So, where does Rosie stand? Well, in terms of her behavior, she seems to be improving every day. She is becoming more like her old talkative self. She sleeps more comfortably now, and she stretches and bathes. Although she is still more dehydrated than she was prior to this bout of pancreatitis, her hydration level seems to improve daily, sometimes not even needing a second round of fluids. And, sometimes she even asks for her breakfast and even gets excited when she sees me approaching with her food bowl. But...
Rosie is still not really, truly eating. She used to slurp up her breakfast and often empty the bowl, and she used to ask for food throughout the day, and when I'd refill her bowl she used to almost always immediately eat at it. For the past few days, though, when given food she does one of two things: 1) She will sniff the food and then smack her lips and walk away without eating anything, or 2) she will take a couple or a few licks and then stop, smack her lips, and walk away. I can tell that she wants to eat, and she often tries to eat, but then she stops and acts as if she is nauseous or as if it hurts to eat.
I have been calling the vet daily with updates and for advice. They're probably getting tired of hearing my voice. Nevertheless, they always give me something new to try or suggest a new medication. Yesterday I went and picked up some pain medication (buprenorphine), as the vet was thinking that perhaps Rosie's dental disease was causing her pain and that pain meds would alleviate that and prompt her to eat. (My old girl needs a dental. If she would get better and eat, I would force myself to push past my fears and would schedule a dental so that her mouth can heal.) The vet noted that if the pain meds don't work then perhaps her teeth are not the primary culprit right now, and we would next try either an anti-nausea medication or go right for an appetite stimulant.
Long story short, after two doses of the pain meds (buprenorphine being a potent, fast-acting pain medication) Rosie's appetite has really not changed at all. She seemed so excited and eager to eat her breakfast this morning, but could only manage a few licks before backing away and smacking her lips. She even tried a second time, but did the exact same thing as the first time. Although I know her teeth are not healthy at this point in time, I still wonder how much her teeth are truly contributing to her current inability to eat well. As far as I can tell, she at times seems to be acting nauseous. She has not vomited (except for once after defecating yesterday, but that's her typical post-defecation ritual), but she acts like food just doesn't quit sit well with her right now.
I will call the vet again this morning in hopes that she will try an anti-nausea medication next. If the vet prefers to go right for an appetite stimulant (mirtazapine), though, I won't resist, as at this juncture I simply want to see Rosie eat like normal. One of the hardest things for me right now is that I can tell my old girl is losing weight. Especially for her 21 years of age, she had been doing great in the weight department, at least up until last week. Now Rosie feels so much more bony and lighter than she used to. Just one week ago today she weighed in at 9.25 lbs, but now I fear that she is well below that. She is eating some, and I am at least once a day mixing some food with her meds and thereby syringe feeding her (which she really quite dislikes), but neither she nor I am currently able to give her the nutrition that she used to get on a daily basis. Therefore, she is losing weight during this frustrating battle with stubborn pancreatitis.
I apologize for any ranting in this or previous posts, but, as I'm sure most of you out there have experienced, it is so frustrating to watch your furbabies struggle through times of illness. I think I'm most frustrated with the fact that Rosie in many regards acts so much better, yet something just won't allow her to eat like she used to.
As soon as I talk to the vet today I will post another update regarding the next step in this battle against pancreatitis. And I will certainly let you know how Rosie does with whichever medication she is given next.
Rosie and I will keep toughing it out in hopes to get her back to this happy, hungry state:
Thank you for all of your purrs, prayers, and patience! Rosie and I appreciate it more than we can describe!