Monday, October 18, 2010

Tiger Boy update - some encouraging news

I had lined up some other posts for this week but, with our cat Tiger still in the hospital, I think an update on his condition is more appropriate. 

We went to see the vet this morning, Dr Eric Yeoh at Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital in Whitley Road.  Dr Yeoh explained Tiger's condition to us and reassured us that he expects Tiger to stabilise soon. He is looking for the protein levels to come down and for Tiger to start eating again. Once that happens, we can bring Tiger home. Dr Yeoh is administering antibiotics for a respiratory infection but apart from that he is not giving Tiger any drugs or medication for the renal failure, just some fluids for hydration.

We went to visit Tiger and sat with him for a while. I think he was very stressed. Being in an unfamiliar environment, stuck in a small cage, listening to unfamiliar sounds and voices, being jabbed for various blood tests, having an IV drip in his leg and wearing a lampshade collar around his neck, it's no wonder he's not responding to the treatment. He looked quite out of it actually. Apparently, he is not feeling any pain although he is probably feeling like he's having a massive hangover. It almost broke my heart to see him like that, my dear strong Tiger Boy. He has always been so tough.

We stroked his head, rubbed his ears and scratched his chin and told him to stop fooling around and get well enough to come home! I left the hospital with a heavy heart and prayed hard that Tiger would be able to come home soon. We went to visit him again in the evening after work. We sat with him and talked to him until he fell asleep purring.

I read up on the internet and was shocked to discover that, in cats, symptoms of chronic renal failure only appear when the kidneys have already lost 70% of their function (because cats only need their kidneys to function at 30%). Apparently, cats with chronic renal failure can often manage quite well on limited kidney function - for some cats, things only become critical when they have lost as much as 90% of function, and there are some cats who cope astonishingly well with even less function.

Later in the night, Dr Yeoh called to tell us that Tiger's protein levels had come down, although they are still very high. Actually, Dr Yeoh was surprised because the levels had dropped quite fast. Dr Yeoh said the levels should be about 2.3 but when Tiger was admitted, his creatinin was at 13.6 (!). Now Dr Yeoh says it is at about 8, so that's a huge improvement, although there is a long way to go yet. Tiger is not eating yet and Dr Yeoh says that he does not expect Tiger to feel like eating until the creatinin level drops to about 4, but different cats behave differently, some do eat before then.

So, good news. Hopefully, Tiger continues to respond, he gets his appetite going, and we can bring him home soon.


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