Thursday, 27 December 2012

How is Fofinho doing?

This year we intended to go to Portugal for Christmas, but due to Fofinho's situation, we decided to stay here instead. I hope he gets stronger soon, so we can travel together to Portugal for short periods of time, without jeopardizing all we have achieved so far. There is no cure for renal failure, but he is much better now. And cheerful.

Calling 0900 15 15

Around 7 pm of July, 20th, suddenly, Fofinho started to act in a strange way: he couldn't keep his head up and he was having trouble standing on his feet. I never had seen him acting like this before and I got scared. I called my husband and then the 0900 15 15 to know where I should take him. A half hour later, in the Emergency Room, he did some blood tests and was given fluids. We were told that he should stay at home during the following days and rest. Arriving home, we cancelled our already paid weekend in Limburg.

Feeding Fofinho Using a Syringe

Since the end of July and until my departure to Portugal in September, Fofinho didn't eat dry or wet food by himself. I felt sad and desperated many times since I could only feed him using a syringe. To facilitate this process, my husband mixed water with the canned food in the blender.

During my staying in Portugal, my husband was told by the vet that probably Fofinho had only a couple of weeks to live. I arrived here very sad. She also told him to increase the frequency of the fluids administration and my husband started to do it every 30 hours.

The Fluids Therapy

A couple of days after my arrival, our dear cat started to eat and drink by himself. I cried of joy. I also noticed that he stopped suffering from nausea. I went many times with him to the vet clinic because of this situation, so he could take the pills and have some relief.

In the photo below, my husband is giving the fluids to Fofinho. At first, the fluids were given by the vet, but due to the high costs of the appointments and the fluids administration, we started to do it by ourselves.
Travels are for now in standby since we don't feel comfortable to ask this kind of support to our neighbors  - the needle is a bit scary and it would be too much work and responsibility for them.

Last October, Fofinho also started to use the cat litter on a regular basis. That means I don't need to give him the laxative anymore. Finally, this month, and for our big surprise, he began to clean himself up again. Until now, I had to clean him with a proper comb that we have bought in the vet clinic.

The Geriatric Tests

However, he's still very thin and has lost about a kilo and a half since the end of August. He now weighs a bit more than 2 kilos. He has done geriatric urine and blood tests, but no special causes that could explain this lost of weight - like diabetes or hyperthyroidism - were found. In fact, he is not losing proteins through his urine and his levels of creatinine are much lower - this means his kidneys are working better. The liver is also fine.
For the urine test, I bought the proper kit in the vet clinic. I put the small white pebbles in the cat litter and waited for him to urinate. Then I placed his urine in a tube and gave it to the vet right away.

In the Medische Centrum voor Dieren: Diagnosed with HCM

His vet asked then for an ultrasound of his heart and suggested that we do it in the Medische Centrum voor Dieren in Amsterdam. He was diagnosed  with a moderate Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), but according to the doctor who made the exam, his HCM doesn't explain his loss of weight. In fact, she got curious about it and also checked other organs, but she didn't find anything wrong. Fofinho is now taking everyday, and for the rest of his life too, besides the daily pill for the kidney failure (Benakor), a quarter of a pill of Atenolol to help his heart working better.
All the previous procedures - the geriatric tests and the ultrasound - were suggested by a professor of Utrecht University with whom his vet has spoken with.

Repeating the Tests for the laboratory in Germany

The less pleasant situation was with the lab in Germany to where the blood tests were sent to. Something happened and Fofinho needed to repeat his blood tests again, a situation not very comfortable for him, since the blood is taken near the throat.

The Vomits

He still vomits, specially in the middle of the night. I always hear him and wake up to comfort him until he relaxes a bit. I also clean everything as soon as possible since the floor is not in real wood and could be damaged by the vomit liquid. Cleaning vomit is another task that I don't dare to ask the neighbors to do in case I wish to travel to Portugal or elsewhere. It's too much work to ask for.

Diagnosed with High Blood Pressure

In the end of August, Fofinho was also diagnosed with high blood pressure. He needs to take Amlodipine everyday for the rest of his life. I also give this medication with a syringe. High blood pressure in cats can be very dangerous because they can turn blind suddenly. In September, I only left for Portugal, after Fofinho's blood pressure levels became normal. I also noticed that since he began to take the blood pressure medication, his neck became stronger and he could keep his head up all the time.

Fofinho's Bravery and Friendship

Fofinho has been a brave cat during these demanding months and I hope he gets better soon since he is eating so well the proper diet - dry and wet - that the vet has prescribed.
In the worst weeks, he used to hide himself in our bedroom, not staying with us in the living room during the evening. I used to go up to our bedroom to stay with him for a while, in silence, just laying down next to him. One day, I was crying in silence fearing losing him. I don't know how he noticed it, but he stood up, came next to my face and started to lick my tears. My dear, dear friend! He was so weak, laid down for some hours, but he stood up for me.

This was not the first time he has licked my tears. He was there for me in other difficult situations. He accepts me as I am, he is a very friendly and gentle cat and has the most beautiful blue eyes. I could tell you a million stories about him - what we have shared during these 16 years - , but that is our secret, our love and friendship.


Margarida Elias said...

Ainda bem que ele vai bem. Dá-lhe muitas festinhas por mim. Eu já recebi o teu postal, que adorei. Muitos beijinhos!

Presépio no Canal said...

Que bom que gostaste, Margarida! Foi escolhido com muito carinho.
Obrigada pelos teus votos para o Fofinho. :-) Ele está a comer bem, mas preocupa-me que esteja tão magro. Se ele emagrece mais, não sei, não...
Dar-lhe-ei as tuas festinhas. Ele adora mimos! :-)

Sami said...

As melhoras para o Fofinho, ainda bem que está a recuperar. Que pena que os animais também tenham doenças das pessoas.

Presépio no Canal said...

Obrigada, Sami.Concordo consigo. Uma pena também que não tenham uma esperança de vida maior...
Beijinho! :-)

Teresa said...

Fico contente por saber que o Fofinho está um bocadinho melhor. O teu relato deixou-me com uma lagrimita no canto do olho por ver tanto amor e dedicação ao teu amiguinho doente. Espero que ele continue a melhorar dentro do possível.

Presépio no Canal said...

Obrigada, Teresa. :-)
Ele merece o melhor. :-)
Um excelente 2013 para ti! :-)