Sunday, April 4, 2010

The miracle of rehydration salts - Butter perks up!

By late evening yesterday, I thought I was going to witness the nightmare of seeing Butter go down.  In just a matter of hours, Butter had gone down consirably, losing weight and losing condition. 

Previously, I had only heard about how fast tiny kittens deteriorate, but have never really seen it happening until Jelly's case.  Last evening, Butter looked set on becoming exactly like Jelly.  He was already lying lifeless. 

It knew it was going to be another nightmare for me.  I had consulted four vets and all said there was nothing they could do to prevent the inevitable from happening because if the diarrhoea does not stop, the kitten would die. 

After three meals of ID, suddenly both Peanut and Butter refused to eat it again.  They had stopped eating.  I thought I should try the boiled chicken, but both vomited and had shooting diarrhoea again right after that. 

By 9pm, I was desperate.  I figured one way to replenish the loss of electrolytes due to the diarrhoea would be to use oral rehydration salts.  So I asked my husband to take me out to the pharmacy to get some.   

I came back, and started pumping both of them with the oral rehydration salts plus additional glucose.  One packet could make up to 240ml, so I only needed a tiny bit for them.  I added glucose. 

I think it has some taste, so they both took it quite willingly.  And they managed to retain it too.  No diarrhoea, no vomiting. 

But Butter was still emaciated.  I made sure the hot water bottle was always there and hot enough.  And I camped in the room, for the third night in a row now.

By midnight, Butter was still lying motionless, the only signs of life was his breathing.  Peanut wasn't looking too good either.  They still need food, so I thought I'd have to try something risky - give them small amounts of AD.  It might trigger the diarrhoea again, but I had no choice.  They would die without food.  They simply wouldn't eat the ID at all.

So, I fed them tiny amounts, and Butter responded positively.  He liked it!  He managed to eat one teaspoon. 

I continued with the rehydration fluids.

By 2.30am, a transformation occured.  Butter could get up and he walked to the cage door and made squeaky noises to wake me up.  I think he was hungry!

So I pumped him with fluids, and fed him some AD again.  Yes, he was very hungry this time.  Peanut and Butter both ate the AD by themselves.  No more hand-feeding.  And they asked for more!  I had to control the diet because I was very afraid the diarrhoea might come back.  So, as hard as it was, I had to tell them no, and lock them back in the cage.  Peanut prostested by mewing for half an hour.  

I just couldn't risk the diarrhoea coming back and both shooting everything out again.  It would be back to square one or worse.  

By 5am, Butter was up and squeaking again.  By now, he looked much, much better.  It was quite amazing.  And guess what, here's an even more amazing sight.....take a look below....

Their stools...I know, it's still a bit pasty, but this is definitely a tremendous improvement compared to the totally watery diarrhoea for the last 2-3 days for Butter.  To me, this must be the most beautiful sight I've seen in the last few days!

They were both hungry and asking for food.  Butter came out from the cage and ran (yes, ran!) to the kitchen.  I gave them both 1-2 teaspoon of AD and both lapped everything up before I could even take a photo.

All finished...

Also all finished here...

Licking his mouth after the delicious meal. 

Butter is still a far cry from what he was last week when he was healthy.  But this is already a big improvement from his worsening condition last night. 

Should you ever have to nurse young kittens or puppies who are having diarrhoea, do consider using oral rehydration salts to replenish the lost electrolytes.  It might save their lives just as it has Butter's.  

They have since taken two more meals of AD and all seemed well.  No vomiting and no diarrhoea.  The 2-teaspoons are probably not enough to satisfy their hunger, but I am giving them every 2 hours, so it should be sufficient.  I can't risk the diarrhoea coming back so this diet control is very important.

Ultimately, it all boils down to playing it by ear.  You won't really know the "most correct thing" to do.  It's a mixture of feeling and knowledge. 

You can only pray for guidance from the universe.  What works for one may not work for the other.  Destiny probably has the last say on this, but we provide the support as best we can.  

For now, Butter is alright, and I am very, very thankful. 

After their meal...