Vincent’s updates

This is going to be a long update. It covers from Thursday night till now (Saturday night).

During the last visit to the vet’s on Wednesday, the vet suggested that since Vincent won’t eat the renal diet, I’m to give him homecooked, canned and raw (in that order, with raw being the last option).

You know how it is that Vincent “listens” to the vet, right? Time and time again, he has proven to do so.

So, after that clinic visit, he didn’t want to eat raw anymore.

In fact, he didn’t even want to eat much….

And that got me really worried. On Friday, he didn’t look so good. He didn’t even have much appetite.

There could also be a few other factors, namely:

(a) The vet said we could try giving the painkiller cream, Tramadol, on alternate days. I did this and skipped one day. Maybe Vincent still needs the painkiller on a daily basis.

(b) Since he hated (and had been spitting out) the liquid antacid, the vet replaced it with Alucid, an antacid in tablet form. I stared him on this. Maybe this isn’t that effective. In just two days, Vincent had developed bad breath again. The antacid, besides being a phosphate binder, also helps with stomach acid and mouth ulcers. But I checked with the vet and she says the liquid and tablet form has the same efficacy.

(c) I made a fresh batch of cooked food on Thursday night and for a change, I offered Vincent some raw chicken fillet and raw liver. He ate it all up. This was what he ate during the period when he was at his worst, when the mouth ulcers were so bad that all he could do to stay alive was to pick up chicken fillet with his mouth and “chew” with his gums. His tongue was so ulcerated at the time so he couldn’t use his tongue at all. Those days have gone (thankfully!). I checked – his tongue has healed and there are no new mouth ulcers. But ever since he ate the chicken fillet and liver on Thursday night, he had been uninterested to eat any other food. He would eat, but not voraciously as before (not like a horse or a pig).

(d) I also started using Source Naturals B-complex tablet (pounded to powder) in the homecooked food – this is new. Previously, I only used Nutritional Yeast, but this contains phosphates so I changed the B-complex source. I also added more fish oil into our homecooked food.

However, on Thursday night when I was about to process the homecooked food (I add in the slurry of supplements (bone meal, Vit E, taurine, fish oil, Morton Lite Salt, B-complex) only after the cooked chicken has been blended), Vincent asked for the blended food (without the slurry), so I gave him and wow…he ate a lot.

He was eating homecooked food (without the slurry). It never used to be his favourite. But he was eating like a horse that night (plus the raw chicken fillet and the raw liver).

On Friday early morning, I tried the (new) homecooked food on the cats. Everyone ate it (thank goodness). So, despite the B-complex being rather “smelly”, everyone still ate the food. Vincent was the last to come downstairs for breakfast on Friday morning.

He too was willing to eat the (new) homecooked food, but he wasn’t exactly very excited about it. It was good enough that the smell did not turn him away.

The yellow colour is because of the B-complex. I was worried about the smell (even though it was just one tablet for an entire pot of cooked food).

Hmm…even Mr Zurik ate it. But Mr Zurik prefers kibble. He’s on Cindy’s grain-free now.

I like the new food….I do. 

The whole of yesterday, Vincent didn’t look good. I could tell instantly. He was in the meatloaf position almost the whole day. I was worried. He hid upstairs in our bedroom, and he was in the meatloaf position all the time. Not lying down, not sleeping. Just meatloafing.

The meatloaf position usually means they are in pain or not feeling well. When Vincent was at his worst, he was always in this meatloaf position.

He didn’t eat much at each meal though he did eat. It was back to the days of the staring game (oh no…please, no). This is not right, that is not right. So I had to keep offering all kinds of foods until I hit the right one. Sigh…

I tried to entice him to eat by giving him raw liver (which was his favourite).

Funny, though, he refused to eat Cubgrub. He even refused his favourite flavour, ie. Duck. He only wanted Cindy’s canned chicken and homecooked.

This morning, I tried again and it’s the same, just a slight improvement.

Heidi loved the (new) homecooked recipe, though.

I did the subcut every day, and now, I increased it back to about 220ml to 250ml. Vincent needs the hydration. 200ml just isn’t enough (from the pinch test).

The reason I don’t get to take photos of the subcut anymore is that I do it myself and I need both hands on him at all times – one to hold the needle in place and one to hold him down gently. If I were to even move my hand away for 2 seconds, he would fidget. Even with both hands on him, he would still fidget and squirm and try to scratch with his leg, flip over to the other side, etc. A few times, I had to poke him again because the needle came off.

Today, I had to poke him twice again. We finally made it to 250ml before he (just had to) scratched himself and the needle went through, out of the skin. I do understand that it isn’t easy for a cat to stay still with a needle poked into his skin. We cannot expect a cat to cooperate fully, I totally get that.

I tried to reintroduce raw food into his meals. He began eating a bit of raw (Cubgrub) this afternoon. But only a little bit.

But really, thank goodness for Cindy’s tender chicken – it’s a lifesaver. It’s the only thing he would eat in the last two days. Just the canned food, without the probiotics and wheatgrass. Nothing but just the canned food. I didn’t dare add anything else to it lest he walks away and starves himself.

By this evening, after the 250ml subcut, I think he began to feel better. He was eating more already.

But he still refused the eat his favourite Cubgrub Duck.

Things began to improve after the evening meal.

That’s Vincent (finally!) eating his favourite Cubgrub Duck.

But he still wouldn’t eat any raw food on its own. It must be accompanied by canned or homecooked.

FINALLY……..he is eating his raw food on its own!!!

All said, I’m glad Vincent is eating again. While we go through day by day, I am aware that Vincent has end-stage kidney failure and I have to be prepared that eventually he will go down. The vet already prepared me that his kidneys are in bad shape. Actually, very bad. The fact that he has put on weight, I think, is fantastic, given the state that his kidneys are in (based on the readings).

So, when Vincent didn’t look good at all yesterday, I was worried. Is this it? Is this where he starts going down?

Well, maybe not, since he is eating well again now.

And Ginger hasn’t been helping. He has started bullying Vincent again. When Vincent was sick, Ginger laid off (some feline rules, is it? – never hit someone who is down – fair enough, better than humans). Now, Ginger has started bullying him again.

Ginger has been very annoyed that Vincent gets our bedroom. So, he has started spraying on our cushions and even on my blanket. Well, last night, Vincent retaliated and he jumped onto the bed and sprayed on husband’s blanket.

Oh well….when you have male cats (or even female cats) with super alpha territorial behaviour, you’ll just have to put up with this.

Ginger, we KNOW it’s you. And why so? Because Vincent’s urine has no smell (sad, but true – his kidneys are out of whack). So, the other day when Jia-Wen’s room got sprayed massively, it smelled. We wrongly blamed Vincent. Sorry, Vincent. I realised after that that since it smelled, it simply could not have been Vincent. It was Ginger and again, why? Because Vincent was living in Jia-Wen’s bedroom.

Suddenly, Vincent looks pretty good again!

Lookin’ good, soldier. Lookin’ good!

I am cherishing the moment.

Vincent loves this new recipe (homecooked) and I’m glad I managed to make something right! I put enough water so that it is soupy and he loves licking up the soup! It has increased fish oil too.

Let’s hope everything will be okay tomorrow.

I think the 250ml subcut helped today. Adequate hydration is the most important factor in CKD cats.

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