When it rains it pours

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby amalie79 » April 23rd, 2011, 9:42 am

The tube goes into her neck and then down to her stomach.

Image

The newest goofy thing she's doing is eating kibble while I'm pushing food in the tube. Yet again, whatever gets her to eat. I assume starting on the tube activates her hunger instinct.

Also, I asked the vet about clogs and she said to add a little water and alternate pushing and pulling-- use the negative pressure that way. That seems like a much more reasonable answer than "just push it through." :rolleyes2:
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Postby iluvk9 » April 23rd, 2011, 11:19 am

The poor little thing!
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Postby amalie79 » April 23rd, 2011, 1:25 pm

iluvk9 wrote:The poor little thing!


The good thing, though, is that tube feeding is a great deal less stressful than force feeding her through her mouth or having to pill her several times a day. I just gave her some lunch, and she eventually curled up next to me and purred and rubbed her face on my hand while I fed her; then when we were done, she crawled onto my chest, and kneaded my stomach and tried to take a nap. If I'd had to force it, she'd have not done well at all. She's having to breathe so hard and she has a heart murmur as it is-- that level of stress would be so bad for her heart and her emotional state.

This takes the stress off of both of us.
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Postby iluvk9 » April 23rd, 2011, 3:52 pm

amalie79 wrote:The good thing, though, is that tube feeding is a great deal less stressful than force feeding her through her mouth or having to pill her several times a day.


Oh, I totally understand that this is a good thing.
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Postby amalie79 » May 26th, 2011, 11:24 am

A little Bella update...

Well, Bean's been slowly weaning off of the feeding tube. Last week we were down to just under half a can of food through the tube and the rest as dry food. By Thursday last week, she'd gained most of her weight back. She'd scratched a big sore under her bandage and was getting twice weekly changes, but we're back to once a week.

This week we went to just under 1/4 of a can (1/5, maybe?) in the tube, but her dry food intake decreased. Took her in for a bandage change today, and she's lost a couple of ounces. :( She's been hiding under the bed more and smacking her mouth more. She clearly doesn't feel great. She still loves attention and purrs for her feeding, but she obviously feels a bit icky. I suppose it may have to do with getting her evening meds on a less full stomach. We also changed the canned food this week, as I ran out of the regular Wellness and used a couple of cans of Core.

Soooo... Back to 2-3 tube feedings per day. Appetite stimulant twice a day instead of once. Hopefully she'll start feeling better. I leave town on June 5, but my sister and her friend are staying at the house with the cats and the dogs are going to a fancy dog resort. :rolleyes2: My sister is in between the end of the school year and a summer field school, so she can't get a regular job-- between the two of them, they should be able to handle feeding her several times a day. In a way, I feel better about her getting tube feedings while we''re gone-- I won't have to worry about her getting enough and it's a nice easy way to give meds.

Sigh. I knew in my mind there'd be some set-backs, but she'd been doing so well. :( Here's hoping.
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Postby Jenn » May 26th, 2011, 1:12 pm

:goodthoughts:
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Postby Malli » May 26th, 2011, 3:54 pm

If she's been ticking along all this time, I'd say you'll get there, it will just take patience ;)
I agree with the tube while you're away, if your sis etc can master that then its a safer bet, I think.

good thoughts!
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Postby amalie79 » May 27th, 2011, 10:30 am

Thanks, ladies. We're back to 3 feedings for the time being, plus I'm back to leaving out only Science Diet Kitten Food, which she was very pleased about when she started eating and is pretty high calorie, so we'll see how that goes. May add in some canned food, too.

Sigh.
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Postby amalie79 » June 19th, 2011, 7:04 pm

Update and advice needed...

I started to realize that Bella had developed an aversion to the foods and/or some nausea related to the meds now being given on an empty stomach. We switched up the food to a totally new dry food and totally new wet food, and she's now eating 2 3oz cans of wet plus a little bowl of dry, plus she gets tubed about 15mls of food with her meds twice a day. So that part's going much better. Apparently, so much better, that her stomach eventually became too full from eating on her own to give her full meals through the tube, and she felt good enough to catch herself a mouse and leave it in her litter box for my house sitters to clean up. :D

Now, however, she's scratched another sore under her bandage. I just went in and she'd twisted her whole neck bandage around her neck, wrapping the feeding tube with it so only the stopper was poking out. On Friday morning, they gave her an antibiotic shot for it. It looks a little raw under there, maybe a little bloody; she may have pulled out one of her stitches that holds the tube to the side of her neck, but I can't really tell. I'm assuming I'm ok to wait until first thing in the morning to get her to the vet for a bandage change...? Especially considering she's got antibiotics for this... I don't want to mess with it too much in terms of treating/cleaning since it's essentially an open hole to her esophagus. But I was thinking I'd put a little more vet wrap on it so it's not as easy for her to twist around and just take her in first thing. It doesn't seem like an emergency, but I want a little back up on that. The vet didn't seem worried about it the last time she scratched herself up, and she was QUITE bloody under the collar that time. :|
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Postby plebayo » June 19th, 2011, 11:46 pm

You might put vet wrap around it just to help support it around her neck. As I'm sure you know don't wrap it too tightly. I think if you give it some support it should be fine until tomorrow. You might also consider confining her/keeping her quiet just to be sure she doesn't mess with it overnight.
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Postby amalie79 » June 20th, 2011, 7:31 am

Thanks Suzanne. That's what we ended up doing. I'll take her to the vet in an hour or so. She doesn't seem to have moved it again and the stitches all look to be there. Might be time for another nail trim.

Coming back from being out of town is never simple.
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Postby plebayo » June 20th, 2011, 10:43 am

amalie79 wrote:Thanks Suzanne. That's what we ended up doing. I'll take her to the vet in an hour or so. She doesn't seem to have moved it again and the stitches all look to be there. Might be time for another nail trim.

Coming back from being out of town is never simple.



But at least she's doing alright! I was glad to see some updates and glad that she's doing pretty well overall.
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Postby amalie79 » June 20th, 2011, 1:14 pm

She's getting feistier and eating pretty well, so far; the vet wanted to keep her there for a couple of days so they could leave the bandage off and keep her even more confined than I already do. I'm hoping staying there doesn't stress her out too much and put her off eating again. But at least the tube is still in if we need to ramp up the feeding once more.
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Postby amalie79 » July 9th, 2011, 8:00 pm

Just a quick update-- Bella is having the feeding tube removed on Monday. She's so much more energetic and spunky lately, and she is weighing in at a hefty, but respectable, 10 pounds!!!

On the other hand, my 15+ year old kitty has become suddenly especially picky about her food, and wants lots of water on the dry, which she drinks up, leaving the dry food in the bowl. We initially thought she was stressed because I'd been gone so long, but at her age, I'm suspicious of CRF. We'll see. If she's not improved in the next day or so with the temptations of fishy food, she'll be joining me at the vet's office.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 9th, 2011, 8:23 pm

Good news for Bella. :dance:

I hope the older one is okay. :sad2:
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Postby amalie79 » July 9th, 2011, 9:46 pm

It's just weird-- she's been a weirdo in general all her life, but she was pretty solidly on the scheduled feedings until she's suddenly decided she'd prefer there to be a lot of moisture (like kibble and wet canned morsels literally bobbing and floating) and that she receive about 5 meals a day. I'm hoping this is just because she went off her food while I was gone and Adam would give her about 6 opportunities to eat each night, so I think she maybe got into the habit of picking like a bird again...

Cats are way too hard.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 10th, 2011, 6:04 am

amalie79 wrote:Cats are way too hard.


Tell me about it. :rolleyes2:
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Postby plebayo » July 10th, 2011, 2:10 pm

Glad to hear the feeding tube gets to come out!

I hope your other kitty is okay. The whole excessive water thing worries me about kidney issues [she would be the right age] but hopefully it's like you said - maybe she was given too many opportunities to eat.
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Postby Malli » July 10th, 2011, 10:17 pm

well talk about an overshadowed success. I am happy for Bella but good thoughts for the older one!
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