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Discussion Starter #1
Long story short: Our 9 year old cat is dying, and I'm looking for a reprieve. Better yet, a cure.

She hasn't held any food down in close to a week. We've been to two vets, the latter of the two recommending a feeding tube be installed. When we took her in for that, the vet who was going to do the procedure had a look at her blood work results, and said that it wasn't going to do any good.

Basically, she is very jaundiced, and her blood tests are not looking good. Wish I had them here at the moment to share with you. From what I understand, her liver is not in good shape.

We had to force feed her last week, but she could only hold so much. Later, when I held food in front of her, she walked away and threw up. That has happened twice. The last time she voluntarily ate was Wednesday or Thursday of last week, and that was just a bit of tuna.

I know this is a pipe dream, but I have to ask: can anyone recommend anything that we can offer her food wise that might encourage her to eat? We've tried everything we can think of - tuna (one of her favourites), frozen yogurt (loves it normally), various canned food, and so forth. Heck, I would even feed her something addictive, and worry about curing the addiction later.

I think the only thing that is keeping her going is love and the saline solution (Ringers lactate; 200 ml subcutaneously every night).

The weird thing about it is that she looks so close to normal (except the weight loss and a lack of energy) that you could almost swear she is fine. Her mannerisms are pretty much the same. She generally doesn't look like she is in pain. We have taken her to the park a couple of times, and the last time we did we had her on a harness and leash. She walked around and explored the forest, sniffed things, and looked very interested in her surroundings, and the squirrels.

So if anyone has ideas, please let us know.
 

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When Hannah was very ill and would not eat anything else I fed her Beechnut chicken baby food (the first stage food with no additives or salt). It was the only thing she would eat.
I would do the feeding tube and get a third opinion from a specialist.
 

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If she has hepatic lipidosis, the ONLY potential cure is to get food into her, and the only reliable way to do that right now is with a feeding tube. If I were in your position, I would find a vet who would insert the stomach tube immediately, regardless of her potential prognosis. It's almost certainly her only chance of recovery. Even with the feeding tube, there is no guarantee.

Laurie
 

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I have nothing else to add that might help you, but wanted to say I'm very sorry that you and your kitty are going though this. It's heartbreaking to see them ill, and even moreso when you don't know what you can do to help. I hope someone else can offer you a helpful suggestion, and that your baby is able to make some improvement. Thinking of you both.
 

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-Baby food (Beechnut as was already mentioned; Gerber's 2nd Stage meat-and-gravy flavors also work as they have no onion/garlic/other ingredients other than meat)
-Clam juice
-Sardines
-Raw egg

Have you tried hand-feeding her? My elderly cat has a decreased appetite these days, but she will almost always take some food directly from my hand/fingers.

You can also get something liquidy, such as the baby food, and wipe some of it onto her paws. This will encourage her to lick it off as she wants to clean herself, tricking her into ingesting some of the food.

You can also try mixing some catnip into the food.

As another thought, you can try dosing her with Pepcid AC.

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Nausea, Vomiting, Appetite Loss and Excess Stomach Acid

I know that's for kitties with renal disease/failure, but it could settle your cat's stomach and make her want to eat.


Good luck :{
 

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I know it is hard to hear; and everyone has to make decisions for the animals they love, but I believe that sometimes desperately trying to save your kitty's life can be a bit like making their end torturous before they die. Animals do not understand the human idea of trading the great pain, fear, and suffering to buy more time, or in the hope it might work. Be sure your decisions are not more about how hard it is to let your beloved animal go, than what she needs now. Sometimes the most loving thing is a gentle death to end suffering. It's so hard; but don't feel that choice doesn't mean you don't love her. If what you put her through, has a strong chance to save her and she can go on to a happy rest of her life, then it would be worth it. If it's a slim chance, then think carefully. I still feel anquish when I think of the attempts to save my beloved cat's life ( years ago). I should have known when to stop for his sake. It's such a hard thing to know. All the best to you as you try to figure out what to do. Only you are there with her; and can see how she is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She actually ate something today! Raw bacon, of all things. Wasn't much, but it was the first time she ate anything of her own free will in a while.

I'm off to the grocery store to buy some raw meats. She has always liked them, and the protein will do her good. I'll also pick up some of the baby food, just in case.
 

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Sripey,

While eating anything at all on her own is a very good thing for your cat, you need to understand that the disease process of hepatic lipidosis (assuming that's her diagnosis) will not resolve until you are reliably getting an adequate amount of nourishment into her every day. A few nibbles here and there aren't going to halt the disease process or save her life. You need to get at least 5-6 oz of food into her daily ... and she needs to keep it down. If you can't find a vet to place a stomach tube, which is what she really needs, you should be prepared to syringe feed her small meals every hour. Feed her as much at each meal as she can keep down. If she can keep down 40cc's per meal, great. If she can only handle 5cc's per meal, then give her 5cc's every 30 mins or so. Just keep getting as much food in her as possible.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First, thank you to all who have replied. It means a lot to us that we are not alone in this.

The feeding tube option has been discussed a lot. In the end, because she was not holding down any food that was fed to her with a syringe, and because three vets have said that she is in pretty rough shape with only a very slight chance of recovery, we have decided against it. Two of those vets recommended against a feeding tube, as they feel her odds are that bad. Not only may she not be strong enough to go through the procedure (it involves general anaesthetic), but she may also vomit food up through the tube.

I am continuing to try new foods (raw meats, baby food, etc) with her, in the hopes that she will be able to consume them.

She is starting to look more miserable. The only time she doesn't look that way is when we take her to the park, or when my wife is cuddling her in bed.

We'll see what happens tomorrow, after a chat with the vet. A tough decision may have to be made then.

Thanks again, everyone.

J
 

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Hi There
Thats great that she ate something, you said you are giving sub-Q fluids are you also giving vitamin B complex
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B is water soluable. Both the additional water in food and the Sub Q fluids may result in low B vitamin levels for your cat. Giving Vitamin B Complex is therefore recommended.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. It is too bad that the tube feeding wasn't done earlier for her. My cat has hepatic lipidosis and I have been tube feeding him for two months now. I thought at first that it was hopeless, but he is finely gaining weight and beginning to eat on his own. I wish that you would have been able to do something for your kitty and wish you all the best. Hopefully she will enjoy the time that she has left.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for taking the time to leave advice and/or words of comfort.

We made the very difficult choice of sending our cat to the next realm. Her liver was simply too far gone, and she wasn't holding down food. She was starting to hurt, but was not in so much pain that she couldn't enjoy one last trip to the park.

Rest in peace, Mags. We are going to miss you. :cry:
 

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I'm sorry about your cat's passing. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is deciding when it's time to let them go. You did the best for her and were there for her at the end. She's resting now. Hugs to you.
 

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I'm so sorry. My heart just sank a little for you. You made the right choice and tried your best. Always remember that. That and all the precious memories you made through the years. ((HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!))
 

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It's been less than three weeks since our family had to make that same decision, so I still feel the fresh pain and difficulty that you're going through. I am so sorry that your family had to say goodbye to Mags, but take comfort in the the knowledge that she's not hurting and that you didn't make her suffer unnecessarily. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family during this sad time.
 

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I am so sorry that she is gone :{

But since you shared Mags with us here online a little bit, she is in your heart, and in all of our hearts as well :}
 
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