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Elvis in dire straits :(

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  • phpdiva
    Our update one week after the clot. Elvis had a clot to one of his hind legs a week ago, and we discovered he has severe HCM. He has been at home, and
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 11, 2013
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      Our update one week after the clot.

      Elvis had a clot to one of his hind legs a week ago, and we discovered he has severe HCM. He has been at home, and recovering very well: gained back most of his function in the leg, fluid cleared up from lungs, bloodwork is looking very good!

      But he is not eating :( We've tried everything, done every test... Tried 2 different kinds of appetite stimulants, daily pepcid, raising his bowl, offering him every kind of cat food available, including junk, his most favorite treats, putting food on his mouth, where he would have to lick it off. No matter what we offer him, he just turns his face away, and refuses to eat. He spent the night at the urgent care, where they tried some syringe feedings on him.

      He didn't take well to syringe feeding. He just hates anything going into his mouth. There's nothing wrong with him medically, so we think he got food aversion from feeling sick / "off", and from getting oral medications.

      The next step to try is an esophageal feeding tube, and switching to all injections, instead of oral medications. The big concern is anesthesia with his severe heart condition.

      So we're at a loss... Do we risk the anesthesia with the HCM? Will he tolerate the tube - what if he hates it? Will he start eating on his own? And the main question, are we really giving him the life and dignity he deserves, or just prolonging his suffering?

      This is all too much... Elvis was so full of life and energy just a week ago, and now he lost 20% of his weight, so weak and lethargic... Doesn't have any interest in playing, and sleeps most of the time... I just want to do right by him... 
    • MICHAELA puertoricolady41
      Try Nutri-Cal. I ordered it from Amazon.com. Stay safe!!! Michaela To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com From: anastasia@is-what-i-am.com Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 11, 2013
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        Try Nutri-Cal.  I ordered it from Amazon.com.

        Stay safe!!!  Michaela



        To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
        From: anastasia@...
        Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:12:43 -0700
        Subject: [FH] Elvis in dire straits :(

         
        Our update one week after the clot.

        Elvis had a clot to one of his hind legs a week ago, and we discovered he has severe HCM. He has been at home, and recovering very well: gained back most of his function in the leg, fluid cleared up from lungs, bloodwork is looking very good!

        But he is not eating :( We've tried everything, done every test... Tried 2 different kinds of appetite stimulants, daily pepcid, raising his bowl, offering him every kind of cat food available, including junk, his most favorite treats, putting food on his mouth, where he would have to lick it off. No matter what we offer him, he just turns his face away, and refuses to eat. He spent the night at the urgent care, where they tried some syringe feedings on him.

        He didn't take well to syringe feeding. He just hates anything going into his mouth. There's nothing wrong with him medically, so we think he got food aversion from feeling sick / "off", and from getting oral medications.

        The next step to try is an esophageal feeding tube, and switching to all injections, instead of oral medications. The big concern is anesthesia with his severe heart condition.

        So we're at a loss... Do we risk the anesthesia with the HCM? Will he tolerate the tube - what if he hates it? Will he start eating on his own? And the main question, are we really giving him the life and dignity he deserves, or just prolonging his suffering?

        This is all too much... Elvis was so full of life and energy just a week ago, and now he lost 20% of his weight, so weak and lethargic... Doesn't have any interest in playing, and sleeps most of the time... I just want to do right by him... 
      • J. R.
        Hi. We have some experience in this realm too as our neurologic cat Bell had a terrible time after his eardrum was ruptured by a really bad vet and they washed
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 11, 2013
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          Hi.
          We have some experience in this realm too as our neurologic cat Bell had a terrible time after his eardrum was ruptured by a really bad vet and they washed all the bacteria into his middle ear...causing severe vestibular syndrome and horners. He was on IV lines till his veins collapsed then we were forced to feed at home. He was on two appetite enhancers simultaneously (cyproheptadine is shorter acting and antihistamine based, mirtazapine is one longer...can give you that info if you need it) both given orally as a compound as we cannot be pilled. Even with that getting any food into him was nearly impossible and we were giving subQ fluids for hydration since he would not drink. All but one of his 7 meds were made into oral compounds so the syringe meant horror to him (and he still is difficult to this day and 6 months later still has eating related issues and we syringe feed as a supplement to ensure his caloric intake).
           
          Just a thought, is he suffering from nausea? Bell's injury typically causes nausea so part of his meds included anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and pain plus plus plus many others some to counteract the side effects of the other meds. 
           
          So here are some ideas all of which we used:
          1) Gerber baby food - buy it most supermarkets
               Protein only comes in Ham, Beef, Chicken, and Turkey.
               It is perfectly safe so long as the little bit of salt in it is OK with your doctor.
               He licked the food off our fingers rather than syringe into his mouth but you can syringe it especially when it's warmed.
           
               If he likes the taste you can mix it with a thinned down pate food.
               We were using Hills A/D for recovery as it's high calorie, and Royal Canin Baby Cat Pate/Loaf - the A/D we had to get from the vet - because the grind on the pate was fine and could be forced through a 3mm syringe
               You can thin down the pate with gerber or KMR
               You can even add the Nutri-Cal into the mix to an added calorie boost
           
          2) Milk replacement like KMR or Just Born which is used for kittens, or Cat Sure which is for adult cats  - most pet food stores sell them
           
          3) Nutri-Cal or similar vitamin & calorie supplement - also at most pet food stores and they have a bunch on Dr. Fosters too.
           
          4) Boiled chicken and rice put through food processor
              You need to supplement with vitamins as it's not sufficient but easy on the digestion.
               It took a while to get him to this stage and we used dark meat for the extra fat
           
           
          Here is a link to a website we use for ideas.
          We always double check anything we think about giving with the vet; between our GP, internal med specialist and neurologist we're pretty comfortable with their recommendations.
          We do not use holistic supplements, but others may have ideas on that front.
           
          We hope this helps in some small way...it's awful to go through.
          We know it's stressful
           
          Best regards,
          JR
           

          From: MICHAELA puertoricolady41 <hotpr33@...>
          To: "anastasia@..." <anastasia@...>; "feline-heart@yahoogroups.com" <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:05 PM
          Subject: RE: [FH] Elvis in dire straits :(
           
          Try Nutri-Cal.  I ordered it from Amazon.com.
          Stay safe!!!  Michaela
          To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com From: anastasia@... Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:12:43 -0700 Subject: [FH] Elvis in dire straits :( 
          Our update one week after the clot. Elvis had a clot to one of his hind legs a week ago, and we discovered he has severe HCM. He has been at home, and recovering very well: gained back most of his function in the leg, fluid cleared up from lungs, bloodwork is looking very good! But he is not eating :( We've tried everything, done every test... Tried 2 different kinds of appetite stimulants, daily pepcid, raising his bowl, offering him every kind of cat food available, including junk, his most favorite treats, putting food on his mouth, where he would have to lick it off. No matter what we offer him, he just turns his face away, and refuses to eat. He spent the night at the urgent care, where they tried some syringe feedings on him. He didn't take well to syringe feeding. He just hates anything going into his mouth. There's nothing wrong with him medically, so we think he got food aversion from feeling sick / "off", and from getting oral medications. The next step to try is an esophageal feeding tube, and switching to all injections, instead of oral medications. The big concern is anesthesia with his severe heart condition. So we're at a loss... Do we risk the anesthesia with the HCM? Will he tolerate the tube - what if he hates it? Will he start eating on his own? And the main question, are we really giving him the life and dignity he deserves, or just prolonging his suffering? This is all too much... Elvis was so full of life and energy just a week ago, and now he lost 20% of his weight, so weak and lethargic... Doesn't have any interest in playing, and sleeps most of the time... I just want to do right by him... 
        • marianna.mayer
          Dear Elvis mom, Great advice from JR. I would urge you to join Feline-Assisted-Feeding@yahoogroups.com They will be most helpful, since everything within the
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 11, 2013
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            Dear Elvis' mom,
             
            Great advice from JR.
            I would urge you to join
            They will be most helpful, since everything within the make up of that group is related to your specific needs.
             Marianna
          • Anastasia Tajik
            Hi everyone, I think something might be going on with the Yahoo groups. I tried replying to this a couple of times, but my post wasn t showing up (or maybe I
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 11, 2013
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              Hi everyone,

              I think something might be going on with the Yahoo groups. I tried replying to this a couple of times, but my post wasn't showing up (or maybe I was doing something wrong, not sure). Anyway, I'll try one more time.

              Thank you so much to all who responded! Fantastic tips and suggestions!

              Elvis just went through the E-tube procedure, and is currently recovering from anesthesia. I will keep in mind all the suggestions here, while he is on his road to recovery. And thanks for the link to the assisted feeding group, Mary!

              Hugs to all of you and your fur babies!
              --
              ~ Anastasia
            • Jordan
              Great news Anatasia!! I wish Elvis continued recooperation. I think you did the right thing. Your boy can now get the food he needs and this will
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 12, 2013
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                Great news Anatasia!!   I wish Elvis continued recooperation.      I think you did the right thing.     Your boy can now get the food he needs and this will make giving meds much easier too.
                 
                BTW, my Sheba has feline asthma and unclassified cardiomyopathy and she needed emergency surgery too last November.   I had to make the decision in a hour!!!!  If she did not have two corneal grafts both eyes would have ruptured!!     All I could do was give the vet the anesthesia protocol from her cardiologist, tell her a love her and say  a prayer for my girl.
                 
                I am pleased to say Sheba made it through surgery without a hitch and recoved slowly but surely.   I do not regret it for a minute!!
                 
                Heart kitties CAN survive surgery.    It just is not easily recommended.
                 
                Hugs and kitty kisses,
                 
                Jordan and Sheba
              • Anastasia Tajik
                Thank you so much for well wishes and comments, everyone! A quick update on Elvis: he did very well with anesthesia - no complications - and we brought him
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 13, 2013
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                  Thank you so much for well wishes and comments, everyone!

                  A quick update on Elvis: he did very well with anesthesia - no complications - and we brought him back home with the e-tube last night. The facility that's treating him actually sent him home with the Kitty Kollar (and we ordered a couple more - thanks, Carol!), food, a demonstration, and thorough instructions on feeding.

                  He is still really weak from going without food for so long, plus he has some kind of upper-respiratory thing going on (nose seems stuffed, but no discharge). But overall he seems comfortable with the feedings, and happy to be at home! We're very optimistic that we can get him over the "food strike" soon with the help of e-tube.

                  Jordan, glad to hear Sheba's surgery turned out well! It's a tough call to make.

                  Jenny, Elvis is not showing any other signs of nausea, other than turning away food, although, we can't rule anything out, of course. He is on mirtazapine, which is supposed to have some anti-nausea properties, but like I said - he hasn't been showing any signs of nausea (no vomiting, licking, lip-smacking, or swallowing). 

                  Again, really appreciate all the feedback! All the best to you and your furry ones!
                  --
                  ~ Anastasia
                • Cindi
                  For what it s worth from a human perspective - my Mom could not eat well after side effects from 2 years of chemo. She had a PEG feeding tube put it and it
                  Message 8 of 12 , Sep 14, 2013
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                    For what it's worth from a human perspective - my Mom could not eat well after side effects from 2 years of chemo.  She had a PEG feeding tube put it and it worked wonders by providing the nutrition she needed.  I hope the same happens for Elvis.  She liked it and it was used for meds too.  For meds you have to crush the pills and be careful not to clog the tube.  Be careful with it since it can become dislodged.  That happened to her one time and she had to have surgery to properly place it again.


                    Cindi missing the touch of Ditto
                    There she was, elegant, beautiful, swathed in the shiniest of clinging silks, a vision of loveliness in coffee and cream --- a Princess from Bangkok, an Oriental Goddess, a Queen on her throne --- a Siamese cat!
                    from May Eustace's Cats in Clover
                     


                    On Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 1:11 AM, Anastasia Tajik wrote:

                     

                    Thank you so much for well wishes and comments, everyone!

                    A quick update on Elvis: he did very well with anesthesia - no complications - and we brought him back home with the e-tube last night. The facility that's treating him actually sent him home with the Kitty Kollar (and we ordered a couple more - thanks, Carol!), food, a demonstration, and thorough instructions on feeding.

                    He is still really weak from going without food for so long, plus he has some kind of upper-respiratory thing going on (nose seems stuffed, but no discharge). But overall he seems comfortable with the feedings, and happy to be at home! We're very optimistic that we can get him over the "food strike" soon with the help of e-tube.

                    Jordan, glad to hear Sheba's surgery turned out well! It's a tough call to make.

                    Jenny, Elvis is not showing any other signs of nausea, other than turning away food, although, we can't rule anything out, of course. He is on mirtazapine, which is supposed to have some anti-nausea properties, but like I said - he hasn't been showing any signs of nausea (no vomiting, licking, lip-smacking, or swallowing). 

                    Again, really appreciate all the feedback! All the best to you and your furry ones!
                    --
                    ~ Anastasia


                  • Jordan
                    Great news Anatasia!! GO ELVIS!! Heart kitties CAN survive surgeries when absolutely necessary! Wonderful news. I love it. Hugs and kitty kisses,
                    Message 9 of 12 , Sep 14, 2013
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                      Great news Anatasia!!    GO ELVIS!!    Heart kitties CAN survive surgeries when absolutely necessary!     Wonderful news.   I love it.

                      Hugs and kitty kisses,
                      Jordan and Sheba
                    • Anastasia Tajik
                      Thank you, Jordan! :) And thank you for the ideas and the warning about clogged tubes, Cindi! We re definitely keeping an eye out for that, and crushing all
                      Message 10 of 12 , Sep 14, 2013
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                        Thank you, Jordan! :)

                        And thank you for the ideas and the warning about clogged tubes, Cindi! We're definitely keeping an eye out for that, and crushing all the meds / blending the food.

                        ~ Anastasia
                      • nicole harris
                        Hi Anastasia I came on the board a few weeks ago for advice on my kitty tomcat who had just been diagnosed with hcm on presentation of saddle thrombus.
                        Message 11 of 12 , Sep 15, 2013
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                          Hi Anastasia

                          I came on the board a few weeks ago for advice on my kitty tomcat who had just been diagnosed with hcm on presentation of saddle thrombus. I'd seen some of your messages about Elvis previously but couldn't get online for days.

                          Got Internet connection back finally and catching up on the board and saw your amazingly wonderful post on Elvis and him getting through his surgery! That is such good news and you must be soooo happy to have him home. I know that terrible feeling when you don't know whether your kitty is going to survive something or not. It's horrendous and I'm so glad to see your Elvis is recovering.

                          Sending you and Elvis kitty hugs :)

                          Nicole x x x


                          From: Anastasia Tajik <anastasia@...>;
                          To:
                          Cc: <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>;
                          Subject: [FH] Re: Elvis in dire straits :(
                          Sent: Sat, Sep 14, 2013 5:11:05 AM

                           

                          Thank you so much for well wishes and comments, everyone!

                          A quick update on Elvis: he did very well with anesthesia - no complications - and we brought him back home with the e-tube last night. The facility that's treating him actually sent him home with the Kitty Kollar (and we ordered a couple more - thanks, Carol!), food, a demonstration, and thorough instructions on feeding.

                          He is still really weak from going without food for so long, plus he has some kind of upper-respiratory thing going on (nose seems stuffed, but no discharge). But overall he seems comfortable with the feedings, and happy to be at home! We're very optimistic that we can get him over the "food strike" soon with the help of e-tube.

                          Jordan, glad to hear Sheba's surgery turned out well! It's a tough call to make.

                          Jenny, Elvis is not showing any other signs of nausea, other than turning away food, although, we can't rule anything out, of course. He is on mirtazapine, which is supposed to have some anti-nausea properties, but like I said - he hasn't been showing any signs of nausea (no vomiting, licking, lip-smacking, or swallowing). 

                          Again, really appreciate all the feedback! All the best to you and your furry ones!
                          --
                          ~ Anastasia
                        • Anastasia Tajik
                          Hi Nicole, Thank you so much for the kind words! We re super-happy to have Elvis back home! He is still weak, but slowly his strength and personality are
                          Message 12 of 12 , Sep 17, 2013
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                            Hi Nicole,

                            Thank you so much for the kind words! 
                            We're super-happy to have Elvis back home! He is still weak, but slowly his strength and personality are coming back to him! :)

                            I'm also happy to hear that Tomcat made it through the thrombus incident. It is totally terrifying and shocking. Good luck to you and Tomcat! :)

                            -- 
                            Anastasia 
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