Especially when you have to take care of your own animals.
My big-o pig-o Leo got sick about two months ago.
Leo is a
giant orange cat. With super-cute white paws. He’s about fifteen years old, and I’ve had him for around thirteen. He’s my big buddy. At his largest, he was pushing 20 pounds. Now we’ve got him down to a trim 12.5. Much better.
(It’s pretty embarrassing for a veterinarian to have an obese pet. Not good advertising.)
When we first moved into the vet loft to make room for the house remodel, we noticed that Leo was drinking way more water than normal. So we pulled some blood for some tests, and found out that he had kidney disease.
Sometimes kidney disease is a one-time thing. Treat with some antibiotics and fluids to “flush the system,” and they can get back to normal.
Not this time.
We did a round of fluids and antibiotics, and he got better. Until we took him off the medications.
Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is pretty common in older cats. And Leo definitely qualifies as an older cat.
Fortunately, it can be managed. Leo got switched to a prescription diet, Science Diet k/d. This food has a lower protein and sodium content than most “regular” cat foods, and more omega-3 fatty acids. All good to make happy kidneys.
The trick has been changing the feeding pattern. We usually feed all four (!) cats together. They start off in their own bowls, but generally share.
Now Leo gets fed his special diet all by himself in the bathroom, while the other three
pigs cats eat out in the main room. After 30 minutes, whatever food hasn’t been eaten gets picked up and Leo gets let out of jail into the general population.
So far, so good. Leo has been chasing Martin around the loft in the evenings, so he can’t be feeling all that bad.