“Vincent has perked up” (says the vet!)

Let’s start the story from this morning.

Just like yesterday, Vincent wanted to eat, but the pain from the mouth and tongue ulcers must be preventing him from eating.

Last night I tried very hard to recall what was it that turned him around in July/August 2018 when his mouth ulcers were SO bad (like craters on the moon) and he lost weight until less than 2.5kg. Then, I remembered! It was the painkiller (cream applied on the inside of the ear) – Tramadol! So I quickly texted the vet and asked if she could prescribe this again.

It’s not like Vincent has given up. He hasn’t. He WANTS to eat but he just cannot eat, so we have to help him. The painkiller did the trick the last time, what’s there to lose to try it again?

The vet agreed. So that would be this morning’s plan – send Vincent to the vet for another half-day’s IV-fluids, and get Tramadol.

Vincent couldn’t eat on his own, but I force-fed 2 tablespoons of Recovery. He did not resist or struggle much. A bit of resistance is expected as there is, after all, very serious pain in the mouth. We all know how painful a mouth ulcer is, right? Well, Vincent has MANY ulcers. Just imagine that kind of pain?

How resilient is a cat, right?

I even steamed sardines and Vincent was attracted to the smell, but he could not eat. Ginger benefited from it all.

You’ll feel better after the IV-fluids AND the Tramadol, Vince. Help is on the way.

I fed him his meds and did 250ml subcut. And I wrote a full report by texting the vet.

Then, I went to work. Could I share a side story here: I had been down with a bad throat since last week. I saw a doctor and faithfully took the meds but it was not 100% cured, so it came back, stronger and nastier than before. Yesterday, I had no more voice. Really, 0% voice. Two days ago, I went to see the doctor again who gave me more meds and a strong anti-histamine so that I could sleep at night (coughing nonstop). As luck would have it, I didn’t know I had a bad reaction to that anti-histamine. Last night, I had nonstop diarrhoea. It was so bad that I could not even retain water. Not even a mouthful. I was dehydrated and dizzy. I managed to check on Google and indeed, diarrhoea and dizziness are listed as a possible side effect of that anti-histamine. So I went to work despite my condition, “taught” 4 hours of mathematics by writing everything on the whiteboard (It was actually fun for the students. For once, they did not have to listen to me!). Luckily too, the diarrhoea was under control by morning. I tried strong black tea, cold Coke (which normally works for me) and rice water – nothing worked. During the 4 hours, I could only sip bits of water so as not to bring on the diarrhoea again.

The reason for sharing this is, as humans, at least we know how to take care of ourselves. But animals depend on us. And they cannot tell us where it is hurting or how much it hurts. Therefore vets are really remarkable people – their patients cannot speak or tell them anything, and they have to find a way to help them. I salute vets.

By 4.30pm, it was time to make the trip in peak traffic to PJ to collect Vincent.

Vincent was so happy to see us. He rolled over, rubbed himself all over and “talked”.

Look at him leaning at the corner there, like a “cool cat”! “Wassup, doc?”

He looked so much better than the other day when I collected him.

The vet was surprised too, that Vincent had perked up today. She said that on Monday, she was so, so worried. This morning, Vincent’s body temperature was normal (he wasn’t cold like on Monday – that’s great news!). And Vincent wanted to eat! She said Vincent kept asking for food.

I know, I know!

The clinic helpers gave Vincent some canned food that I had packed along, maybe he licked some as I saw only a bit left in his bowl in the cubicle.

So, before we left, the vet decided to try a can of KD. She used a syringe to feed Vincent and Vincent dutifully ate some of it! Oh yes, Vincent was HUNGRY! I saw it all. Vincent ate. He did not resist.

The vet said this is so much better than way, way before where Vincent would resist any form of force-feeding. I know, I know, I know!

He WANTS to eat. That’s what I keep saying, right? He wants to eat. I know. That is why I resorted to force-feeding him. It’s what he wants. He just cannot eat because of the ulcers in the mouth.

And just 24 hours without food brought him down SO badly that we almost lost him. For any normal cat, 24 hours without food is still okay, but not for Vincent. Vincent has to keep eating all the time.

The vet was really happy with Vincent today. She says he has definitely perked up. I would attribute this to the IV-fluids and maybe the antibiotic too.

And I am so happy too.

The vet wanted to leave the IV-pod on until tomorrow, but Vincent’s paw was swollen so it had to be taken out. Vincent didn’t like the pod, I know. Who would, right?

So, we left the clinic with Tramadol – let’s hope it works its magic again.

On the way back, Jia-Wen texted to ask how Vincent was. I told him he is better, he is a soldier, remember?  Jia-Wen says we should officially promote Vincent from “colonel” to “general” for his bravery against all odds.

Yes, so it’s Brigadier General Vincent Bagheera now. One-Star General!

Just before we left, I asked the vet how much Vincent weighed on her scale on Monday. I didn’t want to know on Monday because it did not matter at that time. The vet said, Vincent was just 2.9kg. That would have been expected, I know. It’s okay, we will work our way up again, if possible.

One day at a time.

He went from 3.2kg to 2.9kg when he stopped eating for 24 hours. There was visible muscle wastage too. It just happened so, so fast.

We are home!!

The vet told me to give him food when we reached home. “He wants to eat,” she says.

I know, I know!!

Vincent still cannot eat much on his own yet, but he is interested in food, which is all good. Let’s hope Tramadol works and numbs the pain so that he can eat again.

I force-fed him some KD (since he seemed to like it at the clinic). Something for a change, why not?

But I know Vincent does not like any blended canned food. However, he has no choice now, it’s the only thing he can eat. For now.

The vet prefers that Vincent eats renal diet (hence, KD), she is worried that Recovery’s protein content is too high.

At this point, anything goes. As long as he eats and is happy.

Brig Gen Vincent Bagheera….March on!!

As always, thank you very much, dear friends, for rooting for our Brig Gen!

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