Friday, August 18, 2006

Sylvester FYI

Belated update from my Livejournal.

So, last Saturday I made a big ol' emo post about Sylvester, my 16-year-old kitty, being very ill and not likely to make it through the week.

Naturally, two days later Sylvester made a semi-miraculous recovery.

In a nutshell, I took him to the vet last Saturday because he couldn't lift his head at all, even to eat or drink, had dwindled to a skeletal weight in the last week or so (6 pounds--his normal weight should be about 11-12 pounds), and did nothing but lie by his water bowl staring straight ahead. The vet diagnosed potassium deficiency as a side-effect of kidney failure. He gave me some potassium supplements and gave Sylvester some under-the-skin fluids, and told me to come back if he didn't improve. Frankly, both of us expected that I'd be back in a couple of days, hence the aformentioned emo post.

After the first two days of potassium, Sylvester was darn near his old self. Not only is he able to lift his head, he's able to jump up on chairs, complain, eat, and drink. Mind you, the only thing the potassium supplements did was treat the most obvious symptoms of the bigger problem, but now that he *can* drink more fluids, there's a better chance that he can get some kidney function back.

To that end, I've positioned water bowls strategically around the house. The vet suggested changing them a couple of times a day, because for most cats the first impulse with a freshly filled water bowl is "Neat! Water! Drink!" I've also purchased a bubbling water bowl for him which, if he's not terrified of it and vows never to drink again, might encourage him to drink a little more because, you know, bubbles = fun. At least that's the theory. I haven't yet caught him actually drinking from it.

So. If he drinks a lot, and if that gets his kidneys going again, and if he starts gaining weight again, and if he can get back on his thyroid medication without throwing it up, then we might get him on some prescription kitty food that will, hopefully, be of more long-term help. The kidney failure is still a serious problem, and we might be right where we started tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but I can't deny that right now, things are looking a bit better. We'll see what happens.


Post a Comment

<< Home