Bright Eyes has lymphoma

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Margret

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My husband's cat, Bright Eyes, has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He's lost a huge amount of weight; at this point I think he's about kitten weight. And Roger, my husband, is in a nursing home because of an injury and has now caught COVID-19. I'm not telling him that his cat is dying; right now he has other things he needs to concentrate on.

On top of everything else, Bright Eyes has bad teeth, and because of the weight loss he's a bad candidate for surgery. General anesthesia would likely kill him immediately. But because of his teeth, Bright Eyes has trouble drinking. Most of what he drinks ends up on his chin, his chest, and his front paws. I have a pile of shop rags next to my chair so I can dry him off when he wants a lap.

We're treating him with pain meds and prednisolone (lymphoma in cats seems to respond well to steroids); and I'll determine when to send him to the rainbow bridge depending on the effectiveness of the prednisolone, but it's just palliative. This is going to kill him.

However, one of the things I need to do is to give him subcutaneous saline solution because he's dehydrated. The first time I tried I got confused about how to work the setup and then actually missed getting the needle through his skin, so I just turned him into an even wetter kitty than he already was (poor baby). The second time I started with some how-to videos on YouTube and actually succeeded in getting the saline into him, but he was not happy about it. My impression is that the room temperature saline solution is too cold for him.

The setup involves a large syringe. You manipulate a switch (kind of like a train switch?) to control which line is open, un-clamp the line from the bag to the syringe, and pull on the plunger to draw fluid into the syringe. Then you re-clamp the line from the bag, insert the needle under the skin, move the switch towards the needle line, un-clamp that line, and push the plunger to force the liquid out through the needle.

I'm wondering whether I could use, say, a rice sock wrapped around the syringe to pre-warm the fluid before I send it into him. Does anyone have any experience with this, or any other ideas of ways to warm the fluid? I don't want to try to microwave it.

Margret
 

Furballsmom

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Hello, oh my goodness you have your hands full! :hearthrob:

Yes, and warming it definitely helped Poppycat feel more comfortable/less discomfort, depending on his perspective :)
Fill a container or sink with warm water, either to touch on the back of your hand, or about 100 degrees F. It takes a little while to warm a full bag, and conversely it seems to cool off fairly quickly so once we got it to temperature we didn't wait, we began the process as soon as possible.
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry that you are going through all this. Giving subQ fluids can be tricky, so don't think that it is just you or that you messed something up. I have inserted needles in the wrong direction as well. If this is very difficult, some vets will allow you to bring the cat in on whatever schedule is necessary and they will administer the fluids for a very small amount of money. Some of that depends on how Bright Eyes is with going to the vet and being in a carrier along with whether or not that would work for you.

I agree with Furballsmom Furballsmom that warming the solution in a sink of water might be easier.
 
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Margret

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Thank you; I'll give that a try. I think I won't have to warm the whole bag, just the 60 ml. that's in the syringe, so it should go a bit faster. And I can bring the warm water to the living room, where things are already set up, to do it. That should also make it easier to get the fluids into him before they cool. Fortunately, I already have a good thermometer that I can use to tell how hot the water is.

Bright Eyes's vet is clear across town; I don't want to subject him to that kind of long trip every couple of days.

The poor little guy no longer cat naps -- he sleeps. A mere caress doesn't wake him up any more. This can't be good in a cat.

I'm feeding him paté style kitten food with some warm water mixed in; he seems to get it down fairly well. I tried him on KMR, but when it was in a bowl it just ended up on his fur, and when I tried a kitten baby bottle he objected because it reminds him of the syringes of liquid medicine that go in his mouth. I think I'll try cutting the tip off the nipple and see whether he'll lick drops off of it.

Margret
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Im sorry about all you're going through right now :hugs:. I used to warm up the entire bag of fluids when we gave our guys fluids, but we gave them the fluids directly from the bag into them, no separate syringe used. bag connected to iv setup, connected to new needle each time, connected to cat. Just inserted need and turned the wheely thing on the IV set up to get the fluids flowing. Anyway, I would warm up the water in the microwave, then drop the fluid bag into the bowl of warm to hot water until it was the correct temperature. But it does cool down quickly. I would also be warming a nice big fluffy towel in the dryer at the same time which I used to wrap the cat in to help keep them warm. I think it also helped them feel safe. And who doesn't like the feel of a nice warm blankie.

As to his food, what if you mixed that kitten food with KMR instead of water? That would give him a few extra nutrients and calories, but still give him extra moisture.
 

Mamanyt1953

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If ALL he will eat is the Gerbers (should that work), do get a little taurine powder to sprinkle in. At this stage it might not matter much, but let's give this baby every chance we can.

The candle remains lit, for both Bright Eyes and Roger, and, of course, for you!

00LitCandle.jpeg
 

cocoanlace

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So sorry to hear about Bright Eyes. I second the suggestion that the Sub-Q fluids bag be placed in a bowl of very warm water for about 10 minutes, making sure the port is not submerged. That works best for me. My bed has a canopy so I suspend the bag via a coat hanger from the top of that so I can administer fluids to the kitty in a relaxed position on my bed while they watch a YouTube bird video on my iPhone to distract them some. ❤
 
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Margret

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Thank you all.

I took Bright Eyes in for euthanasia on Tuesday, held him while he went to sleep. Then I went home and cried, and slept until 3:00 Wednesday afternoon, because it was the first chance I’d had to sleep in a bed in over a week. Bright Eyes was so desperate to sleep on my lap that I’d just been dozing off in my chair in the living room.

Despite warming the saline, Bright Eyes did not do well with SubQ fluids, unfortunately, so by the time I took him in he was seriously dehydrated, as well as being weak and in pain. I’d been adding some CBD oil to his kitten food, and it seemed to help for a couple days, but that had worn off.

We originally got Bright Eyes two years ago when a dear friend, Rich, passed away, leaving him behind. Wherever Rich is now, Bright Eyes has rejoined him.

I expect that this thread will now be closed.

Margret
 

FeebysOwner

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I am so sorry. Please consider - when you are ready - giving Bright Eyes a tribute in our Crossing the Bridge section. All the stories and pics you want to share. It is a loving memorial to those we have lost. A perfect way to pay respect to his life, in an imperfect world. RIP little Bright Eyes.
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry for your loss. Hopefully you will be able to take comfort in the fact that you gave Bright Eyes a second home when he needed one. So many animals are dumped once the original owner passes, even if there is remaining family, and Bright Eyes was not one of them.
 

mani

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Margret Margret you know that the members here really feel your loss. :grouphug:
Take care of yourself and relish the memories.
You've mentioned that we lock threads out of respect which we'll do now. Perhaps we'll hear from you in Crossing the Bridge. :rbheart:



RIP beautiful Bright Eyes

:greenpaw: 🌻 :butterfly: :bluedragonfly: :rbheart: :reddragonfly: :butterfly: 🌻 :bluepaw:



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