First, we got Shelly’s test results back. She is in Stage 2 kidney disease. We switched her to a special diet and we will continue to monitor her weight. Low protein kidney diets are something of a tightrope walk with cats; too much protein isn’t good for the compromised kidneys, but too little leads to a malnourished kitty. She likes the kibble (which is saying something) but she’s kind of “meh” about the gooshyfood. I did promise her that I wouldn’t completely cut her off from her favorite food (buffalo!) or treats the way we did when my dog Misty had this issue – Misty’s was discovered late, and while we got an extra year with her, she was really unhappy with her food. At this stage, we aren’t given her subcutaneous fluids, but that could change. We’ll have to take her in for blood tests every few months.
For the moment, Shelly seems to be doing well. She’s not as rompy and playful as she used to be, but I think that’s just because she’s finally showing her age. I got her in the fall of 2001, and she could have been anywhere between eight months and two years old at the time. And up until this past year, she had been freakishly healthy. Then in December she had to have teeth pulled, and then treatment for hypothyroid, and now this.
Second, we rushed Chewie to the vet again this past Thursday. Or rather, early Friday morning, I guess you’d say – we left at roughly two a.m. He was once again exhibiting nasal flaring (so bad his little lips were flapping) and trying to breathe through his mouth. We had him in oxygen at home for several hours, but he didn’t show any signs of improvement until we got him there. They’ve kept him in oxygen until today. He’s eaten well and they say he doesn’t have any blockages or anything.
They think it could simply be gas, though he is on gas medication daily. Part of his issue is that he never stopped eating again like a rabbit should after his ulcer treatment. He will eat greens and some cereals, but those produce gas. Without hay to keep his system moving he can’t get rid of it and he’s always on the cusp of GI stasis. My husband has been syringe feeding him Critical Care for almost a year now – which doesn’t help, because it’s probably forcing more air in. The gas presses on all of his little organs (you can see this on an x-ray) and it makes his breathing labored.
The plan is to cut his assist feedings down and hope he makes it up with greens, pellets, and maybe hay. We’re also going to try a different food, one that’s supposed to be gentler on his tummy. And we’ve bought an AeroKat, which will allow us to give him a rescue inhaler that should help the pain in his lungs when the gas presses in. I guess we’ll see.