Okay, so Munchkin went to the vet yesterday, and her test results are in, and she has kidney disease, too.* Apparently, feline kidneys are not very strong, and so this is very common in older cats, and Cobweb and Munchkin are pretty old as far as kitties go. Now they're the Renal Failure Twins. [And I'd always thought that Cobweb's nausea issues were only due to the antibiotic she takes (to prevent more recurrences of her frequent bacterial kidney infections), but the vet said that kidney disease by itself usually causes nausea. So that's why Munchkin hasn't been eating.]
Note: This has NOT been a great couple weeks (or couple years) for the feline portion of our household. When Shannon left the house last night to go to Endgame, he joked, "Don't get Lucy sick while I'm gone." Yeah, she's our only healthy cat at this point. If she stops eating today, I'll most likely jump off a bridge.
So we basically get to start the Cobweb Treatment Plan Mark Two with Munchkin. It's all very very familiar:
- subcutaneous fluids to help with her kidneys
- Munchkin needs her own special kind, because she has a potassium deficiency that Cobweb doesn't have, and so she'll get fluids with that vitamin added, so that we don't have to give her a separate supplement.
- Munchkin will (for now) only get subq fluids every other day (instead of every day, like Cobweb does), because -- as we found out yesterday -- she only weighs frickin' 5.5 lbs.! You can only pump so much fluid into a 5.5-lb. body! (I was aghast when the vet told us her weight. 5.5 lbs.? 5.5 lbs.? Holy fuck!)
- Because Munchkin is so tiny, even every other day may be too much with the normally prescribed dosage of subq fluids, and so we have to watch her for "pooling" in her legs. If that happens, we will change to half a dose every day, instead of a full dose every other day. We'll have to play it by ear.
- anti-nausea medications to get her to eat again
- Pepcid AC (1/4 pill once a day)
- Reglan/metoclopramide (1/4 pill twice a day)
Plans for the future:
- If she isn't feeling better and eating better within a couple days, we need to take her back to the vet right away.
- Even if she is feeling better and eating better, we need to take her back to the vet in a month for them to check out her kidneys and reassess.
So now at least we know what's going on. It's not fun, but it's better than blindly worrying. At least now we have a plan of action. That's better than nothing.
* If you're interested in kitty kidney disease (who isn't, right?), you can check out this really informative website: Feline CRF Information Center.
Edited to add: Oh, but to give an update on the striped cat, Cobweb is eating and drinking -- not a lot, but significantly more than she has in months -- and is walking around and interacting with us and seeming like her old self. Okay, emphasis on "old," given that she's not racing around and clawing things, but she's obviously much better.