Cat home from hospital with e-tube, concerned about behavior

Jcrommett

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Hi All,

My about to be 6 year old neutered male tabby completely stopped eating this week. He was brought to the hospital on Thursday where he stayed two nights and was given an e-tube for feedings. They could not diagnose what the cause for the anorexia was, they believe it was the stress of us going on a 3 day vacation last week. All bloodwork and ultrasound results were normal, except for LH due to the anorexia. He came home last night and of course hasn't been himself. He is hiding under the bed and seems incredibly lethargic. I know this makes sense since he has really only had 1 real day of nutrition int he past week.

My question is, for those of you that have gone through the process of rehabilitating a cat with an e-tube, could you provide any clarity on what the process looks like? How long did it take for your cat to get some energy back? He seems almost wobbly which the vet said was the gabapentin he received at the hospital. We are concerned he seems so out of it and is moving in such slow motion. He also ate some dry food last night and appeared to gag and let out this hoarse cough/gagging sound. We are waiting for the hospital to call back and answer if that's normal. It happened again after his 1st feeding through the tube this morning.

Any input or experience is greatly appreciated as we navigate this stressful time. Thanks so much.
 

denice

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I had a cat on a feeding tube several years ago. He got through it and went on to live a healthy life for another 8 years. I am assuming his liver is involved and it will take a while for him to get his energy back. My cat stayed at the vets for several days before coming home. It was a good two weeks at home before he started acting like he had energy and felt good as well as beginning to eat better on his own.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. The gagging is not normal. There could be some irritation from the endotracheal tube they used during anesthesia. For now I would only feed through the tube. Make sure the food and water given through the tube is just a little warmer than room temperature. Don’t feed to fast. You want to go fairly slow and smaller more frequent meals are better than larger meals. You need to stop feeding at any sign of nausea. The last thing in the world you want happening is him vomiting the tube. Yes, that can happen.
Is it a red rubber tube or a silicone tube?
Less of a chance with the red rubber. But still you don’t want him vomiting it.
The tube was placed by a vet with experience doing it right? And I’m sure they took an X-ray after?
Is he on any Cerenia for nausea? Is Gabapentin the only pain med he has?
 
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Jcrommett

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Hi, thanks for the
Hi. The gagging is not normal. There could be some irritation from the endotracheal tube they used during anesthesia. For now I would only feed through the tube. Make sure the food and water given through the tube is just a little warmer than room temperature. Don’t feed to fast. You want to go fairly slow and smaller more frequent meals are better than larger meals. You need to stop feeding at any sign of nausea. The last thing in the world you want happening is him vomiting the tube. Yes, that can happen.
Is it a red rubber tube or a silicone tube?
Less of a chance with the red rubber. But still you don’t want him vomiting it.
The tube was placed by a vet with experience doing it right? And I’m sure they took an X-ray after?
Is he on any Cerenia for nausea? Is Gabapentin the only pain med he has?
Hi thanks. The hospital just called back and said stop with any dry food. He has the red rubber tube. Yes performed by experienced vet and X-ray performed at. He was on gabapentin while within the hospital but he was discharged without any home medications.

One follow up question is the treatment is supposed to be 25mL 3x a day for the first day, then 50mL 3x a day for day two and then everyday after will be 75mL 3x a day. They want us using royal canin wet food, however, they never said how much I should be mixing? Now I am concerned that I the food is too diluted? Do you have any recommendations of how much of a can should be mixed with X amount of water? Or is it as much water as required to get it into solution?

Thanks!
 
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Jcrommett

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I had a cat on a feeding tube several years ago. He got through it and went on to live a healthy life for another 8 years. I am assuming his liver is involved and it will take a while for him to get his energy back. My cat stayed at the vets for several days before coming home. It was a good two weeks at home before he started acting like he had energy and felt good as well as beginning to eat better on his own.
Thanks so much for your response. Did your cat act unusual upon return from the hospital? He has been hiding and sleeping a lot. I assume he didn't sleep much or very well while at the hospital so want to let him rest but at the same time don't want to miss something if it is off. This is his first real full day home so I know I should temper my expectations.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. Is the food you are using the Royal Canin recovery diet? If so you don’t need to dilute unless you can’t get it down the tube. If you can’t you can mix it with Royal Canin liquid recovery diet. But you don’t have that on hand I am sure.
If you have a bullet blender or hand held blender you can purée it till more soft a consistency. Add only enough water to get into the syringe.
What I do is take a can and figure that is my goal for the day to start with. The amount will vary depending on how long your cat was not eating. So follow your vets advice. Measure out the total amount for the day. Divide that up into as many feedings as you like. Be sure to flush the tube with water before and after. This must always be factored into your total amount fed.
The stomach capacity for starting is usually 5 to 10 mls/ kg. Per feeding. This is very individual and you have to gage your cats reaction and stop at any sign of nausea. So, for example if your car is 10 lbs, you figure the first feeding should be anywhere from 25 to 45 mls total. That’s including water. So you flush the tube to start with 5 mls. Then feed 20 mls. Flush with another 5 and see how well it is tolerated. Just remember to slowly feed. If after two hours all is well, you repeat. Next day you increase the amount.
Hope this makes sense.

When I worked at the specialist the techs referred to something they called as post e tube depression. Personally, I think it is pain.
 

denice

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Thanks so much for your response. Did your cat act unusual upon return from the hospital? He has been hiding and sleeping a lot. I assume he didn't sleep much or very well while at the hospital so want to let him rest but at the same time don't want to miss something if it is off. This is his first real full day home so I know I should temper my expectations.
Yes, he slept a lot and also hid.
 
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Jcrommett

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Hi. Is the food you are using the Royal Canin recovery diet? If so you don’t need to dilute unless you can’t get it down the tube. If you can’t you can mix it with Royal Canin liquid recovery diet. But you don’t have that on hand I am sure.
If you have a bullet blender or hand held blender you can purée it till more soft a consistency. Add only enough water to get into the syringe.
What I do is take a can and figure that is my goal for the day to start with. The amount will vary depending on how long your cat was not eating. So follow your vets advice. Measure out the total amount for the day. Divide that up into as many feedings as you like. Be sure to flush the tube with water before and after. This must always be factored into your total amount fed.
The stomach capacity for starting is usually 5 to 10 mls/ kg. Per feeding. This is very individual and you have to gage your cats reaction and stop at any sign of nausea. So, for example if your car is 10 lbs, you figure the first feeding should be anywhere from 25 to 45 mls total. That’s including water. So you flush the tube to start with 5 mls. Then feed 20 mls. Flush with another 5 and see how well it is tolerated. Just remember to slowly feed. If after two hours all is well, you repeat. Next day you increase the amount.
Hope this makes sense.

When I worked at the specialist the techs referred to something they called as post e tube depression. Personally, I think it is pain.
Hi, honestly this was so incredibly helpful. Yes, I am using that diet and for some reason thought the nurse told me I had to really dilute it. We gave him his dinner tonight 25mL of non diluted wet food which went quite well. I realized I gave him essentially water with a little wet food for his first few meals so we need to start over again tomorrow with 3 meals of 25mL before progressing to 50mL the following day and 75mL every day thereafter. I know the food is supposed to be given over 15-20mins, do you do the pre and post flush very slowly as well?

Thanks for all your support. This has been emotionally so devastating and really hoping we can pull him together.
 
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Jcrommett

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Yes, he slept a lot and also hid.
Thank you Denice. That calmed my anxiety a lot knowing your cat experienced the same. Did you let he/her be or try and keep them near you?
 

silent meowlook

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I do the water fairly slow. Allot of this depends on how he tolerates it. You can probably go quicker with the water provided it is warm. You just don’t want to shock his gut or cause cramping. When feeding you don’t want to go faster than he can eat.
Allot of people make the mistake of feeding the food to diluted. You will get the hang of it.
 
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