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Unread 04-03-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help, we need advice please

I need help figuring out how much food and water to give this (quite literally) rescue animal. Here's the background.

It's a roughly 10-lb male Siamese. We found him on the road behind our house last Friday. He had been hit by a car. We made a rush trip to the 24-hour emergency vet and the diagnosis is a crushed pelvis, serious whack on the head that has resulted in (hopefully temporary) blindness, and either from the impact of the car or the impact with the pavement, he whacked his nose and bit through his tongue.

Now, we've got him kenneled and he's on a mixture of pain killers, steroids and antibiotics. My problems are this:

1.) He can't move his jaw to eat. The swelling is going down, but at the vet's direction, we're feeding and watering him through a syringe at a rate of about 30 cc every 4 hours. We can't get a straight answer on how much to food or water he needs, but we know we can't be giving him enough. He's losing weight and he's starting to pee less (he pees 2-3 times daily). If we have to go to subcutaneous fluids, we will, but we'd like to see if we can't figure out a better diet for him. He's in enough pain without being constantly poked with a needle.

Initially, we were told water and a can of cat food, pureed. But this doesn't work well. Not only are we only able to get 1/2 a can in him per day, but because he can't move his jaw well yet, he'll choke on the slightest chunks and most simply runs out his mouth as he licks with his tongue. So, today we picked up baby food and heavy whipping cream with the idea of adding 1/2 bottle of Gerber chicken with gravy (approximately 35 calories, 4g protein and 3.5g fat) to thicken the water and add protein and 1 TBS of the cream (both to thicken and add another 50 cal and extra fat). I know lactose isn't good for a cat, so now I'm doubting the wisdom of this. We are open to any and all suggestions on what we could do to better meet his nutritional needs. His foods MUST be soft and syringe feed-able.

2.) He has not had a bowel movement since we picked him up from the vet, who kept him 24 hours on a fluid drip, on Saturday. We were told then that his colon was empty. We have gone through 2.5 cans of soft cat food since then, and last night I started smelling some serious poo farts, so hopefully we'll get some action soon. But I'm worried this could also be a sign of constipation. He's on stool softener because of his crushed hip and his stomach does not feel distended. How can I tell if he's constipated? Is there any way to alleviate that condition short of taking him back to the vet?

3.) Because of his injuries, he's been peeing on the blue chucks we've lined his pillows with, but isn't yet fully successful in moving far enough away afterwards to avoid lying in his own pee. We've been trying to wipe him down gently with a wash cloth every time we feed him, but there was simply no help for it today. We dipped him in a tub of warm water and tried to swish the urine from his fur. He might be blind, but he can't be too brain damaged. He knew a bath when he felt one. It was a traumatic and painful event I'd rather not repeat unless I have to, especially since we couldn't even rub the lower half of him dry with a towel afterward. Does anyone know if pet wipes or diaper wipes can be used multiple times on a daily basis? He's not able to lick himself or bend to reach anything but his front paws.

We're on week 1 of a long recovery process, and I thank anyone who can help us figure this out.
 
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Unread 04-03-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Unhappy Thank you for rescuing him .. & thanks for writing this post

What a horrible accident ! Poor boy.. Through your post, I know you have been doing so much and this week one has been very long and stressful..but, thank you for taking immediate action and taking a gentle care of him... God bless your heart, and help him recover as I believe God is touched by your loving effort as much as I am..

I assume he is fine now, since he's sent back home by the vet with some medication.. except for the temporary blindness, I know he's still conscious.
As I understand your post, he can't move his jaw, but he can lick. So, try to give him anything that doesn't require chewing, but only licking, like paste, puree... Anything delicate enough for him to swallow and digest. YOu mentioned about baby food, it is good.

Coz he is still weak during recovery process, I'll suggest that you also give him extra nutrition like vitamins (liquid drop or paste), and also anything that can help him gain or boost strength, like : HIGH CALORIE PALATABLE DIETARY SUPPLEMENT WITH GINSENG (sold exclussively thru vet). Just anything that he can lick right from your finger or fed with a syringe.
Please feed him as much water as you can to avoid dehydration and constipation. I think at least 100 cc a day will be sufficient. You are telling us that he can't move his jaw well yet, after you mentioned he can't move his jaw (1st paragraph of question no. 1), are you telling us that he is making improvements with his jaw ? If yes, then congrats ! The reducing swelling is another good recovery sign ! But, if he continue to lose weight, it is wise to go back to the vet ASAP !

I am not sure if the bowel movement as his stomach proceeds with digestion after taking in the 2.5 cans of food, will cause him pain or not.. but I think that the fart is a good sign. As for human, the first fart is always a good sign for recovery after surgery... (I hope I'm correct here)

Please, try not to move him too much because of his (crushed ?) pelvis. Any external injury is rather fine with him, but we have to be careful in handling him for his internal injury (did the vet take any x-ray for him ?) Gently strokes using wipes is better than moving him to and fro. To dry, you can use low dryer, in order not to cause more trauma.

This is the last thing I need to add : I believe in mental treatment. Try to ease and soothe his sufferings and give him comfort by gently talking to him, telling him how persistent you are to see keep him and how encouraged you are to see every improvement he has made. Keep soothing him by gentle physical contacts like gentle strokes, cuddles... This will help the IMPOSSIBLE recovery. I heard lots of miraculous resuscitations...

My thoughts and prayers are always with you.. Get well soon !
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Unread 04-03-2009   #3 (permalink)
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100 cc min. intake for water only, not including the wet food which also contains some amount of water. But if he's able to take more, then give him as much as possible, to wash away the bad/dead cells and dirts in his body, to keep his inner body clean.
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Unread 04-04-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much! That answered the big question. We have given him 165 cc so far today, water mixed with food, so we'll start giving him water straight. I'll contact my vet to get some vitamin paste and we'll start that as soon as we can get it.

I'm sorry about the confusion in my post, there is no improvement on his jaw just yet. The swelling is starting to go down, so the one eye that was bulging out is almost back to normal and he can almost close his jaw. But he doesn't move it yet. He just does this wriggling lapping thing with his tongue, pushing things into position to swallow them.

The emergency vet did take x-rays. So far, there doesn't appear to have be internal bleeding. But we can't help but pick him up when it comes time to feed him. That's when we give him his meds, including a gel that needs to be applied to his eyes, and to change the pee pads and gently wipe his fur. The rest of the time, we leave him in the kennel which is located in my room, away from the other two resident cats so he can get as much rest as possible. We do talk to him frequently, and I sometimes open his kennel to pet his head. But we only pick him up when it's time for medication and feeding, and then we pick him up under his chest without touching his lower half. From there, I can drape him over my chest and shoulder so that he can position his lower half in whatever way hurts him less. There's simply no other way to do it.
 
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Unread 04-04-2009   #5 (permalink)
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That's so horrible. Maybe something you might want to try some KMR (kitten milk replacer). The powder kind can go a really long way, and even the pickiest cats usually love it. My kitten was having a really rough time with constipation and warm KMR helped get his tummy in order. I've read about people with sick adult cats giving them the kitten milk for extra nutrients and fat and it working well. Don't just take my word though! You might want to check with your vet and do your own research before you give it to the little guy.
 
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Unread 04-04-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Smile Hi Varden !

You are doing well, and thoughtful enough not to move him too much, but if he can hardly move, why don't you try to just put him directly on a thick sleeping mat with towels and disposable pads/diaper or something like that, so you don't even bother to change his position even during meal/med times. As the rest part of his body, I think is managable to sometimes help him exercise (massage), this is good for blood circulation that will definitely quicken recovery process. My primary concern is his pelvis. What did the vet say about it ? What's the recent condition of his pelvis (It's a relief to know that there's no internal injury/bleeding though) ?

PS : I heard about this KMR thing that Poisoncupcake has mentioned, if your cat cannot even lick, this is a good option, but as I understand, he still can lick, so anything paste or liquid (including KMR) will do.
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Unread 04-04-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Hi,I'm Cheryl,and I'd just like to say well done for taking care of this beautiful animal.It sounds to me you are doing everything that is humanly possible for him.Keep up the good work.You are in my thoughts and prayers.And please keep us informed of his progress.Hugs.xxxxx
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Unread 04-04-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Wow, you people are HEROS. the epitome of hero! What's his name? Names are important. use his name every time you speak to him.

You've gotten some great advice.

The KMR (kitten milk replacement) is an excellent idea, much better than using cream.

Be sure the baby food does not contain any spices garlic or onion before using it.

The vitamin supplements are also a good idea!

When preparing cat food for syringe feeding add enough water to make a gruel (use warm water, it mixes better). Using a small syringe will help control the amount you squirt into the side of his mouth, only 1 ml at a time. Using warm water will also make the gruel more palatable to him.

Talking to him is also an excellent idea. Draw all the positive energy you can to him. Tell him often how much better he is already, and how much better he will feel as time goes on. Always tell him what you are doing to him and why. Keep telling him how much better he is and how much better he will be tomorrow.

Ask your vet about a possible laxative. You could put some mineral oil in one of his syringe meals to get his bowels moving. But ask the vet first of course. If you get the okay for the mineral oil, give it an hour before or two hours after any other meal or medication, as mineral oil can interfere with absorption.

Thank you for rescuing this cat, welcome to the forum, and please keep us updated!!!

(PS a feliway plug in in your bedroom might help him feel more secure, which would help with his recovery, info in my sig)
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Unread 04-04-2009   #9 (permalink)
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There you are Acer, I've been wondering where you've been... been waiting for you. I coudn't wait any longer, for this case is a delicate, complicated and urgent case, so there I went.. Sorry I forgot to ask his name..LOL.. (I was too nervous due to the urgency of the post). Thanks for perfecting our incomplete advices, I am just following your example, helping people unselfishly... You are my hero ! ..LOL..
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Unread 04-04-2009   #10 (permalink)
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I called the emergency vet who first treated our patient and on his approval I picked up some KMR and mineral oil. If he hasn't had a bowel movement by Sunday, I'm going to administer the mineral oil.

Thank you, guys, for all the really good advice and also for letting us know how much water! We aren't giving him enough, so we'll modify that immediately.

As for his name, we are calling him Road, for the way in which we found him. He's a very sweet baby, and I think we had our first recovery milestone! He stood up almost normally this morning and took several shuffling steps before lying back down again. But he moved BOTH back legs instead of dragging the bad one, which is what we were afraid might happen. Also, I don't think he's totally blind, but his vision definitely isn't quite right.

This is day 9.
 
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