The super short pink wonder!! (Vincent’s subcut and some reflections)

Look at this!!

This super short pink wonder of a needle (Nipro 18G 1 inch) has literally “revolutionalise” our daily subcut sessions!

The hole is big enough to enable the fluids to flow so fast that it only takes 3 minutes flat to do 250ml of subcut fluids.

The other needles take 14-15 minutes to complete the process and it is not easy getting a cat or dog to sit still for this duration, although Vincent has been most cooperative during subcut all this while. Still, when it can be done sooner, why not? I know of two vets who use the pink needle for this same reason.

Also, since Pressure = Force/Surface Area, the bigger the hole, the lower the pressure. Hence, less damage will be done to the cells.

I am amazed and wished I’ve discovered this earlier, but it’s never too late.

So, yesterday’s subcut was over in 3 minutes and even Vincent was surprised. He stayed on, thinking he should stay on and clearly appeared so surprised when I told him, “It’s finished, Vince. Let’s go!”

Vincent: What? I can go already? 

Yes, we can go, Vincent. It’s really finished! Let’s go!!

In fact, it was finished so fast that the aircont didn’t even have time to get cold!

You see in the photo, that’s the box of the 21G long green needles. No, I don’t use that. That’s the one I ordered first, without knowing that I could use the 18G. And the 18G that I got from clinics is not the 1 inch type, but the longer ones and no, these don’t have a big hole. I’ve found that the longer needles are harder to manage. There’s more room for error too.

Vincent ate 7 times yesterday. I guess he was hungry. I was told that for kidney patients, it’s like that. So, if he wants to eat, of course he gets to eat.

He weighed 3.8kg last night! But I know it’s because he ate 7 meals and true enough, his weight this morning went back to 3.4kg. It’s the protein leakage which cannot be helped.

I think yesterday was a really good day. Maybe it’s because I was so happy to have discovered the short pink wonder, so this happiness transfers to Vincent and he was very happy too.

Last night, a salesperson came to our house to deliver something we had ordered. In the course of buying this product, this salesperson had told me that he likes cats. When the salesperson arrived, Vincent was upstairs sleeping. But in a flash, suddenly, Vincent had already come downstairs and he went to greet this salesperson! Now, this is a TOTAL stranger.

Vincent knows. How perceptive is that, right? Vincent has always had this knack of detecting sincere animal lovers. We’ve had many friends over in the house and Vincent takes to some of them naturally. It’s just something that Vincent does. Previously, when we first had him, I thought he was trying to get himself adopted! But I think it’s just his way of showing affection to a human animal lover.

It’s like saying, “I appreciate you, I know you love animals, you are a good person.” So, if you come to visit me, and Vincent comes and rubs himself all over you, consider yourself stamped and approved as a true-blue genuine animal lover!!

I’m glad to see Vincent exhibiting his “normal” behaviour last night. It just goes to show that animals live in the moment. We humans are the ones who know that Vincent has last stage kidney failure and we are the ones who worry about what the future holds. But I don’t think animals live like us or even think like us. They just live in the present moment because that’s all we have. So, don’t we owe it to them to respect that and make their present moment as pleasant as possible?

As positive as possible, I would say.

Vincent doesn’t “know” he has last stage kidney failure. He just knows that sometimes he feels well and sometimes he doesn’t. And a vet told me that animals probably don’t know about death, so you don’t fear what you don’t know, right?

It’s so true what Dr Dennis Thomas says in this article shared by Alina Rastam way back in 2016: and I’ll like to copy out this part:

His suggestions for cats that have already been diagnosed with kidney failure:

1.     Don’t believe that your cat is going to die.  Your belief system has a lot to do with your cat’s ability to heal.
2.     Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation with conventional treatment and support.
3      Find a holistic veterinarian that can help your cat using alternative modalities.
4.     Feed a balanced, wholesome diet that is not heat-processed.

Since kidney disease is so common, and often so devastating, we are wise  to look for treatments that hold true promise.  In my practice I have seen first-hand how taking a holistic approach to kidney disease can offer possibilities that standard veterinary treatment cannot.

It’s No. 1 that I am talking about here. I think what it means is, and I stand corrected here of course, do not give up hope or have a fatalistic perception towards your cat’s illness. Of course we all know WE are all going to die one day. None of us are so deluded to think that we are going to live forever. Every single one of us will die, but as long as our pet has the will to continue living, as caregivers, I think we owe it to our pets to help them. And even while we are helping them, I think it is so important that we keep a positive being-in-the-present-moment frame of mind.

Because our pets can read our minds.

The saddest scenario would be when a pet doesn’t want to give up yet, but the owner has already given up. It will be even sadder when the owner opts for an easy way out.

There have been many, many occasions from July until now when I really thought Vincent would not survive another day. I was being realistic because he “appeared” to be in a bad state. There were even a few times when he looked so bad that I mentally told him, “It’s okay if you have to go, I’ll be right here for you.”

Remember the time when he suddenly stopped eating for a whole day? I drove to to the vet’s the very next day and all I asked for was painkillers to reduce whatever pain he may have. I’ve dealt with terminal pets before, so I thought that when a terminal animal stops eating, that’s the sign. It happened with Bobby, Rosie, Daffodil and Tiger – they were all terminal and they stopped eating for a day, and were gone the next day.

But I was wrong with Vincent that time.

Of course I’m glad I was wrong and with the help of the vet (whom I am so thankful for, because she doesn’t give up either), we managed to make Vincent more comfortable, feel better and Vincent decided he was going to eat again.

Talking about this, when Tiger went into a coma, I thought he would go for sure, but the vet told me he had seen cats who bounce back from a comatose state. I guess it’s just not time yet, so they bounce back. It’s no wonder that we humans say that cats have nine lives. It can only be due to our experience with cats that this saying has come about. They are just so resilient.

I have also read many experiences from caregivers that when it’s time to go, an animal knows, and the animal will let go. It’s not for us to decide for them. It’s their decision, not ours. And again, we need to respect this.

As caregivers to our pets, I think we know better than anyone else what our pets want. Our senior vet says exactly the same, and he has always said this: You know best. A vet can only do so much, medicine can only do so much, but the owner can also do AS much. And the owner knows best. Every pet is different.

More so if it’s kidney disease.

I’ve spoken to many vets now and the conclusion I’ve got is that there is no one particular treatment that works. I’m told that for some, a renal diet is all it takes (really? Yes, that’s what I’m told. Holistic proponents will scoff at this, but it’s true, that was all it took for THAT particular cat to survive happily for years – eating renal diet and nothing else!). For some, it is just hydration (subcut) – that’s all – no medicine, normal food and daily subcut. For some, it is a host of medicines. Just to illustrate the point here, Semintra worked for so many cats and is touted to be one of the best medicine for kidney cats, but it didn’t work for Vincent.

So, it’s all about doing what works for one’s cat. I may be wrong here, but I think the most important treatment for Vincent is the subcut fluids. And this is why I’m celebrating the discovery of the short pink wonder of the 18G 1 inch needle!! Thank you, thank you, Connie and Dodo!

So, for me, it’s always about living in the present moment. You’ve got this moment right now, right here – what are you going to do to make it the best possible moment for your pet?

There’s no right or wrong answer to that. It’s up to us to do our best.

Life is precious and yes, of course life will end. But while life has not ended yet, let’s make it as happy, as comfortable and as peaceful as it can be.

Where is Vincent now? He has just finished breakfast and has gone back to sleep under the bed.

That’s good.

Having said all this, I must not forget to thank everyone who has been rooting for Vincent and me. Vincent takes in all your positive vibes! And I am so thankful for all your moral support. Please know that it helps so, so much!

Have a lovely day!