Sammy was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease on December 30th 2012. If you haven’t read about Sammy’s diagnosis, you can catch up here.
Sammy- Living with CKD
The past month has been quite an adventure, to say the least! After a few weeks of trial and error, and a lot of plan B’s, Sammy is holding on strong and still acting like the Sammy boy we all love. He has responded well to daily fluids, and is being treated for his anemia as well.
The first few days after Sammy’s diagnosis, My boyfriend and I came home with all of the right tools in hand, ready and eager to start Sammy’s treatment plan. The Veterinary Technician at the hospital showed us how to administer the fluids during his stay, and with one good trial run under our belts, we were confidant with our capabilities. The great news is that Sammy was SOOOO happy to get home. The other cats were really amped up to see him, and Sammy was looking really good. They all crowded around him, giving him what could only be desribed as ‘cat high fives’. Everything seemed back to normal for the day, and then reality set it once it was time for us to give him his first round of fluids at home. Day 2 proved to be much more of a challenge.
It turned out, Sammy was feeling so good that once it was time to give him his daily fluids, he decided that he was going to fight us with everything he had not to get them. Over the next two days, we tried every technique that we could think of to give him his much needed medication, yet nothing worked. We tried blankets, different locations and positions, rewards, changed the lighting… you name it, we tried it. Sammy is so smart that the minute we even took out the fluids, he started growling at us. Once we had him in our grasp, he would turn into a bucking bronco, hair flying, bites and scratches, and complete chaos would take over this sweet and quiet kitty. Every time that we tried, we failed. Every time we failed, we became more and more frustrated and felt increasingly helpless. On day 3, we decided to take Sammy back to the Vet’s office so that they could give him his fluids and we could be given new tools to try at home. We came home with a fabric muzzle, and a new confidence. Once again, we were able to do it during his appointment and were sure it would work at home. Boy, were we ever wrong. Eventually, as a last resort, we were given a reference for an animal health technician who makes house calls.
It has been a few weeks since we started with Sarah, who comes to my home every day to help administer the fluids. This has proven to be the best temporary solution to date. At first Sammy proved to put up a good fight, and we would have to chase him and start the procedure over a few times before we were done. As the days went on, Sammy got used to the routine. Sarah is so patient and has been a life saver. Sammy has already gotten so much more used to the whole process and has calmed down significantly. Besides trying to find a good hiding spot when Sarah arrives, the two of us pretty much have it down to a science. We can get it done fast and efficiently, to minimize the stress put on Sammy. The past few days especially have proven to be very successful. Today, for the very first time unsupervised (hehe!), my boyfriend and I did it ourselves. Phew! Victory is finally ours!!!
Our new daily routine begins with his morning pills, and then 120CC’s of fluids. Every third day Sammy is given a separate injection for his anemia, and every night, he has another pill with supper. We have added a couple extra water bowls around our home, as thirst is one of the symptoms he has. A special diet was also recommended, so we make sure he doesn’t sneak food from his siblings and vice-versa by feeding him separately. Some days he has more energy than others, but on average he is his usual self, which is more than I can ask for. The fact that my boyfriend can now do the fluids with me on most days is really a great step in the right direction. When Sammy was first diagnosed, his creatinine level (a normal range is between 71-212) was over 800. This is beyond way too high! Now, we have brought it down to 368. This means at least that the treatment has taken effect, which is positive. His red blood cell count has also increased, which will lesson his anemia. This will give him more energy, and we have already started to see some great results. He will never have normal kidney function, the idea is to manage it so that he can have a good quality of life. Cats are so resilient that they can live well with a small percentage of kidney function. Us humans aren’t as tough.
The most important thing that I have learned so far through Sammy is patience is key. It isn’t Sammy’s fault that he doesn’t like to be picked with needles everyday, and it isn’t my fault that I can’t sit him down to explain to him why it is going to make him feel better. All I can do is keep trying, and keep hoping for the best. Sammy has been such a great and patient cat who had a bumpy start. To be honest, I probably would have reacted the same way in his position. Thats okay though, we have come so far! In the meantime, I cherish every single moment with my Sammy Boy and together, we take one day at a time.
Sammy’s veterinary bills have climbed to just under $1500. We have collected a total of $650 so far. All funds will go directly towards Sammy’s medication and regular check-ups. No amount is too small, and every dollar counts!
If you would like to donate towards Sammy’s care through PetitsPawz Cat Refuge of Montreal, simply follow the link below and select ‘Sammy’s fund’ from the drop down menu. PetitsPawz is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to helping cats in need. A tax receipt is issued through email with every donation.
By Laura Dextrase
PetitsPawz Volunteer and Sammy’s permanent foster mom