Vincent’s tube feeding and subcut for the night

Since all the medicines were given at the vet’s before we left, I only have to do the tube feeding and 200ml subcut tonight.

Vincent was clearly so happy to be home. After settling him in his downstairs bathroom (which is is current chosen “nest”), I went upstairs to take a bath. When I came down, Vincent was already on his way up to meet me.

Awww… He wanted to greet me when I came out of the bathroom.

Just an hour ago, at the clinic, his eyes were sunken and totally lifeless, now, I see a light in them.

But Vincent did one thing, though…

He went to lick rocks.

This is usually indicative of anaemia. He did this months ago when he was anaemic.

The vet did check his PCV today and it was at 15%. So, she gave him a shot of Darbepoetin. Kidney disease and anaemia go together because as the kidney fails, it no longer produces the hormones that are needed to make red blood cells. But if I remember correctly, the Darbepoetin shots (Vincent had a course of that in November 2018) has to be accompanied by Kaminox for the iron. I will ask the vet tomorrow.

I know this is all quite a lot of take in. Vincent looked so, so miserable at the clinic that even I thought it was already the end. The vet too took me aside and told me that based on her experience, she feels he might go tonight or tomorrow and that was why she suggested that I bring him home. I do appreciate that she did not say this in front of Vincent and not even inside the boarding room, but outside. I really appreciate this very much. Some other vets (and this is from my personal experience – many times) say the most horrible things in front of the pet thinking that the pet does not understand. I believe animals do. They might not know the words, but they sense the meaning.

And despite the very poor prognosis this evening, the vet still did everything necessary to help Vincent. She gave me enough liquid food to last for 2 days.  Vincent’s phosphate level was also high (it had never been all this while), so she gave Vincent a phosphate binder too.

Could it be that the Darbepoetin is helping? I was the one who suggested the Darbepoetin yesterday, actually. Because I remember the last “save” in November 2018 was the Darbepoetin. But these shots are done once a week over 4-5 weeks. Do we even have the time this round?

I’m just glad that Vincent is happy to be home and he is doing “normal things”.

As I’ve said before, only we know Vincent has kidney failure. Vincent probably doesn’t “know” it like we do. To him, he’s not feeling too well and that’s about it. So, to see him doing “normal things” like even walking around….is good.

By 8pm, it was time for feeding and this would be my very first experience at tube feeding.

The first container is the liquid food that the vet had already prepared at the clinic (tomorrow, I would need to prepare this myself), the second is water, and the pen and paper is for me to keep count of how many syringes I have fed. Vincent needs 40ml of liquid food and I am using a 3ml syringe, so that would be 13 syringes plus another 1ml.

I know how easily I lose count, so I’m going to do a tally to keep track.

This is the mouth of the nasal feeding tube. It is actually called “nasogastric” tube. It has a cover so that it is kept clean.

Syringe up the liquid food and pump it VERY SLOWLY through the tube. The food will go directly into the stomach. I later discovered that it’s so much easier to pump it in vertically.

The vet did say that some dogs or cats will try to scratch or sneeze out the tubing. So far, Vincent has “tolerated” (or, “accepted”) the tubing. He is so good, isn’t he?

But Vincent was having blocked nose yesterday. The vet did something to clear his nostrils. I am so thankful the vet did all that was needed to do for Vincent despite the very poor prognosis. I do want so much for him to be as comfortable as possible.

It’s very important to pump in the liquid VERY SLOWLY.

VERY, VERY slowly.

I finally finished the 40ml of liquid food!

Then, I pumped in about 7ml of clean potable water. This water also serves as drinking water for Vincent as well as to clean the tube (which is also very important so that the food doesn’t cake up in the tube).

When food is going through the tube, it has a whitish colour. When it’s clean, it’s clear again.

I let Vincent rest for half an hour before doing the 200ml subcut for tonight, as instructed by the vet. For tomorrow and subsequent days, it will be back to 250ml.

Since Vincent was already sleeping, I decided to bring the whole subcut kit downstairs (we normally do it upstairs). Vincent continued sleeping while I did the subcut. It’s been about 7 months that I’ve been doing daily subcut for Vincent. That would be 210 times already and he’s been so, so cooperative.

We are done for the night.

Tomorrow will be another day.

I don’t know what will happen tonight or tomorrow, but at least Vincent is home now and I know he is comfortable and happy.

Moments are all we have, and I am thankful for the happy moments we had today.

As always, thank you very much, dear friends, for all your messages and kind wishes for Vincent.

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