Rescue | Rehab | Bo’s story

Meet Bo, one of our permanent residents at the cattery. Bo used to hang out at Botanic Gardens, and one day a regular LKP rescuer walking her dog noticed him looking very ill. She brought him to the vet where he was diagnosed as FIV positive with chronic renal failure.

 The high life as a park-dwelling delinquent just isn’t for everycat.
An early picture of Bo in his carrier

When Bo first came to us, he was so stressed out that he peed himself and needed a bath straight away. Thanks to a wide gamut of supplements and several tenacious volunteers, he is now in a much stabler condition than when he first arrived, and he slowly started eating more and gaining weight and strength.
Look ma, no paws!

Bo moping because he had to take the pill that makes him better.
Here at the cattery, we manage his condition with Azodyl, a daily renal-specific probiotic pill. While Bo loves getting head skritches and will purr contentedly in a fluffy round cat-loaf when pet, he hates being handled, which makes baths and regular clinical care challenging. Initially we tried administering subcutaneous fluids, but Bo would have none of it and yowled, wriggled, bit, and scratched even the most experienced volunteers. Since coming to stay with us, Bo has also refined a staggering strategy to resist his medication, using his core strength to stay at the furthest part of his cat suite, and locking his jaw shut so we can’t feed him the pill even with the pill-popper and the strongest neck scruff. A single foster care volunteer often has not enough hands to scruff Bo, pry open his mouth and put in the pill, but still we manage to (almost every day… some days we concede and mix it in with a bit of cat food). Luckily, Bo’s kidney values improved on just Azodyl and supplements (we give him vitamins B & C, colostrum, lysine, aggression formula, echinacea, colloidal silver, astragalus, burdock, dandelion, nettle, fish oil, and more general probiotics).

Recently Bo developed a skin issue, where he started to lose fur in patches on his face and neck, possibly due to an allergy to his favourite fishy foods. 

Or is he just blushing??
Immunocompromised cats like Bo are prone to such issues, though, and we manage it with weekly medicated baths and daily topical medication. His skin has since improved a little, but for reasons unbeknownst to us humans, he seems extremely annoyed with his weekly spa experience. 

Have you ever tried to keep an annoyed, soapy cat in the basin for ten minutes as his medicated shampoo does its thing, then rinsed him off and brought him to be towel and blow-dried? It’s a party.

Notwithstanding all his recalcitrance and grumpiness, Bo has grown on us. He’s scrupulous with his litterbox and fairly tolerant of other cats’ shenanigans. We love his silly-looking, protruding, crooked tooth, and how he demands treats by sticking his paw out to prod at unsuspecting passersby or muss our hair when we’re checking on Ah Niu in the suite below his). He is often seen tucking his paws under and sitting or sleeping in a round fluffy loaf of cat, and despite what he might tell you about his weekly spas, they help keep his fur lovely and soft. 

Bo working it
Bo’s funny tooth

Here’s wishing Bo’s coat of fur grows more evenly in 2016, and that he comes to terms with the benign daily necessities of medication so it’s less of an ordeal on both sides. If you’d like to learn more about spotting symptoms of chronic renal failure, a common and manageable condition that affects ageing cats, sign up for our Cat Care talk with Dr. Dawn Chong on the 19th of December.

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