Vincent Bagheera’s “Rosie” blanket and updates

Vincent has migrated onto the bed now!

This is now HIS room and HIS bed (and yes, Ginger is not very happy about it).

This blanket was a very thoughtful gift of love and friendship from one of our donors shortly after Rosie passed away. I was devastated and traumatised. This kind donor bought all the fabric (note the rose print) and commissioned us to sew this large blanket for her. She even gave me the design and specifically said she wanted a patch of rose in the centre. Of course I sewed it thinking it was for fundraising. She then donated a generous amount to our Neutering Fund for the blanket and subsequently, gave the blanket to me! She even explained the significance of each colour that she had specially chosen, including the orange backing. I will never forget her beautiful gesture of love, friendship and thoughtfulness. If you are reading this, thank you so much, dear friend. I can only hope that you will allow me to reciprocate the gesture one day, albeit in only small ways.

And now, this is Vincent’s blanket as he battles courageously through his kidney disease.

Here’s a Halloween pose from Vincent (note the “fangs”)!

He’s been very good during subcut.

Vincent’s appetite is good. He’s still eating Primal and I noticed that with Primal, he seems to have gained some muscle mass. Today, I managed to feed him Cubgrub again, after a break of several days. He is eating Coco&Joe’s too.

As for the Azodyl (which he absolutely hates), I’ve discussed with the vet and rather than put all to waste (already paid for), the vet agreed that I should just open up the capsule and mix it into Vincent’s food. For Azodyl, we are not supposed to open up the capsule because it’s designed in such a way as to remain intact until it reaches the intestines (alkaline environment) then it will dissolve. But from what we have seen previously, during the few times that Vincent vomited (from soil-eating), the capsule came out intact (but flattened).

And talking about soil-eating, it has actually stopped!! I don’t know why or how, but yes, it has stopped!

I’ve also discussed with the vet and she agreed that there is no need to cart Vincent for regular check-ups now since he is doing “as well” as we can hope for.

Vincent’s condition is, sadly, terminal, as there is no reversal from kidney failure. As far as I understand, some form of “repair” might happen to the kidneys but once the nephrons are dying (which seems to be the case for Vincent, probably due to his auto-immune condition and his age – he IS an old cat, the vet said), there is no regeneration of new nephrons. From Vincent’s urine test, he is leaking a lot of protein already and this is classified as end-stage kidney failure. These are the facts.

So, all we can do is to keep him comfortable and happy (which I think we are doing now) and hope that he continues eating well.

From what I can see, Vincent is fighting very hard to stay alive by eating (yes, like a horse!). He leaks so much protein, so he knows he has to keep eating as much as possible. Fortekor is supposed to reduce the protein leak, but I don’t think it’s working.

I’ve checked with a pharmacist and he says not ALL the protein is leaked out. Some can still be absorbed, so it seems like Vincent instinctively knows this – that is probably why he eats as much as he can. On my part, I just have to make sure I keep alternating the various types of foods to keep his taste buds satisfied. I also give him new foods so that the excitement (to eat) is still there. Right now, for Vincent (and of course, all the other cats benefit too), we have: homecooked, Cindy’s canned, Monge canned, Gold-D canned, Cubgrub (raw), Coco&Joe’s (raw), Primal Freeze-dried (raw). Vincent does not eat kibble. I’m always on standby with a few types of food for each meal, doing my best to gauge which type of food he wants for that particular meal and changing quickly if the day’s choice is wrong (before he walks away). So far, I have managed to gauge it pretty well, I might say.

I am so, so thankful that Vincent still has an appetite to eat.

As long as Vincent keeps eating, we have a chance. And of course, he needs the daily hydration (subcut fluids). This has to go on. There is no stopping or reducing for Vincent’s case. We tried reducing it to 200ml and we immediately saw signs of dehydration. So, it has to be maintained at 250ml daily.

Also, I read from certain websites (and I recall now, too) that fish and fish oil may help with human kidney patients as well as dogs. There is no mention about cats since there is a theory that fish is not an ancestral diet of cats (being creatures from arid deserts where there little water, hence, no fish). But we also know that Asian cats, over centuries, seem to have evolved to eat fish (I do stand corrected on this). But those who argue otherwise say that biologically, their digestive system has not changed over millenniums, so fish should not be in their diet. Also, There is the concern about fish being very contaminated with heavy metals as well as fish containing thiaminase which could lead to thiamine deficiency. Most fish also may not contain taurine, an essential nutrient for cats.

I don’t know enough to comment on the above as I am not a qualified cat nutritionist. But from a discussion with a friend who has done extensive research on cat nutrition, he opined that fish can be a good protein source for cats.

In any case, there is a lot of fish-based catfood on the Asian market. There is also fish-based cat diets from Europe.

For Vincent, I decided to give him “anything” to eat, as long as he likes it. So, I bought three flavours of Gold-D (salmon, mackerel and sardine) to give him a change of taste and he likes the mackerel the best. It gets him really excited because it’s a new food, so that is good. He likes the sardine as well, but not so much of the salmon. Gold-D has added taurine in it. Cindy’s also has added taurine.

I do remember a friend who maintained her CKD dog on a fish diet and also another friend who maintained her CKD cat on steamed fish. So, since Vincent likes the mackerel, he shall have the mackerel as a treat, but not the main meal!

Of course, his favourite canned food is still Cindy’s Tender Chicken! That wins hands down! Smart boy, he knows he should keep poultry as his main source of protein.

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