She was meant to have the surgery on Monday morning but a pre-surgery blood test revealed that one of her kidney markers (creatinine), previously in the normal range, was now elevated. One of the other markers, the blood urea nitrogen (or BUN), had come down but was still in the high range. And, since her visit to the vet the previous week for a scheduled CKD follow-up, she had lost yet more weight. All of these together made a general anaesthetic unsafe so the surgery was rescheduled for next Monday and instead Bess was kept for the day, receiving IV fluids to try to flush the toxins from her kidneys.
We collected Bess on Monday afternoon, with much praise from the veterinary staff about what a good girl she had been. (Aside from when they went to take out the IV and Bess gave them a good thrashing with her claws. That's our girl!) She's been an incredibly subdued cat ever since which, for a cat who has always spent most of her time mooching from one sleeping area to the next, is saying something. She continues to turn her nose up at her food and doesn't even bother anymore to try to eat from her bowl. Hopefully this is because her mouth is sore and not because the kidney disease is worse than her blood tests make it appear. But, because it is SO IMPORTANT that she eats, I have had to resort to emergency measures.
Bess is now hand fed, and it seems to be working. I think that she is hungry but she finds it very difficult to bite into her food and to chew it. It's easier for her to lick it from my fingers. Plus, I think she associates being hand-fed with getting treats so it's a more appealing option. So far today, she's had almost two full pouches of the special renal food and a half-tin of Applaws tuna. That's the most she's eaten in a day for weeks.
|Hand feeding a fierce cat|
We haven't told them about the hand-feeding yet, but I guess that they know now!