Ill cat updatery January 11

Since Idi has two parents, two god-parents, and a crowd of well-wishers, all of whom are interested in her progress and/or need to know it so we can keep the vet updated accurately, I’m going to take notes on her progress here. The subjects for the entries will be the same as the current one, except with the current date.

Vet called at 3pm. I updated her with Idi’s progress (i.e. she’s throwing up everything). The vet says her liver values are still about the same as of Saturday’s blood draw, except that her biliruben was high. This explains why she was yellow Saturday. I worked all day Saturday and didn’t know she was yellow. She doesn’t look yellow to me today, but I don’t have much to compare her to. The vet says we’re at the point where it doesn’t matter what’s wrong with her, either she gets food in and keeps it down or we lose her. She wants to do a feeding tube.

This is where I pipe in with my theory there are three reasons she’s throwing up. 1) She’s sick. 2) The super powerful nausea meds are wearing off at about six hours, not eight. 3) Idi has never “eaten meals.” We put food out, she grazes a bit when she gets peckish. I suspect people have spent the weekend shoving more food into her at once than she was used to when she was healthy. Do we have time to see whether feeding her small doses of food frequently will do better? The vet says we can try today and tomorrow, but if it isn’t working we’ve got to put a tube in on Wednesday. I ask about the tube. It’s just as much work, or more, than upping the frequency of syringe feeding. She’ll check in tomorrow and if Idi’s still throwing everything up we’ll make the appointment for the tube. If she’s keeping it down I’ll arrange cat sitters for when I work Tuesday and Wednesday night, and otherwise feed her constantly. Vet says to give her anti-nausea meds q6h now.

3:15 pm she gets about 6mLs of the syringe food. I set the oven timer for an hour, finally beat the scenario in Glest that’s been kicking my ass for weeks. Mix up more food, a little runnier this time so she get some fluids (she isn’t drinking and sub-q fluids will just stress her out more so I’m trying to avoid needing them). She hasn’t thrown up by the time the oven timer goes off at 4:15, so I load the syringe and feed her another 5mLs. Oven timer set for another hour.

So far this is working a lot better. I can get 5mLs in her before she gets cranky about it, so the feedings aren’t stressing her out so much she has to go hide to recover. This is two of three likely causes of vomiting nixed. If she hasn’t thrown up in 30 minutes I’m pilling her. If we’re still clear 30min later I’m feeding her again.

Update: Pilling not terribly successful. I think enough of it got in, but it crumbled. There’s a lot of drool. I’m used to her salivating a bit when pilling, this time she had strings of it. Spent two or so minutes trying to get it all swallowed again. Pill must taste bad when it dissolves in her mouth because she keeps doing the icky after-taste thing with her tongue. Feeding her again 30 min after the pill got in (1h10min after last feeding) if she continues keeping everything down. If that goes well, I’m getting out of the house for an hour so I can eat without smelling superawful catfood.

Update 6pm: Still no vomit. Fed her again. This time filled the syringe to 12mLs (have been filling to 7 or so). Stopped feeding her with 3mLs left. I’d guess she got 8mLs or slightly more down. We took a couple breaks while feeding. This gave her chance to swallow and to calm down. I decided to call it quits with 3mLs left because she was getting much pushier about not accepting the sryinge and I don’t want to stress her out or over feed her. I’m operating on the anything-she-vomits-doesn’t-count school of thought. I’m guessing I’ve gotten 19-20mLs of food into her in the last three hours. The internet indicates that an adult cat should get 100-120mLs. I’m not going to hit that with this rate of feeding, but Idi’s a small cat and my goal at this point is to get enough in her that a feeding tube isn’t necessary. The longer she doesn’t need a feeding tube, the longer she isn’t one step shy of dead.

Update 7:30pm: No vomit. 7pm feeding late due to Idi hiding very stubbornly in the couch. She crawled under there just before I left for dinner and didn’t come out until I stripped all the cushion off. She’s healthy enough that finding the hole on the top side of the frame where the springs have torn up the fabric was enough to lure her out. This probably just means that she’s a cat, and alive. Fed her a whole 10 mLs with little more than a yowl of protest. I congratulated myself on my improvements in cat-towel-syringe technique since she didn’t get a paw out to claw me and didn’t manage to get away. Right as the syringe emptied she walked away before I could stop her. I think maybe she’s coming around to the beauties of food in her stomach. Or she’s lulling me for an attack at her next feeding. She is not back in the couch, via her newly discovered hole. I’ll leave the cushions off to make her easier to retrieve next time.

Update 10:15pm: No vomit. No fight for the food. She wants a break after about 4mLs to swallow. Filled the syringe to 11mLs; at least 10 got in her. She’s grooming which means probably half of what splattered is going to make it in too. I’m still seeing a lot more of her tongue than usual. She’s much less pathetically lethargic than she was last night. We’re up to about 40mLs total, over 7 hours. I’m thinking this is a good rate. Her anti-nausea pill is due at 11. I’ll feed her again around 11:30.

Update 11pm: Pilled. Got it in for good upon third attempt. She didn’t fight, just managed to make it bounce out. She seems pretty sleepy.

Update 11:30pm: 10mLs in. Didn’t even have to force her mouth open, just nudged it with the syringe.

Update 12:55am: 4mLs in. No protest yowl this time. Took the four mLs without a fight, then refused to open up for more and walked away. This brings us to 55mLs so far. If we’re planning for 100mLs per 24hr period then we’re ahead of schedule. She seems sleepy. She’s been hanging out in my bed (instead of on the couch or the steps) since 10:30 or so. I’m going to let us both get some sleep for three hours and see if I can get another 10 into her. Future updates go into a new entry.

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