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My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

Posted by cookingrvc (My Page) on
Sun, May 10, 09 at 12:00

I brought my little 6.5 lb tuxedo cat Sophie to the vet yesterday because of tuffs of hair that she wouldn't let me brush out. The vet said that it appears she is not grooming herself as much as she needs or use to.

She's had a thyroid issue for a few years and it was time to recheck her levels, so they took some blood. She called us last night to say that it appears only one kidney is functioning (my husband spoke to her so I had no opportunity to ask questions yet). Have to bring her in for a urine sample and then discuss what happens now.

She's around 12 years old. Is this a common problem in older cats? Can she function with just one kidney? Guess whatever caused one to fail can cause the other to fail. I assume I will have to change her diet but will find out more from the vet tomorrow.

Any information you can provide would be most appreciated.

Sue


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

Hi, I am sorry about Sophie. First of all, take her to a groomer. Let them get out her mats, that will make it easier to groom herself.

As for the one kidney, yes, cats can live with bad kidneys for a long time. You just HAVE to feed her the proper diet. My 9 year old girl went into renal failure last summer, after much money, one surgery, lots of ultrasounds, and lots of stress on Lily, we decided to take her home and do what we could.

We feed her Prescription Diet KD canned and dry food, and after a few months on the diet she acts like a kitten again! She is in great health, and has gained all the weight back.

Ask your vet for a prescription for the food (our vet carries it and we buy it from them) and see how it goes.

Good luck with Sophie, I hope this helps and she gets so much better!


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

Sue,

I'm so sorry to read of Sophie's difficulties. Renal problems are so common in elderly cats, but if they are caught early (and even if not caught until later), there is often much that can be done to manage renal insufficiency and improve and maintain good quality of life for these cats.

There are fantastic information and support resources online for renal cat caretakers (and hyperT caretakers), but these resources will be of most value to you if you get copies of all of Sophie's test results for your own file at home. If, for example, you join the Feline-CRF-Support mailing list at Yahoo Groups, the members will request that you post all of Sophie's test results so that they can review and get a handle on her current state of health. You'll also need those test results in hand so that you can make sense of the information you find on CRF websites.

I am currently caring for two hyperT cats, one of whom is also CRF (he's my third CRF cat), and they're both doing quite well. Billy was diagnosed with both hyperT and CRF in 10/07. He's 20 yrs old this year.

I know Sophie's diagnosis is scary, but don't let it throw you for a loop. Get copies of her test results and start doing your research. The website I am linking below is considered the "CRF Bible" by many of us CRF caretakers. There really isn't much of anything related to renal issues that it doesn't cover. You'll probably find it overwhelming at first, but don't worry if 90% of it goes right in one eye and out the other at first reading. That's what bookmarks are for.

Feel free to email me privately anytime. I'm happy to hold your hand down the renal road. It can be a daunting journey traveled alone, but rest assured that there are tens of thousands of us out here walking it with you.

Take care,

Laurie

Here is a link that might be useful: Tanya's Feline CRF Info Centre


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

Thanks Michelle and Laurie. I am waiting to speak with the vet to talk about next steps and will ask for a copy of her blood tests. It's so weird...I just threw out her previous blood test a few weeks ago thinking I wouldn't need it, but had a gnawing feeling I should save it - I have to stop doubting my inner voice.

I am hoping this will be easy on her, since I don't want to compromise her quality of life. She's such a little peanut but she's feisty!

I'll let you know how it goes. Will definitely check out yahoo and the site you listed Laurie. Thank you both for your responses.

These days it seems all I do is google health stuff...me with perimenopause and now Sophie with a kidney problem. It's not easy growing old.

Sue


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

I send best wishes that everything goes well for Sophie-cat.

My kitty was diagnosed with hyper-t and kidney problems 3 years ago. She has done well, but I remember how scary the initial diagnosis seemed. There is a lot of information out there, but the Tanya site is an incredible resource.

Hope all goes well!


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

Sue, when you request a copy of Sophie's current bloodwork, also request copies of all of her previous bloodwork. You'll find it very helpful to be able to see how her blood values have changed over time.

Anytime I have bloodwork performed on any of my animals, I create a spreadsheet for that animal and put the test results into it. Each new set of test results for that animal goes into his/her spreadsheet so that I have a lifetime of test results in a single spreadsheet for easy comparison over time.

Don't ever throw out your animals' medical records!

Laurie


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

I should have known better, That's a good suggestion. Thank you.

Sue


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

I'm having a similar problem with my 16-17 year old male. He lost weight about four years ago (from 12.5 - 8.5) and the bloodwork showed that his thyroid was acting up. The medication worked and his weight increased from from 8.5 up to 12. He started to lose again this winter, and his checkup showed that he had lost a pound from his last checkup to 10.5. She said that she couldn't raise his thyroid meds without throwing his kidneys out of whack. She also said that his kidneys were starting to shrink and get hard. His teeth are bad, but he eats soft food like a pig. Will a change in diet counteract the weight loss?


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

I have one cat, possibly two, with both hyperT and CRF. It's a balancing act to manage these two diseases simultaneously because hyperT actually helps support kidney function to some degree. HOWEVER, hyperT must be adequately controlled or it can do more damage to the kidneys as well as to the heart and other body systems. I would strongly question any vet who allowed hyperT to get badly out of control just to try to protect kidney function. That is dangerously faulty reasoning.

Ideally, if a cat is both hyperT and CRF, hyperT will be medically managed to the point where it is not adversely affecting the cat's heart and where the cat can maintain adequate weight. If anything goes wonky with the cat's heart (murmur, high blood pressure, gallop rhythm, etc.) or the cat starts to lose weight, then a thyroid med adjustment should be made to better control the hyperT.

Any med adjustments should be made very gradually so as to minimize risk of crashing the kidneys. Members of the feline-hyperT mailing list generally recommend methimazole dose increases of no more than 1.25 mg daily with a blood retest in 2-3 weeks.

chapru, I strongly recommend that you, too, request and keep copies of ALL of your cat's test results so that you can do your own research on these diseases, join the relevant mailing lists, and get some guidance from other folks who are dealing with these same illnesses in their cats.

Laurie


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RE: My little tuxedo Sophie: Matted hair - one functioning kidney

Thank You Laurie. I have complete faith in my vet. She's been taking care of my animals for over 25 years. I should have phrased that better; she said that he is at the maximum dosage for cats (Tapozole, 10mg per day). She explained that giving him any higher dosage would threaten his other systems. He's still fairly active (will jump on counters, chase treats), so I'm counting my blessings. Much like in humans, age comes with a price.


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