with liver disease take it. The kind I use is from Enzymatic Therapy (www.enzy.com) and is called Silybin Phytosome. The milk thistle in this product is combined with something called phosphatidylcholine which helps the body absorb the silybin in the milk thistle - the most important component. Make sure to use a milk thistle product that has this in it. The capsules I buy are meant for humans so I open them and fill a #3 gel cap for my cat. She gets one per day (with a pill gun, followed by water.) Don't add the milk thistle to food - it's very bitter. Milk thistle is extremely safe to use.

The fluids will help Arthur feel much better. Your vet may have already told you this, but make sure to warm the bag first (run warm water into sink and let bag sit in it about 10 min., test to check fluid temperature). Warm fluids are much nicer for a kitty.

Please keep us updated. Kisses to Arthur
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot guys, your support really means so much to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
I'm so glad you got another opinion from a vet you like.

There are many different types of liver problems - was this vet able to narrow down what might be going on with Arthur? There are several liver values on the bloodwork that give the vet information. Depending on what kind of liver disease, there are meds Arthur could be taking that might help him. That's why it's really important to know exactly what you're dealing with.

There's a very good natural supplement that you could give Arthur called milk thistle. It's been proven to be beneficial to ailing livers - human patients with liver disease take it. The kind I use is from Enzymatic Therapy (www.enzy.com) and is called Silybin Phytosome. The milk thistle in this product is combined with something called phosphatidylcholine which helps the body absorb the silybin in the milk thistle - the most important component. Make sure to use a milk thistle product that has this in it. The capsules I buy are meant for humans so I open them and fill a #3 gel cap for my cat. She gets one per day (with a pill gun, followed by water.) Don't add the milk thistle to food - it's very bitter. Milk thistle is extremely safe to use.

The fluids will help Arthur feel much better. Your vet may have already told you this, but make sure to warm the bag first (run warm water into sink and let bag sit in it about 10 min., test to check fluid temperature). Warm fluids are much nicer for a kitty.

Please keep us updated. Kisses to Arthur
I'd been wondering about Milk Thistle! There is a store in the town where my vet is and Ill be sure to stop tomorrow and see if they have it. I might end up getting any milk thistle with the phosphatidylcholine in it, if they dont have that particular brand in stock. Although I wonder if I should be cautious of giving milk thistle and the liver pill my vet has me on...hmm. Thanks a million
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
I'd been wondering about Milk Thistle! There is a store in the town where my vet is and Ill be sure to stop tomorrow and see if they have it. I might end up getting any milk thistle with the phosphatidylcholine in it, if they dont have that particular brand in stock. Although I wonder if I should be cautious of giving milk thistle and the liver pill my vet has me on...hmm. Thanks a million

Any milk thistle with phosphatidylcholine will do. I order the product I mentioned to you because no one in my area keeps that particular one in stock.

My cat's on several meds, including meds for the liver and for kidneys. The milk thistle, because it's a very mild supplement, is safe to use with other meds. I've had my girl on it for years with my vet's approval. Talk with your vet, I'm sure he'll say it's fine. BTW, what's the liver pill your vet gave you?
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Arthur's on Denamarin (I thinkI spelled that right). They're fairly big, and blue.

Edit:
I just looked it up and this is what I found! Im glad Im not giving him something completely chemical!
"...Denamarin also helps support your pet's liver through the administration of silybin. Silybin is the most active part of an extract from milk thistle known as silymarin."
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
Arthur's on Denamarin (I thinkI spelled that right). They're fairly big, and blue.

Edit:
I just looked it up and this is what I found! Im glad Im not giving him something completely chemical!
"...Denamarin also helps support your pet's liver through the administration of silybin. Silybin is the most active part of an extract from milk thistle known as silymarin."
Yep, my girl's on Denamarin as well. I was going to mention that to you, too.

I give her the additional milk thistle because the amount of silybin in Denamarin is very low. After doing research, and consulting with a few vets, I started giving more milk thistle.

You can do the Denamarin and the additional milk thistle cap together, or you can alternate them each day. I would give Arthur both right now, especially since his liver is acting up at the moment. Just make sure to follow any pills you give him with at least 5cc of water, given 1cc at a time, to ensure the pill does not lodge in the throat. That's important.

Also make sure that Arthur is pooping each day, or at least on a schedule that you know is normal for him. Pooping is an indication of liver function so you want to make sure he's going and that it looks normal.

Did your vet give you any idea of what he thinks is wrong with Arthur's liver?
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
Yep, my girl's on Denamarin as well. I was going to mention that to you, too.

I give her the additional milk thistle because the amount of silybin in Denamarin is very low. After doing research, and consulting with a few vets, I started giving more milk thistle.

You can do the Denamarin and the additional milk thistle cap together, or you can alternate them each day. I would give Arthur both right now, especially since his liver is acting up at the moment. Just make sure to follow any pills you give him with at least 5cc of water, given 1cc at a time, to ensure the pill does not lodge in the throat. That's important.

Also make sure that Arthur is pooping each day, or at least on a schedule that you know is normal for him. Pooping is an indication of liver function so you want to make sure he's going and that it looks normal.

Did your vet give you any idea of what he thinks is wrong with Arthur's liver?
I'll see if I can talk to the vet again today about extra milk thistle. I've been rubbing his pills in a little butter, and then giving him a little water to make sure they do go down. The vet didnt say what he thought might be wrong, he said do get a definite diagnosis we'd have to do a ultrasound and biopsy, and I dont want to do that yet.
Arthur has been spending the day in the spare bedroom with his own box but I've been keeping him in my bedroom with all the cats at night, so I havent been able to monitor poo, which does bother me, but I dont want him to be secluded all the time. I've been thinking about spending a night with him in the other bedroom to see if he does go but everyone else is feeling so neglected already that Im not sure what Ill do
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
We just got back from the vet. I got a different vet this time (who I actually liked better), and he told me that the blood work said something different from what the regular vet told me, so Im a little upset and unhappy about that. It's his liver though. We gave him sub-q fluids and I brought the bag home so I can give him more tomorrow. I'm also going back to pick up my liver food tomorrow but until then it's just the Iams. The vet said he could be getting worse before he gets better, and not to give up hope yet (he also said dont cry) I just wondered though, he got a pretty big shot of B12, and that's why his pee is so yellow but I wonder if it could have turned his skin a little yellow too. They said to keep doing what we're doing, with the feeding and just to keep an eye on him, and that it could take several weeks to see progress. Thanks so much for all the vibes guys. I've been in tears most of the day but Im really trying to be positive
Dear MonaxLisa I can sympathize with what you're going through. To make a long story short, my two year old kitten Samson was diagnosed with hepatitis of the pancreas in early Sept.

He was slowly wasting away and had become skeletal (he was repulsed by food). I had to assist feed him and he would only tolerate half a tablespoon at a time. So every hour there I was trying to feed him. Some nights I was up till 1:00 just to make sure he was getting some food. Then I'd be up at 6:00 in the morning to start all over.

I had to give him 5 different medications a day and he's still on Denamarin. (I'm so glad to learn of the thistle milk, I will check with my vet to see if he will benefit from that).

Giving him the meds was the hardest part. I can't even begin to tell you how much I cried because despite my best efforts it would stress him out so much, poor lil thing. And there was such little progress, I really thought I was going to lose him. I prayed and prayed for him, but one night I was driving home from some errands and I was especially discouraged and *scared*. I was crying and praying when I heard an inner voice tell me "You give up too easily" There was no doubt in my mind that that was Our Lord talking to me, so I thanked Him, and rushed home with renewed hope, although I was still crying

Today Samson is doing *so* much better. He has put on some weight. He's still not 100% where I would like him to be, but now when I pet him, I can feel that layer of skin over his bones which is amazing. I still have to assist feed him, but he takes it well and is eating much more heartily.

So don't give up and pray for your baby, God is good and miracles do happen!
post #22 of 25
I came to TCS because the cat we adopted had hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). I force fed Albus with a syringe for 10 weeks before he finally got his liver levels up and was eating on his own again. It was awful but he made it through and now he's completely healthy (maybe a little too healthy )

Just keep doing what you're doing to get him fed, and keep pursuing whatever the medical cause of this is.

I'll PM you the advice I gave to another volunteer from the shelter I volunteer at who was also going through the process of hepatic lipidosis...I don't know if that's what your Arthur has, but I had a lot of practical information for feeding him that might be helpful to you.

post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to say thanks again You guys are really making me feel a lot better, and its so great to hear that kitties have gotten better even after so long of being ill.
I picked up my L/D food today, its pretty much corn meal in geletain and Im worried that I should have gotten the A/D instead, even though the L/D is for liver disease and it's the kind the vet recommended.
Arthur didnt keep his breakfast down, but everything since has stayed down, I just gave him a little bit (5cc) of the Hills food since I dont want him to get queasy from the change from Iams.
post #24 of 25
i'm having the same issue with my 12 year old cat, angus. i took him to the vet who has given me a regimen of meds, sub-q hydration, and hill's a/d food, as well as antibiotics. he's only been on it a week. so far, he's not keeping down his food and takes well to being given the meds. i'm hand feeding him, since he's uninterested in food. he has perked up and is alert.

i'm off to feed him now. this forum has helped a lot.
post #25 of 25
correction, that should be my cat angus is now keeping down his food. thanks to the info post here, i'll feed him small amounts several times a day.
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