Firstly, I wish to thank everyone who has read and commented on my tale of Cammie’s latest troubles. The concerns and good wishes are appreciated.
Last night, though, represented a step back for Cammie in her current bout of illness. She threw up several times during the dark hours. Come morning, I fed her more slippery elm, but she regurgitated that quickly. This, and its failure during the night, suggested that I could not depended on it. I was at a loss as to what to do. However, in thinking of taking her to the veterinary hospital, I realised that they could do little for her. They could study her blood, analyse her urine and give her fluids, which I suspected she required.
Blood- and urine-testing would prove nothing, I believe, since I am certain her trouble is dietary: in this instance, the possibly contaminated tin of food from which she ate. Inserting a feeding tube was an option, but I am extremely loathe to take that route. Extra fluids would help, making up somewhat for what she has lost through vomiting and, probably, just making her feel better. I had a bag of solution, purchased from the hospital for such an occasion, but had never felt confident enough to use it. With a colleague from the rescue-group to provide the principal skill, however, Cammie was given some fluids.
Next, came sustenance. The princess needed food. I had given her what amounted to no more than a teaspoonful of Z/D (from a new tin, filled with (relatively) better-looking rubberised crap), mixed with water. That was not enough. I decided that force-feeding must become literal.
I dispensed with the Z/D in water, injected orally through a syringe. I cut a chunk of Z/D into little pieces and then, prying her jaws apart with my fingers, forced the food into her mouth, closing it immediately afterward, then using a small stream of syringe-stored water to encourage swallowing. It was messy, stinky and I hated doing it, but in ten minutes Cammie consumed more food than she had all the previous day.
That was two and a half hours ago, and so far, it has stayed down. I tried some Recovery this morning; this is a nutrient-rich food meant rapidly to replenish lost minerals and vitamins. It is made for situations like this. But it is not made for a cat who is allergic to almost everything. It came back up within minutes. The Z/D appears acceptable to Cammie’s stomach, even without something such as slippery elm to smooth the way. I will feed her some more Z/D, in the same deplorable manner, soon. And I will keep doing so until she decides to eat on her own. I dislike doing it, but if she doesn’t eat, she will, at the least, suffer liver damage, and the amount I had been giving her by syringe was, I suspect, not enough to prevent it. If Cammie makes it through a night and a day without vomiting, she may gain the confidence to eat on her own.
Then I can once more treat the princess the way she should be treated.