Zurik’s check-up

The past few days have not been good for Zurik. Ever since the 375ml of fluids was aspirated from his abdominal cavity last Friday, he seemed to have lost his appetite. He only had one good day, which was on Tuesday, where he was able to eat. On other days, I had to force-feed him as gently as possible. Firstly, he needed food with his medicines. Secondly, he definitely needs high protein as the fluid leakage is making him lose a lot of protein.

But there was still the stress caused by force-feeding. When one doesn’t have appetite, force-feeding can be very stressful and I tried to strike a balance between this by alternating the type of food, the amount and stopping when he starts to spit the food out.

I could only force-feed wetfood so this would be AD, raw chicken fillet and Cubgrub. Zurik used to love kibble, so I’ve been going to the store very often to get different brands just to entice him to eat. My friend, Amy, has been so kind in giving me food samples to let Zurik try. However, with every new type of food, he would just eat a few pellets and that would be all. He simply had no appetite and even new tastes failed to work up an appetite for him.

Yesterday, I gave him a subcut of 200ml hoping that the hydration might make him feel better and he might eat, but to no avail.

So, it comes as no surprise when today’s check-up revealed that things aren’t looking too good.

Zurik temperature was normal, but there was elevated white blood cells. He has to take an antibiotics (Curam) for 7 days. The vet says his steroid dosage of 7.5mg per day is currently at the borderline of anti-inflammatory and immuno-suppressant so this makes him more prone to catch an infection. Yet, he needs the steroids as that is our only hope to slow down the vasculitis (which causes the fluid leakage). Judging from the amount of fluids in his abdomen, the vet says we have to increase the steroids as 7.5mg isn’t doing the job. So, it’s going to be 10mg per day now, divided into two times. To prevent gastric problems, Zurik has to be given a gastric medicine as well.

Zurik’s PCV also went down from 30% last week to 23% this week and there was slight jaundice in his plasma. The vet opines that the jaundice could be due to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) because Zurik hasn’t been eating enough. The jaundice is only “beginning” and the key to addressing it is to EAT MORE.

There lies the difficulty and challenge now – I would have to ensure he eats more. The amount that I have been “gently” forcefeeding for the past week hasn’t been enough, so we have to increase the amount now.

The vet tried giving Zurik some Recovery by syringe, but I know Zurik does not like Recovery at all. The vet thinks maybe we could alternate between AD and Recovery, so I still bought a can, just to try (but true enough, after we got home, Zurik totally hated the Recovery).

There was a slight increase of fluids in the right lung cavity today. As for the abdomen, the fluid built-up was the same as last week. The vet aspirated 200ml of fluids from Zurik’s abdomen today. Of course there was more, but since he did not do well after last week’s 375ml, she stopped at 200ml today. We came home and I did a 150ml subcut for Zurik.

Zurik has been given Mirtazapine as an appetite stimulant. It is a cream to be applied once in three days, inside the ear.

The vet says Zurik is “going down”. The disease is progressing. She reminded me gently that for FIP cases, the prognosis is always very bleak. Cats are usually given “a few days to a few months”.

We knew this day would come eventually. FIP is a horrible disease which has no cure. Some lucky cats slip through the cracks and survive, but many don’t.

For the remaining time that we have, I just want to make Zurik as comfortable as possible.

It has been 112 days since Zurik was diagnosed with FIP. I’m very sure he already had it much earlier before diagnosis. We had a good few weeks where he was stable and that was truly heavensent.

I stopped by at the pet store again today and Amy gave me some sample of Cindy’s Naturelle latest food for baby and mother. As usual, Zurik ate, but only very little. Hardly enough.

This was taken last night. He likes to sit on this table for long hours.

Sharing precious time together.

Recently, he has also taken up the job of guarding my taiji sword. Zurik used to be my bodyguard when I go out for taiji practice but since he’s confined indoors now, he still doesn’t want to miss out, so he guards my sword.

I hope the Mirtazapine will work and give Zurik an appetite. What is most helpful now is that he eats.

But whatever it is, Zurik’s eyes are still very bright and alert.

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