GA Need help syringe feeding

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Joanj, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Got lucy home froma glucose curve at the vet yesterday but havent updated my ss yet. Lucys had no lantus sonce 6/8 and even at the vet on the alpha trak her numbers were similar to mine. She did check with the relion along with their meter.

    She thinks there is some underlying cause of lucys illness that we dont know. Im going to continue syringe feeding, along with subq LR and syringe water.

    Ive settled on an amount, 2 cans of pureed Fancy feast and 1/2 can a/d per 24 hours.

    My questions are how long should i give to syringe feeding? How long have any of you done it. Have you ever xecided you just cant put your kitty through anymore?

    Lucy isn't drinking on her own either. She kind of moves from place to place in the house but no real activity. She gets cerenia daily and today a mirtzapine.

    I cant afford a vet internist so i have to just proceed. Last noght at 1130 i was literally sobbing at forcefeeding lucy. Shes so patient about it and just accepts whatever i do but im beginning to feel im just tormenting her.

    Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2018
    Reason for edit: Added the GA (Gone Ahead/Guardian Angel) prefix to honor sweet little Lucy.
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  2. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    I never syringe fed myself so no help here, sorry :( but @Darnell & Sprocket was successful with it, if memory serves. Darnell doesn't log in often so I am not sure how soon can she get this tag.

    @Jill & Alex (GA) Jill you know all what's going on here:).
    Are there any members who have long term syringe feeding experience whom Joan could tag for help and suggestions?
    I am of no help here BC we opted out for the E-tube (thanks DCIN! :bighug:).
    TIA.
     
  3. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Hang in there sending you :bighug::bighug::bighug:

    I've never syringed fed for a long period but I think that if she's accepting the food and not throwing up you can keep up, maybe start leaving a little bit of food near where she hangs , on a plate that you put a little bit raised so that she doesn't have to bend to get it maybe she will start eating on her own
     
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  4. Mandy & Rex

    Mandy & Rex Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2017
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:

    This was hard for me to read. I just had to do this for my civvie for over a week before I had to make the hardest decision ever. He wasn't eating anything on his own. He was taking in very little water. He was not happy and developed other issues.

    If you aren't yet, start weighing Lucy on a weekly basis to see if the syringe feeding is keeping her weight stable. See about starting ondansetron and bupe (this is a pain med - good to have for pancreatitic flares).

    I'm keeping you in my thoughts. :bighug::bighug:
     
  5. Darnell & Sprocket

    Darnell & Sprocket Member

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    Mar 13, 2015
    Hi Tania.
    I tried to syringe feed the best i could but my boy was not good at it. I used any toppers i could to get him to eat: warmed food, fortiflora, parm cheese sprinkle, even crumple treats on top if desperate.
    Many times when my boy didnt eat he either had ketones or nauseous. Gave ondansetron for nausea or famotidine for upset belly after vomiting, or vet visit if ketones.
    Sorry cant be more help.
    Hope your able to get kitty to eat.
    Hugs
     
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Syringe feed is just a nice way to say force feed and no one tells you how awful it can be. It's something my wife cannot not watch.
    It can be done, this is what helped me;
    The cat would rather do anything but eat so remember you're doing the right thing.
    You don't want to stress the cat over and over in one day but at the same time you can't cram all the food in one sitting. Be patient and let her catch her breath.
    Let her have her dignity by keeping her face clean.
    Reassure her with talk, ear pulls, nose rubs. But even if you're in tears don't let her scamper off, it has to be done.
    For now Lucy will get her water from the watered down food you're giving her. Keep an eye on her weight if you can and watch for signs of poor balance and vision. Check the litter for diarrhea.
    Sorry that sounds so negative but it's something vets never prepare you for. Keep your strength up and be patient. :bighug:
     
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  7. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I just want to say I understand what you're saying. Been there. It can be awful. I had to find a way that would take the pressure off both Alex and me and that would work. First, I banished the words "force feed" from my vocabulary. My mindset became focused on "helping" or "assisting" Alex to eat. There's a big difference and it helps to hold positive thoughts rather than view the process as a negative experience... for both of us.

    A few tips that made things easier for us:

    • I bought one of those plastic children's bibs with the pocket at the bottom... the ones with a velcro closure. The "pocket" helped catch food if it dropped. I felt the bib offered her some dignity. She didn't get all "messy".... something which seemed to upset her greatly.
    • Initially, I found feeding her on a towel placed on the kitchen counter not only saved my back, but it helped me confine her to a specific area... one that could be cleaned up easily afterwards.
    • I stopped adding water to the food I intended to use for syringe/assist-feeding... just like the woman does in this video: How To Assist Feed / Force Feed Cat By Syringe . Adding water to the mixture serves to create a runny mess that's difficult to get into the cat and often ended up all over Alex, me, and the kitchen. Who needs that! Instead, I simply put the food into the blender/food processor and blended it until it became soft, creamy, and a thick pudding like consistency. The pudding like consistency gave me control without a mess. Her favorite was when I would squirt a small amount on the back of my hand for her to lick off. I think she liked it because I wasn't forcing food into her mouth. Believe it or not, it became a sort of bonding experience between us that just brought us closer. I'd feed 5 mls food at a time, syringing water in-between. The goal was 30 mls blended food x 4 times a day. Wellness Chicken or Turkey blended very nicely.
    • I found preparing food ahead of time saved a lot of time and energy. I purchased 10 ml oral syringes with caps in bulk to make up two 5.5oz cans of food at a time (yield 20 - 24 ten ml syringes). They could be stored upright in the fridge for up to 3 days. It made my life so much easier to be able to just grab a food filled syringe at any time of day or night. Eventually, it became so easy and mess-free that I could feed her anywhere in the house... even sitting on my bed or when she was laying on the back of the couch.
    • Read more here (hints/tips/tricks):

    Hope you'll find something here that helps. Assist feeding Alex came and went, depending on what was going on with her at the time. I had to find a way to get as much food into her while maintaining her dignity and without stressing her out... at the same time preserving a normal life for me and my family.
    Wishing you the same...
     
  8. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Thanks for all the good thoughts and advice. The bib idea is great. The poor baby's gets so messy. I do pet her and brush her a lot between mouthfuls.

    Ill read sll the tios and advice and get to work!
     
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  9. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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  10. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Thank you Jill.
    With Andrew, Elmo and then Jacob they all trusted me so as awful as it seemed to me they all knew not to run off when the time came. And Jill is correct, I never had to force it down, it just wasn't fun. It might sound silly but people who don't "get it" with cats won't understand the trust issue. No animal will trust you unless they're intelligent AND you have never given them a reason not to trust you. The bib idea expands on what I said about dignity.
    Lucy knows she's not being punished, you just have to believe it and she will too.
    It's a bad analogy but try and think of your mom bringing you soup in bed when you were a kid in bed with the flu. The soup may have been awful but you knew why you were getting it and that mom loved you. Lucy knows this too.
     
  11. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    THIS has me smiling. While I was typing the post to Joan I was thinking about syringe feeding cats can be a lot like feeding puréed vegetables for the first time to small children. What a mess that can be... and the faces they make! Maybe my experiences with four children, two step children, and ten grandchildren helped teach me a bit of patience and perservance along the way!
    :smuggrin: :D :cool: :joyful: :rolleyes:
     
  12. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Shes not fighting me anymore but i give her breaks and she buries her face in the towel and doesnt try to get away. I hope it isnt that shes losing her will to fight. I love on her a lot, trying to give her some good energy.

    One question, if you're syringe feeding, how does the kitty ever get hungry enough to want to eat? Im trying to do all feedings from about 6 am to 11 pm so she has a break and can possibly get hungry in the mornings
     
  13. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I fed Alex every six hours when possible (if she'd take three 10 ml syringes of blended food at a time). That seemed to work the best, but it didn't always work out that way. Sometimes she'd only want one or two food filled syringes. I'd push the issue as far as I could, but ultimately I had to follow her lead. We'd take a break and then I'd come back to it in a little while. Sometimes the "break" was only 10 minutes. Other times it could be closer to an hour. I tried not to let it go more than an hour because I didn't want to get that far off schedule.

    If you don't add water when blending food (no dripping or mess), it's easy to grab a prefilled syringe and feed a ml at a time when you're just walking by the cat. Do it often enough enough and you'll get the required amount fed in no time. When I was working around the kitchen Alex would often lay on the back of the couch (next to the kitchen). I had a prefilled syringe and a washcloth out on the counter. I'd give her a little bit every time I walked into the family room. I'd put the washcloth in front of her, give her some food, then use the washcloth to wipe her face if necessary. It was very casual. I tried not to make a production out of it.

    Maybe Lucy will cooperate...
     
  14. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    I think the syringes without added water is a good idea. With added water it takes more cc to get the required amount. So you fed her thro the night too? I did that a few nights but I'm like a zombie right now.
     
  15. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I fed at 6am, noon, 6pm, and midnight. I'd sleep or nap whenever I could. Don't give up trying to see if she'll sometimes eat on her own. She may surprise you! Also, make sure you give her water separately via syringe. Gently slide the oral syringe tip in the side of her mouth to syringe small amounts at a time. Be careful not to shoot it down her throat. You probably already know this, but wanted to make sure.

    Here's the thing... you want to get the required amount of calories into her. It doesn't matter when it happens... just that it happens. If you can sneak in an extra feeding or two, don't feed at midnight so you can both get a good night's sleep.

    HOWEVER, if you're running on fumes (only you know how far you can push yourself), skip the last feeding, leave food out for her, and go to bed as early as you possibly can. If you crash and burn, who will take care of Lucy? That won't do her any good. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself when necessary. Lucy will survive a single missed meal. Pick up where you left off the next day.
     
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  16. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    I was trying to get 180cc/day into her, a little of that being water in the food. Good advice! I was just contemplating whether or not i could get ip tonight, which i dont think i can:( Youre right, i certainly cant afford to get sick or something right now.

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  17. Lilly’s Mom

    Lilly’s Mom Member

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    Jun 11, 2018
    I syringe fed Lilly for 2 weeks when she was diagnosed. She drank fine but didn’t want to eat. I did not put ant extra water in the food. I got a children’s syringe from the grocery store and cut the tip off as far up as I could to make the opening larger. Then I put the food in a ziplock and pushed it all to one corner and cut just a bit off the corner.....so it’s like a pastry bag. I squoze the cat food into the syringe and then sat with Lilly in my lap, on her back. For me it was easier to sit on the floor. I held her head with one hand and put the syringe in from the side and the gave her a little at a time. Lilly is a calm cat and did ok. She didn’t love it but she tolerated it well. It got her through a rough time.
     
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  18. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    That's what I want to do, just get her thro this rough time.
     
  19. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    @Jill & Alex (GA) One more question. I'm still syringe feeding Lucy and she seems stronger and she's walking better using the litter box. She's on a new appetite stimulant too. My question is, if I'm syringe feeding her, how is she ever going to get hungry enough to eat?

    I put her in a room with various food options and she literally turns her body the opposite way so the food is in back of her.

    I'm aiming for 2 cans of FF daily and I'm not sure she ate that much when she was healthy, except she liked dry food.

    Thanks!
     
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  20. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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  21. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Happy to hear she's improving! :)
    Good question. Try experimenting. You'll have to play it by ear. Let her go a long enough period of time to see if she'll eat on her own at all. If she doesn't eat, you'll know you'll have to feed her by syringe.

    Dry food: Obviously, it's not a first choice for diabetics, but try using it as an enticement to get her to eat wet food. When I had trouble getting Alex to eat I would put some low carb kibble in a blender long enough to make it a powder. I placed the kibble powder in an empty spice bottle. At meal times I sprinkled the powder on her wet food... enough to make it smell like kibble. At first she just licked off the top layer of powder, but eventually she began to eat the canned food underneath. Maybe it'll work with Lucy???
     
  22. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    @Jill & Alex (GA)
    Jill I wanted to thank you for replying to my tag and for giving your time and expertise to Joan and Lucy but
    also to inform you that Lucy crossed the Rainbow Bridge today..:arghh:
    I was not aware of this development when I bumped this post.
    Thank you for being here for them.
     
  23. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh nooooooo! I didn't see anything about it.
    Joan, I'm so sorry... I don't know what happened, but you tried...

    :bighug: :bighug: :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:

    cat_wings>o Fly free little Lucy... land softly.
     
  24. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Thank you so much. I think her organs just shut down. The ER vet said she wouldnt have lived much longer so i know i did the right thing.

    Thanks for everyones help and support thro all this. Its meant a lot.
     
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  25. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I’m so sorry you had to let her go. :bighug::rb_icon:cat_wings>o
     
  26. Rain7

    Rain7 Member

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    May 20, 2018
    I'm so sorry for your loss. You did all you could, and then some. You can have a clear conscience about that, knowing that you went above and beyond what most people would do. Now your precious Lucy doesn't have to suffer anymore. I understand your pain.
     
  27. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Thank you. One thing I'm going to do is become an advocate for giving up dry food. My other kitty is in the process of giving up his purina one and hes doing better with it.
     
  28. Mandy & Rex

    Mandy & Rex Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2017
    I'm so, so sorry to hear about your loss.  I suspect the same thing happened to my civvie and I had to let him go on Friday. It's the best thing to do for them, but it's so hard to let them go.
    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  29. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    So very sorry for your loss, peace and comfort Joan.cat_wings>o:bighug:
     
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  30. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    So sorry for your loss too. It is very hard
     
  31. Shoeskitty-GA

    Shoeskitty-GA Well-Known Member

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    So very sorry for your loss!:bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  32. Susan&Felix

    Susan&Felix Well-Known Member

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    Sep 4, 2017
    Very sorry for your loss of sweet Lucy. cat_wings>o
     
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  33. Joanj

    Joanj Member

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Thanks so much for all your kind words. We've all been there so it helps to share with those who have felt the same. Especially on this board, where all of you have dealt with very ill kitties and tried to help them through. Sometimes they decide for us that they can't continue.

    Thanks again.
     
  34. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm so very sorry for your loss. You did everything in your power and your special girl knows that. She is at peace now. Do go over to the Grief forum and share your feelings if you would like to - it is a very safe and supportive place.
     
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