The morning started at 4.30am for us.

Vincent was still in his new nest, the cage in the patio. Luckily he allowed me to put in towels and did not reject them.

I fed everyone else at about 5.30am, then it was Vincent’s turn. Unfortunately, he showed absolutely no interest in the food offered. Raw meat – no. Canned food – no.

I didn’t want him to go hungry, so I decided to try forcefeeding the liquid food (Convalescence Support + Renal Dog). The Convalescence is supposed to be very palatable, so I hoped he would like it…?

I used the smallest 1ml syringe so that small amounts would be syringed in each time.

The whole session was not easy. Vincent already doesn’t like a syringe to be in his mouth, so he fought against it. While doing it, I wondered if I should even continue because he was putting up such a resistance. Maybe the energy expended in resisting is more than the energy he would get from the food. Sigh…

I know for a face that force-feeding is not encouraged in cats because they are already such proud creatures to begin with. When they don’t want to eat, they just do not want to eat.

But Vincent’s case is slightly different – he cannot eat because of his mouth pain, so much so that he has now lost interest in eating.

I also know that force-feeding might make the animal go off food even more.

I weighed the pros and cons and decided that I just don’t want him to starve, so I persevered and finished the 50ml of food, spread over some time, with rest intervals in between.

After the feed and medicines, I left him alone,

When I came back from work, I found him outside the cage, sleeping so restfully in another one of his favourite places. He’s been asleep for hours now.

It is really nice seeing him sleeping comfortably without the nasal tube and the e-collar.

Which is the lesser of the two evils then?

(A) No tube; struggle during a feed; but can sleep restfully throughout the day (no tube, no e-collar).

(B) With tube; can have 3 full meals per day with no struggle at all, but cannot sleep restfully throughout the day (discomfort of the tube and e-collar).

Of course there is also Option (C): Let him be, as long as he can sleep well. Rest is prioritised over food.

I don’t know…I really, really don’t know.

During the few days of tube feeding, his hydration improved so much and that would have made him more comfortable. The food also provides warmth for his body, which, again, is important too.

I texted the vet this morning, after the nightmarish experience of forcefeeding and asked if she could make a housecall to insert the tube again, but she is not able to, today.

The vet said to let him rest and try giving him cold food tonight.  Maybe cold food is less painful for the mouth.

If only Vincent was willing to just let me force-feed him, that would solve a lot of problems already and we won’t need the nasal tube.

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