Monday, November 7, 2011
AND THE FUN BEGINS...
First order of the day was for my brother and I to learn how to administer the IV. One of the Hope Vet Tech Reps demonstrated the procedure. Let me tell you it took a bit of doing. We were nervous at first but determined. Ultimately it took about a week to get used to doing this. Famotidine, which inhibits the production of gastric acid and, in Buddy's case, improved his appetite, also had to be administered by injection. We quickly learned to inject it into the IV line.
The next step was changing food. That did not go easily; all Buddy ever wanted to eat when he was well was Deli Cat. Reluctantly, we continued to feed Buddy Deli Cat since he continued to eat only a little bit of any of the prescription food we offered him. We tried all three kinds of canned renal food as well as a pouch version but Buddy's fascination with the new food wore off quickly.
During July 4th weekend 2009, Buddy ate only a little portion of rinsed tuna and some crumbled soft Pounce treats. He became very listless, disinterested and he stopped grooming. Doctor Young suggested an appetite stimulant. We also tried a prescription diet pouch food. Buddy decided the pouch food was more interesting than the canned versions and his eating habits improved.
An abdominal sonogram confirmed that Buddy didn't have any tumors. We set up a daily schedule for shots, IV, meds and feeding along with a weigh-in once or twice a week. With renal failure the key to good care is maintaining a good schedule and making sure the patient eats. That means keeping a variety of foods readily available to offer at all times. And the variety of foods can be pretty bizarre but we feed him whatever it takes to keep him eating.
Currently, some of Buddy's favorite foods are:
Low Sodium Tuna (rinsed)
Chopped Clams (rinsed) (I purchase Snow's Chopped Clams because they are MSG-free.)
Chicken - white, dark and organ meat
Milk and Yogurt (cats are lactose intolerant but constipation is a problem with renal failure; a small amount of milk or yogurt every day promotes regularity.)
Turkey (This is the big one! Buddy will run the New York Marathon for a piece of turkey.)
Chinese Roast Pork (Another favorite; we rinse it before giving it to him.)
Bok Choy (I can't figure this but Buddy will steal it out of your dish while you're eating.)
We spent the remainder of 2009 dealing with Buddy's eating habits as well as his temperament concerning his medicines.
At this point, Buddy was still eating commercial pet food and would continue to do so throughout most of 2010 until something happened with Annie that prompted me to consider cooking for them both! I will continue this narrative with my next post.