Salem has a 50/50 chance


We took Salem to the vet yesterday after he stopped eating and drinking over the weekend. It had been 10 days since he had three teeth removed (one abscessed) and, after an initially good recovery, thing began to go downhill fast. I was using a medicine dropper to get water into him, and bringing him watered down fancy feast every few hours to try to get him to eat anything. I was hoping the Vet would take one look at his mouth and say it was something having to do with the extractions not healing well. That would probably be a simple fix.

It wasn't.


On our first visit to the vet before the dental he was given an injectable antibiotic to fight off any infection the abscessed tooth may be causing. The injection lasted two weeks, which put it running out last Friday (exactly when he went downhill and stopped eating/drinking.) That, combined with the fact that Salem has FIV and a weakened immune system, led the Vet to believe it could be a lingering bacterial infection.

He also noticed that Salem's eyes and ears had a slight yellow tinge to them and suspected he could have fatty liver disease. He was showing the clinical signs that other cats do when they have the disease, and could do blood work to confirm it.

Either diagnosis would receive the same treatment so he suggested to skip the blood work to save Salem the stress and treat him at home for a few days to see how things go. Some cats respond well to being treated and bounce back, others don't.

So, for now, we are force feeding him a high calorie wet food with a syringe every few hours. He received another dose of the injectable antibiotic and we are giving him amoxicillian every day to be more aggressive with any infection. We are giving an appetite stimulant every three days, and starting IV fluids on him today. Giving IV fluids entails shoving a needing into his back and trying to hold him down while we get 100-200 cc's of fluids from a bag into him. Not fun for anyone.

I'm torn between wanting to help him and give him a shot, to not wanting to torment him if he is in his final days. When we got home yesterday he went straight to the kitchen like he wanted to eat, but wouldn't take more than a bite of wet food. Last night and this morning we had to fight to get him to take the syringe of food. He's spent the last 3-4 days curled up against a baseboard heater in the office, maybe coming out for an hour to cuddle with Travis at night.

At this point I think we are going to give it to the end of the week and make a call then (unless he takes a turn for the worse now.)

It's going to be a long week.