Fatty Liver Disease - Please help, guidance needed.
About two weeks ago I brought my long-haired cat to the vet. He's twelve years old and he's been losing a lot of weight and not eating. I didn't know how much of this to chalk up to old age and until that day didn't hear about Fatty Liver Disease.
Anyway, that day at the vet (new vet) they took blood and it wasn't until that Saturday that I got results saying his liver was having problems.
Aside from being skinny he wasn't in TERRIBLE condition at this point**
The doctor prescribed Zentinol and I began administering it for about a week until I noticed on Saturday he still wasn't eating and that he had turned a bit yellow.
I brought him back to the Vet and he referred me to a pet ER and gave me an antibiotic (zenaquin) and appetite stimulant (Cyproheptadine). Shadow's condition continued to worsen and I brought him to the ER, where the doctor checked him over and stressed the urgency of the situation and how critical Shadow's condition was.
She said that I could hospitalize him (for a total of 5000 dollars) or he would basically die and the other option was to euthanize him (250 dollars).
I didn't have enough for either of those things (thank god, to be honest) and I felt like she was a gangster holding a gun to my head and saying, "Five thousand, or the cat gets it." She wasn't, and she finally gave me a deal on a subcutaneous injection and an anti-nausea injection before sending me and Shadow home. I cried all night and in the morning decided to take matters into my own hands. I felt pigeon-holed by the ER vet who would do nothing without thousands of dollars I didn't have and neglected by the primary vet who should've seen shadow's condition a week and a half prior and told me more about the situation (I would have started force feeding him right then had I known what Fatty Liver was and how it worked).
ANYWAY, I went to the pet store and bought science diet for adult cats and a syringe. I crushed up his Zentinol and Cyproheptadine and put it in his food. I gave him three ounces of wet food the first day, Sunday, and moved it to about four on Monday and he's eaten about five to five and a half today, Saturday. He's also been given regular water. Today I introduced the antibiotic so as not to overwhelm his weaker system on Sunday with pills, I also upped how much water I'm giving him.
He's obviously not fine, but if you saw the difference between Saturday night and tonight you would be astonished. His coat looks better, he looks fatter and fuller, he's more engaged and not glazed over, he's emotional and expressive (purring and meowing occasionally) and peeing on his own. I could even swear that his yellow tint is reducing, but I could just be getting a little excited. I'm feeling a bit hopeful but I'm scared to feel too much hope and be crushed if it doesn't turn out well.
Anyway, I don't have five thousand dollars to hospitalize him and I'm not going to sit here and watch him starve himself to death so I don't care if it's not perfect (the ER vet said he might not eat normally if I syringe fed him - though I found that contradictory as he is already not eating normally), I am going to get food and water down his throat, give him his medicine, and hope he recovers. I'm hoping the appetite stimulant takes effect soon so he will start eating on his own (or at least check out his food).
Here are my concerns and I would REALLY appreciate the guidance:
He's not pooping. This makes me nervous because his belly is a bit bloated and he's been eating now since Sunday morning without a bowel movement. Any suggestions? I saw pumpkin somewhere on here. Does this work?
Also, I read that electrolyte therapy might help him as he's not receiving regular subcutaneous injections (he just got the one Saturday night) but I'm nervous to give him anything that might interfere with the other medications, that he'll puke up, or that will mess with his liver or kidneys. Any suggestions?
Also any suggestions in this situation as to how to get the best results possible?
Should I stop the appetite stimulant for now and give it to him in a week when it's more likely he'll eat on his own?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
I hope Sugarcatmom or Growler will see this thread and have some great advice for you.
14+kittles nursed one of her cats back to health after having liver problems, she may be able to offer some advice on the steps she took.
Did any of the vets recommend a feeding tube? If the meds didn't work, that would be my first choice. The cat doesn't have to stay at the hospital while it's in.
At this point getting your cat to eat is priority. A better food would be Wellness, grain free. It easily mixes with water to help force feed her. A healthy immune system requires a quality diet.
Oh wow, what a rough ride for you and Shadow! I have some info that may help but I'm just about to leave work. Will try to post later tonight. Hang in there!!!
Although this paper is addressed to vets, perhaps you can find some useful info in there: [url]http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2003&PID=pr06620&O=Generic[/url] They mention possibly using lactulose to deal with constipation.
The Zentonil is best given on an empty stomach (an hour before or 2 hours after eating) and shouldn't be crushed, which exposes it to destruction by stomach acid.
A feeding tube would be the best option, so perhaps you can look into financial aid from one of these resources:
Info on feeding tubes: [url]http://www.catinfo.org/?link=feedingtubes[/url]
If that truly is not an option, here are some links dealing with anorexia in cats:
And here is an excellent resource consisting of many other people who have been in your shoes: [url]http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-Assisted-Feeding/[/url]
All the best to you and Shadow! Let us know how things go. :fingerscr
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