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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Cats Kidney failure help needed (Read 4,382 times)
7Lives
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Cats Kidney failure help needed
Jan 8th, 2007 at 3:10pm
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Hello, this forum looks wonderful, thank goodness I found it.
My 14 yr. old male cat is sick, kidney function blood test reveal that they are failing.
3 years ago vet wanted to put him down stating his kidney function was down to 20%.  I refused, I was shocked I guess.  Took Caesar home and pampered him along, and he ate mostly Wiskas Salmon, canned, he loved it and thrived well on it until now which is 3 years later.
  Now again, he is thin, had to be hydrated a month ago with iv over a weekend/three days at vets. Had sores in his mouth and was weak.  We visited him daily and he became happier and started to eat and drink well again.  We have special food from the vet and we put it out for him with lots of water avail. and water mixed with it.
Its been 3 weeks and now he is getting weaker again. I was cooking salmon for him, alittle sole, basically trying everything just to keep him eating. He isnt eating much last couple of days.  Drinking is ok.
He is taking 1/2 of a 5mg tablet of Forteckor once a day and also 2mls of Thera -K a Potassium Gluconate Supplement twice daily.

  Is there anything else I can do for him?  Please send all comments and ideas, anything.  He is so wanting to live, I can see it in him, we all can.  He is happy around us it seems and comes to us when he can when we go into the room where he is.  He always was a strong willed leader cat if I can say it. We also have another cat here, his half brother and they rest and sleep together often but not always.
   Ceasar is very bony now and weak but possibly not in any pain but tired out or weak.

   Please help if you can.  I am willing to cook anything or hunt anything down that my help him out. He is our buddy and we have to help.

   thank you so much for any help you can offer. Embarrassed

  
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MichelleVet
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #1 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 3:29pm
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Bless your heart...your kitty sounds bad off.  First off, some facts.  Majority of cats die of kidney disease.  By the time it is diagnosed, most have already lost 75% to 80% of kidney function.  This is altogether too common and so sad.
Treatment: Ask your vet about learning to give Sub Q fluids..say it just like that.  These are fluids (not water) with vitamins and minerals and well balanced to aid in keeping your kiddo hydrated.  Hydration is key now as your kitty seems to be in an advanced stage.  These fluids need to be given every 3 days or so in advanced kidney failure stages.  many of my clients do this for their cats at home and in some cases it can help immensely and keep them going much longer.  (this is of course without actually seeing your kittys bloodwork to know where his blood values are) 
Next..you do need to switch to a kidney friendly diet.  Salmon is okay if that is all we will eat..but keep in mind that it is high high in protein, so is taxing to the kidneys.  Science diet K/D is recommended for kittys in kidney distress as it is polite to the kidneys and doesn't tax them so. 
Finally, don't forget quality of life, vs. quanitity.  If your baby is suffering, do the right thing please.  It is a wonderful and compassionate thing to offer to a suffering pet.  Any other q's, don't hesitate.  Wish you all the best.

P.S.  for your other cats you can request ERD screening which is Early Renal (kidney) Disease testiing to see if they are going to succumb to the disease also..and take early preventative measures.
  
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7Lives
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #2 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 6:29pm
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Cry   Thank you very much for your detailed, compassionate response.  I respect all your good advice and will follow your advice.
  I cannot for the life of me stop my tears, it is just so difficult to understand that it is all I can do for my little buddy.  He has been such a wonderful little guy and grew up with my daughter and she is off now married and a grown woman. Ceasar and my husband and I remained home as a family after our daughter married off.  He has  been by my side through all my numerous surgeries,,over all these years and has always been My Cat.
  He has always seemed to understand what you say to him and is continuing to now also.  My husband even talks to him alot now too and he isn't one to do things like that, but he knows it is true.

   I believe after he has lived with us all these years that he understands more than we think.  So I speak to him as if he can understand almost everything I am saying.  I know talking to him has always been something he has loved.  He looks right into your eyes and listens as you speak to him, he has always been that way, so I think he learned alot too.

  Regardless, thank you for your reply and your genuine concern, it is most appreciated and welcomed. 

Thank you for being there when we needed you too.

Christine.
  
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MichelleVet
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #3 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 7:27pm
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It is, I think, the worst part of owning cats...owning and loving them so deeply.  I have 3 myself and brace myself for the day one of them becomes kidney deficient.  It sadly, is just about inevitable.  I hate it but it's true.  Look after your kid, love him and just be there for when it's too much for him.  I guess I judge that by when they stop eating..dont move around and don't purr anymore...it is awful.  I know.  I respect your love for him and your dedication...take care and will reply to any needs you may have
  
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #4 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 8:11pm
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Hello Christine,

I'm so sorry to hear of Caesar's illness.  I am currently nursing my second CRF (chronic renal failure) kitty, Bitsy, and it can be a very challenging process.  My first CRF cat, Pea, progressed much like you describe.  She went into acute failure from which she largely recovered and stabilized for about 3 1/2 yrs before she started to deteriorate again. 

The most essential lesson I learned from caring for Pea was the critical importance of providing supplemental fluids.  CRF cats usually can not take in sufficient fluids by mouth to keep their bodies adequately hydrated because their kidneys can no longer utilize fluids the way they should.  That's why CRF cats become dehydrated even when they appear to be drinking ALL the time.  Dehydration makes them feel much sicker, weak, and disoriented.  It can also lead to constipation which is extremely painful and can result in inappetance.  The absolute BEST thing you can do for Caesar is to have your vet teach you how to administer subQ fluids at home to keep him hydrated and keep the toxins flushed from his system.

There are many conditions that can be secondary to CRF - heart complications, hypertension (which, I assume, is why you are giving him Forteckor), mineral imbalances, acid stomach (might also explain Caesar's inappetance), anemia (might explain his weakness), etc.  If your vet has not tested him for anemia specifically, you might want to have that done so you can treat him for that condition, if necessary.

I am currently walking the CRF tightrope with Bitsy.  It seems that each time I do something to address one problem, it ends up causing several others.  Another blood test later this week will tell where we stand now and give me better insight as to how much more I should try to put my old companion through in the attempt to stabilize his condition.

One of the most difficult aspects of CRF is that cats can be on death's door one day and rally back to relative good health the next.  It's so darned difficult to decide when enough is enough, because it's so difficult to give up hope for one more good rally.

Here are a couple of websites with a tremendous amount of information on CRF and links to other sites with even more info:

http://www.mindspring.com/~kerspin/
http://www.felinecrf.org/

I know exactly what you're going through.  I wish I didn't, but I do.  Please keep posting if you have additional questions or just need support.

I wish you and Caesar the best possible outcome.

Take care,

Tempest
  
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7Lives
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #5 - Jan 10th, 2007 at 1:08pm
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Wow, what a wonderfully supportive group of people you all are.  Thank you for all your help.

We did a few weeks ago get to the point where our vet did send us home with an IV set up and we were administering fluids that way. Trying but doable.  Caesar did seem to bounce back some what.  After a week or so though he seemed to just go down hill again.

  I know it is inevitable, he will pass now.  He is so weak he can hardly walk and he even wet his bed.  He then staggered over to the bowl and drank alot of water, then went to the little box, poor boy, used it and then just layed right in there. I presumed he was just tired from exsertion.  He then got out and go into a nice new little box with fresh bedding I made up for him by the litter box.  I have offered him water and food and he has not seemed interested, just sleeps and moves around alittle.

    The only stuggle we have now is, is with putting him down, versus letting him pass naturally here at home where he isnt afraid and feels most likely the best.

   As soon as we put him in the car, he will be upset and know something is up, maybe sense alot more, as his most recent car rides were to the vets.

  My daughter feels strongly that it is nature that should take him, not us.  She feels that we have no right to end his life because we feel it is the kindest thing to do.
  She feels humans are the only ones that do this, take lives, and that animals never go and commit suicide or end each others lives, unless its a natural process of evolution for food.

  So, right now, as he lays here sort of peaceful I can't help to think maybe she is right.

  I guess my question is, with limited nourishment incoming to him and his present condition, would he possibly just sleep to pass, or will be seize and convulse and thus have terrible pain????

    Terribly descriptive questions, I am sorry for these, but I am really wrestling with this right now, I want to do the right thing for our Caesar.

thank you
christine
  
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #6 - Jan 10th, 2007 at 1:36pm
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I know what you are going through.  I said goodbye to a 19 year old kitty a couple of weeks ago.  He lived with renal failure for almost 5 years.  If your kitty begins to vomit up anything he eats, stops eating & drinking altogether, begins going to the bathroom all over the place, falls asleep in his water bowl, or has major personality changes that is when it is time. 

It is never easy to let go, but starvation and a toxic body are not a very nice way to go.

I had mine cremated, and his ashes are in a lovely little urn that looks like a statue of a kitty.

Be strong for your Ceaser.
  

Proudly owned by Shadow & Mickey.&&Missing Kitty Boy since 12/19/06.&&Missing Nimbus since 5/20/07.
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #7 - Jan 10th, 2007 at 2:17pm
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I am so sorry to hear about your sick kitty. I know exactly how your daughter feels because I also feel the same way alot of the time.Our cat is 10 years old and so far very healthy but I continuously worry about the day that he becomes seriously ill and nothing can be done for him. I just don't know how I am ever going to deal with it. I would do my best to keep him pain free and if I couldn't do that then I would get a vet to come into our house to euthanise him so at least it would happen in his own surroundings. You are definitely in my heart and prayers. It is such a tough thing to have to go through.
  

In memory of
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #8 - Jan 10th, 2007 at 2:27pm
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Caesar sounds like he is suffering, probably from toxic overload because his kidneys are unable to flush toxins from his system.  It is a painful way to die, and not even slightly "natural".  You and your daughter will be able to make peace with the practice of euthanasia once you understand that "Nature" would never have allowed Caesar to become as ill as he is now.  It is we humans with our vaccinations, regular meals, and protection from predators and the elements, who allow our animal companions to age to the point of physical shutdown.  In nature, Caesar would have fallen victim to another predator or died of starvation long before he reached this point of suffering.

The bottom line is that when we assume responsibility for the life of an animal, and we do everything possible to overcome the forces of "nature" on that animal's life, we must also be willing to assume responsibility for the animal's death.  There is nothing natural in Caesar's current state of suffering, and there will be nothing natural in his death, no matter how or when he goes.  It's too late for nature to have anything to do with it.

Call around to all of the vets in your area and see if you can find one who will come to your home to euthanize Caesar where he is most comfortable.  That is how I have helped my companions pass on, when necessary. 

Providing Caesar with a compassionate end is the best possible lesson you can teach your daughter.

I am so very sorry.

Tempest
  
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #9 - Jan 10th, 2007 at 4:19pm
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allowing your pet to pass at home is sometimes the only option if political or religious beliefs are involved.  My personal view as a vet is that allowing my own pet to suffer because I am not ready or afraid to euthanize is not acceptable.  I strongly feel that giving your pet a peaceful passing is a lovely gift.  Renal failure (kidney disease) is very painful indeed.  Don't kid yourself.  If you have it at all in you to bring your Caesar peace...do it!  You will never regret the decision.
  
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7Lives
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #10 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 12:49pm
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Dearest Caesar,   *****1993 - Jan.10,2007******


  Sadly, our family has lost a wonderful furry friend and house mate, Ceasar.  In his 16th year, he leaves behind
his half brother Joey at home, Duchess his dog step sister and his loving, but heart broken extended family along with Shauna in Burlington.
  Caesar came from Brantford originally.  Shauna and
Chris brought him home one day after hearing about a wonderful Siamese cat that was waiting to come home to them if they wanted him.  Of Course with huge smiles, caring arms and warm hearts, he was welcomed. 
   Caesar continued to grow with our family and had become the "Protector".  He would stand up to anything that came along near his family at anytime and was always fast to run and protect no matter what.

  In his retirement years at the lake here, he loved his walks across the road every evening to stand at the banks edge and look down upon the powerful waters of Lake Erie.

  Caesar developed kidney disease and fought this battle for almost 3 years,doing so with dignity, strength and a strong desire to live.   
 
  He will be remembered always as our friend and as:  "My Buddy", "The Old Guy" and "Caese".  Many nick names for a cat who looked right into your eyes as if to speak with them.

  We will always remember those Beautiful Blue Eyes.

  We will miss you, but never, ever forget you Caesar.

  Love,
  Joey, Duchess, Shauna, Chris and Larry and all your   friends on four and two legs.


Hello Forum Supporters
  This is the memorial I circulated yesterday after Caesar passed at 4pm at our vets. We feel assured we did the right thing.
  Thank you for all your kind words, your frankness, your guidance and direction filled with good information for us to have pulled in the strength from to get through this very difficult time.

   From Caesars Family,
   A Big Warm Thank you.
   Such a loving little furry friend has left a void in our hearts and we will never, ever forget him and will remember your help here also on this forum.
  
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #11 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 2:20pm
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So very sorry for your loss. 

Knowing that you did the right thing does not make the pain any less.
  

Proudly owned by Shadow & Mickey.&&Missing Kitty Boy since 12/19/06.&&Missing Nimbus since 5/20/07.
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #12 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 3:05pm
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I am so very sorry for your loss.  Caesar was clearly a very special companion and protector, and you honored him by providing him with a compassionate end.  Allow yourselves to feel both the pain of your loss and the relief of Caesar's release from what had become an irreversibly painful body.  You will eventually find comfort in that release.

For now, I wish you a peaceful grief.

Take care,

Tempest
  
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #13 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 4:28pm
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I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet.
  

In memory of
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7Lives
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Re: Cats Kidney failure help needed
Reply #14 - Jan 11th, 2007 at 10:46pm
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Cry
Thank you so much for your kind replies.  I just want you to know that all your genuine help did really matter to us.  It helped us think through this. It gave us direction when we needed it and supported us when we felt alone and scared of doing wrong to Caesar.

So with that,
My husband and I thank you deeply from our hearts, you helped us help a wonderful little cat that deserved all the help we could give him.


Larry and Christine.
  
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