Sunday, March 07, 2010

Follow Arthur's Feedings in Real-Time. Help Us Streamline

This is a micro level of info that you probably won't find interesting, but since my wife and I have created a google doc spreadsheet to track the combination of Arthur's tube feedings and self-feeings, I thought I'd share it:


We are trying to figure out how to make this more efficient. It is very time-consuming. Please send tips! Four times a day, we do this now at every feeding:

I. First offering Arthur a bowl of canned food, which we have weighed and calorie counted.

II. Driving his brother Beowful out of the room and locking him in the bedrooom (we have a 1 bedroom apt so not much room here), but we don't want to hurt Beowulf's feelings so we lock him in with dry food (he won't usually eat wet). We have to isolate Arthur from Beowulf during feedings b/c Arthur won't eat in his presence and, if Beowulf should eat from the same bowl, we won't know how many calories Arthur got.

III. Wait about 30 min or so to make sure Arthur is really done eating, while dealing with angry screams from Beowulf to let him out of the bedroom or while letting him out and watching him to make sure he stays in the livingroom.

IV.Prepare the syringes with food and medicine while deducting the amount of calories Arthur ate (he is usually eating an ounce of food out of a 3 oz can - so maybe 25 to 30 calories, which lets us deduct a fair amount from his syringe)

V. Find Arthur, lay him down in his bed, try to get him relaxed. Inject 5 ml of water into tube to flush it. Then his regular feeding 25 to 45 ml depending on how many calories we deduct.
We are feeding him at the rate of 2 lines on the syringe (2 ml) per minute so just the syringe feeding alone is taking like 15 to 20 minutes, after prepping the syringe (5 min), and giving him the original food and waiting for him to eat it (30 min). The whole process is easily an hour or more and that's 4 times a day.

8 comments:

The Creek Cats said...

We just want to give you guys lots of hugs and good luck. Arthur is so lucky to have such caring humans!

Avram said...

Really, we're lucky to have him. Every day, we have with Arthur and Beowulf is a blessing. The amount of joy and healing they have brought into our lives is immeasurable.

Happy Cat Family said...

Hi Avram...
Just a thought... Feliway is a fantastic tool to reduce stress in situations like this... I am not sure if you are already using it, or if you are familiar with it... It is an imitation calming pheromone, and the one on the link is a plug in. They also have a spray... You can spray your t-shirt, or the room you are going to be feeding him or doing any kind of "procedure" 20-30 minutes prior to... The plug in you just put in on the wall and forget about it... It lasts for a month... It's going to be very helpful for Beowulf as well... Put it on the room where you lock him up, and the room they spend the most amount of time at.
Anyways, I just wanted to drop that tip for you guys - Feliway has been very helpful for us here...

JT said...

I have just been catching up with your posts. I'm so sorry to hear that Arthur has been sick. It sounds like you are doing all the right things to help him feel better. I just wanted to let you know that we live in Manhattan as well and know folks who use the Manhattan Cat Specialists and they have been very happy. It sounds like Arthur is getting excellent treatment there.

Tiki & Kirby (& sometimes Kesey) said...

We don't have any advice on feeding tubes, but are sending you more purrs. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

Just a follow up on Happy Cat's suggestion of trying Feliway. I've used it too for my overly-anxious kitty Harley (when she goes to the vet, and I also give her a little baby Valium)... give Feliway a try. Didn't know they made a plug-in, that sounds like the perfect thing for you to try for both your kitties. You know, Valium also makes the kitties VERY hungry (my vet prescribes 1/2 of a 5 mg. tab ground up for my kitty before I put her in the carrier to go to the vet, it works wonders)... and then when she gets home she gets the "munchies"! Ask your new vet if this might be a useful idea. Many purrs and hugs to you all (from socidoc)

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

Just checking in.
We are glad you got a new vet and one that sounds competent!
You will be more relaxed with his good and caring advice and your cats will pick up on this and relax too.

mizzyN said...

get well soon arthur!