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Old November 1st, 2010, 03:47 PM
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To tube or not to tube ...........

...... that is the question.
As a lot of you know I am dealing with liver issues and not eating with Benni.
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=72561
While I pray we have the liver issues under control and will continue with hepatic support for Benni's lifetime we need some help with the eating situation.
Benni has been eating dry food in increasing amounts for a while now. She is up to about 20 to 25 pieces of dry food and treats a day. However, that is by far not enough to keep her going. Not to mention the whole dry food issue. I have been force feeding her for quite some time which is very stressful on her and me. I try not to show my stress but when I have to fight with her to eat it's difficult some days.
The vet has mentioned a feeding tube before. What I would like from you good folks is how you would deal with the situation. What would you do in my situation - tube or not tube (continue to force feed)?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 04:06 PM
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14+, I have no experience in feeding tubes so I cannot offer you any opinion on this. What I can offer you is my full support in whatever you decide to do for Benni. You obviously know what is involved, and you know the relationship between yourself and Benni. If force feeding is too stressful and the feeding tube is a non-stressed fix then go with it. I would assume (and I could be totally wrong) that if the tube didn't work out or help you could have it removed. Would Benni be in any discomfort from a feeding tube? Trust your gut my friend. You know Benni better than anyone. Bless you for continuing to care for her as you do.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 04:10 PM
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i of course have no idea,but if that's what it takes to make her well and lessen the stress on both her and you,i would go for it.
i am pretty sure i've read here that someone was doing it to her cat,maybe growler
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Old November 1st, 2010, 04:26 PM
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14+ i think it was Sugarcatmom who had to tube at one point. My only question since i have absolutely no idea about this..if you feed her through a tube how is it going to get her eating again if she's already full?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 04:40 PM
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When the vet first mentioned the tube I said only as a last resort. I have done quite a bit of reading on them since then and think this may be the answer but am still torn. I know I can continue to do what I am doing. BUT is it better for Benni? That is why I am thinking the tube may be less stressful for her and may get her eating on her own.
This is one of the articles I have read. Seeing as it's part of the same one we keep telling folks about and it's by a vet I tend to put merit to it.
http://www.catinfo.org/?link=feedingtubes

Oh, and aslan - it will answer your question as well.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 05:19 PM
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Mmm, well I guess the whole idea is on the shelf at the moment. I just spoke to the vet. She wants to see Benni and do another blood workup to see if things have changed. I am taking her in tomorrow at 4. She then said a tube would not be done without an ultrasound and possible biopsy first. Funny it was her that mentioned it a few weeks ago though. I can't do all of that. It is just not feasible. So....... hopefully the blood work will show something.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 06:06 PM
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I had to make that choice one with my Peanut (dog), in his case it didn't work because his illness was of a different nature than Benni's. Peanut was a victim of a mysterious immunologic disorder that make his immune system depressed and he wouldn't eat, he was hospitalized for about 10 days and at some point the vet talked to me about the tube. I said yes because I wanted so badly to do whatever possible to save him.

Now about the tube itself it does the work, Peanut's was on the side of his neck/shoulder they keep it covered until food is inserted.
It doesn't look as brutal as I imagined. I think if Peanut had a chance the tube would have been a good thing for him.
I don't know how uncomfortable that could be for them and emotionally.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 06:13 PM
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I'm a big fan of feeding tubes and wouldn't hesitate to put one in, if the situation warranted it. In fact, I've had to resort to tubes on 3 separate occasions for 2 of my cats. There is just no way I could possibly have force fed them for as long as they needed it (3+ months average), and because food aversions can develop with force feeding, tubes bypass that possibility. Meal times actually became a bonding experience.

If you do go for a tube, offer food by mouth before each feeding. Most cats adapt very quickly to wearing a tube (surgical socks help keep them in place). The other thing that's really great about having the tube is that you can put certain meds and liver support supplements through them, avoiding the stress of pilling. This can also help speed up the liver's recovery.

Hopefully the latest blood work provides some answers for you.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Mmm, well I guess the whole idea is on the shelf at the moment. I just spoke to the vet. She wants to see Benni and do another blood workup to see if things have changed. I am taking her in tomorrow at 4. She then said a tube would not be done without an ultrasound and possible biopsy first. Funny it was her that mentioned it a few weeks ago though. I can't do all of that. It is just not feasible. So....... hopefully the blood work will show something.
Good luck tomorrow 14+ .....hopefully the blood work will shed some new light.

I know you've probably read these websites but thought I'd post them just in case you haven't ......

http://www.assistfeed.com/WhatAreMyOptions.htm

http://www.lbah.com/liver.htm
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