photo challenge, 7

Food.

The last of this year’s bumper tomato crop (grown by the wonderful farmers at our CSA).

* Thank you for such encouraging responses vis-a-vis baby-led weaning. We plan to start soon, and we’ll let you know how it goes.

* Yesterday, I learned how to give subcutaneous fluids to our boy cat, Hades. He has lost a lot of weight since B was born, and some of his kidney enzyme numbers are off just enough to suggest very.very.very early kidney disease. This, apparently, is super treatable using regular, administered-at-home IV fluids. Our beloved vet said we could wait to start this, maybe even a whole year. But we’d just be waiting for him to get sick, which I don’t want to do, so we’re starting now. Thus, every third night, we’ll try to calmly insert an IV into a fold of his skin, then pet and love him for five to ten minutes as 50ccs of fluid enters his body through a 20-gauge needle. We’re also starting him on a medication to stimulate his appetite, which also works as a mild antidepressant. I’m daunted by all of this. I’m nervous about having to give him fluids for the rest of his life, and I’m sad that he has to go through this, but I’m hopeful that we’ll still have manymanymanymanymany years with our sweet puppy-cat. He is without question my soul-animal. He and his sister have been by my side since I was twenty (I’m thirty-four now); I can’t imagine how I’ll ever do without them. Our vet assures us that this treatment is extremely effective, and that feline and cat-parent alike adjust to it quickly. Our first at-home administration is Thursday night. Wish us peace and ease.

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13 thoughts on “photo challenge, 7

  1. Good luck to everyone involved. I had a friend who had to do this with her kitty for the same reason, and he went on to live for years and years as a happy and much healthier kitty.

  2. My ginger boy, my heart cat, was diagnosed with chronic renal failure two years ago. I never expected him to still be with us but he is sitting on my desk as I’m typing this. He is on two kinds of blood pressure tablets plus a potassium supplement and a special diet. He lost a lot of weight but it has been stable since February. Mozart is around 14 and we’ve been together for 10 years. Our vet mentioned iv fluids in passing as something one would only do if the cat gets dehydrated, interesting that yours prescribed it as a first line of defense. I wonder what the reasoning is behind it. What is the name of the other medication you got? I hope that you and Hades get into the routine quickly and easily and that you will have many more happy years of enjoying him.

    If either of our two girl cats had to become chronically ill we would not be able to give them meds on a regular basis. The one left home after two doses of stomach ulcer meds. She wouldn’t even come in to eat, just sat outside and ran away when we approached her. The other one… let’s just say that we would frequently need blood transfusions for ourselves!

    • Thanks for this, Heila. Our vet said fluids have a great record of keeping cats with kidney problems healthy for a long time. It helps to flush the kidneys, but there are no side effects, since it’s basically just water. I think it’s a fairly new course of treatment? Anyway, I’m so happy to hear that Mozart is hanging in there. These animals, we certainly need them. By the way, I owe you (and am planning) a big reply to your last e-mail!!!

  3. BTW… sub-cutaneous and IV are two different things. I’ve injected horses intra-muscular (IM) and would also do sub-cut, but intravenous is best left to professionals imo.

  4. Glad to hear it sounds like Hades will be okay. Our beloved Mo got very sick this summer –a blocked gall bladder duct. She ended up needing surgery to reroute it so it could drain properly. It was a very stressful time for all of us and we’re still keeping our fingers crossed that she recovers fully. Catching things early seems to really help the outcome.

  5. We’re going through renal disease with our dog also. He’s our oldest baby at 12 years old. His weight loss has been our biggest worry. He is on prescription diet food, blood pressure meds and we have to give him Tums twice a day? The biggest problem is his lack of appetite and we just don’t know what to do about that. Our vet has never mentioned iv as a solution. We were just talking, last night, about how we needed to do something different. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad your vet caught the problem very early on. Our said it was early but he seems to be going downhill pretty fast due to the extremely picky eating. His breath is awful and he just lost one of his teeth. We’re so worried!

    • Hi, there. I’m sorry to read about your sweet boy. :( I read that it’s a little trickier with dogs – especially big dogs – because of how long you’d have to sit there with the needle in to give enough fluids to make a difference. We’re on 50ccs, which takes about eight minutes. That’s enough to make a big difference to our little six-pound cat. How big is your dog?

  6. We had to give Chloe twice daily insulin shots in her scruff and frequent blood glucose tests when she had diabetes. It was hard but she didn’t end up minding the shots because she couldn’t feel them (and this was not an affectionate, laid-back cat!). The glucose tests were terrible because we had to prick her ear for blood but we got into a routine with the shots and I think she ended up liking them because there was always a treat afterwards. I bet it’s going to go really well for you. Still, I’m sorry that your friend is getting sick. Watching the cats age (as an adult) has been incredibly sobering for me. Hades is lucky to have you.

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