Update on Mr. Bob


It’s been a while since I’ve shared Mr. Bob’s status with you all. Mostly because I’ve been really busy and he’s been doing quite well. He’s taking his medicine, getting his fluids, and eating what he thinks is the very best meal he could get that isn’t fish. He gets the Nature’s Variety beef patties and cubed melon. Yep, you read that right. He gets melon. And he loves it!

He loves melons! Honeydew, canteloup, whatever.

The vet had originally recommended that we give him pumpkin or sweet potato with his patties to help slow down the digestion of the proteins to protect his kidneys. We tried that, with limited success. Little Girl switched over super easily, and with a week of transitioning her from kibble to a mix of sweet potato and beef, she was eating it like she’d always eaten it.

Bob, on the other hand, wasn’t interested in it at all. We wound up having to do “smushy face” with him several times a day to get him to eat. Which wasn’t making us happy and certainly wasn’t making him happy.

But come summer, when I brought home one of the first cantaloups of the season, he was all over that. So I had an idea. I could replace the sweet potato or pumpkin with melons and let him eat that. The vet approved the idea, and that’s what he’s been eating ever since.

Over the last two months, he’s been eating more and more each day and generally acting as though he’s feeling a whole lot better. He’s almost become a bit of a brat. Where he used to know the no-begging rule, lately he’s been known to crawl all over us to get to what he wants off our plates.

He’s forgotten his manners!

A quick run-down of what we’re doing and how it’s working:

Medicine:
Azodyl: He’s still getting one Azodyl capsule every evening just before going to bed. It’s a probiotic that lives in the gut and absorbs the creatinine before it has a chance to enter the bloodstream. I’m firmly convinced that this is what has his creatine levels so close to normal. While it recommends that the capsule be taken an hour before eating, we haven’t had much success with limiting how quickly he eats afterwards. He seems to get extra hungry after we give him his pills, and I figure if he’s hungry, I’m going to let him eat.

Rhemannia: He’s still getting a quarter tablet of the Chinese herb Rhemannia. I believe the intention is to support his liver and kidneys and reduce inflammation.

Pepcid AC: He gets a quarter of an Pepcid AC tablet every night. I can tell if he’s missed it, or we’re late giving it to him, as he’ll start licking his lips and acting like his stomach is bothering him. Sometimes I’ll give him another quarter during the day if I think his tummy is bothering him more than usual.

Epakitin: He also gets some powdered Epakitin on his food from time to time. It binds with the phosphorus in his food to keep it from entering his system in the first place, which is important since it’s one of the things his kidneys can no longer filter out. We’re not very good about doing it regularly, and probably should work on that a bit. He doesn’t care for it in his food, but will eat it when he gets hungry.

Fluids: He gets fluids with Vitamin B12 and potassium as often as he needs it. Since his kidneys can’t flush out everything they need to, he needs to get more fluids in him to help. The Vitamin B12 is to help his energy levels, and the potassium is to help him keep a good electrolyte balance. Usually, we give him about 150ml every other day, but if he’s acting a bit droopy, we might up that to 100ml every day for a couple of days. It’s a constant worry that he’ll become overly dehydrated and that will add more strain to his kidneys, as well as having more toxins build up in his blood. He’s not a fan of getting “watered” but he’ll sit through it pretty well. He can almost tell when it’s been about 100ml, because he starts getting fidgety and looking for a way to get down. On days when it’s going slower than normal, this usually results in a light tap on the head or a four-handed hold down. But on the whole, he’s pretty good about it.

I put the meat and the melon on the same plate.

Food:
Meat: He gets somewhere between three and five patties of the Nature’s Variety Instinct raw beef – During the day I give them to him one thawed patty at a time, breaking them into quarters or thirds and letting him eat them at his own pace. At night, I make a plate for him that I keep by my bedside so he can eat when he wakes up. For this, I usually give him one thawed patty and one still-frozen patty that will thaw slowly overnight. He seems to like this the best, as he doesn’t like when they’ve sat out too long and start drying out.

Melon: I try to put three or four cubes of melon on the plate with his meat. He doesn’t eat them at the same time, but will eat one patty and then come back later for a melon. It’s not ideal, but he’s eating on his own, and that’s a vast improvement over smushy-face.

The Numbers:
BUN:
May 15: 172mg/dL
May 19: 129
May 25: 117
June 4: 103
June 29: 41
Oct 24: 38

Creatinine:
May 15: 14.7 mg/dL
May 19: 11.7
May 25: 12.4
June 4: 11.4
June 29: 4.3
Oct 24: 3.4

Phosphorus:
May 15: 10.9 mg/dL
May 19: 14.8
May 25: 13.3
June 4: 16.1
June 29: 4.3

One of his favorite perches.

And here’s where I give a tremendous shout-out to the wonderful folks at the Coddingtown Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Jordan and her staff have been a so supportive throughout this whole thing. They call to check up on Bob, and are always happy to help when I have a question or need replacement fluids and medicine. They even sent me home today with a copy of all his lab reports since May, for my records.

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