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post #61 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone! I don't want to jinx anything, but after just two sessions of giving Pikey some turkey babyfood as recommended (delivered through a syringe), Pikey is up and walking around somewhat, instead of just laying lethargically on my bed. I also put some (just a touch) of Karo syrup on the roof of his mouth and, although he wasn't totally pleased, seemed to perk him up a bit also.
He still isn't eating (on his own initiative) or going to the bathrrom, but I am really encouraged because he hasn't thrown anything up yet as he did in days past. I still give him a couple of shots of water twice an hour also, which he seems to dislike the most. I know this isn't much, but it gives me some hope.
post #62 of 134
Oh, I so hope he's mending - and best wishes into getting him into the other vet just as soon as you can, and for a speedy return to health. I'm blessed enough to live in an area chock-full of vets (including the e-vet Oprah uses!), but not all of us have those resources, and some people forget that. Sometimes I think we're all anxious to make sure every kitty gets well, we wish we had a magic way to make sure everyone had the best vet ever on hand for every emergency. But, that doesn't always happen - look at Oprah, for that matter - all the money in the world, and God knows she could probably get any vet in the world she wanted on two-minutes' notice, and she's lost two beloved pets recently.

And even if you had the best vet school around the corner - well, it's love that means a lot in nursing, and certainly Pikey has that. There's a downside to living on an island - I know the cost of living is very high in Hawaii, and a lot of the state isn't exactly bursting with a vet infrastructure - heck, even where I live, you get past metro Chicago and the more affluent suburbs, and you can be up a tree - or only have large animal vets to turn to.

Now, you try to take care of yourself just half as well as you're taking care of Pikey - I'll bet anything you haven't slept, or eaten, much - remember being a caregiver is incredibly stressful, and you need to make sure you're not ignoring your needs. And, again, prayers for you, and Pikey - and please keep us updated - most of us are just praying for good news for both of you, and know you're doing the best you can.
post #63 of 134
Johnny, you're obviously doing all you can for your kitty, and I commend you for everything you've done so far. Your vet is an idiot, and I'm glad you've got someone else you can go to.

Something else you may want to try, is a high calorie supplement called Nutri-Cal. It's made for cats and dogs who aren't eating - a small amount can really help.

Good luck!
post #64 of 134
Hi Johnny, the karo syrup is just a one time, small amount, to spike his sugar because sometimes low sugar from not eating causes no appetite. Its not an ongoing supplement. Just wanted you to know that.

Also, baby food is good, but also see if you can gently (just by placing in the cheek of his mouth) watered down canned food because it has higher calories and as Sarah said Nutri-Cal is also a great suggestion. He needs calories right now. You can also boil some plain chicken to see if you can entice him to eat.

Sometimes, when a cat stop eating, he has to have ongoing support, as you are doing, before he regains his appetite again.

I hope his vet visit offers you some answers.
post #65 of 134
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for your wonderful ideas. I did give Pikey Karo both yesterday and today, but only once per day. I'll stop giving it to him now. I have never heard of Nutri-Cal, but I'll see if I can find it at Safeway. We have no pet stores here.
I also have some very good news. Pikey urinated for the 1st time on his own in nearly a week about an hour ago. And it was pretty substantial. Even though he was showing a bit of improvement last night and walking with a bit of swagger last evening, he seemed to be a bit lethargic this morning and the pee pee seemed to have helped. Now if he just starts to eat on his own. I'm off to Safeway.
post #66 of 134
In 2000 I had a similar problem with my cat Orfie. I came home from vacation to find him with a swollen leg, and in 5 weeks he went drastically downhill. The worst was when he stopped eating. He lived at the vet off and on for a few weeks on an IV. I had no computer at the time, therefore no CatSite advice, but what these people say about getting him to eat is SO TRUE.

NEVER did a vet mention such a thing as fatty liver disease to me. NEVER did they mention how to force feed. They just hooked him up. After joining this site I realize there may have been so much more I could have done for Orf, had I known what I do now.

When he lost interest in eating, it was obvious he lost interest in life. Before I went on vacation he was a vibrant, playful, healthy-appearing 12 year old kitty. I still feel horrible that I lost him at the end of that 5 weeks. The vet never found an explanation - I sometimes think he picked up an infection there while they were treating his leg (which I have no idea why it was swollen).

I wish you so much luck with Pikey. I know the futile feeling of what you are going through. The folks on this site are truly trying to help, they're just worried for Pikey, too. Please bear with us.
post #67 of 134
Originally Posted by roby22 View Post
Thanks to all for your wonderful ideas. I did give Pikey Karo both yesterday and today, but only once per day. I'll stop giving it to him now. I have never heard of Nutri-Cal, but I'll see if I can find it at Safeway. We have no pet stores here.
I also have some very good news. Pikey urinated for the 1st time on his own in nearly a week about an hour ago. And it was pretty substantial. Even though he was showing a bit of improvement last night and walking with a bit of swagger last evening, he seemed to be a bit lethargic this morning and the pee pee seemed to have helped. Now if he just starts to eat on his own. I'm off to Safeway.
WOOHOOO on the pee.... That's a great sign.... what you are doing must be helping... When you do get back into the vet, ask them if they have RX foods that are higher cal.

If you can't find the NutriCal, keep doing what you are doing, but slowly try to add some other foods into it.... What kind of foods do you have available? The baby food will hopefully help him get his strength back, and want to eat... best thing for him would be a really good food with high calories and excellent nutrients in it.

You are doing a GREAT job given the circumstances, please know that and when anyone says different, ignore it. Only you know what is best for your cat, we can give suggestions but we're not there.

Many and thoughts that Pikey pulls through this, and a huge for doing all you can do.
post #68 of 134
Just wondering, and obviously vet advice comes first, but if he can't find the Nutrical, how about KMR or another kitten supplement? Those may be carried more widely at the stores he has available - I know I've seen it at our local chain grocery stores, but, then again, it's a heck of lot cheaper to supply stores in Illinois than Hawaii. But, here's hoping that this vet visit will yield great results, and the peeing sounds like a very hopeful sign to me.

Poor Johnny - I know how I felt a couple of weeks ago when Dharma was on Clavomox and just didn't feel much like eating, and I did have a vet I trust giving me advice.
post #69 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi Again! Its 8 AM here and I have an appointment for Pikey at 10:30 AM. I could tell that he was feeling much better this morning just by the swagger in his walk. He still hasn't eaten on his own yet, however. And he still hasn't had a bowel movement since the enema the vet gave him just before I picked him up Friday. I'm debating whether to force-feed him before going to the vet. Overall, I'm optimistic again for the 1st time since he's been sick. Thanks again to everyone.
post #70 of 134
The lack of poo might be because he's running on empty, although definitely run it past the new vet.

I skimmed some of the thread so maybe this has already been discussed, but have you tried dropper-feeding him kitten formula? It's packed with pretty much all the essentials, in liquid form so it'll help the dehydration too, and it's easy to swallow.

And I could have done a better job than that ridiculous vet that. I mean, I would've had to have the vet tech actually do the stuff, but the first thing I did (after getting a vial or two for bloodwork) would've been hooking him up to an fluids IV and a vitamin shot, then tubefeed a meal's worth into him.
post #71 of 134
Hi Roby22, Glad to hear that your kitty is doing somewhat better

My younger kitty, Samson, was very similarly sick to what your kitty seems to be going through.

Has your vet done an ultrasound? If not, he should definitely do an ultrasound of the stomach, pancreas etc. I had been in 3 times with my Samson and he had lost some serious weight, would not eat etc. He acted like food repulsed him. My vet had done full blood work, taken an X-Ray but could not figure out what was wrong. Finally he suggested an ultrasound, which is what saved my cat's life!

It turns out he had a hepatitis feline pancreatis. This means that the fluids in the pancreas aren't coming out as they should and instead of functioning within the pancreas, it is doing so out of the pancreas. This can potentially lead to massive organ break down.

If the ultrasound does reveal this, my vet put him on an IV and antibiotics, then Amoxil, Denamarin (liver supplement); Ursodiol (specially compounded for him); Metronidazole and Famotidine. (Just sharing in case it helps)

If you have to assist feed him, just give small amounts at time, 1/2 of a tablespoon, once every hour, then *slowly* build it up as he can tolerate it. Also try just opening a small can of tuna and just let him have the juice and small bits of the tuna. It was the one thing that Samson would eat on his own when he was sick.

By the way have you ever had to assist feed a cat before? If you haven't here are a couple of tips that might help. This is what my vet recommended.

With your hand gently cupping the top of his head, place your thumb and middle finger on each side of his mouth at the corners of his lips. With your fingers gently pry his mouth open by squeezing inward against his teeth. However, make sure not to press against his lips as this will hurt him.

Approach his mouth from the side sort of sliding the syringe into the side of his cheek and then push a small amount of food in into the side of cheek, that forces them to chew it in. (the way a squirrel or chipmunk would).

Ask your vet for the biggest syringe he has, the bigger syringe makes it so much easier to push the food through, remember though, very very small quantities at a time, almost half a pea size and then up to half a tablespoon per sitting or up to a tablespoon if he tolerates it. When you see that he is starting to resist the feeding, just stop, don't push it. Your baby just needs some time for his tummy to adjust to the food he has just taken in.

Don't give up, your baby *will* get better! And please keep us posted.

Hope this helps
post #72 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone
\tPikey's better. The new vet was very nice and appears to know what he's doing. He believes Pikey has an elevated amount of fat in his liver, which can cause anorexia (I should have suspected this when I'd come home and catch him playing Karen Carpenter songs on my iPod). The treatment for this condition is a special diet, which I give him hourly through a syringe. He also found that the Pike has a tiny infection in his bladder, so I'm also giving him antibiotics. He is now urinating on his own, but still no bowel movement and he's also not eating on his own yet. I'm really waiting for that.
As for the Ultrasound, when we finish this treatment, he will do ultrasound if he still isn't better. He already has had all kinds of X-Rays with the barium. He's overall much more peppy and seems in good spirits, except when I approach with the syringe.
post #73 of 134
I am so happy this new vet is better

I'm looking forward to hearing the day when Pikey eats on his own.... You have done a great job
post #74 of 134
I've been following your troubles with Pikey. You are doing an awesome job of taking care of his needs. He is very lucky to have you.

Just wanted to send some good vibes your way and to say hang in there.
post #75 of 134

Oh, what a difference a good vet makes.
post #76 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi All! Gotta thank everyone again for their kind words of encouragement. Just got home from work this evening and Pikey is in very good spirits, however, he still hasn't eaten anything on his own yet. I tried to entice him with his favorite kitty treat and he did approach it and sniff it, which a few days ago would never have happened. I almost thought he was going to eat it, but he back off at the last minute and would not eat no matter how much praise I gave him or how many times I reintroduced it to him. I'm hoping tomorrow. I am also concerned that he has not had a bowel movement since the old vet gave him an enema Friday afternoon, just before I picked him up. That's the latest update. Hope you are well.
post #77 of 134
I don't know if this is possible, but my thoughts on the lack of bowel movement..... perhaps he is not getting enough food to make a bm. The enema probally cleaned him out fairly good, and since he's not eating alot right now, and recovering....there probally isn't much waste to expell.

Did you ask the vet about bm and when you should expect one? If not, perhaps just a telephone call would be in order
post #78 of 134
I agree with Snake_Lady that he probably doesn't have enough food in there yet to have a BM. This kind of happens with people, too, when they've been sick.

But... is there any way possible that Pikey has been eating tiny amounts on his own when you aren't watching? I ask because you mention he is very peppy. My experience was that when they wouldn't eat, or only sniffed then walked away, that they were extremely lethargic at the same time.

I think I'd look into that ultrasound folks have recommended...
post #79 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi! I will look into Ultrasound when he goes back to the vet. I did think that perhaps he really hasn't eaten enough food to have a bowel movement. I think I was a bit too easy on Pikey before, only giving him food every hour or two because he found it so offensive and seemed to perk up well. I'm now giving it to him every half hour, although I will be gone in the evening for eight hours for work, but I wanna have him reasonably full before I leave. By the way, I was giving him water (vis syringe) every half hour before I went to the new vet, but the vet said its unnecessary, because there is plenty of liquid in the new prescription food he gave me.
post #80 of 134
I don't want to come off as rude, or offend you, but I am REALLY concerned about Pikey and this situation. So I am going to be straight and to the point here.

Did your vet explain to you just what Hepatic lipidosis (aka Fatty liver) is?

It is a very serious condition that if not treated aggressively will kill a cat. I know, my 2 year old kitty died from it despite being at the vet twice a week for a month with force feedings, but no good instructions. "just get him to eat this precription food" This was 10 years ago, I thought vets were better educated now.

This illness is NOT a first line illness. Something else cause Pikey to stop eating in the first place. While he was not eating his body was burning fat to meet his energy needs. Cat's livers do not process fat breakdown well and this causes the liver failure (aka fatty liver or HL). Now that Pikey is in liver failure it makes him nausea an not want to eat even more. So he is stuck in a vicious cycle.

Trying to prevent HL is why everyone was saying you MUST make Pikey eat, and eat appropriate amounts at appropriate intervals.

If Pikey resists his feedings then an E-tube needs to be put it. It is simple, effective, safe, and far less stressful for the cat and the owner. This will also allow you to get friends to help you on your long shifts.

Pulling a HL cat through is not easy and is not a short term deal.

Please read this thread here at TCS

several of the posters have sucessfully gotten their cats over HL. Their advice and input will be invaluable to you and Pikey. I am sure if you PM them they will share their stories with you.

If your vet has not gone over in detail, the amount to be fed, when to feed it, etc then your vet has not educated you well enough to save Pikey.

Please do some internet searches on Hepatic Lipidosis in cats to get a better understanding of what you dealing with.

I am sorry to sound so pushy and nasty, but everytime I read this thread my stomach sinks. I just get the feeling you believe Pikey is better and things are fine. Pikey is still in grave danger if the feeding is not done correctly. Also there are some standard medications that are given with HL to help with liver healing and naseousness. I don't see where you have indicated your vet has given these.

I know exactly what it feels like to believe you are doing all the right things and then your beloved kitty dies from Hepatic Lipidosis. I only found out much later what I really needed to do to save my kitty's life.

Sending lots of that Pikey pulls through this.
post #81 of 134
Very very well said. Im sure it will not be taken as rude at all, just educational. I dont understand why a vet would not treat this as a dire situation as serious as this is, but I have seen it more than once, where a vet casually addresses a cat not eating and then the cats family casually takes care of it and then the result is not good
post #82 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi! I didn't think you were being rude at all, however, I do have to say that the vet had me read the entire article about what he "thought" Pikey has, based upon the tests that the other vet took. The tests showed that Pikey had a slightly elevated fat content in the liver and the new vet also ran a urinalysis and said he also has a slight bladder infection for which I am now giving him antibiotics. To be honest, I do not remember the name of the affliction that the vet had me read about and if it is what you described, but it said that 70% of cats survive with proper nutritional therapy.
That said, here's the latest on Pikey. I have been feeding him much more aggressively and he is certainly responding. Tonight, I have just gotten home from work, Pikey greeted me like in days of old and for the 1st time in ages, ate several cat treats on him own. That is a very significant thing as he hasn't even showed any interest in eating since he got sick. He even approached the food in his bowel, but hasn't eaten from there as of yet. I feed him the special food about every 45 minutes when I am home and he's honestly responding. He plays with his vat toys again, chases things I throw and is really full of pep once again. I will, however read the thread you suggested, but I'm not positive that is what the vet speculated it was.
post #83 of 134
Oh, I so hope Pikey keeps improving - and, you poor guy - I bet you haven't had more than 2 hours sleep at a time in the last week - not counting the car mishap! I'm surprised you can string two words together, let alone read long technical articles on various cat illnesses - but will you be a pro on eating disorders in cats by time this is over. I'm glad the new vet seems to be working out much better for you both.

More best wishes for Pikey and you, and I hope to see more updates - and maybe a picture? Thanks!

post #84 of 134
Hi Johnny,
I have been watching your thread since Pikey started having problems, and I am soooo glad he is feeling better. I haven't posted anything because everyone is doing such a great job advising you, and I personnally haven't had the problem you are experiencing. I did want to say, however, that I had a sick kitty a few years ago that seemed to want to eat his new special diet on his own, but wouldn't. I put about a tablespoon of the juice from canned albacor tuna on top, and he did begin eating. I reduced the amount over the following 2 days to zero until he ate on his own. Canned tuna is NOT something you want to give cats
but, hey, if it will get them started eating on their own, so be it.
Best of luck to you and PikeMan!
post #85 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hi All! Its a little past midnight here and I just got home from work. Pikey was very vocal and spry when I got home, but (I see) he still hadn't eaten anything or had a bowel movement-its been since he had an enema last Friday (a week ago) since he's gone. He does urinate every day or so.

As for he Pikey not having eaten enough for a bowel movement, I think he has. The last two days, I have force feed him a large can of the special diet the new vet gave me each day. I would assume that would be enough to produce a bowel movement. Pikey, even though a large cat, was never a particularly big eater. He would never eat wet food and I always gave him IAMS (dry for indoor cats) and he really never ate that much, but always was ready with the bowel movement for my enjoyment when I returned home from work.
Anyway, off to the vet again tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.
post #86 of 134
Oh Johnny, I am so so sorry you are going through this. It seems like you are holding up amazingly though and thank you for taking such good care of your cat.

Keep up with the force feeding, it is so so important. Maybe get the vet to teach you how to give subQ fluids if you are comfortable with that. I went through this with my cat kismet for 3 months last year until she got better, she had to be force fed and given fluids (She had fatty liver syndrome). A can a day is a really good amount, I'm sure it will help, but I don't know what to tell you about the bowel movements, the fluids might help get things working again.

I am assuming you did have your cats liver levels checked and his skin isn't yellow?

will be watching this thread and thinking about you!

EDIT: I just saw that you did have the cat checked and he may have fatty liver syndrome.

Fluids and Food is what you need to do! If the cat is being cooperative with the force feeding then that's great! It may take a couple weeks of force feeding for him to recover, but what I did once kismet was doing a bit better (pooping again etc.) was I would force feed her during the day, then leave her locked in a room (away from other cats) overnight, with every food imaginable (wet, dry, tuna, baby food, cat treats) available to her, and one night she just started eating it..........
post #87 of 134
If he's had enough...and he's not swelling up like a balloon...something has to be getting out somehow. A cat is a system that's only open at two ends. Are you sure he's not throwing it up somewhere? Does his belly area still feel normal to the touch, or is it getting larger and/or harder than usual? I once had a barn cat that had something happen...whatever was wrong, it must have been pretty close to the end of the inner workings...where he needed his belly rubbed and kneaded for a while so that he could pass whatever it was, and when he finally "went" it was epic quantities, but then he was fine.
post #88 of 134
just hoping for a good update soon.
post #89 of 134
Thread Starter 
Hello Friends! Just got home from work again tonight and have some good news. Just before I was about to leave for work early this afternoon, Pikey had a bowel movement on his own. I was soooo jazzed. I was joking with someone at work that "has my life become so pitiful that the highlight of my day is for my cat takes a ?" That was just a joke, but the way.
Anyway, the great news is that Pikey not only is going to the bathroom on his own, but also eating cat treats. Those are two really positive steps in the right direction. One other thing I wanted to run by everyone is how is Pikey ever gonna want to eat on his own when I am force-feeding him so much food. I am force feeding him more food than he ever ate in normal life, Off to bed. That's again for your concern.
post #90 of 134
He will prefer eating on his own (the force feeding is uncomfortable) once he is feeling better, so as long as food/treats are available to him you'll know when he's ready, until then keep force feeding (the more the better and the quicker he will recover)! You are saving his life!!!!
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