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Munchkin's FLS Battle

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The following entries are taken from my LiveJournal. I'm archiving them here in case anything unforeseen should happen to my LJ. Also, so they can be easily read in the order they were posted. I guess I'm doing this to help me try and make sense of things... The entries chronicle Munchkin's fight with Fatty Liver Syndrome (FLS). Jeff suspects that there was some underlying cause more serious than FLS; and I do, too, because he should have gotten better. He should have gotten better.

My kitty is sick, poor thing

11/24/07 02:57 pm

Munchkin is sick. He hasn't been eating very much for at least a couple of weeks and the last several days, I don't think he's eaten anything. He's gotten skinny. I took him into the vet today to see what was wrong and they poked and prodded around, took his temperature (anal probe, joy) and some blood to test.

The vet said that he has some sort of infection going on according to his elevated white blood cell count and something's up with his liver; it's hard to say if the infection is in his liver, cauing it problems, or if it's because he hasn't eaten in several days. (If a cat doesn't eat in 48 hours, it causes problems in their liver.) Also, his skin has a yellowish color to it (I think that's called jaundice?), indicating liver problems.

She put him on a couple of medications, gave me a can of Hills Prescription Diet a/d and a feeding syringe, and told me to make sure he eats, if I have to force feed him; and to feed him every several hours. She recommended to get a jar of chicken baby food to feed him and said he can eat pretty much anything -- so long as I get him to eat.

I asked how long before I'd notice an improvement and she said that he should be improving by Monday.

I brought him home and put him in the bedroom and put some food and milk out for him (he dearly loves milk*), but he just kinda looked at it like he wanted to eat but not really. He licked up a tiny bit of the Prescription Diet a/d food, so I put some in the feeding syringe and tried to get him to eat it that way. (They don't tell you how to avoid the claws when you use the thing.) Anyway, I got a little down his throat and lots of little worm shaped bits of it all over the place. :} He voluntarily licked up a little bit more, but not much. I'm going to feed him again, here in a few minutes.

If you want to see a picture of Munchkin (and my other cats), go to http://sangi.sanguinarius.org/sangis-cats.shtml

-----
* He knows the word "milk" and has a way of meowing that sounds like he's actually trying to say the word "milk", as close as a cat can come to pronouncing it -- his "milk meow". For him to not be interested in milk is not a good sign. Poor little guy.

Tags: cat, liver, munchkin, sick, vet
Current Location: Topeka. KS
Current Mood: worried

Munchkin Update

11/25/07 03:19 am

I've managed to get a little down his gullet yesterday and tonight. He growled at me. :`( He doesn't understand I'm not doing it to be mean, just to help him.

Everybody out there, please pray for Munchkin. If you don't pray, please send good, healing energy his way. If you don't manipulate energy, please send good thoughts his way. Anything and everything will surely help. I'm worried sick about the little guy. And spread the word to send good thoughts, energy and prayers his way, too.

Tags: munchkin, sick, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: worried

Another Munchkin Update

11/26/07 08:08 am

Trying to force feed Munchkin with the feeding syringe and give him his pills is not working. He starts gagging and such when he even sees the feeding syringe. And trying to actually get it in his mouth long enough to squirt some food in him, not to mention trying to pop a pill down his throat, is proving impossible and injurious. He has eaten less than a half a can of the Hills Prescription Diet a/d canned cat food the vet told me to feed him. So, I see that I am going to have to take him back in to get a feeding tube inserted. He HAS to eat!

Once he starts getting some food in him, I believe they can retest him to see if the infection is in his liver, or if his liver problem was caused by not eating.

I've got a doctor's appointment myself, today, and my doctor is right next to the vet's office. If I can get my ride to let me take him in with me to my doc's, I can drop him off at the vet. If not, I will just have to reschedule my doc's appointment -- and they can damned well be mad at me! This is more important than my checkup and birth control appointment. They won't write me a new prescription of my albuterol inhaler until I come in, but I have one waiting to pick up at Walgreen's, so I'll still have one for a while. I can reschedule in a few days or a week and still be alright.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

Tags: appointment, cat, munchkin, sick, update, vet
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: worried

More on Munchkin

11/27/07 03:05 am

Well, I had a big, long entry here and just as I was finishing up, FireFox decided to do an update and closed itself and when it reloaded all my text was gone! I'm too tired to think right now, and don't remember what all I wrote. But to make a long story short, I thought I was going to have tp pay an estimated $750 for to put Munchkin on an IV drip, get tests done, get the esophageal tube inserted, and this, and that, and the other, etc. But I figured out to roll him up in a towel (as I noticed someone suggested in one of my LiveJournal Munchkin update comments -- Thank you very much!), mummy-like, in order to force feed him, so he can't claw me. And it worked. So I am now force feeding him food and water regularly. The vet said to give him 10 ccs of food and 15 ccs of water every hour. I'm extremely exhausted and low on sleep, and I'm doing the best I can. I hope it is enough. I pray it is enough. Jeff's over here tonight, so I can't just set the alarm to go off every hour to feed Munchkin and catch some sleep in the meantime. I'm hoping coffee will be enough to keep me awake through the night, but my eyes ache something horrible and my brain is starting to shut down, and I'm stressing out over a number of issues going on simultaneously (which I cannot deal with at this time, yet they need to be dealt with). Anyway, it's 3:20 am. Time to feed and water Munchkin again in 10 minutes.

Tags: cat, feeding, munchkin, sick, towel, update, vet
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: exhausted


Munchkin update -- November 30, 2007

11/30/07 09:41 am

I took Munchkin back to the vet Thursday and Dr. Terry retested him. His ALT (something indicating the liver) is better, but his white blood cell count has gone up, not down, which is not good. She gave me a different antibiotic to give him, and I will give him that this morning when I give him his meds, food and water. He does not seem better. Dr. Terry also said that he'd gained an ounce, which is good. I'd been force feeding him about every hour or so. She said I might be force feeding him that way for weeks. She also said that she's amazed that he's still alive, and that this is testament to my efforts, but she could see the toll it's been taking on me. She said that he could eventually get better, but he could also die in the end after everything.

I'll do everything I can to get him better. I love the little guy dearly.

I asked how long I could go without feeding him to get some sleep. I'd been feeding him 1 tube (10 cc) of food and 1 1/2 tubes (15 cc) of water every hour or so. She told me that I could feed him every two hours and give him 2 tubes (20 cc) of food and 2 tubes of water. And that I could get some sleep (7-8 hours a day -- YAY!!!).

I'm supposed to call the vet's office back on Saturday to let them know how he's doing. I got an extra feeding syringe from them and took the little guy back home.

It seems I've been napping and feeding Munchkin, interspersed with watching tv and chatting on IRC in the meantime. Last night before I went to bed, I tried feeding him, but he barfed up what I managed to give him so far, so I gave him a break from it. This morning, as soon as I wake up enough to function decently, I'll give him 5 mg (1/4 pill) of generic Pepcid before I feed him (per Dr. Terry's recommendation). That will help reduce the stomach upset.

I think I've included everything I wanted to say so far.

Tags: cat, kitty, munchkin, sick, update, vet
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: groggy

Munchkin Update: Good sign!

12/1/07 04:09 pm

I was feeding Munchkin a few minutes ago, and noticed that he is no longer all yellowy (jaundice, indicating the liver is not functioning properly)! :D His tongue is not an orangish color, it's pink again, and his skin is the regular pale skin color of a cat. This is a good sign. He's not out of the woods yet. He still doesn't put up much of a fight when I roll him in the towel and force feed him; he just growls. But this is a good sign.

I will keep feeding him every two hours and giving him his meds in the morning. Everybody who can, please send healing energy to him. If you need a picture, it's at http://sangi.sanguinarius.org/sangis-cats.shtml . If you don't know how to heal or manipulate energy, then just send good thoughts and well wishes. Anything and everything will help.

Tags: better, cat, jaundice, kitty, liver, munchkin, sick, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: hopeful

Munchkin update -- December 3/4, 2007

12/4/07 12:11 am

This morning, I went to give Munchkin 1/4 a generic Pepcid tablet (5 mg) and found him hiding under the dresser. I went to pull him out and got my hand all wet from cat drool. I looked and he had spittle/drool all where his lips are. I didn't figure that was a good sign so I gave him his Pepcid and called the vet. The person on the phone said she could ask and get back to me, or I could bring him in for more testing and observation. I figured it would probably be better if I took him back in, as I didn't know if he was rabid, or what was going on.

I was and am low on sleep today, so I'll try and recollect what all the vet told me when I picked him up in the afternoon.

They couldn't do a CBC (complete blood count) because their machine wasn't working. The other tests they did showed asterisks on the printout which indicated the result was not in the normal range; there were more asterisks than there were the other day. Trying to remember all what the vet said...

She said most cats with this (Fatty Liver Syndrome, I think) would have died by now. His frothing spit could just be a sign of stomach upset/nausea; so he's not rabid, at least. He gained another ounce. Oh, he's still a little dehydrated; she gave him subcutaneous fluids. She told me to give him 2 1/2 tubes of food and 2 1/2 tubes of water instead of 2 foods and 2 waters.

SphynxCat set up a spreadsheet on Google Docs where I can enter Munchkin's tests results so she and Sarasvati (who is a vet) can go over them. I still need to enter the results from his previous visit plus today's results.

My life is endlessly filling feeding tubes and forcing them down his throat. He hates that and growls the whole time from the moment I pick him up. The vet said his liver wasn't tender, I think; so that's not why he growls when I pick him up. She said he's just mad at us. He doesn't like what we're doing to him.

I'd hate for him to die after all I've been "mean" (force feeding him) to him in his last days. I'd feel so bad, I know -- him dying, thinking I'm treating him badly. I wish I could make him understand I'm NOT being mean. I'm trying to help him and save his life.

Oh, I was down to one feeding syringe (tube). They wear out pretty quickly -- the little rubber stopper comes off inside the tube and I can't force it back on the plunger or fish it out of the tube. So I picked up some at Walgreen's. I wanted to buy 10 or 12 of them to have them on hand, but the cashier said she didn't have any way of ringing them up, but she gave me 3.

I think that's it. I gave Munchkin his evening Pepcid, and now it's time to feed and water him.

One reason I'm so exhausted is that I stayed up last night, reading a short book (36 pages) and getting my December newsletter (Sanguinarius News & Updates -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sang-News/ ) finished and posted. Then, the daytime world made it's demands on me (vet appointment, doctor's appointment, waiting on cabs, dealing with friends coming over, etc.) so I had to stay up today instead of getting some sleep. I caught a nap earlier but I'm still "strung out".

Tags: kitty, munchkin, sick, update, vet
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: exhausted

Munchkin update - 4 December, 2007

12/4/07 11:32 pm

Munchkin was very yellowish again this morning but later on in the afternoon, his color had improved to be quite a bit less yellow. I'm continuing to feed and water him via a feeding syringe. He barfs occasionally.

Tonight, I figured out to combine 1 part baby food with 1 part water, and I think I can just draw that up into the feeding syringes now, rather than scooping and mushing the food into the tube from the top a little bit at a time, and then giving him water separately. If it won't draw up into the syringe, I can probably pour it in from the top. We'll see how that goes the next feeding. If it works, it should save quite a bit of time.

I am severely determined to get my kitty better and well again. Death will not get him this time. -- He's mine!

Tags: feeding, kitty, munchkin, sick, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: determined

Munchkin update - 7 December, 2007

12/7/07 10:40 pm

Munchkin is doing about the same. He was barfing somewhat frequently, but not today. I think it was because I was trying to give him too much food and water at once. Although, barfing is one of the things caused by Fatty Liver Syndrome. Today, I've been trying out feeding him 3 tubes of food/water mix (half and half) every hour and a half or so, instead of 4 or 5 every 2 hours. It seems to be working. I don't *think* he's barfed since I've started doing that. Today was his last Baytril tablet (antibiotic) but I still have the Marin pills to give him, and also the 1/4 Pepcid tablet every morning and evening.

I'm supposed to go visit my folks in Arizona over my birthday and Christmas, but if he's still sick and not eating on his own by then, I will cancel in order to take care of him. Somebody tell Santa all I want for Christmas is for Munchkin to be well again.

Tags: kitty, munchkin, sick, trip, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: lethargic

Early Morning Cat Fight plus tiny Munchkin update

12/11/07 07:06 am

Christ...this is gonna be a long day.

Sweety (a stray cat I'm stuck with until a no-kill shelter calls me and says they have a spot for her) ran out of the bathroom and attacked Morris (Jeff's cat) and they fought like they were trying to kill each other, all over the place for several minutes straight before I finally got them apart. I put Morris in the bedroom and Sweety back in the bathroom. I don't know if Morris is hurt or not because he went under the bed and won't come out. I'm thinking seriously of just calling animal control to come get Sweety and Max.

I'm all shakey and feel like I've been in a bad argument.

---

As for Munchkin, he's doing about the same...he's maybe vomiting less, though. It's hard to know if he's improving or not. I'm hoping he is.

Tags: cats, fight, kitty, morris, munchkin, sick, sweety, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: aggravated

Munchkin update - 14 Dec, 2007

12/14/07 01:06 pm

Munchkin barfs a lot, probably about half the time. I'm still having to force feed him about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and sometimes he'll barf before I feed him and sometimes after (it's been hell on my carpet, and I'm sure it's hell on poor Munchkin. -- I know it's hard on ME when I barf!).

I called Dr. Terry to see if she could recommend something to keep him from barfing as much. I've been giving him 5 mg of generic Pepcid twice a day; she said to increase that to 3 times a day. I've been feeding him a mix of water and baby food meats (beef, chicken, veal and turkey, but not ham as it's hard to digest), and about 2-3 ccs of pumpkin (not spiced) in the morning. I need to get some carrots and peas to give him. She told me to increase the pumpkin to 3 ccs twice a day and to give him 1/2 a syringe of carrots or peas twice a day.

She said if I've kept him alive this long then he has a good chance of surviving. The longer he survives, the better chance he has of getting better and living.

She said to do the above menu changes and see how he does through the weekend, and call her back on Monday to let her know how he's doing. If he still barfs a lot there's 2 things she can give me to help.

Thanks to everyone who has sent prayers and positive, healing energy his way. Please continue -- the little guy needs every bit he can get! He's only 7 1/2 -- that's too young to die.

Tags: feeding, kitty, munchkin, sick, update, vet
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: worried

Those Whom the Gods Love Die Young -- the Last Munchkin Update

12/18/07 06:11 pm

I had to put Munchkin down this morning. He was having seizures, and the vet agreed with me that it would be best. At that point, there was very little likelihood that he was going to get better.

I'll try and get the latest up to that point out here. But to be honest, everything is very hazy right now. I'm kind of numb. After the last update, Munchkin was getting worse and I took him in to the vet to be examined. She put him back on Baytril, the antibiotic he was on before, and prescribed something called Pet-tinic, which I looked and smelled like Geritol and I think it was a supplement or something. I'm not sure. He had lost weight: he was 8 pounds, 12 ounces; he became down to 8 pounds, 9 ounces. She said to keep feeding him 3 tubes of the baby food and water mix (variously, chicken, turkey or veal, and occasionally pumpkin and carrots and peas) every hour and a half. And give him the Baytril once a day, the Pepcid thrice a day, and the Pet-tinic twice a day.

I noticed, especially over the weekend, that after I fed him, he was having trouble crawling out of the towel I wrapped him in, but I thought it was just because he was weak. The Pepcid seemed to help him barf less, though he still did on occasion. The tip of his tongue was out of his mouth, and he was drooling like a leaking dam. He'd just sit there, drooling.

This morning, I got up around 7:15 and got around, and when I gave him his Pepcid, I noticed he was laying there in the middle of the floor, with his front legs kind of splayed outward, like he'd just kinda fallen there and not gotten up. He was twitching from time to time. I called the vet and they said to bring him in for observation. In the meantime, he started seizuring worse and he'd jerk and flip or roll. Jeff said that seizures were one of the advanced stages of Fatty Liver Syndrome.

By the time I got him into the vet's to look at, he was flipping and rolling a lot more frequently and the vet agreed with me that, in the condition he was in, he was not at all likely to get better. Also, he was not focusing on much. I made the decision to end his suffering. Dr. Terry was not in yet, and I wanted to be there with him when he passed. I signed the paper giving them permission to euthanize him; they told me to come back at 10:45, so Carl and I went back to my place for a few hours and then came back. In the meantime, they kept Munchkin somewhere warm, and I think they probably gave him something for his seizures, because when I came back, he was not flipping and rolling like he was.

They explained that it was a two-step process: first, they would give him something subcutaneous to slow his breathing, and then about 10 minutes later, they'd give him a shot to stop his heart. They gave me and Carl a few minutes to be with him, and then Dr. Terry came back in and gave him the first shot. I put him in my lap, and he seemed to fall asleep peacefully, as I petted him and talked to him. Then she came back in and gave him the second shot, and he passed on quite quickly and peacefully, being petted on his ears, his favorite spot. She let me hold him and pet him for a little while afterwards and then took him into the back to do whatever preparations they do after a pet's passing. He passed on at around 11:30 am. He was 7 and a half years old.

I made arrangements to have him cremated in a "private ceremony", which means I will get his ashes back in a little bag. This will cost around $115 and I will need to pay for it before they send him off to be cremated. If anyone is in a position to help out with the expense, my PayPal is Sanguinarius (at) sanguinarius.org . I sure could use the financial help at this point. I hate begging but I am very strapped and I don't know what else to do.

-----

I hope that, wherever he is, he is playing and having fun, and making new kitty friends. I miss him so much. He wasn't just a pet. -- He was my friend, he was my baby, and he was my favorite special kitty. I miss him sooo badly. There is a Munchkin-shaped hole ripped out of my heart. Those whom the gods love die young.

Tags: dead, euthanasia, kitty, munchkin, sick, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: numb
Current Music: Taps

Munchkin's Ashes

1/4/08 07:16 pm

I got Munchkin's ashes back today, and a clipping of his hair, in a little dark blue velvet pouch that reads, "Until we meet again at the rainbow bridge" in golden letters. I placed him in a safe place, high up on my giant, ceiling-high white bookshelf. If I didn't have so gosh darned many books, I'd clear a special shelf just for him and his belongings.

I may still figure out a way to do that. Then I can put his bowl and his fuzzy purple pillow up there, too (he loved to knead on that pillow); and maybe a couple of toys he liked. But then the other cats wouldn't be able to play with them -- but they got oodles of toys this Christmas. My mom sent them a stocking full of 20 toys, plus the toys I got them.

I made a $50 payment on his vet bill, too. Now I only owe $200. If anyone is in a position to help out, my PayPal addy is Sanguinarius (at) sanguinarius.org . Even $5 or $10 will help.

As for me, I am past the crying stage now, though I still feel the pre-crying part, where I get a little shaky and breathless. I'm still very sad, though I'm able to joke around more than I have, when I'm not thinking about Munchkin. I just try and keep my mind busy on other things. I don't think I'll ever stop missing him, but at least I have his ashes and a tuft of his hair to comfort me.

I must have faith that he is somewhere happy, where he can go outside whenever he wants and roll around in the grass and freely explore, chase birds and rabbits, and make new friends with other departed cats. Someday we will meet again.

I'd like to hold some sort of memorial-type service, but it would be informal and I'd have to make it up as I went along because I don't know much about holding them. I guess I'll get Carl and Jeff here and we can each say a few words about Munchkin and maybe burn a candle or some incense or something.

Tags: ashes, cat, grief, kitty, munchkin, update
Current Location: Topeka, KS
Current Mood: sad

 

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