Captain Morgan Update - Improving Slowly

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Cap'n. He is still VERY ill.

    He went to the vet on Wed and she didn't have a lot of hope. He just wasn't gaining weight and that is what he must do to survive. She gave him 2 bags of fluid under his skin, took blood and prescribed medications to deal with his nausea. Wed night Jess and I were really upset because he wouldn't eat and any time we moved him he would foam at the mouth. I won't EVER keep an animal alive in pain if there isn't any real hope of recovery - I saw a neighbor do this and it was so awful for the animal.

    Thursday the vet called and said that his body was killing his red blood cells. She put him on steroids. That afternoon he meowed and led J to the fridge to his food. When she opened a new can and let him sniff it, he started eating before she could even put it down.

    Friday morning he went back to the vet and had gained a little bit of weight. His blood work was much better and she was far more optimistic than she had been. He has been eating without needing to be force fed and is even leading us to his food at times. Plus he is meowing to us again when he wants something.

    He is getting grumpy and starting to demand his own way. That has me more relieved than anything else. He was so passive before, and this means he has the energy to be grumpy and to tell us what he wants!

    This is the first time since he came back that I thought he had a chance to make it. I give credit to my amazing, strong, smart daughter. She is the one who set up the feeding schedule, made sure we could get him out of the hidey holes he finds, and she has done most of the feedings. She is amazing with him.

    Again, thanks for the prayers for my furbaby. We all appreciate it.
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  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm happy to hear Cap'n is improving, albeit slowly. Your daughter is an angel.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Susie, I must've missed the post saying what kind of infection poor Cap'n had picked up.

    I am so sorry to hear that he has been so ill. I am glad to hear that he's started to eat on his own and that the steroids are helping with his appetite and (crabby) attitude.

    Please keep us posted. We're pulling for the Cap'n and your family.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    ToK - this isn't from an infection. He did have a mild infection hen he came home, but the antibiotics made him so miserable that the doctor just had us stop them. He has something called fatty liver disease because he lost so much weight while he was lost. He weighed 25.5 pounds when he got out and he weighed 7.75 lbs when he came back - over 2/3 of his weight was lost in a month!

    He felt so bad that he didn't even want to eat or drink. It was at a follow up that we learned about his blood problem. Thankfully it isn't as bad as the vet first thought. The steroids are to help that and one side effect is hunger. That is why J and I went and got a bunch of different cat foods and some baby food. He likes some and it is clear that it is helping because he is grumpy, determined and far more vocal. He loves to curl up in a dresser that is missing a drawer. I put some towels and an old shirt of mine in it and he thinks he is hidden from us in there - that we cannot find him to pester him. I had been lifting him in because it is about 3 feet of the ground, but yesterday he managed to get up there all by himself at one point. We still try to lift him in when he wants in, mostly because he really does NOT need to hurt himself in a fall.

    I had NO idea that losing weight was so dangerous in cats. The only thing that will truly cure him is food, as in gaining weight. So we will keep pushing. If you know any people food that is good for cats that might tempt him, let me know please. The vet said to look for high protein, but her special food is only 8%, less than many others. We are urging baby food because it is 45-60% protein, but we don't do that for every meal.

    Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts. I just HATE when one of my kids is not feeling well.
  6. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    susiestar Im glad hes improving and I am keeping him in my thoughts and prayers! Poor kitty! That is a lot of weight loss in a month, glad hes eating more now. You all are doing great!!
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'd be trying "real" protein as a supplement: tuna, chicken livers, chicken hearts, meats that are really high in food value.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    8% protein is WAY too low. Most premium dry cat foods are at least 35% protein.

    Fatty liver is a real risk in overweight cats that lose weight very quickly. I would try deli meats if he can have the sodium. Turkey, Roast Beef, Ham, etc.

    Also try cheeses, full fat cottage cheese, etc. Make sure his renal function is OK and that he can handle the calcium before pushing dairy.

    Offer raw meats if he'll eat them. Raw meat will not hurt Cap'n so long as it is fit for human consumption and has been handled properly. (Despite what your vet might say) A lot of cats love fatty pork and it won't hurt them.

    Offer poached fish (you can poach it in a little milk or broth in the nuker). Some raw fish can be fed, but some varieties contain enzymes which impair vitamin B absorption, so best to cook lightly. Salmon, mackerel, other fatty fish are good.

    If he'll eat it, and you can get the cheap, "icky" salmon and mackerel in the cans that has the skin and bones in it, that is good to feed as it is very fatty, and also rich in calcium and taurine, which he needs for eye and heart health.
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I'm happy to hear he's doing a bit better. I will pray for quick healing.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I had not read that Captain had developed these problems. I am so happy he is bouncing back! I loved reading the part about his grumpiness returning.

    A sure sign of recovery for the Captain.

  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Susie, I just thought of a canned food that is very palatable and AFAIK the highest in protein on the market. It is called B.G. (Before Grains) and is made by Merrick.

    It is expensive, be warned in advance, but is nothing but meat with supplements added to make it a complete ration. It is available at most independent pet food stores, and Pet Supplies Plus also carries it.

    I used to feed it to Jakey as a treat until his kidneys started going bad and we had to cut back on the protein in his diet some. His favourite flavor was the quail (they also have rabbit and I think, venison.)

    Your "mission" right now is to get the most nutrient dense foods possible into that cat. Because his liver is compromised, his sense of smell and taste are compromised due to toxin buildup. He is likely to be attracted to strongly flavored foods: try him on smoked oysters, canned sardines, etc. (assuming sodium isn't an issue)

    Also ask your vet about an old-time antihistamine called (I think) cyproheptadine. I don't know if it is still on the market, or if it was ever used in the USA, but when I worked for a vet in Germany 30 years ago, it was used with great success in cats and dogs as an appetite stimulant.

    In fact, it was pulled off the market as an antihistamine in Europe because it caused such drastic weight gain as a side effect.

    I also don't know if it is safe to use with compromised liver function.

    I just googled it and it looks like it is now being used in the US in the treatment of anorexia in humans, so it is still around.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Found more info on Google for you, Susie. Cyproheptadine is used as an appetite stimulant in cats and for weight gain. I didn't find contraindications for liver issues.

    It can cause excitability and interact with some other medications. I would DEFINITELY ask your vet about this medication to get Cap'n eating again.

    I do know that my vet in Germany got fantastic results with this medication in dogs and cats.

    It works on appetite by blocking production of serotonin, which I find to be interesting. As a result, it can't be used with SSRIs. I assume Cap'n isn't on Prozac?

    Since it is a VERY old (1st generation) antihistamine, I would assume that it is a very inexpensive medication, so that shouldn't be an issue. If it is. Pls PM me.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thanks so much! We see the vet Wed and I will ask. He is currently on prednisone and reglan and they help. We were giving him water and food in syringes every few hours if he wouldn't eat. I decided to try some pedialyte and the difference in that vs the water is astounding. He is more alert and moving better. He would sleep in a drawer in the bedroom all day and night if we let him, but we make him get up and move around. He had an accident in the living room and was embarrassed, so now when we get him to feed him we put him in his litter box. He goes right away each time, which is very good. With the food and pedialyte he is walking around more, asking to be brushed, talking to us (he used to be very verbal and demanding, and is getting some of that back), and he is actually jumping up into the drawer rather than needing us to either put him in or help him in. These are all good. We pick up more of his medications and will ask about the one you suggested. He is filling out a bit too, and it doesn't seem to be bloating.

    Thanks again! I will look for that food too.
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  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    You're very welcome, Susie.

    Reglan is Cisapride, and is available from compounding pharmacies as a flavored liquid for less than your vet charges. Ask him/her if they'll write you a RX for the medication.

    Cyproheptadine comes as a syrup and you might have to get that compounded as well.

    I forgot to mention putting him on a GI motility stimulant and I apologise for that. I'm glad your vet was on the ball and caught that. Between the liver damage and the not eating, constipation,which can quickly become lethal in cats, is a real risk.

    The Reglan before meals will help prevent that. That, combined with the gastrocholic reflex (why you have to go potty after you eat) is why he's "performing" when parked in the litterpan.

    It sounds like you are doing an excellent job of providing the good nursing care that Cap'n needs to recover.
  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    One more thing I nearly forgot (Sorry, insomnia is frying my brain.)

    Do NOT get cyproheptadine syrup from a human pharmacy under ANY circumstances.

    The human version is sweetened with Xylitol which is DEADLY POISONOUS to cats!

    Get it from a compounding pet pharmacy. I'm sure if there isn't one closer to you, there is one in Tulsa or OKC.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Cisipride is propulsid and is not sold in the US as it caused deaths. hen taken ith anoverdose, you don't vomit it up. It had some other nasty side effects too. My mom took it for a while but the side effects were unpleasant.

    Reglan is metoclopramide and he likes the syrup. He takes a small dose and it hasn't been a problem AT ALL for him. The steroids were tough to get down at first, but we crush them and put them in tuna juice and he doesn't fight.

    We think he forgot how to chew. 2 days ago J's knee was hurting and she couldn't reach the cat food and no one else was home. So she took small chunks of the tuna that she could reach and put them in his mouth. In trying to spit it out he chewed it and then got interested. Last night in one sitting he ate 1/4 can of cat food (big can). He would get up and walk a few steps away, then turn and come back to sit down and eat more It was funny to watch, but he seemed to remember how to chew and that he likes to chew. So feeding him today was easy - we just warmed the food up (leftover from last night), fluffed it a bit on his plate, and let him chow.

    We don't feed him out of the cans ever. he eats off of paper plates because it is easier to keep them clean than washing six to eight dishes a day. I worry about bacteria with him because he has to be more susceptible to infection right now. He is funny because he won't have anything to do with cold food but he is nuts about trying to drink from any cup with ice in it. We are all using lids because we don't want him to get into coffee or soda, esp the coffee which he adores.

    Thanks for the warning on the syrup. I will see what the vet says about it.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am loving Captain and he is not even my cat.

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  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Sorry about the error on the Reglan. I should've checked that one before posting. My bad.

    No. Feeidng out of cans is a bad idea. I've seen too many tongues needing stitching after that.

    When I feed canned, I feed off of paper plates as well, though I have to watch Thomas like a hawk as after he inhales is portion of food, he is not above eating the part of the paper plate where the food WAS!
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Until this, we couldn't get Captain to eat anything but dried food. He would lick butter off of bread (not toast) and salt off of tortilla chips (not any other type of chip), and he would eat lasagna, but those are the sum total of things he willingly at other than his dry food and an occasional cat treat - but only the crunchy treats. My dad tried to give him a soft cat treat once and Capn acted like my dad was trying to poison him, lol! Why lasagna? Who knows. He would not eat any type of cheese, anything else with tomato sauce, any type of meat, any type of pasta, but mix them into lasagna and he became very very happy.

    The vet is VERY pleased. His hematocrit came up from 17 to 30 in just 10 days. 40 is perfect, 30 is almost normal. She thought it would take a month or more to get up to where we are. He also gained half a pound, which is a lot when you only weighed 8 pounds and were not eating.

    He ate again today, so that is 2 more meals where he ate. I hadn't thought about the can hurting him, I just worried about bacterial growth from one meal to the next. That is good to know because husband thought I was being a worrywart over the can thing. He thought they were 'designed' to be safe to eat out of. He gives manufacturers a LOT more credit than they deserve, and not on this alone. He can be very trusting.

    He was playing this morning for the very first time since he came back to us. He lurked behind a doorway and pounced on Jess in the bathroom. Poor Jess. She was shaving her legs and sliced a 1X1.5 inch piece of skin of her leg. She didn't even yell though because she was so happy to have him want to play. She amazes me.

    I do think we may have an issue with Capn in the future. he has discovered baby wipes. We have been using them to help clean him because he hasn't been up to that and because the grime from his time away was very hard to remove. Yesterday he walked over to a container of baby wipes and meowed until I wiped his face and head and his feet off. I think he wanted them cleaned off but didn't want to groom himself. For now it is okay, and rather funny. I am not sure I want it to be a permanent thing though, Know what I mean?? I guess it is better than demanding makeup. Freckles, a cat we used to have, LOVED her makeup. I used food coloring markers (Wilton) after speaking to the vet. It was originally for a halloween photo, but then she would bat the marker over to us and insist we redo it about every week or so. It was really funny and rather odd. The food coloring was safe, according to the vet, so we let her do it. We do tend to have unique individuals for pets.

    The vet wants to keep him on the steroids for another week and a half, but then if he won't eat when we take him off of those, she will give him the appetite stimulant medication. She doesn't want him on too many medications at a time, which I appreciate. I am using natural oils to keep fleas off rather than his flea medicine because of his liver. I don't want to put any more stress on it. Thankfully I have neem oil (a VERY safe and natural pest control oil - it is actually safe to eat for humans and pets, and great for your skin though i hate the scent), lavender oil and rosemary oil, all of which are awesome at pest control. I use the rosemary and lavender on his bedding and he seems to like them, esp the rosemary. I dilute the neem and wipe it on him every few days if I see any hint of a problem. I may keep up with this after he is better as it seems to work well. I strongly dislike most flea medicines. The sprays and powders make me sick, and I cannot help but wonder if they make the pet sick if used long term.

    We truly appreciate all the help and ideas, ToK. This has been an emotional rollercoaster for us.

    Cedar, it is hard not to fall in love with Captain. He is amazing and sweet and hilarious. Siamese cats are a lot of fun because they have giant personalities and are usually very vocal. They have strong opinions and believe their servants (us) should always know them.
  20. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady


    I am so glad to hear that Cap'n's health is improving.

    Yes, "street Siamese", or as I call them "Sia-whatsis-es" are wonderful cats. I had Jakey, who was a rescued feral who was with me for nearly 10 years.

    He was supposed to be a foster, but...

    Jakey was garrulous, opinionated, and just plain strange, but I loved him dearly and it broke my heart when renal failure took him at approximately 12-14 years of age.

    When I first bought him home, I couldn't lay a hand on him, but he walked up to Gryphon, my enormous German Shepherd, head butted him in the knee, and from that moment on, the two were inseperable.

    Gryphon helped Jakey to learn that people were safe, and that indoors was a pretty neat place to live, though Jakey never learned to use a litter pan.

    Instead, he would go to the door and howl to be let out when he had to relieve himself.