I don't want to spend too much time rehashing everything that has happened to Arthur (and us) over the past week, but I'll point to a forum thread on About.com where I've been discussing the whole thing under the user name geekinchief23.
Here is where we stand right now. Arthur came home from the hospital last Thursday (2/25) with some prescriptions and an order to get back to eating. As you may know by now, he has fatty liver disease, a condition which is curable if the cat gets the right amount of food into them fast neough.
Over the weekend, we got Arthur to eat and he has eaten a bit every day, but we were concerned that he was not eating enough. By our count, he is a 13.5 pound cat and has been eating maybe 2-3 ounces of food per day, if that. However, his behavior has improved, though he is traumatized by being force fed the beyatryl antibiotic pill every day (he'll get a skin solution for it soon). My wife Liz and I have been whipping out a can of his favorite food, Solid Gold Blended Tuna, maybe 3 times a night and maybe one of those 3 times, he will actually want to eat and will eat maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of a 3 oz can. In between he will have maybe 5 to 10 pieces of kibble, though a lot of the kibble crumbs are falling out of his mouth.
So my wife Liz and Iwere concerned: Was he eating enough? Unfortunately, nobody would give us a straight answer about how much he was supposed to be eating. We called the internal medicine specialist who saw him at the hospital (which nearly wiped out our savings by conducting $3k worth of tests) and they said "we can't really tell you how much is enough. Don't worry about it."
We talked to our own regular Vet who said "if he's eating anything at all, he will be fine." Call us worry warts, but neither of those answers inspired confidence in us. Today, we took him into the vet and where normally Liz goes by herself b/c I'm at work, I left work for the afternoon so I could go with her. I talked to the doctor and demanded some answers about the amount of food he should be eating.
Again, she reiterated her extremely vague response. "If he's eating at all, I wouldn't worry," she said. I said "he's eating about 2 ounces of food a day. Isn't that too little?" She said "maybe that's normal for him."
She weighed Arthur and indeed he had gained weight since his last weighing. He was now 13.5 pounds where he had weighed in at 13.2 when we brought him in the day before. She said "I think he's doing great, but if you really want and it would make you feel better, I'll run a blood test on him now while you wait to check his liver values again." I said, "yes, please run the test."
Liz and I sat in the waiting room for about 20 minutes and then the doctor came out with a sad look on her face. She said that his liver values had taken a significant turn for the worse. Where his liver number had been 4.2 when he left the hospital, it is now 7.0 (higher is worse).
She said to us: "Hmm, maybe he isn't eating enough. I called the hospital and they suggest putting in a feeding tube." A feeding tube is something we had been asking about and suggesting ourselves (against both the hospital's and her objections) since he was diagnosed.
So tomorrow, he is going back to the hospital and will get a feeding tube installed, probably at an exorbitant price that will really hurt us. We are praying that he will now be ok, but of course, the hospital and vet are not inspiring confidence with their vague and incorrect answers.
We thought about taking him to another vet and we were considering an appt with one at the ASPCA, but right now I feel like I don't want to start over with a new doctor while his condition is declining like this. If we get the feeding tube in and he starts to improve, maybe then we can take him to some place that doesn't know him or maybe this is just a lesson-learned that we need better people to care for him and Beowulf in the future.
I will tell you candidly that this illness has been very very hard on Liz and I. We are not eating or sleeping. We have constant stomach aches. We are distracted and we're not ashamed to admit that, even though we are not religious people, we are doing a lot of praying lately. Please send your best wishes, positive thoughts, and prayers, not to us but to Arthur. He's going to need them.