Our 14 year-old Siamese male, Shadow, is not doing well. He was recently diagnosed with
CHF, after an emergency run to the vet due to trouble breathing. The fluid around his
lungs was about the worst I've ever seen on an x-ray that didn't result in death. We pulled
him through that mess, but now we have another troubling problem.
Meds are currently 2.5mg Enacard daily and 3.125mg Lasix daily, and I do sub-q fluids of
100-200ml daily or every other day, depending on litterbox usage and voluntary water
intake. I also have Lasix injections on-hand in case of more emergent issues with fluid
build-up or resulting breathing problems. I've had to use the injections a couple of times,
and had good response in a short period of time.
Overall, he's been doing well, save for his appetite. It's absolutely non-existent now, and
even to the point where he sometimes gags when I try to force-feed him. He fights all the
way, and I rarely manage to get more than 10-20cc down him. I tried Nutri-Cal just to get
some additional caloric value into his system, and that seemed to make things worse. He
threw up a few times, and actually went into hiding. He didn't want to be found.
Are there any ideas for getting even a little appetite back? I've tried everything I can think
of that he might tolerate, even if he won't voluntarily eat it... tuna (a favorite treat), baby
food, various brands/types of canned food, etc.
His weight since this started has gone from a mildly overweight 18lbs (he's an abnormally
large cat to begin with, so it's not as bad as it sounds) to a svelte 12.4 tonight. He's
getting bone thin, and I'm worried about hepatic or renal problems in the very near future
if I can't find a solution.
Long story, but Shadow isn't just a pet to my girlfriend. She lost her mother to cancer a
year ago last week, and she has not been doing well emotionally since. Shadow has been
one source of brightness in an otherwise dark time for her... now this...
If it's time to let him go, that's what we have to do, but if there's anything I can do to
prolong his life for the sake of hers, and still keep him from suffering greatly, I have to try.
Money is a very limiting factor in all of this, unfortunately. A battery of tests are pretty
much out of the question. If we can get him eating, it's a huge step in the right direction.