Managing Zurik

Whether Zurik’s beginning jaundice is due to hepatic lipidosis or not, we are not absolutely sure, but the fact remains that he hasn’t had much appetite for the past week.

It is also a fact that he needs to eat. Whether it is hepatic lipidosis or not, eating definitely helps. His loss of protein is rapid and very significant, based on the amount of fluids in the abdomen, so eating would also help replenish this loss.

The bottom line is, he has to eat.

But he doesn’t want to eat.

There are pros and cons to force-feeding. For the past two days, he has been spitting out the forcefed food. I have learnt from nursing terminal animals that when they refuse to eat, maybe we should not forcefeed anymore as this would only be counter-productive and would cause unnecessary stress.

This has been on my mind for the past few days, actually. That is why when Zurik spat out the food, I stopped feeding. I did not want to force him. It was too stressful.

But today, the vet said he has to eat more, so in the afternoon, I tried forcefeeding again and it was a nightmare. It only made him angry.

By evening, I had to give him his dose of medicines. This was done with much difficulty because the medicines had to be taken with food. For the first time, I plastered my finger while feeding him, but I think this only made him more angry. He bit through the plaster. Must have been the “taste” of the plaster, perhaps. After doing it, I left him alone.

I went into Bunny’s Room to do my work.

After about an hour, I saw Zurik waiting for me outside Bunny’s Room. When I opened the grille, he rolled over on his belly playfully!

Then he went into the kitchen to wait for food.

Now, this is good.

But here comes the difficulty – which food does he want?

I know he likes kibble, so I offered that first. I have stopped counting how many different brands and flavours I have now, all bought to entice Zurik to eat for the past week when his appetite went down.

One after another, it just wasn’t the right one.

I know, this is so reminiscent of Vincent’s eating habits.

Zurik just kept sitting and waiting “for the right food”.

Yes, this is the right one!

But not quite right too. He only ate a few pellets. Then, he walked out of the kitchen.

But within minutes, he came back in to wait.

I know he wants to eat, but which food? I offered various foods, one by one. Did he want me to forcefeed him (like the other day, remember? He wanted to prove to me that he wouldn’t bite me anymore.)?  But no, I tried that as well, he spat out the chicken.

Ok, no forcefeeding.

This went on for about 5 times. Zurik would come in and wait, I would offer food, and he would look at me, then walk out.

Finally, he went to his table outside and I brought another new brand of kibble out for him.

He ate this!  Not much, but at least he was eating willingly and not being forced.

I remember how challenging it was with Vincent. I’m going to do my very best not to force Zurik. Hopefully, I can find the “right” food each time he wants to eat.




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