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Someone Help- My Poor Claude

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am sorry in advance if this post gets too long. I know I am still in shock right now. I also apologize for any typos as I can not stop cryiing right now.

I took my 12+ year old cat Claude to the Vet today because he has been loosing weight. I got some really bad news. Claude's kidney seem to be starting to fail. They did blood work and x-rays to come to this conclusion He also had blood in his urine and has crystals too. He was also dehydrated because his kidneys don't work right. Claude spent the entire day at the vets. He has to go back tommorrow and be hooked up to an IV all day for treatment. I have to put him on a special diet for CRF. I still can't believe this happening there were no other symptoms other than weight loss. His is/was eating going to the bathroom and acting normal. He is still taking showers. The vet feels that Claude is not in pain right now so we are not putting him to sleep. We are going to change his diet and may need to learn how to do sub-q fluids at home.

Ok now I have some questions:
1.)What is the best way to switch all the cats from being free-fed to a feeding schedule?. Claude can not have their food anymore and they can not have his. This has to be done immedialtely. I have another 12+ year old cat and an almost 11 month old kitten.
2.) What do I need to watch for to make sure if he does start being in pain? I love my cat and I do not want to make him suffer for my sake.
3.) What should I watch for in his brother? I am scared of how Tegato may react to all this. So far he is being normal.

Thanks for lisitening to me and I hope I am making sense. I could also use a lot of hugs right now.
post #2 of 23
My sister, whose family has had many pets, cats and dogs, said that one of the ways you can tell they may be in pain is they just can't get comfortable.

Wishing the best for all of you
post #3 of 23
Prayers for you and claude. Hoping that he feels better soon(((((catlover)))))) ((((claude)))) Donna
post #4 of 23
sorry forgot to hug someone(((Tegato))))
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick reply's they mean a lot to me. I am still feeling overwhelmed right now. I took Claude into my bathroom and fed him a little bit of his new dry food. He also has new wet food but my hands are shaking so much that I can't use the manual can opener to open the wet food. I will have the hubby open the wet food later.
post #6 of 23
I don't know if others have had the same experience, but for me personally I have just *known* when my cats were no longer enjoying their time here as much as they should. I, too, always wondered beforehand how I would be able to tell when it was their time to go, but in each case I somehow just did know when it was the right time. You know Claude like no other person, so have faith in your instincts when it comes to something like this.

Another thing I've always tried to do is to try and keep my personal sadness away from the cat in question when I know their time is approaching... they've always seemed to accept it as a natural thing (so far I've lost one to kidney failure and two to cancer) and I don't think they would understand why I was always sad around them. I would sit with them and watch happy movies, or read happy books, and just try to enjoy the time we have left and save up as many happy memories as I can (I try to get some portrait photography in, too, if it's not too stressful). After they've passed is usually when I go crazy with the crying, and the other cats never seem to mind at that point... they know what's going on.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well I called the vets office and the said Claude was doing good with being treated there today. I have tried to feed Starbuck & Tegato twice today in the kitchen where they normally eat. Starbuck has eaten a little bit both times. Tegato has barely eaten anything today. Earlier I tried putting him in the bathroom downstairs with his food and he still did not eat. I went to check on him after about 15 minutes and he was just sitting there crying to get out and did not touch his food. SO I have some questions about setting up their feeding schedule. Should I just feed them 3x a day and not worry about how much they are eating for now? Should I continue to feed Tegato & Starbuck where they normally ate? Claude did fine last night eating in a different room by himself. How long should I give them all to eat? Should I try harder to force Tegato to eat his food? Is it possible Tegato is refusing to eat because Claude is at the vet and he is scared that his brother is gone? Any tips or advice is welcome. I am feeling a little calmer today and have been trying to give Starbuck & Tegato some extra attention.
post #8 of 23
I am sorry to hear about your cat Claude. I lost my cat to kidney disease in January. I knew it was time to let him go when he totally lost his appetite and his hind legs started giving out. But you know your cat best and just by watching him you'll know. Rebby was always so happy and easy going even after he got real sick the vet would always say he's such a happy cat he probably doesn't even realize how sick he is. So my advice is just to keep making him as happy as possible. Heres hoping Claude feels better real soon!
post #9 of 23
I am sorry to hear about your Claude. I want to refer you to this thread (if you haven't already begun to read it):
http://thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119727

It has tons of shared experiences, links and more, from members here who are or have dealt with CRF.

I also wanted to suggest that you have your 12 y.o. cat tested with a senior panel to see if there are any beginning changes in kidney function. It's a good idea to get a baseline on your kitties yearly from 10 on (IMO).
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pat & Alix. I have been trying to read through the thread you mentioned. The vet did do a full senior blood panel on Claude. He does already have kidney issues according to the tests. I have already changed his diet to the perscription food the vet recommended. He was hooked up to an IV all day at the vets to flush his system and the vet told my hubby there was an improvement in his condition. We are going to give him sub-q fluids at home the rest of the week and he has a check-up on Sunday. Right now the main issue I am having is getting my other two cats on a feeding schedule. Everyone was used to free feeding. Claude's brother refuses to eat now because he is mad about being told when to eat. I could use some ideas on how to fix this. Tegato is in good health but he tended to be a nibbler when he was free fed.

Ms Grimm and Alieen I am sorry for your losses.
post #11 of 23
I know that you did with Claude, I thought you said you had another 12+ y.o. kitty, and an 11 month old? I would be sure to test this other 12 y.o. kitty is what I meant
post #12 of 23
ph my gosh!! I am so sorry, that isn't an easy thing to combat. I have no advice without any experience, except I can say that giving subQ fluids is not a hard thing to do, I learned in one day and I didn't have any direct experience with this before...I'm sure lots of people can help more but you are in my thoughts
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Imunsie. I will look into to getting Tegato tested as soon.as possible Pat & Allix Right now all my extra funds are being poored into Claude's vet bills. I am still freaked out about being able to afford everything for Claude. My hubby also bought a drinkwell fountain last night in hopes that Claude will drink more water because he really seems to prefer fresh running water.
post #14 of 23
I haven't had any experience w/ CRF yet, so I really don't have any advice to give. But I want you to know I sure can sympathize w/ you, b/c I've lost several cats over the years - one to cancer, and I have 2 cats now that have the dry form of FIP. And, I also have 2 senior cats, who I worry about all the time b/c I know they're getting into the critical years of their lives. It's never an easy thing to deal with..

I hope your furbaby will do well w/ his treatments. Love him all you can while you still have him.

~KK~
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for their kind words and vibes. I just wanted to provide a quick update. Claude is doing much better now. He obviously hates his perscription wet food though because he still refuses to eat it. I spoke with the vet and he told me that right now it is more important to get him to eat and stay hydrated. He is eating his old wet food like he used to now. Some people have provided me with a link for other perscription food options and I printed out some information to bring to the vet for his check up this weekend. Claude greeted both myself and my hubby last night when we got home from work. He is out and about walking around. He was following my hubby around last night. Yesterday he came out from under the bed and sat in the window for a while. He is also showering again on his own without having to be carried into the bathroom. I am so happy he is showering again on his own because that will help keep him hydrated since he sticks his head under the shower to drink water. I am hoping he will start using his drinkwell fountain soon so that he drinks even more.
post #16 of 23
You may want to ask the vet about whether adding phosphorus binders to the regular canned food would be beneficial. The kidney prescriptions are typically low in phosphorus, so adding binders can make a regular cat food more kidney friendly. From what I've heard, Goolrick's aluminum hydroxide powder is supposed to be tasteless and odorless, so it's easy to mix in the food.
post #17 of 23
I'm so glad Claude is doing much better.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I did ask the vet about phosperous binders already on the phone. He told me that they would not be useful because Claude's phosphate levels were not high. The main concern was with his calicum level. I'll have to ask for a copy of the blood test results this weekend. I was too upset to ask for a copy last weekend. I am going to ask for another food option though.
post #19 of 23
You might ask about Wysong. It seems to have a pretty low percentage of calcium:
http://webpages.charter.net/katkarma/canned.htm
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information cloudshade. I printed out your list to bring to his vet appointment on Sunday. I am glad that I now have some other possible food options to present to the vet. This morning I was finally able to get him to eat some of his current perscription food by mixing it with some of his old wet food and water. This is the first time he has touched any mixture with his perscription food. I will try increasing the amount of perscription food in his meal tonight. He is still continuing to improve. He is showering regularly again, is out and about more and is greeting us when we get home from work. He also follows me around while I am getting his food ready instead of having to be fed behind my bed. I am finding that I can leave the other cats dry food out when I am around to watch it and he is not trying to eat thier food. I only do this when I am home and can keep an eye on their food.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Claude went to the vet for a follow-up visit today. He is doing well. They did some bloodwork and his numbers are now considered normal. We are going to contiune to keep Claude on his wet food only perscription diet per the vets advice. He may need to be on this diet permenately. The vet also wants us to try to get Claude to do his sub-q fluids 1x a week. He had a small amount of sub-q fluids today at the vets. Both the vet and the vet tech were amazed at how much better Claude is doing. He seems to be gaining some weight finally. I printed out some information on some foods people mentioned to me on this forum and the vet gave me the ok to try 2 other perscription wet foods if Claude decides to stop liking his wet food again. I am so happy that Claude is acting like himself again and is eating well. Thanks for all your support it means a lot to us.
post #22 of 23
Whoo-Hoo! Doing the happy dance..that is great news
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover73 View Post
Claude went to the vet for a follow-up visit today. He is doing well. They did some bloodwork and his numbers are now considered normal. We are going to contiune to keep Claude on his wet food only perscription diet per the vets advice. He may need to be on this diet permenately. The vet also wants us to try to get Claude to do his sub-q fluids 1x a week. He had a small amount of sub-q fluids today at the vets. Both the vet and the vet tech were amazed at how much better Claude is doing. He seems to be gaining some weight finally. I printed out some information on some foods people mentioned to me on this forum and the vet gave me the ok to try 2 other perscription wet foods if Claude decides to stop liking his wet food again. I am so happy that Claude is acting like himself again and is eating well. Thanks for all your support it means a lot to us.
Wonderful news!!! My renal failure girls eat perscription Purina NF canned food. Actually, all three of my girls love it. If you'd like me to send you a can for Claude to try, feel free to PM me your address and I'll send you a can. Hugs to both you and Claude!
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