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17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Posted by harriethomeowner (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 9, 07 at 1:09

Our cat has always been very healthy and with a good appetite.

A week or so ago, though, I could tell he was losing weight. He was eating, albeit not as much as he used to. But something just didn't seem right, so I took him to the vet, where they did blood tests and determined that he has CRF. They recommended giving subcutaneous fluids twice a week.

Over the course of this past week, he has stopped eating almost entirely. He got fluids on Tuesday of this week and then this morning. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he ate a little wet food, but since then has eaten almost nothing. He drank a little tuna juice today, but wouldn't even finish it and turned his head away when I offered it to him later in the day.

I won't be able to call the vet until Monday. Is there anything I can do over the next 30 hours or so that might help make him more comfortable? He is following his usual routines other than the fact that he won't eat, but he's definitely more lethargic than is normal for him. He went from being his usual self (feisty, hungry, vocal) to this state in less than two weeks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I had a cat with CRF and gave her sub q's for almost 2
years until I had to put her to sleep ( at 21). She would
also stop eating at times. She was on thyroid meds as well.
Heating up the soft food would sometimes help but there were times when all she'd eat was shrimp or chicken breast.
She hated the prescription food (crf) which I gave up on.
She was never a picky eater though which probably helped. If you're doing the sub-q's yourself heat up the bag of fluid (luke warm not really hot). My cat actually appeared to enjoy it...
good luck !!
Donna


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

My CRF kitty (who lived to be 22) also was never a picky eater before the CRF. However, we went through our bouts of assisted/forced-feeding. Your cat might think you're the devil while you're syringe-feeding him, but he can't go a week without eating. You can use any sort of mushy, "paste" food (nothing chunky), thin it with water, and feed it with a syringe. There are a lot of CRF websites with more details on getting food in these kitties.

Your vet will probably want to check his kidney function again, since things can change so quickly with these guys.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I'm sorry for your cat's diagnosis. I've been through CRF with several cats, and it can be a real juggling act. Sometimes the things you do to manage one symptom cause or make another worse. Also, the nature of the disease causes a lot of ups and downs in the cat's condition from day to day (sometimes hour to hour).

Nausea is very common in CRF cats and will often result in loss of appetite. There are several different meds commonly given to reduce stomach acid and nausea, as well as appetite stimulants that can be tried. Most importantly, though, is that you must get food into your cat one way or another ASAP. Syringe feeding (by mouth) is a technique that is often used with CRF cats who won't eat on their own. You can make any canned food syringable by pureeing it in a blender with a little hot water.

Feed small amounts every few hours rather than trying to get a bunch down him at one time. It's important to give frequent small meals so that the stomach acid doesn't build up and increase his nausea.

The site linked below is the CRF bible which will answer just about any question you may have and will offer you many suggestions for dealing with inappetance and nausea, along with virtually every other potential symptom and side effect of CRF. I highly recommend you spend the day reading and rereading the site ... when you're not feeding your cat, that is.

Please post again with any additional questions you may have. A number of us have dealt with CRF for years and can help guide you through the difficulties.

Laurie

Here is a link that might be useful: Tanya's CRF website


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

You can get Nutrical or a generic equivalent at PetSmart.

It's a high-calorie food substitute, a gel in a tube, similar to a gel toothpaste only it's brown.
Put some on your finger & put it on the cat's tongue.

It'll get some calories into his stomach until you can get him to the vet or until his appetite improves.

It seems like Nutrical is about $10 or so, & the generic may be about $7 (been a while since I had to use any).

Best luck.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

1/4 tab of pepcid am and pm sometimes helps older cats appetites, and many vets forget this.

I personally would not force feed my cat, as that would decrease her quality of life. Better if you get every kind of cat food to offer him, the stinkier the better, as they often lose their sense of smell as they get older and are more enticed by something stinky (like fish). Fancy Feast often appeals to them.

Add water (or tuna juice) to food, to keep him hydrated.

My friend's cats lived for many years with CRF, and they refused to eat "good" food!

Try baby food as well.

Good luck.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Pepcid AC is frequently used to control stomach acid in CRF cats, but it should not be given without the direction of your vet because it can interfere with the absorbtion of other meds or supplements. Also, Pepcid is excreted through the kidneys, so it must be given to CRF patients carefully. 1/4 tab twice daily is the MAXIMUM dose of Pepcid for a feline with healthy kidneys and should NOT be given to a CRF patient at that dosage unless under veterinary supervision. A more common starting dose for a CRF patient is 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet every other day.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Thanks for all the replies. He ate some of the leftover tuna and juice during the night and is acting alert and relatively normal. I may wait until I talk with the vet tomorrow before I start giving him anything else.

As much as I love my kitty, I don't want to make his remaining time miserable by force-feeding him. The sub-q treatment is bad enough, even though he tolerates it well. I gave it to him at home yesterday, and though he wasn't happy about it, he didn't fight me either (and he has always been a very feisty and aggressive cat).

The vet gave him some high-calorie gel last week and it got him pretty mad! He was snapping at the vet and her helper.

I'll try the all-meat baby food (w/o onion or other flavorings, of course!). Maybe something like that will pique his interest.

Thanks again, everyone.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

We've been managing CRF in our 14 year old cat for 1.5 years now. It's a roller coaster ride.

It sounds like your kitty might benefit from additional fluids- that is what makes the night and day difference for my cat. I can tell when she needs fluids more often based on her appetite. There may be a reason why your vet instructed you for only twice a week, though. Are you doing the fluids at home? Does he absorb them well? With my cat, I was instructed to give fluids whenever she needs them based on how she is feeling; we are now up to daily.

As far as eating though, I highly recommend trying slippery elm bark. I think there is info on Tanya's page about this, but there is also info at Little Big Cat (I'll see if I can find it). It is very safe and very soothing. Right before my kitty was diagnosed, I could often get her to eat about an hour after taking slippery elm. You should be able to get it at most any health food store. I use it for my own stomach ailments as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: slippery elm


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

You do need to make sure your cat is eating something regardless of how you have to get it into him because if he doesn't eat, he could develop hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) which could be quickly fatal.

I certainly understand the issue of quality of life. That is something we all have to face with our ailing companions. But you also need to be realistic about the potential effects, both positive and negative, of every decision you make regarding your cat's care from now on. If he refuses to eat anything on his own, you risk shutting down both his kidneys and liver if you don't force feed him. If you do force feed him, however, you might get him over the hump until your vet can offer an appetite solution that gets your cat eating on his own again. Force feeding is often a temporary measure with a CRF cat until his symptoms can be managed to get him eating on his own again.

Slippery elm bark is completely harmless and may very well help soothe his stomach and get him eating again. Information on slipperly elm is available on Tanya's site.

Be careful when increasing fluids. It is possible to overhydrate a cat. I did it with Bitsy and nearly killed him when he started drowning internally. He was gasping for air, his pulse was weak and rapid, and his heart and lungs were surrounded by unabsorbed fluid. It was extremely frightening, but we pulled him through it with diuretic injections. Wait until you speak with your vet on Monday before increasing your boy's fluids.

Warmed up baby food is an excellent idea. Many inappetant cats will respond to warmed baby food meat. Warmed Fancy Feast is another very tempting offering for many of these cats. Small pieces of boiled chicken may get him eating, too. The trick is to feed small amounts frequently throughout the day.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

My late Max lived well on Hills KD (both kibble and canned) for about 1.5 years after being diagnosed with CRF...then as his condition worsened, he became totally un-willing to eat the stuff. As others have said, a CRF cat will have ups and downs as far as appetite. Max also had mega-colin and chronic constipation that had to be dealt with. One of the meds that really helped was something called Cisapride which aids in digestive trac 'motility'.

My vet said to forget about the special diet and feed him any thing he'll eat for what ever time he has left. She had me add Pepsid AC to his expanding list of meds which seemed to help a lot. So for the last year of his life, Max enjoyed the feline equivilant of fast food like Meow Mix and Kit-N-Kaboodle...real kittie-junk. But at least he ate it and for the most part maintained his weight.

During his last days, I was giving him B-12 shots as an appetite stimulant, along with the other meds and fluids. The only food he would even begin to eat was "Solid Gold"...but after a few very expensive packets, he stopped eating that...he would just lick the gravy. I tried force feeding him. He took his treatments like a little trooper, but would barf up whatever he was forced to swallow. It was then I said, "what am I doing to this poor guy?" and decided that the time had come. Never an easy decision to make, but I feel that it was the correct one.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

My 15 year old female has simulytaneous kidney, thyroid, and liver failure. I feed her one to two cans a day of Fancy Feast flavors with "gravy" on the label. I swear the FF is keeping her alive. She actually begs for it. Good luck with your kitty-try several brands of wet foods. It will at least get some fluids inside your pet.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Wow...this thread brings back lots of memories. My much loved female cat suffered with this for several years. I finally had to put her down; not sure exactly, but I guess she was 21 or 22 (adopted her from a shelter as an adult cat).
First, Pepcid is a good idea. Helped my cat quite a bit. Break it into quarters. A quarter a day should help. I also did the sub c fluids at home 2 or 3 times per week. Do warm the fluid up by putting it in warm water for a while before giving it to the cat. Use a liquid schringe to give the cat warmed up and mashed food. This is a chore. I would wrap the cat up in a warm towel, and (have everything ready and set up), shoot the food into the side of the mouth and rub her throat to get the food to go down. Good luck.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I hope by this time your friend is feeling better. I was reading the suggestions that have been posted and many of them (as well as my own) have suggested 1/4 Pepcid. Just make sure that the pill you buy is either Pepcid AC or the generic version Famotidine (much cheaper) 10mg tabs...NOT Pepcid Complete.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Thanks for all the advice. Maybe I'll try the Pepcid. I have a call in to the vet and will see what she says.

We tried giving him warmed food mixed with water with a syringe yesterday, but he acted so frightened and like we were torturing him that we couldn't do it. Wrapping him in a towel first is probably a good idea.

He did eat a few shreds of tuna fish last night and this morning. This morning he actually was eating the tuna pretty enthusiastically, and probably got down about a teaspoon of it, but then stopped, stalked off, and hid. I imagine he probably felt queasy all of a sudden.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Make sure you read the Treatments page on Tanya's site linked above before giving your cat Pepcid AC or anything else. There are cautions associated with all meds, and Pepcid AC is no exception. Read the info on Tanya's site about Pepcid AC and the other acid reducers, then speak with your vet before deciding on a management plan for your boy.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I just spoke with the vet, and she says that his bloodwork indicates he's near the end. She said that the fluids may keep him alive for another week, but that she would recommend euthanizing him now, before he starts to suffer.

It's so hard to believe because has been so vibrant until this past month or so.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I'm so sorry.

My experience has been that vets are reluctant to say, "Do it now";
they want the client to bring up the subject.

If your vet recommends letting him go now, she feels strongly that it really is the right thing to do.

& if he's started hiding, he's feeling strange & bad & vulnerable, & it'll get worse.

Maybe she can come to your home to keep his stress level down, or maybe she can give you some valium for him to keep him calm.

& I'd make sure that she has no problem with you staying with him while he goes to sleep.

Some vets, I don't know why, want the owner to leave their pet.

I feel strongly that holding the pet while he goes to sleep is the last thing I can do for him.

I would hate to think that the last thing my beloved pet felt was bewilderment & maybe fear;
I'd want to know that I was there for him.

I'll be holding both of you in my thoughts today.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I was actually the one who brought it up. I was asking what I should do, and she said I should think about saying good-bye. So I asked if she thought I should euthanize him now, and she said yes, that it would save him from suffering.

When we talked this morning, she told me to call her later after I've had a chance to think about it. What, in anyone's opinion, do I need to know to make this decision?

I'm still kind of in shock at the suddenness of this.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I've gone through this with several cats...all elderly. Without going into the details of every situation, the most important thing experience has taught me, is that if the vet can't come to your house, orally tranquilize your old buddy before you take him to the vet. It will give you private time to say good-bye...and if he panicks a little as he goes under, you can comfort him on his own turf before you put him into the carrier.

As far as the decision itself, cat experts have indicated that by the time a cat is visably suffering (hiding, anorexic, listless-ness), chances are (unless the cat is young and can be saved by invasive interventions) the time has come. I will say that there have been times when my cats have shown one or two of these symptoms...and a change in medical regimen has bought maybe another couple weeks. Its never an easy decision.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I'm very sorry for what you and your boy are going through. CRF is such a difficult disease. The most difficult thing about it is that many of the symptoms can be successfully managed for a period of time - sometimes days, sometimes years - and there's no guaranteeing how any individual cat will respond to any particular type of med or management. There are just so many variables involved in this disease and its associated ailments.

Another difficult aspect of CRF is that a cat who seems fine one day can suddenly be on death's door the next and then rally back to fine the day after that. It makes it so hard to decide when enough is enough and it's time to let them go.

When I've been in your situation, the only way I have been able to make the euthanasia decision is when I have all of the information at hand and truly understand what's going on. I request copies of all bloodwork so that I can see for myself exactly what's out of whack, to what degree, and what it means. I research the results online and discuss them with my vet until I understand what each blood value means for the immediate and long term prognosis of my companion. If certain values are out of normal range to certain degrees, I'll opt to try to manage them to bring them back within normal range. But when certain values hit critical levels where management isn't possible or even likely, the decision to let my companion go becomes clearer.

You are overwhelmed by this right now. It'll help if you can sit down with your vet and go through the blood test results value by value, having her explain the significance of each to you so that you really understand what is going on with your boy.

The more you understand, the better informed a decision you can make.

I wish you and your boy the best possible outcome, whatever that may be.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I'm so sorry that the situation is bleak. I can't tell you how I know when it's time, but I just know. It's a look in their eyes, or their demeanor- or a combination of the two. Once you get your bearings, you will know in your heart when enough is enough.

It is such a difficult time, my prayers and thoughts are with you.

(((HUGS)))


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Just talked with the vet again. (Sorry I'm going on about this, but I'm sitting here at work and can't stop thinking about it.) She said his BUN when it was taken a little over 3 weeks ago was 74, creatinine 6.5, so she is assuming that the numbers are much worse now. She said if we decided to take heroic measures, put him on an IV, and so forth, it would bring his numbers down but it would only be temporary.

I told her I'm not ready to pull the plug yet, and she said as long as he is tolerating the sub-q fluid, I should go ahead and give him that for a few days, but if he doesn't eat, he'll obviously keep losing weight and won't survive very long.

He has always been a big cat (normal weight about 13 pounds), and when they weighed him last month, he was down to 10 pounds.

DH just went home to check on him and found him hiding in a corner of the basement. :(


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Why is your vet making assumptions rather than finding out for sure what's happening with your boy? Is it because she believes you wouldn't want to invest the time and money in another blood panel and any applicable treatment of his symptoms? Is it because she simply isn't well informed in the management of CRF (many vets aren't, you know). Is it because she has an ethical objection to managing terminal illness?

You need to find out why she is making assumptions rather than an actual diagnosis. And if you're not ready to say goodbye to your cat yet, you should also insist on another blood panel to see where his values - ALL of his values, not just BUN and Creatinine - are now.

A CRF cat's blood values can change very rapidly (overnight). If you want to try to manage this disease, you need to run a blood panel when your cat takes a turn for the worse so that you can identify the problem. For instance, high phosphorous is a common problem in CRF cats and will make them very ill, but phosphorous binders can be given that will help in many cases.

As already mentioned, acid stomach and nausea are also very common in CRF cats and can be treated with meds. Did your vet recommend that you try Pepsid AC or one of the other acid reducers?

Low potassium can weaken a CRF cat, but potassium supplements can alleviate that problem.

Anemia is often a problem for CRF cats, but can be addressed medically.

Of course you can't treat any of these conditions if you don't know that they are occurring, and assumptions aren't diagnostic. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but having been provided only with three week old BUN and creatinine numbers and assumptions about his current status by a vet would not be enough information for me to be able to make an informed decision if I were in your situation (which I have been).

You need to decide what you want for your cat. If you want to give him a chance to stabilize (which he may or may not be able to do), you're going to have to advocate for proper diagnostics and support from your vet. If you decide not to try to manage his illness, then euthanize him as soon as you're able so that he doesn't suffer a lingering and painful death. The wait and see approach is not a humane option for a CRF cat. Whatever is going on in your boy's body right now will not get better on its own. He will just get sicker and sicker until he dies ... or until you help him one way or another.

I know you want to help him.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Hiding, not eating, bloodwork. Your vet sounds like she is giving you good advice.

You do not want him to suffer. Only you can stop that.

You have given him a good life and cared for him all that time. This is part of that care.

The question I always ask myself at this point is, am I keeping the animal alive for my sake or for its sake? If for my sake, I must let go and give it peace.

It does not happen precipiously. They are sick for awhile and do a very good job of hiding it.

Best of luck to you. You are in my thoughts.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

laurief, I had the same questions, but the vet seemed so SURE that I didn't press her on it. I'm sure she's just thinking that anything they do will only prolong the cat's life for a minimal amount of time. I don't want to put him through a lot of unnecessary stuff, but it might be worth a call to another vet for a second opinion. I know the longer I wait, the less likely it is anything can be done.

OTOH, elly, I have been asking myself the same thing.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I've never known a vet who didn't seem sure about everything (s)he said, but I've known way too many who are wrong way too much of the time. The best thing you can do for any animal companion in any veterinary situation is to become as well informed as possible and keep asking questions until you get the answers you need so that you have a clear and complete understanding. I firmly believe that it is my personal responsibility and duty to be my animals' advocate in all circumstances, including (and especially) when dealing with the vet. If a vet doesn't have the time, patience, and/or knowledge to answer my questions, I'll find another vet who does.

Your vet is taking best guesses based on diagnostic information that is not current. It is true that your cat has a terminal illness. It is not necessarily true that there is nothing that can be done to improve and extend the time your cat has left. You just won't know that without current diagnostic information. I understand your not wanting to put him through unnecessary procedures, but current bloodwork is necessary to know how to manage your cat's condition, if, indeed, it can be adequately managed at this point.

Just as importantly, current bloodwork may tell you that it's time to let him go. That's how it happened for me and my Bitsy boy in Feb. I was prepared to have him given a blood transfusion if it would help, but his blood panel came back with values that indicated he had crashed and was way past any effective treatment. I had him euthanized that night, knowing that there was nothing else to be done.

That's what I hope for you - that you will have the information you need to KNOW when it's time to let your boy go.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I agree with Laurie, even if your vet is confident and ultimately right, additional blood work will give you peace of mind that you are doing the right thing- whatever that may be. Your vet should understand why you want to do that.

Best wishes to you. You've got a lot to deal with.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Okay, I'm taking him today to get another opinion from a different vet (recommended by a friend who has 4 cats).

We gave him fluids last night and he perked up quite a bit, but still wouldn't eat. He's moving around pretty well, using the litter box, can jump up on furniture, and he purrs when I pet him and seems alert. He doesn't seem to be in pain.

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions. It's been very helpful.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Let us know what you find out from the second vet. Also, ask for a copy of all test results so that you can keep track of the changes yourself.

With Bitsy, I made a spreadsheet that included all of his blood test results so that I could see what was changing from test to test. It was very helpful for me to be able to track each blood value and discuss the changes with his vet. I was able to adjust his meds and supplements as necessary whenever something in his blood test results indicated a problem that needed to be addressed.

As several have noted on this thread, managing CRF can be a real balancing act, and the balance is constantly shifting. I found it easier to handle the challenges by realizing that everything I was learning from Bitsy, just as everything I had learned from Pea before him, were skills and knowledge that I will probably need to use with more of my feline kids in the future. CRF is that prevalent in elderly felines.

Every time I do battle with this disease, I learn more about it and become better at navigating through it. It's never easy, but I can only honor the cats I have lost to CRF by learning the lessons their struggles are meant to teach me.

Give your boy a gentle snuggle for me. I'm thinking of you both.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Best of luck.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Well, good news: the new vet very briskly prescribed a number of meds, explaining each one (antibiotic, appetite stimulant, something that's supposed to act like dialysis, and vitamins), and told us to give sub-q fluids daily and feed a special diet (Eukanuba multi-stage renal). He looked at all the blood numbers and was shocked that the other vet said to euthanize.

So we'll forge ahead with this treatment plan and see how it goes. Thanks for everyone's advice!

BTW, surprisingly, kitty hadn't lost any weight since he was weighed at the other vet's a few weeks ago.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Well that IS wonderful news! I'm glad you've found a vet who was willing to work with you to give your boy a chance to stabilize and improve. I sincerely hope that all goes well.

Make very sure that you feel your boy all over every day before you administer fluids to make sure he has absorbed the fluids from the day before. That's how I got into trouble with Bitsy. I was administering the prescribed amount of fluids, but Bitsy's body was unable to absorb them quickly enough, so I ended up inadvertantly overhydrating and nearly drowning him. That had never happened with Pea, so I wasn't sure what was happening when Bitsy went into pulmonary distress. In any event, if you just feel your boy and make sure you don't feel any fluid under his skin before you administer the daily dose, he should be fine. If you ever see him doing open mouth breathing, though, get him to the vet FAST!

Did the vet prescribe any sort of stomach acid reducer or anti-nausea med for your boy?

Please keep us updated on his progress. I'm afraid I've gotten all emotionally invested in your kitty now. ;-)

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Laurie, for you :)

A few years ago (he looks the same now) in his favorite place:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

What a handsome guy and what a perfect spot for a cat to spend a sunny afternoon. Thanks for the photo. I just want to snuggle him up to my face and give him a squeeze! :-)

How's he doing today?


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I'm glad (& amazed!) to hear he's doing well.

This serves to remind me that my own mantra "Get a second opinion" applies even when the situation may sound obvious or hopeless.

Congratulations!


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Kitty is not happy about the pills, potions, and needles and is still not eating anything on his own. He hasn't eaten much of anything (or defecated) in over a week. Last night he turned his head away and wailed when I presented the food to him. I was ready to take him back to the vet, who said he could try to induce appetite by giving a Valium injection. However, this morning I gave him a little food-water mix from a syringe and he gobbled it down, so maybe he's feeling better.
He hasn't been able to jump on the bed the last couple of days, I think because he's getting so weak from not eating, but he has been getting up and down the stairs and using his litter box.

I'll keep you all posted on developments. Thanks for the good thoughts.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Harriet, your cat is gorgeous...its easy to understand why you want to keep him around as long as you can. I kept my late cat Max alive with CRF for ~2.5 years...but he was diagnosed in early stages when he was 13. As the months went by, the laundry list of meds, along with the frequency they had to be administered increased. My lifesaver (and his) was the discovery of #3 gelcaps (I started with #4, but 3's are slightly larger and hold more meds). Ask you Vet is he/she has them. I was able to pack 2 blood pressure meds and a chunk of pepcidAC into one easier to swallow capsule.
At the time, I used a rubber tipped pill gun, although recently I discovered a much better one (they sell them on Amazon as "Bulls Eye", but are availabe at pet stores as well). Best of Luck.
Lisa


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Empty gelcaps are great and can be purchased at any pharmacy in a variety of sizes. I always used the smallest possible gelcap that would hold the meds I needed it to hold. The gelcap hides the bitter taste of some meds and does allow you to administer several meds at the same time in a single gelcap. Just make sure you check with your vet or pharmacist about which meds can and can't be given together so that you don't risk drug interactions or absorbtion problems.

I, too, use a rubber-tipped, very thin piller. It is a godsend and makes pilling soooo much easier for both me and the cat. First, let the cat lap up a swallow or two of gruel (canned food mixed with hot water to make it a warm gruel) to wet the cat's throat (makes swallowing the capsule easier) - you can also use your feeding syringe to squeeze a little water in his mouth to do the same thing - then pop the capsule onto the very back of his tongue with the piller, then let him drink more gruel or squeeze a little more water into his mouth to make sure he swallows the capsule all the way down. You can make the capsule even easier to swallow by lightly coating it with butter before putting it into the piller.

One very common ailment associated with CRF is constipation which is extremely painful and can definitely cause inappetance. Did your new vet check to make sure your boy isn't impacted? If not, ask that he do so. Your boy won't eat if he's blocked up with a bunch of hard, dry feces.

Low potassium can cause hind-end weakness in CRF cats. Many vets prescribe supplemental potassium for all CRF cats, regardless of whether or not the bloodwork indicates a deficit. Bloodwork can give misleading results where potassium is concerned. That's something else to discuss with your vet.

The link below will take you to Tanya's page on loss of appetite which includes all sorts of strategies for trying to increase appetite. You'll find LOTS of useful tips to try there.

It's great that your boy ate a little this morning. Every little bit helps!

Laurie

Here is a link that might be useful: dealing with loss of appetite in CRF cats


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

The vet wants me to bring kitty in today so he can try intravenous Valium to try to get his appetite back. I see there are risks to it, but I'll just have to trust this guy.


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Back from the vet's

The Valium treatment was amazing. The vet injected just a drop, and seconds later my cat was inhaling a can of cat food.

I'm a little worried now, though, because when I got him home, he staggered out of the carrier, rested on the floor for a while, and went to hide in a closet that he has never hid in before. I don't know if it's the effect of the drug wearing off or that he just ate more than he's had all month in one sitting.

BTW, I asked about the dangers of the Valium treatment (as reported on Tanya's site and others), and the vet said that in about 1% of cases in which Valium is given by mouth, it is almost instantly fatal. Because of that, he never uses oral Valium on cats, just the injection (which he said is fine).


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

He may have been distressed at feeling "druggy" or woozy.

You might check on him a time or two during the night & call the vet if he's still hiding in the morning.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

He only hid for about 15 minutes. When I went back in the room, he was on the bed. He spent most of the evening in his usual spot in the living room.

He hasn't eaten anything since we came home. The vet said if he's still not interested in food tomorrow to bring him back for another Valium treatment. (Man, this is getting expensive. Oh well.) His concern is that the cat not develop liver problems from not eating.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Oh yeah, managing CRF can get expensive!

Your cat's response to valium does sound amazing. I've never gone that route, so I have no experience with it. From what I've read on Tanya's site, though, I'd be a lot more inclined to give cyproheptadine (Periactin) a try before doing another dose of valium. Cypro is a much safer option with fewer potentially serious side effects (like liver failure or death), and you can administer it at home. Ask your vet about Cypro before you consent to another dose of valium.

As extraordinary as your cat's response to valium was, it would have scared me to see a CRF cat (or even a healthy cat) eat an entire can of cat food in one sitting. That's exactly how my cat, Pea, went into renal failure in the first place. She was seemingly perfectly healthy until she inhaled an entire small can of Friskies in a single sitting (something she had never done before - it must have been a REALLY tasty flavor). Within hours, she was in acute renal failure. The only thing that made sense to me was that the huge meal overwhelmed her 18 yr old kidneys and shut them down.

That taught me a critical lesson about portion control, esp. with elderly cats. My eldest now, Billy, gets no more than 1/4 small can per meal, as many meals a day as he requests, spaced at least 2 hrs apart. I also always mix his canned food with hot water to increase his water intake and hopefully preserve the health of his kidneys for as long as possible.

Try tempting your boy with different foods today before you take him back to the vet. The prescription renal diets are notoriously unpalatable to most cats, so he very likely won't eat it even if he is hungry and has his appetite back. It's much more important that you get your boy to eat SOMETHING rather than the renal diet specifically. If he'll eat the renal diet, great! If he won't, don't bother trying to insist. Just give him whatever he will eat. Try regular canned foods and baby food. Warm them enough to bring out the aroma but be very careful not to get them too warm, or he'll reject them because of the heat.

CRF cats will also typically reject large meals. They're much more likely to eat a small amount of food on a plate than a whole can full stuck in front of them. Small meals spaced 4 hrs apart throughout the day is ideal.

One more note about renal prescription diets. The dry renal foods seem to be somewhat more palatable than the canned versions, so ask your vet for a sample of the dry renal food to try with your boy.

Hang in there and rejoice in the small victories and improvements. I'm proud of you for taking this on. No matter how things turn out over the next days, weeks, months, or years, you'll know that you did what you could to support your boy through this disease.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

He's been taking the cyproheptadine since Tuesday (I think it's 2 mg twice a day), but it's had no effect. The Valium treatment was in addition to that.

I've offered him some of the renal food, some Fancy Feast, tuna fish, and some of his usual dry food, but he won't touch any of them.

He's never been a big eater, even though he's a big cat. His normal food pattern has been munching on dry food whenever he feels like it and then having a few tablespoons of some wet food in the evening (for the past year or so, Fancy Feast because he really liked it).

Although he seems quite alert and is not acting like he's in pain, he does seem depressed, for lack of a better word -- moping in a corner, won't purr, won't come out. Or maybe he's just fearful. His natural personality is a bit of a grump to begin with, but he usually likes attention. Maybe not exactly the kind of attention he's been getting, though!


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

His "depression" may be a result of the cypro. It can cause lethargyin some cats. It can also take a few days to build up to a steady level in your cat and start having the desired effect. Unfortunately, it doesn't stimulate appetite in all cats. If, after a couple more days, the cypro still doesn't seem to be helping with appetite, ask your vet if it's OK to decrease his dose to .5 mg once a day or eliminate it altogether. There's no reason to continue to give something that's only making him lethargic and not helping stimulate his appetite.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Just back from the vet (I took the day off work). He gave him another Valium treatment and kitty ate another half can of food.

The bad news: the vet said he can see signs of jaundice (ears and eyes). He told me to keep doing what we're doing, but if the jaundice gets worse, we should probably euthanize. The jaundice indicates liver disease (totally unrelated to the kidney problem), and there's really nothing that can be done.

I really couldn't see any yellowing, but then, I don't know what I'm looking for and have nothing to compare it with.

I got the impression that he really thinks this is the end for our kitty.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I'm stunned that the vet would give him more valium when he is already showing signs of liver failure (which is one of the known serious side effects of valium). Please do NOT allow him to give your cat ANY more valium under ANY circumstances. Also, please check all other meds and supplements you are giving on Tanya's site and make sure none of them list liver damage as one of the potential side effects.

I would run screaming from any vet who administered valium to a cat showing signs of liver disease. Unbelievable!


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

The amount of Valium was extremely small -- just the two doses (one yesterday and one today).

A lot of drugs list liver disease as a side effect, but my understanding is that it takes many, many doses for that to happen (as when people take excessive amounts of Tylenol).

I think the vet felt the situation was dire enough to give it a try to see if it would jump start my kitty into eating again. It doesn't seem to have worked, unfortunately.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

From Tanya's site:

"The main problem with diazepam [Valium] is that unfortunately a small number of cats develop acute liver failure after several days of use, so if you do choose to use this drug, your vet should check your cat’s liver values before starting it and a few days afterwards"

Valium is not a drug that requires many, many doses in order to induce liver failure in some cats. You boy should NOT receive any more Valium.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Hi Harriet, I've just been reading this thread and wanted to say how sorry I am that you are having to deal with all this. CRF is horrible but manageable, you just have to arm yourself with all the knowledge you can handle. From the numbers you posted for your kitty, they are a little higher than my CRF kitty Oscar's were 1 year ago (he was 70 BUN, 5.7 Crea) when he was battling a kidney infection. I noticed on your post after you saw your new vet that your kitty is on an antibiotic - does he have a UTI or kidney infection? Did you get a urinalysis with culture done? The antibiotic is probably contributing to him feeling yucky - Oscar had to take two different antibiotics to clear up his last infection as the first one (clavamox) made him feel sick. We tried the cypro with Oscar too when he had a bad episode this past spring (heart related, not his CRF) but it didn't seem very effective with him either - worked once or twice then not at all. I assist-fed him Fancy Feast minced and then switched him to a wet food with lots of gravy, adding a touch of water to make more gravy and that ended up getting him over his hump. He currently eats Friskies pouched wet food (chicken and salmon flavours) as it has lots of gravy and he loves the gravy and Wellness Indoor kibble (he refuses all other kibble). His taste buds have really changed since he was diagnosed April 2005 - we've been through lots of different brands of food both regular and k/d (he's still mourning the loss of his favourite though due to the pet food recall - it was safe but pulled anyways). I think I would keep doing the assist-feed with your kitty rather than do more valium since he seems quite fragile - I didn't use a syringe just my fingers - and I'd do it as often as you can to get food in his stomach. Once he gets some calories in him he will feel better. Hill's has an a/d food that you could try though Fancy Feast is probably more palatable. His stomach may be feeling sour as well from the acid build up so 1/4 pepcid would be a good thing but don't give it to him when you give him other meds as it can inhibit the absorbtion of his meds. Tanya's website is a really excellent resource, I've learned a lot from it and it's settled my mind on lots of questions I've had.

Most of all, hang in there. We thought for sure we'd lost Oscar this past spring (congestive heart failure) but it's now September and he's still with us being his usual curmudgeonly self, defying the odds and I'm cherishing every day with him. Don't give up hope, things will get better.

tess


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I've had two vets now tell me to euthanize my cat, so I feel they must know it's hopeless.

The question is if I don't do anything and let nature take its course, will that cause him to suffer? Should I quit giving him the antibiotic (against the vet's advice) but continue with the other parts of the treatment and see if that makes him feel better enough to eat? He's been taking 1 ml of amoxicillin twice a day for the past 3 days.

The vet seemed more concerned about the jaundice than the CRF because it indicates liver disease, and in fact that is why he thinks this is probably a hopeless case. He was telling me that he has successfully treated cats with CRF and multiple other health problems, but that this is very bad.

Over the past two days kitty's had at least an entire can of cat food (it was Friskies, btw, very smelly!), so he does have some calories in him. He's acted really woozy and uncomfortable all afternoon since I brought him home and totally unresponsive to me (doesn't want to be petted or held, won't purr).


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Keep giving the antibiotic as prescribed. CRF cats are prone to infections, so there's probably good justification for him to be taking it. I would NOT give any more Valium. I would keep giving him the cypro for a few more days and see if it'll kick in and help his appetite. Keep giving fluids daily, assuming he's absorbing them properly.

Assist feed frequently throughout the day, if necessary.

His wooziness if probably a result of the Valium and cypro, but the discomfort is probably related to what's going on in his kidneys and liver.

Allowing nature to take its course is not a humane option for a cat in renal and/or liver failure. Both are miserably painful ways to die. If your boy does not improve under your care, you'll need to have him euthanized to prevent further suffering.

Laurie


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Only you can take away his pain and give him some peace. It seems to be time.

Sorry.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

"He's acted really woozy and uncomfortable all afternoon since I brought him home and totally unresponsive to me (doesn't want to be petted or held, won't purr)."

At some point, you have to look at his quality of life as the deciding factor.

I'm sorry.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

He was definitely coming off the drug this afternoon. He is acting more comfortable now.

I can't really see any yellow inside his ears or eyes. His fur is yellow, but the skin looks pink and white to me.

I agree that his quality of life is the most important thing, and I'm ready to let him go, but I think he'll be okay for the next couple of days at least.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Harriet, I am terrible sorry to hear how things seem to be going for your buddy. Renal failure is such an unpredictable ride. One of the gals who works at my vet's told me early on that some cats are able to respond well and others aren't- and you can never tell.

You've done so much for your little guy and made the best possible choices given the information you've had. If nothing else, take comfort knowing that you did all you could.

You love your little guy and don't want him to suffer, so you will know the right thing to do if and when the time comes.

(((HUGS)))


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Here he is as of a few minutes ago, enjoying the back porch:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

He jumped up on that chair by himself, btw. I fed him some wet food this afternoon by putting it on his tongue, and he seemed to like it. He's been drinking a normal amount of water on his own over the past couple of days. I know he's not his old self, but he seems relatively comfortable today.

FYI, he's taking a supplement called Azodyl that is a new product. It's supposed to prevent further renal damage. Maybe it's helping?

Here is a link that might be useful: Azodyl


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

It's too hard. Hugs to you.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

He is a lovely cat. Reminds me of a long haired version of my 18 year old Louie who also is not in good health. He has a voracious appetite tho but still remains skinny. Enjoy the time you have. Any cat who lives this long has been well loved and cared for.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Lily: It may be too late for Harriet's beautiful cat but it may not be too late for your Louie. Voracious appetite with weight loss could be a symptom of either hyper-thyroid or (less likely) Addisons disease...both of which,unlike liver failure and late stage kidney failure, are very treatable.

Lisa


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I've heard good things about Azodyl on the CRF boards I'm a member of, lot of kitty parents are using it with good results. Sounds like he's feeling better if he got up on that chair by himself, and he's out in the open, not hiding. Keep doing what you are doing, giving him his meds, making sure he eats and drinks. Just give him some time to adjust to the meds - you know yourself how out of sorts you feel when you start a new med (I'm on a strong antibiotic right now and feel horrid every day - just a side effect of it but I need it to clear up my health issue).

I thought for sure we were going to lose our Oscar this past spring as it just seemed so hopeless at times - the vets and I had to came to the conclusion that there was nothing more we could do, we exhausted our options. But he's still with me and is doing okay and every day is a gift that I don't take for granted, he's 17.5 and has had a great life since he's been with me (he spent his first 2 years dodging tractor trailers in an industrial part of town til my sister rescued him for me). So hang in there.

tess


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

What Lisa said. (Her note to Lily). Voracious appetite and no weight gain sure sounds like hyper thyroid. George is CRF and hyperthyroid. Tapazole twice a day put the weight back on and keeps it there.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

My cat was diagnosed with mildly elevated levels indicating kidney failure. What can I expect now? The vet said that they are not elevated to require hospitalization, but will need to change diet, five OTC meds and administer subcu fluids at home. How is this done and is it difficult so that it would require needing the vet to do it? Is this usually successful in preventing chronic failure that does require hospitaliztion? It appears that many of you have had cats that have lived a considerable amount of time with this, but I wonder how rapidly it can progress? And once hospitalization is necessary, is it fair to put the cat through that, or is euthanasia a typical action to save the pet from any distress and sickness? I've had my cat for nearly 17 years, so I hate for him to suffer, but obviously he is no longer a "spring chick" and I wonder how he'd tolerate that kind of treatment, not to mention that I would probably have to sell my car or re-mortgage my house in order to afford it! I have one of those vets that explains everything so quickly that nothing sinks in..Thank you in advance for your input!


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Hi JJ...First of all, there is an incredible website dedicated to feline CRF:

http://www.felinecrf.com/

It is one of the most helpful internet sites I've encountered as far as a wealth of practical information. First understand that CRF is not curable. It is terminal but treatable. I've had two CRF cats...the first one was diagnosed very late because I was ignorant of the symptoms he was showing. Poor Cecil only lasted 4 months, but I like to think they were 4 happy, comfortable months.

Max was a different story. Benefiting from my prior experience,he was diagnosed early, and he lived 2 years. And yes, both cats were on Sub-Q fluids and a cocktail of various medications. I was lucky in that neither fellow minded the fluid injections or being pilled several times a day. In fact, Max would jump up onto the "injection" chair when he heard me preparing the bag. His care...especially getting him to eat..was challenging, but never more than I could handle.

AFA the $$$, the big expenses with Max (because he lived so long under treatment)were the enema treatments he occasionally needed. The Rx's (six different meds, some generic, some not) got a little pricey as well, but nothing that broke the bank. I eventually put him down because of the pain he was enduring do to the chronic constipation.

Btw, both Cecil and Max were 13...much younger than your guy... when diagnosed. I could go on, but go to the CRF website...all the basics are there. Best of luck.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

JJ,

Renal failure is extremely common in elderly cats (and often in not-so-elderly cats). Unfortunately, it is as variable a disease as are the number of cats who endure it. There really are no "norms" where renal failure is concerned. There are cats who live for years after diagnosis, and there are cats who fail very quickly. The only thing you can "expect" with renal failure is the inevitable end. It is a terminal diagnosis.

As lf mentioned, many of the symptoms of CRF are manageable. The keys to management of CRF are education and vigilant caretaking. You have already been given the URL to one CRF website, but the website which I consider to be the "CRF Bible" is linked below. If you spend as much time as possible reading through these sites, you will learn a tremendous amount about this disease, its associated ailments, and its management. There is nothing more important you can do for your cat right now than to educate yourself about CRF.

To answer your questions, at-home subQ fluid administration is a critically important skill to acquire and practice. Your vet can and should teach you how to do the fluid administration, and the websites offer pictorial tutorials to reinforce the procedure and offer helpful tips that your vet might not mention. You'll probably find it a bit nerve-wracking at first, but you'll get the hang of it, and your cat will become more and more cooperative as you become more proficient. It really is a life-saving procedure that provides considerable health benefits to the CRF cat with negligible (if any) discomfort.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of CRF is that a cat's condition can change from day to day, sometimes hour to hour. A cat who is critically ill one day may rally to relative health the next ... or not. We CRF caretakers tend to hold out for the next rally because it's so difficult to tell when a bad day will turn around or when it really does mark the end. If your cat does require hospitalization at some point, you will just need to trust your instincts and your knowledge of your own cat to help you decide whether to give him a chance to rally or to let him go.

I, too, have a cat who is in the early stages of CRF with slightly elevated BUN and CREA values. He's my fourth CRF cat, and I know that he could become critical at any moment, or he could live in reasonable health for years. I've been down this road before, so I know what to watch for. I'll be having bloodwork run on him every 3 mos or more frequently if he becomes symptomatic. When his brother developed renal failure a year ago, I couldn't get his condition stabilized and was having to run bloodwork every couple of weeks to keep up with his changing blood values and symptoms. Unfortunately, I lost Bitsy just 3 mos after diagnosis. My first CRF cat, though, lived quite happily for 4 yrs after diagnosis. That's how variable this disease can be.

I know you must be feeling overwhelmed right now, and you'll probably feel even moreso once you start reading the CRF websites. Don't let all the info make you crazy. I had to read the same info many, many times before it sank in and stuck. Just remember that the more you know about this disease, the better you'll be able to manage your boy and keep him comfortable and reasonably healthy for as long as possible.

I wish you and your cat the best,

Laurie

Here is a link that might be useful: Tanya's CRF Information website


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

What did you feed? Sometimes that can have a lot to do with it. Most vet sold food is quite litterily CRAP! About a good 70% of Vets do not have the best intrest of your animal in mind when it comes to food, Also when our animals dog or cat are PTS they most likely end up as rendered for Pet food so there;s high chances your pet is a cannibal, unknown to you of course, Oh the terrible things I've learned abut what goes into most pet food! GGGRRRRR!!!!
Grains kill and dry is VERY bad, dry is the exact oppisite of what's needed for dental health and dehydrates the cat inturnally because cats are made to get all the moisture from their food not from a water bowl. Over time IMO its diet that has led to this.

Another thing to remember is 17 isn't that old for cat who's fed a natural raw meat diet, which is best...however the damage is done already and I think it would be very hard to switch now. Its getting up there but cats can reg live into their 20's or even 30s' if fed like their wildcat forbears. I'd switch to Innova EVO, Ziwi peak or any of those types.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

However I am glad that you cat is doing well- and hope you have taken my advise, sorry didn't mean to be harsh, its just people really love their pets and I don't understand why the government allows this to occur in the vast volume it does- not only for their safety but for our own as well.

www.Feline.future.com is a great site.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I am new to this website and was wondering if anyone has any experience to share with me on azodyl.

Has any owner of a CRF cat used azodyl and what has been your experience? Any drop in BUN or creatinine?


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I don't really now that much about medications, useally cats get CRF because of bad foods, useally dry, vet foods/supermarket foods are to blame, cats do not handle grains that well AND they DO NOT gets clean teeth from dry!.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

I have read many different publications on the causes of renal failure from adverse affects from feline distemper vaccines, to genetic predisposal, to foods. I have not seen any scientific evidence of the cause as yet. I am, however, becoming an bit of an expert on the effects though.

My cat has been in renal failure for 5 going on 6 years and is now approaching 25 yrs old. The vet thinks he is doing remarkably well for his age.

As soon as he was diagnosed with CRF he was put on sub-q fluids with B-12 vitamin (I have good resources for inexpensive fluids if anyone needs help with this) (every other day) since dehydration is the kidneys worst enemy, Royal Canin Modified diet (he only ate wet food prior to being diagnosed). We now also have him on organic Ashwagnda for anemia, Epakatin to reduce phosphorus levels, organic slippery elm for stomach acid, and are looking at Azodyl to reduce creatinine and BUN levels. Considering he has had the disease for 5 years and his Creatinine is 4 and BUN is 69 we are doing pretty good. I do believe the animal's genetic composition plays a large role in the progression of the disease, but owner intervention can make a difference too. It is a tough disease to deal with as it is quite scientific and complicated. I have read countless journals, websites and researched medical books just to try to understand it.

Sharing information is critical and anyone I can help with information sharing I do so. It is important to share info and experiences for the sake of the animals.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

My hat goes off to this lady here and her pussycat....way too sad.
Im just reposting my story here, so if anyone has any ideas for me...
Well here I go again...lost the last post;(
I have a kitty 15.5 years old....a real shy sweety.
In the summer she was drinking alot, and so I thought hot house!!! Well fall rolled around and still the drinking alot, and now i noticed the peeing alot. I have no vet money, but a dear cat lover/rescuer helped me with the vet visit. Kitty had to have a full bladder for urine test, but no blood work was done. Vet said kitty had something like E.coli, and put her on Orbax 22.7 mg 1 a day for 15 days... I said thank god its not kidney failure...The vet said, "she is having kidney issues, which could lead to that." Well kitty is still having the same symptoms...I called to ask if it would be wise to put kitty on low protien-high fat food...and they said it would not hurt. I got from another vet, med i cal low protien wet food...and from the pet store Royal Cannin dry food that is low protien-high fat (called active mature 28)...(I see corn is at the top of the list in the vet dry food, and the one from the pet store)...I thought that was a no no....
I dont know what to do next...am I doing the right thing now. I heard it can cost $300-$600 to get puss puss really looked over....One vet said 150.00 for just blood work...Its almost impossible for me as a single parent to do that right now....Any suggestions????? I sure will miss our old friend.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Suggestions for the 15 year old shy kitty. She really needs to get a blood/urine work up to determine what is going on. It could be many things, i.e. kidney disease, diabetes, etc. If money is tight, you may suggest she contact local vets and see if one could help her "pro bono" or contact the local shelters to see if any of their vets could test kitty "pro bono". Other thoughts are to approach pet food companies and ask for help. Sometimes they will help sponsor an animal in need. Also contact animal groups, i.e. PETA, ASPCA they might also help. Other alternative is to have a fund drive in the neighborhood or at the local grocery store. Another thought is an auction or garage sale to raise funds.

Hope this may help.


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Ladydicats, the link below provides other possible resources for financial aid for vet care. Your cat really does need to have a full blood panel run so that a reasonably accurate diagnosis can be made. Without it, you won't know which way to turn to manage her condition.

Lioness, have you joined the Feline-CRF-Support mailing list at Yahoo Groups? If not, you should. They have had substantial conversation and experience with Azodyl (and virtually every other CRF treatment known to man). Once you join the group, you will have access to the message archives and can also post whatever questions you may have about Azodyl to the group. It's an invaluable resource for CRF caretakers.

Laurie

Here is a link that might be useful: veterinary financial aid


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RE: 17-year-old cat with kidney failure

Thank you guys...see what I can do, and I will post back.
The one vet that helped last time, along with the lady from a place called Happy cat may help again. BUT, I hope that the vet does the full work and not guess work....I guess the blood work was too costly to give away....He looked at my kitty and said I dont think she needs blood work. He did do a urine sample and said, I dont think she has diabetes.Do they know that from a urine sample that they dont have diabetes? So far she eats like a horse....and of course drinks tons of water....peeing aprox every 4 and a half hours (went about 5 times in a 24 hour time period ) I think sometimes she is hanging on to her urine, so I take her to the litterbox..so sometimes its been a 7 hour time length...other times down to 3 hours.


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