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Old 02-02-2017, 02:27 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,996 times
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I have a 19 year old cat that I love dearly. He's been very healthy most his life and is still quite active and very happy and snugly.
About 6 years ago he had his last dental. I used to keep up on them religiously but after that last one he had, he stopped eating... not sure why... and he developed feline hepatic lipidosis. It was devastating. He went from 14 lbs to 6 lbs. I had to roll him up in a blanket 6 times a day and forcefeed him with a syringe. I had to administer IV fluids 2times a day. But after a month of doing this, he recovered fully. After that I stopped getting him dentals because I worried we'd have to go through that all over again. He had almost died during that and I didn't want to risk it. He had had most his teeth removed anyway and they remained in decent condition. Over the past 2 years his teeth have gotten bad and he's also aged and lost a lot of weight. He's down to about 5.7 lbs.

This past month he started peeing right next to the litter box about every third time. I took him to the vet today, she's doing a full blood panel, diabetes test and urinalysis to see if he has a UTI. She says she's pretty sure he has chronic kidney disease as most cats develop it at his age. She also said he needed to put on more weight and drink more. His urine was almost clear though, very diluted. I won't get the test results till tomorrow.

So my questions here are:
What can I feed him to make him gain more weight? He is VERY picky. I tried the Science Diet AD and he won't eat it, I've tried the calorie paste, I've tried all the fancy expensive specialty cat foods and he turns his nose at them. He'll eat the crap like Fancy Feast and 9 lives. I leave dry food out too but he won't touch it, he only eats canned. I also have to change the flavor with each meal because he won't eat the same food 2 times in a row. I give him cold cuts sometimes. I'm going to try baby food tonight. I give him all the cat treats he'll eat.

I also need to get him to drink more water. I always mix warm water with his canned food and he drinks all of that as well as drinks freely from his bowl but it's still not enough.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:17 PM
 
9,359 posts, read 16,959,616 times
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Canned, any canned, and the warm water added is good, too. Any canned he will eat, though try to avoid fishy foods.

No more cold cuts, very bad for him. Full of sodium and preservatives, bad for his kidneys. And pick up the dry food, that's bad for his kidneys too.

If he needs more fluid than he can get from an all canned diet with water added, the next step is sub q fluids. After what he and you have been through together before, the sub q administration should be breeze, once you get the hang of it.

Sounds like you take great care of your precious boy. I hope you can keep him happy with good quality of life for a long time to come. My CKD kitty kept going for about 3 years after her diagnosis.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:42 PM
 
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I figured the cold cuts weren't good for him, but he eats them so heartily I give them to him so at least he's getting calories.

With the canned foods he doesn't really like the fishy ones, so that's good. He prefers beef, chicken and turkey.

The sub-q fluids worry me because of the cost (I'm on assisted living) and because of the stress on him. I also don't want him to hate me.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
16,139 posts, read 52,827,997 times
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Giving injections to a cat takes some technique. You need to "tent" the skin, pinch firmly but not too hard, I like to have the cat laying with his/her head to my left (I'm right handed), tent the skin on the side of the body, use a separate needle if possible to fill the hypo, use a new, small as possible needle. It's good too to give a few treats, and a rubdown, as part of the "ritual" of getting the injection. If you can get some Feliway "Comfort Zone" artificial hormone, this tends to calm the cat and I would spray a bit of that on a paper towel and put near his head so he would inhale some,

My (now gone) diabetic cat "Mr. Biggs" (previous owners let him get fat and he developed diabetes) would sometimes purr through the whole procedure. He seemed to accept that every morning, he got some treats, a big rubdown, and a very small stick that didn't hurt much. He acted like he knew he needed it. No idea if he felt better after the insulin started to work or not.

You are right, you really don't want this to degenerate to you chasing the cat around the house with a needle in your hand.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 8,343,879 times
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Actually, the Classic Fancy Feast is quite good for your cat, and I certainly don't think of it as junk food. I noticed you said
Quote:
I give him all the cat treats he'll eat.
But if these are the dry kibble style of treats, they truly are not good for him. So if this is the case and you did discontinue these, he would, all things being equal, have more room for the Fancy Feast pate.

I'm sorry your boy is getting old and having these problems. It's hard to think about letting them go, isn't it, even though it may be what is best for them.

My Fiona is between 13-17 yrs old and she's beginning to have some of these same issues. I've already resolved that when I know she is regularly suffering, I will have it ended it for her.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:48 PM
 
Location: in my mind
5,165 posts, read 7,896,780 times
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I had to learn how to do Sub-Q fluids for my 19yo cat last year... its really very easy once you get the hang of it. The vet tech coached me through it the first time, but I am sure you could find a youtube video these days. Someone here had posted a link with a place to buy the bags cheap but you could also ask your vet.

It really did make my cat feel better. He also had kidney problems.

Do you have a low litter box? I was using one with higher edges, but my cat started having a hard time getting in there. This caused him to urinate outside of the box. Once I switched to the lowest size, he could step right in and do his business.
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:43 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Wait till the Vet gives you the results & Ask how & What to feed .
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:43 PM
 
9,359 posts, read 16,959,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemachine1 View Post
I figured the cold cuts weren't good for him, but he eats them so heartily I give them to him so at least he's getting calories.

With the canned foods he doesn't really like the fishy ones, so that's good. He prefers beef, chicken and turkey.

The sub-q fluids worry me because of the cost (I'm on assisted living) and because of the stress on him. I also don't want him to hate me.

There may come a time when "any food is better than none" and then he can have the deli meat if it comes to that, but you did say he will eat some canned foods. Whatever they are, feed him them.

Subq is not expensive. Ask your vet to write you a prescription, and have your local pharmacy order you a case. Granted this was a few years ago, but when I had my CKD girl, I paid the same price for a case ($24), 12 bags of lactated ringers, as I did for ONE at the vet. I got the tube sets and the needles at the pharmacy too (with prescription from the vet).

A bag is 1000 ml and how long each lasts of course depends on how frequently kitty needs it.

Giving fluids was stressful at first, until I got good at it, and my cat learned to associate feeling better with getting fluids. I always made it as pleasant and relaxes as possible of course with a very special treat after. One she got no other time.

I agree with the other comments, the dry treats really aren't god, and may be taking up space where he would eat more canned, if you didn't feed so many treats and ensuring a very low sided litter box.

xx
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:51 PM
 
454 posts, read 391,917 times
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When my boy went through his illness (hyperthyroid diagnosed, pancreatitis a month later which threw him into probable IBD, CKD diagnosed after thyroid medication was regulated - ) this past summer he lost several lbs. pretty quickly. He had very little appetite and I was desperate for him to eat ANYTHING. I fed him the canned vet food but he didn't really eat enough to help him much. He was also suffering from horrendous diarrhea 3-5 times a day (another story). I got him Origen freeze-dried treats and broke them up and put them in a little dish of water. He really loves the Boar and I could get him to eat (and drink) every time. It is also contains a lot of protein so it helped him gain some weight back. Happily he has gained about two lbs. since Sept/Oct and his appetite has returned to normal.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:16 PM
 
3,770 posts, read 3,601,680 times
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In the past, I have had luck with baby food in the jar, like the turkey and chicken varieties. At that age, I am most interested in getting CALORIES into them, and I pretty much cater to their whims.
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