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Getting Bunny to drink more water

Bunny drinking chicken broth.

I started yesterday to explore ways to make Bunny drink more water.

So far, what works is to flavour the water.

Bunny likes virgin coconut oil, so I tried dropping some oil into water and he licked it all up! Virgin coconut oil is also a traditional remedy for constipation so I hope that helps as well. But the maximum amount of VCO to feed a cat daily is only 1/2 teaspoon so I cannot do it too many times in a day.

I need other “flavours” and I discovered that what works better for Bunny is to add some canned tuna into the water. He loves this. The downside is that tuna has natural salt and salt isn’t good for Bunny, both for his constipation as well as his kidney issues. I put only very little tuna into the water but if there is not enough tuna, he won’t drink it, so that’s tricky. I do understand that the water dilutes the taste of the tuna and it is very sporting of Bunny to still drink it, but I should still explore other salt-free ways.

I’ve checked and both Monge and Cindy’s canned tuna do not have added salt. However I tasted it myself and they seem salty. I’ve been reading up on tuna and learnt that since it comes from the sea, it has natural salt from the sea water even if the manufacturer claims that no salt is added to the canned food. However I do put a lot of water to dilute the taste.

I use chicken broth too, but Bunny prefers the tuna-flavoured water. The chicken broth definitely has no added salt as I brew it myself. It also takes a lot of patience to feed him the chicken broth as he doesn’t drink it all up in one sitting. But it’s good that he drinks it.

I’ll continue to find other ways. Bunny does not drink from the water fountain. I’ve tried that before. If you know of other ways, please do share. I’d appreciate it so much – thank you!

 

 

Bunny’s constipation problem and the manual evacuation

It has been two days since Bunny’s enema on Thursday. Since then, there has been no poop from him.

We palpated him and if we are palpating at the correct place, there seems to be a long, hard piece of faeces in his colon.

I was really hoping he would be able to defecate on his own, but there was no such luck. I’ve also been monitoring and scanning the back garden for faeces and there was none.

This morning, he was straining to defecate again. We couldn’t let this go on, so I took him to the vet’s again.

The vet palpated him and confirmed that there is indeed a long, hard piece of faeces. Of course it has to come out. The vet planned to do two enemas if need be and if the hard stool isn’t passed out, it would have to be a manual evacuation under sedation.

I felt so sad having to leave Bunny at the vet’s. The whole procedure would take about 4 hours.

Finally the clinic called ahead of time and said we could take Bunny home in an hour’s time.

At the clinic, I found Bunny sitting comfortably in the litter box in the cage. He seemed none the worse.

The vet said that the first set of enema did not work. Bunny didn’t even try to defecate. In fact, he was sitting comfortably and even sleeping after the first set, so the vet decided not to do another set. Instead, Bunny was given a mild sedation and manual evacuation of the faeces was done. The evacuated faeces was hard, dry and had a bit of fur in it as well. I guess it was just too hard and dry for Bunny to eliminate it by himself. And to think that I had already taken him to the vet’s after 2 no-poop days. I did not wait.

The vet confirmed that Bunny does not have megacolon. This is a great relief. Now, we must prevent him from getting there.

The most important thing now is to get Bunny to drink more water. Subcut isn’t the same as drinking water.

I actually seldom see Bunny drinking water. His staple food is Cubgrub which already has a lot of water in it. In the last two days, I tried syringe-feeding water to Bunny and he did not like it at all. He spat it out. This morning, I added some tuna to some water and managed to get Bunny to lick it all up.

Other things to consider is to reduce the calcium in his food. Or to add fiber to his food. I’ve already started giving Bunny pumpkin but unlike Indy, Bunny doesn’t like pumpkin at all.

The vet says I don’t have to start Lactulose yet because all the faeces have been evacuated today. There will be no poop tomorrow, but Bunny should start pooping on Monday. If he doesn’t, I am to start him on Lactulose.

So, we came home. I kept thinking about how we could get Bunny to drink water on his own. Syringe-feeding water does not work as he hates it. Subcut isn’t the same as drinking water as in subcut the water absorbs through the skin, into the blood and only some of it might get to the GI tract. Drinking water is getting water directly into the GI tract and this is what we want. Tuna-flavoured water worked this morning. I might try adding water to his food as well, but this is tricky as it might change the taste and we all know how fussy cats are.

We reached home and I suspect Bunny must be hungry as he missed lunch while at the vet’s, so I offered some food.

Yes, he ate! I added some water to the food too even though his Cubgrub already has a lot of water.

Then, I put Bunny back to his room. Bunny went to one of the three water bowls and wanted to drink, but did not. Taking the cue, I quickly changed the water and filled the bowl to the brim. Bunny drank!

In fact, he drank twice! So, it has to be fresh water even though we do change the water every day, Bunny wants is freshly changed. This is the first time I’ve seen Bunny drinking water for quite sometime now.

So, that’s two rounds of drinking water. Then, Bunny asked to come out to the patio and he went to the water bowl there and stared at it. Quickly, I changed the water and the miracle happened again.

This means I want it changed, please. 

He drank two rounds!

And another round again!

All in, since coming back home, Bunny has drunk water a total of SIX rounds!

The challenge now is to get him to drink as often as possible on a daily basis. I guess one way is to watch him and keep changing the water in the bowls as often as is necessary. Bunny is also blind, so the position of the bowls cannot be changed. He knows where they are.

                       Baby steps, Bunny, baby steps. We will get there, somehow.

Take a good long rest now, Bunny. You deserve it.

 

 

Indy’s glorious poo

I didn’t think pumpkin would work for Indy, but it did this time.

We are SO lucky.

In 2019, it did not work and we ended up trying so many other remedies which also did not work. The Battle of the Loose Stools lasted for FOUR whole months then.

This time, I decided we would give the pumpkin a try again.

Well, this evening Indy passed out well formed stools.

And it’s as though Indy knows that he is not supposed to cover up his stools so that I can take photos and keep a record too!

When Indy had totally liquid stools on 21st July, I saw him passing it out and he quickly tried to cover it up as all cats do. But I called after him and told him not to. Thereafter, he has not covered up his stools; he just passes it out and walks off.

Clever Indy.

But you still want to be force fed, don’t you?

Well, I don’t mind doing it if that is what it takes to ensure you eat a proper meal and not rely solely on baby food. He just wants to be force fed his raw food. For today, he was willing to drink up his bone broth all by himself. No need for the syringe.

At least for now we have solved the loose stool problem. Let’s hope it is REALLY solved!

Note: I’m posting the photos of his stools here for my own records. If you’d rather not see them, please do not scroll down!

21st July 2021, evening. 6 hours after food. Totally liquid.

22nd July 2021, afternoon. Blood-tinged. Soft.

23rd July 2021, early morning. Formed but soft.

23rd July 2021, evening. Immediately after eating. Well-formed. Solid.

I tested it with a spade. It is solid, glorious poo! Pumpkin worked this time.

Thank you, pumpkin! You are a glorious fruit!

What’s up, Indy?

So, Indy’s story continues.

Yesterday, we started well and from morning until evening, I did not have to force feed Indy at all. I thought we could make it through the whole day with this “win”, but no, by dinner time, he had to force fed again. Given a choice, Indy only wants baby food and nothing else. But baby food isn’t enough for you, Indy.

Other than being so choosy over food, Indy is active and alert and is back to all his usual habits.

With steamed pumpkin, he stools are at least formed now. It’s not liquid. There is form but it is still soft.

But the difference between Indy and Bunny is that Indy is active and isn’t sick. So, I’m not worried about him. It looks like the steamed pumpkin is working, so we shall keep to this.

There is also the possibility that Indy just enjoys being choosy. Maybe he is so crazy that he wants to be force fed? Maybe he just enjoys the attention that he is getting.

Talking about attention, even Cow and Cleo were on a mogok lapar a few days ago. But those two aren’t sick. They are eating again now, but I think they too want all the attention that Indy is getting.

Today, Indy was force fed again. I know he will eat the baby food by himself, but he has to go back to his normal food.

Indy, baby food alone isn’t enough for you. You are not a baby.

Indy: Why should I eat by myself when I can be fed? 

 

Bunny’s updates

I was so, so worried about Bunny since last night.

After coming home from his enema, he seemed alright, but later, he did not look well at all. He refused to eat and seemed unwell. I was worried that perhaps the enema had taken a stressful toll on Bunny, especially with him being elderly now. His breathing was quite fast and I was monitoring him all night.

The vet advised to give him 1/4 capsule of Omeprazole if he does not eat and to force feed after an hour. I did this and force fed some baby food (Cindy’s blended food) with steamed pumpkin. It wasn’t easy force feeding Bunny as he clearly did not wish to eat.

The vet said to add either psyllium husk, wheat bran or pumpkin to Bunny’s meals as fiber. I decided to use steamed pumpkin. Unfortunately, Bunny does not like pumpkin.

Bunny slept most of the time. Well, at least he could sleep.

But I barely slept all night. I was reading up as much as I could about chronic constipation and megacolon in cats.

By morning, I was really hoping that Bunny would be better. Hopefully, the all-night rest have helped him recover.

I offered his usual Cubgrub breakfast.

I think Bunny just licked a little bit of food and then, he walked away.

No amount of enticement could make him eat. His appetite is simply not back yet. I force fed him later.

This thing about force feeding – I really don’t know if it is the right thing to do. Some say that when a cat doesn’t want to eat, let him be. Some experts even say never to force feed; an animal knows better (than us). On the other hand, if there’s no food, the animal might get gastritis and that adds on more problems. So I really don’t know what is right. I’ll just listen to whatever the vet advises.

I found a small piece of faeces (which looks like Bunny’s), but just one small piece. The thing with Bunny is that he doesn’t use the sandpit and he also doesn’t defecate in a single spot. So, every day, I have to scan the entire back garden to spot his poop. I more or less know some of his usual spots, but still, it can be anywhere.

During the morning, I gave Bunny his B-12 tablet, his Gentle Digest probiotic, 2.5ml Lactulose and some virgin coconut oil (which he refused to lick although he liked it before). All spaced out throughout the morning. I also did a 200ml subcut, as advised by the vet.

By lunch time, Bunny still refused to eat. I added snacks and appetite enhancers to his food, but nothing worked. In fact, he went to hide behind the washing machine again. Oh dear…this is not a good sign. After force feeding him some lunch, I decided to give him transdermal Mirtazapine (it is actually Indy’s but he doesn’t need it anymore). Nothing to lose, I thought. It’s an appetite stimulant, but it did not work on Indy or Pole. It did work on Vincent, though.

I was very worried and wondered what we should do for Bunny. It’s been too long now.

After about two hours, I sat with Bunny. He wasn’t sleeping. Sigh…what else do we have in the house? We have some Greenies. So I took a bowl and poured out 4 pellets, not expecting him to eat. But guess what, he ate heartily!

This was totally unexpected!

So I quickly went to the kitchen to get the only can of Monge Tuna & Chicken that we have (bought for Indy, but he refused to eat it). There’s nothing to lose, just try it on Bunny. I’ve learnt and noticed that we shouldn’t use whatever food that we have used for force feeding; it should be something different.

And….Bunny ate!! Bunny ate!!

He ate up about three-quarters of the can!

Okay, this is a good start. Let’s hope his appetite is really back now.

We are not out of the woods yet, I know. In fact, we do have a long way to go. It’s not just about eating, it’s also about defecating. But having an appetite again is already a big win.

For now, I’ll give you whatever food you want, Bunny, as long as you are willing to eat it. The challenge now is to find THE food that (1) Bunny is willing to eat and which (2) eases his defecation. It’s a two-pronged challenge here. It’s not going to be easy.

Bunny didn’t ask to come out to the patio this morning too. That’s because he really wasn’t feeling well.

But now, he’s out exploring – another hopeful sign!

Although generally Bunny eats more than Cow, over the last one year, Bunny has grown slimmer. He used to be very stout in his heyday. Cow, on the other hand, eats so much less than Bunny but has been able to maintain his stout frame. Well, that’s okay, as long as they are both healthy. Bunny’s weight, however, has been steady at about 5.2kg even though he is much slimmer now.

Baby steps, Bunny, baby steps.

Bunny’s chronic constipation (to the vet’s)

Bunny has chronic constipation. His stools are usually very dry and hard. Whenever I see him straining, I give him Lactulose and normally that helps.

But for two days now, he has been straining and he has not been able to defecate. Even Lactulose did not help. I also tried steamed pumpkin and virgin coconut oil. Probably because of the constipation, Bunny’s appetite decreased as well.

By this afternoon, he did not seem well and was hiding behind the washing machine – something he has never done before.

So, it’s off to the vet’s. Constipation can be very uncomfortable, I know.

This month seems to be a month of many vet visits for us.

The vet palpated Bunny and yes, he has hard stools midway up his intestines. He would need two enemas. The first is to soften the stools and the second is to stimulate defecation. Bunny was given an anti-vomiting jab first (Cerenia) because one of the side effects of the enema is vomiting.

He was given the first enema and then placed in the cubicle to wait for it to take effect. I waited beside him. Then, the second enema was given and we waited again. In about one minute, Bunny started looking for a place to defecate. The enema fluids came out followed by just a tiny piece of faeces. That was all.

The vet had said earlier that if nothing happens today, we would have to come back tomorrow for the same procedure. It might take two procedures to get everything out.

We waited again. After about 15 minutes, the vet came in to palpate Bunny and immediately after that, Bunny got into position again. The enema fluids came out, Bunny strained and this was followed by one big poop and another smaller one.

Poop, glorious poop indeed!  I wish there were more.

But it’s good that the big one has come out now. It looks like we don’t have to come back tomorrow.

So, we could go home.

Previously Bunny had an enema done and that was in March 2019. Two years ago.

But what Bunny has now is actually chronic constipation and the vet suggested we give him 2.5ml Lactulose twice daily until his bowel movement is more regular. Then, we can reduce it to once daily. I can also increase the fiber in his food.

Bunny is already on (wet) raw diet, so there is water in his food. However, he seldom drinks water. Bunny is also on twice-weekly subcut as maintenance for his kidney issues. The vet says the frequency of subcut can also be increased if need be, if only to increase the water in his body.

I’ll have to monitor Bunny’s bowel movement more closely now. The vet also said Bunny might have megacolon, but we don’t know for sure yet. Meanwhile, she prescribed B-12 tablets to help with the nerves. I will give Bunny Lactulose twice a day to see if the situation improves.

I think Bunny feels better now.

Indy and the steamed pumpkin

It was a long shot, but I offered some steamed pumpkin to Indy last night. Initially, as expected, he rejected it, but after force feeding him a bit, to my surprise, he ate it up by himself. I waited all night to see if there would be any loose stools. There was none and Indy was sleeping comfortably on the shelf.

I thought about Indy’s case all night and my most optimistic conclusion is this: One of the side effects of Metrogyl is diarrhoea. Could the liquid stools be caused by the Metrogyl? And can we hope that now that Indy has finished the course of Metrogyl, the diarrhoea might go away? Perhaps with some help from the steamed pumpkin?

This morning, there was no rooster call, so my husband came downstairs first and let Indy out of Bunny’s Room. He started feeding Tabs and Ginger and since Indy was also in the kitchen, he offered Indy some Cubgrub as well.

Surprise, surprise! Indy ate it by himself! It was a small amount, but it’s a huge start. This is the first time after a week that Indy is willing to eat raw food by himself.

When I came downstairs to feed Bunny and gang, Indy ate a small amount of Cubgrub again. He also ate up all the steamed pumpkin that I offered.

I found faeces at the sandpit and this time, it was soft but there was form. At least it is not all liquid like yesterday. I am placing all my hope on the steamed pumpkin to do the magic. Please…let it work. Maybe Indy knows it works, so he is willing to eat it.

A little while later, Indy came to ask for food again. This time, I offered some raw chicken and after the initial hesitance, he ate some too.

Ideally, Indy should go back to raw food because raw food has natural enzymes that would help in digestion. I hope we can achieve this.

Baby steps, Indy, baby steps.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been having some feeding problems with Cleo and Cow as well. They have not been eating very well in the past two days. But their problem isn’t as serious as Indy’s.

Indy and the battle of the loose stools (again!)

Following Indy’s refusal to eat by himself for 6 days and his lockdown kendiri under the bed, Indy started eating small amounts two days ago and so far, he is willing to eat blended baby food (Cindy’s recipe) and some kibble. He is still not willing to eat his raw diet by himself and I have been force feeding him three times a day so that he gets enough nutrition.

However, two days ago, I noticed loose stools from Indy and this evening, it had become liquid stools.

Oh no…it’s the battle of the loose stools and a grim reminder of what we went through in 2019, from August until December. That’s almost four months of battling with his loose stool problem. I posted regular updates on his condition then and I’m now reading back all the old posts to find some guidance from there. I remember nothing worked then and we tried so many treatments.

Here is a summary of what happened in 2019: https://myanimalcare.org/2019/12/21/the-raw-deal-and-indys-update-after-4-months/

You might remember that we tried whatever that was recommended and nothing worked.

1. Steamed pumpkin
2. Probiotics (Mercola’s)
3. Digestive enzymes with prebiotics and probiotics (NaturVet’s)
4. Slippery Elm Bark
5. Clavamox (it helps, but he cannot be on it for the long term) – vet’s prescription
6. Metronidazole (it does not help) – vet’s prescription
7. Febendazole (anti-protozoa) – vet’s prescription
8. Toltrazuril (anti-protozoa) – vet’s prescription
9. Saccharomyces Boulardii (yeast probiotics)
10. Alpteses (pancreatic digestive enzymes) – vet’s prescription
11. Fibor (fiber) – vet’s prescription 

The problem finally resolved by itself and went away. The best conclusion we could draw from that episode would be that Indy had food intolerance to chicken and I finally resorted to giving him duck, rabbit and turkey. Coincidentally with that, the problem went away. But through it all, Indy was very cooperative and ate whatever he was served. His appetite never dwindled at all. He was as active as ever.

Right from the start, my raw-feeding friend said it was just detoxification and that I should just wait it out. Perhaps it was.

But ever since then, Indy has not been on a single protein. His raw diet consists on chicken, turkey and rabbit. And yet, he probably has a food intolerance problem again now.

Indy is also two years older now. And this time, he is not willing to eat his raw food. He is also not willing to drink the bone broth by himself.

I’m at a loss now and I don’t really know what to do. The four months in 2019 was quite a nightmare. I remember going to check at the sandpit with a torchlight at night, to monitor his stools, record it and take photos. I’ve been doing this all day today too.

The only difference is that for now, the loose stools are passed out 1-2 times a day and not immediately after a meal. For example, today, it happened six hours after a meal. But one thing I did notice is that two days ago, the stools smelled really bad and was blood tinged. Today, I did not notice the foul smell or the blood, only that it is totally liquid and had no form at all.

Indy finished his Metrogyl antibiotics today. From tomorrow onwards, he will only have the Gentle Digest probiotics. I might give him steamed pumpkin tonight although it did not work the last time.

If this is going to be another long-drawn battle, I hope and pray that the problem will resolve by itself in time.

We will fight this battle together, Indy.

Eight hoopoes in Taiping Lake Gardens now!

I’ve been following this story with much delight: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2021/07/20/8-in-the-family-now-for-taiping-hoopoes/

It’s so heartwarming that they seem to have decided to make Taiping Lake Gardens their home.