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Chronic Renal Failure

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello, Dr. Jean, thank you for joining us!

Will you please share your expert Holistic advice for caring for kitties with CRF?
post #2 of 11
Hi Dr. Jean, I second this request.

Anything new? cutting edge? What about protein content of food, plant protein/grain vs. grain free? Phosphorus levels?

Thank you SO MUCH for visiting TCS and sharing your knowledge.
post #3 of 11
Okey dokey!

There is recent research supporting the use of probiotics in CRF kitties to help bring down BUN/Creatinine. It worked well in most cats, and even the few that didn't have changes in the bloodwork clearly felt better. The product used was Azodyl (, but I don't see why any good (human) probiotic wouldn't help as well. I say human, because tests on both human and veterinary probiotic products have found that the vet products have no live organisms, whereas the human products at least had some (though rarely what was claimed on the label).

I think it was Purina that published studies last year "proving" that their renal veterinary diet increases lifespan in both cats and dogs. That had never been documented in cats before. However, since Purina did the study on their own product, I'd be taking those results with a barrel of salt!

In my experience, there are some cats who will do better on a renal diet to manage symptoms, but it's problematic at best for most cats because they won't eat it! My personal philosophy is this: if someone told me I could live an extra ten years by giving up Ben & Jerry's, I'd take the ice cream! I'm not about to take away the foods my cats love so much and force them to eat something that's "good for them"--where's the joy in that? But everyone has to make that decision based on their own ideas and circumstances.

Just FYI, here's my general article on kidney disease:
post #4 of 11
Big hijack...while on foster is 5 years old. Diagnosed via urine specific gravity last Thursday. Blood panel on Tuesday of this week, the 15th, to check BUN & other "stuff". Anything really important a newbie to CRF should know or do?
post #5 of 11
Yes, get familiar with the Feline CRF site ( They are terrific!

What was the USG? I am always curious because I see a lot of vets make a diagnosis of CRF on insufficient evidence. For instance, to be diagnostic, the blood and urine samples must be taken at the same time. See my article for why:

Let us know about the blood as soon as you have the results!
post #6 of 11
I read that the blood & urine need to be taken at the same time & wondered.

Her USG was 1024, I believe.
post #7 of 11
That might be low, but it totally depends on the other numbers. You should have the results tomorrow...keep us posted!
post #8 of 11
USG was the same today.
BUN 24
(normal 10-30)
CRE 1.7
(normal .3-2.1)

Only thing elevated was total protien & that was 9.3 (normal 5.4-8.2).
post #9 of 11
Well, that's pretty good news!

I've been reading up, and I see that some experts now say that *any* low USG in a cat is significant, but others I'm checking on the veterinary boards tonight to make sure I give you accurate information.

I'm curious, what made the vet check kidney function in the first place. Was it a routine physical, or did the cat have symptoms?

Also, what is the cat eating? Diet can make a difference.
post #10 of 11
I had a cat with chronically low USG numbers (usually around 1.017 to 1.019), and he never showed signs of renal insufficiency--his kidney numbers were beautiful until the time of his death. He was hyperthyroid, so he had a tendency to drink more even while on methimazole for treatment--his passing was due to idiopathic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I would definitely argue that "any low USG" is not necessarily indicative of renal failure.

White Cat Lover--any signs of dental disease? That could cause an increase in total protein, particularly if the globulin level was elevated. What were the albumin and globulin levels?
post #11 of 11
Teeth look great.

The USG was revealed when I took her in for a urinalysis. I came home one Saturday night to her urine stinking to high heaven. That was the only incident of very pungent urine....but I wanted to check for her a UTI just to be safe. She had crystals/UTI like 1.5 months ago.

She was on dry Science Diet S/D. She's now on canned K/D.
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