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I think it's CRF--What can I do??

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My foster kitty Waggles was lost for a week (a long story I described in another thread) and was found about 10 days ago. For the first several days he seemed fine and was eating well but sleeping a lot more. Unfortunately he hasn't been eating much the past few days and since he's a senior we took him in today for a senior blood panel. We get the results tomorrow. The vet said if he had to guess from looking at Waggles and his symptoms he suspects it's his kidneys.

I'm preparing myself for the worst and now that I look at all his symptoms he has a lot associated with CRF. Constipation, poor coat, more frequent urination and a disturbing clicking sound in his jaw when he eats (I read this somewhere is a symptom). It seems like it's uncomfortable to eat, poor guy. Since he's a foster cat there's only so much they will do for him.

So I'm wondering what can I do at home? I'm thinking the poor guy is full of toxins and there's not a lot I can do. I'm blaming myself for his getting lost (even though he was adopted out and escaped and is now back with us so it wasn't our fault) and am thinking this did real damage. Will he need to have sub q's in order to cleanse his system or if I get him on the proper food and encourage drinking more will that help? Or is sub q's unavoidable? Is there medication that's helpful?

Thanks for any help, this poor guy has been through a lot and I just want to do what I can.
post #2 of 18
READ The STICKY thread at the TOP of this forum... CRF can be MANAGED
post #3 of 18
I do know alot about Crf because I had Cats with it. Stripe had Sub's all the time and she had a Procrit Shot every week. She had a Winstrol Shot every other week. She was on K/D but hated the food. There was another food but I do not remmeber what it was. stripe lived longer then expected. I used to have a Crf chat Room and some Cats lived a long time with it.
post #4 of 18
As Sharky suggested, please do read the sticky thread - it has websites, links to food lists, and so much more.

In brief - find out if it's crf (any chance it is acute renal failure - arf? due to something this cat ate or drank while lost?) and the numbers will give you an idea if this is early stage or not.

Diet changes, bp med if his blood pressure is already up, use of calcitriol if his calcium level is not too high, if his potassium is low, a potassium supplement will really help him feel much better...if his phosphorous level is too high, a tasteless, odorfree phos binder mixed in with the food will help (and the cat will feel MUCH better if a too high phos level is brought under control and the crf is still in an earlier stage).
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, I did have a look through the sticky, there's a lot of very good information there.

My main concern is what can I do myself since he is a rescue cat and they are limited in what they will pay for. I can't see them financing weekly sub q's or shots, plus the fact that the vet the rescue group uses is a 45 minute drive. If there is some food or medication then I can see them agreeing to that.

I'll see what the results come back as but I'm preparing myself for the worst.

Pat & Alix, that's a good point about ARF. I don't think that's it though as most of the symptoms he has exhibited he was showing before he got out, so I suspect it's CRF. He's always been a finicky eater and the past few days it's gotten worse. What is the phosphorus binder? Is it available in store or does it require a vet?

Has anyone else ever had a cat with the clicking sound in the jaw when they eat? It's really disturbing, it sounds as if it's painful to chew. I first noticed it after he had some dental work done in April but he started doing it a lot today.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by spookzilla View Post
Hi all,

My foster kitty Waggles was lost for a week (a long story I described in another thread) and was found about 10 days ago. For the first several days he seemed fine and was eating well but sleeping a lot more. Unfortunately he hasn't been eating much the past few days and since he's a senior we took him in today for a senior blood panel. We get the results tomorrow. The vet said if he had to guess from looking at Waggles and his symptoms he suspects it's his kidneys.

I'm preparing myself for the worst and now that I look at all his symptoms he has a lot associated with CRF. Constipation, poor coat, more frequent urination and a disturbing clicking sound in his jaw when he eats (I read this somewhere is a symptom). It seems like it's uncomfortable to eat, poor guy. Since he's a foster cat there's only so much they will do for him.

So I'm wondering what can I do at home? I'm thinking the poor guy is full of toxins and there's not a lot I can do. I'm blaming myself for his getting lost (even though he was adopted out and escaped and is now back with us so it wasn't our fault) and am thinking this did real damage. Will he need to have sub q's in order to cleanse his system or if I get him on the proper food and encourage drinking more will that help? Or is sub q's unavoidable? Is there medication that's helpful?

Thanks for any help, this poor guy has been through a lot and I just want to do what I can.
In addition to the CRF sticky there are two other good CRF sites that I frequent. I will PM you the links.
I know you are freaking out. I did when I found out Popsie is in Stage 3. I started giving fluid treaments at home which your vet will show you how to do. There are also renal diets, herbal supplements for the kidneys, and all kinds of ways to treat this. What your vet recommends will depend on Waggles' numbers. So, try to calm down and learn as much as you can. I'll keep you and Waggles in my thoughts.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the support

We got his results today and the vet didn't give me specific numbers but said that Waggles was low in potassium--probably due to not eating much for close to a week--and that his kidneys were "on the high side of normal". He didn't sound too concerned about his kidneys--but I would like to do whatever I can to promote kidney health--it sounds like things are not too bad at this point. I want to be proactive and do whatever I can for this guy!

The vet was ok with giving Waggles a supplement, he wasn't very specific and just suggested I give him a good quality senior food. Are there any suggestions on a good vitamin and mineral supplement? Is anyone familiar with the Holistic Blend line? It might be just in Canada.

Any suggestions for a good supplement for kidney health are greatly appreciated!
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by spookzilla View Post
Thank you so much for the support

We got his results today and the vet didn't give me specific numbers but said that Waggles was low in potassium--probably due to not eating much for close to a week--and that his kidneys were "on the high side of normal". He didn't sound too concerned about his kidneys--but I would like to do whatever I can to promote kidney health--it sounds like things are not too bad at this point. I want to be proactive and do whatever I can for this guy!

The vet was ok with giving Waggles a supplement, he wasn't very specific and just suggested I give him a good quality senior food. Are there any suggestions on a good vitamin and mineral supplement? Is anyone familiar with the Holistic Blend line? It might be just in Canada.

Any suggestions for a good supplement for kidney health are greatly appreciated!
Ask the vet to copy the test results for you...it will be a lot easier for you to manage his care if you know these.

The sticky we keep mentioning has a where to order supplies link, and the crf sites mentioned will go over what to use for low potassium (actually, my vet prescribes tumil-k - which can come as a powder or as a gel for low potassium, so you will need to ask the vet for that...low potassium *must* be treated - you can google what low potassium does to humans or cats to see why I would say that.)

Again, in the sticky is a link to food lists - I suggest you use the jmpeerson's lists.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I had the vet FAX me a copy of Waggles' test results. Here are some of the #'s with the normals in parentheses:

calcium 2.58 (2.18-2.98 umol/l)
chloride 115 (110-126)
creatinine 158 (40-160)
glucose 3.3 (2.2-8.4 mmol/l)
phosphorus 1.42 (1.00-2.85)
urea 9.0 (2.9-12.0)
sodium 148 (142-160)
potassium 3.8 (3.9-6.1) FLAGGED AS LOW

There are a lot more #'s, if there is anything else that's significant I can add it

What do people think? The vet didn't seem too concerned even about the potassium, he thought it may have been due to his being lost for a week (and probably not eating much) and his not eating a lot the past few days (he had constipation which has since been relieved). But wouldn't something else be affected if that were the case? He thought that the potassium would bounce back when he's fully recovered and eating a balanced diet normally for a while. I have no other test results from before he was lost to compare to. The only supplement he recommended was a general vitamin/mineral and that was when I asked about one. The vet did give me hepatic support tablets to give him for 10 days (that was before we got the results), but they don't contain potassium.

Any thoughts on what I should do? The potassium isn't that low and the creatinine is at the high end. I don't want to start messing around with things but I don't want to be negligent if there is something I can do NOW before things get worse.
post #10 of 18
What is the BUN? Yes the creatine is at the high end. I really can't say much else because I don't know how the numbers convert to U.S.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think urea is the same as BUN, which was 9.0, normal is 2.9-12.

I found a great site that does conversions so here are the #'s in US units:

calcium 10.3 (8.7-11.9 mg/dl)
chloride 115 (110-126 meq/l)
creatinine 1.78 (.45-1.8 mg/dl)
glucose 3.3 (2.2-8.4 mg/dll)
phosphorus 4.39 (3.09-8.82 mg/dl)
urea 25.2 (8.1-33.6 mg/dl)
sodium 148 (142-160 meq/l)
potassium 3.8 (3.9-6.1 meq/l) FLAGGED AS LOW

Here's the site if anyone is interested
http://www.vin.com/scripts/labquest/converthtml.pl
post #12 of 18
It looks as if you've caught the CRF in the early stages. Low Potassium is a common side effect of CRF, because much of the serum Potassium is depleted by the large amouts that Waggles is urinating. The best scenario would be for you to get a prescription for Tumil-K or RenaKare from your vet, with a recommended dosage. Here is a great link that discusses CRF and Potassium supplements. http://members.verizon.net/~vze2r6qt.../potassium.htm Once he's been on the Potassium supplement for a while, you would need to do followup bloodwork to see if he's back within normal limits.

The problem with Potassium supplementation is that you need to know exactly how many mEq (milliequivalents) to give to achieve the correct serum Potassium level. Elevated Potassium levels can cause cardiac arrythmias (or even death), and low Potassium levels can cause muscle weakness, as well as cardiac arrythmias.

I have been treating Cleo's CRF for more than 6 years. She gets sub-Q fluids twice a week, Calcitriol and Purina NF canned renal food. If I feed Hills Science Diet Senior, I add 1/4 rounded teaspoon of dried Aluminum Hydroxide gel powder (phosphorus binder to a 5.5 oz can.) Her Creatinine and BUN have remained high normal for years with this routine. Maggie is also early CRF, and she is only treated with diet control (she wouldn't tolerate pills or fluids.) Her BUN and Creatinine have been high normal since diagnosis, 18 months ago. Both Cleo & Maggie's Potassium have remained WNL since diagnosis, but my parents' cat, Samson, was on Potassium supplementation (RenaKare Gel) for the last two years of his life.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if there's anything I can help you with. I've been dealing with CRF for nearly 8 years, and 3 cats (5 cats, if you include my Angel Spooky and my sister's Angel Billy!)....so I feel like I have a lot of experience, and hope to offer!
post #13 of 18
There is alot you can do and your cat can live a very long time comfortably
I also have never heard of a clicking sound as a symptom and I would have his mout checked to see if a dental is needed
If your cat is not in final stages, this is not want you want to do. You do not want to put your cat on the
Vets low protein diet. There are simply so many better options out there than to hand the poor cat a low amount of poor quality protein - which often results in a poor appetite and muscle wasting since the body is now robbing its own muscle mass to feed itself a decent quality and amount of protein.
. There are new thoughts on this and the thinking is it is not the amount of protein but the quality of protein that matters.
The Merck veterinary manual [www.merckvetmanual.com] says that cats need "4 g of protein of high biologic value per kg body wt/day". That's about 7 calories from protein per pound body weight per day. If a cat isn't a good eater and consumes, say, 20 calories per pound per day, then 7/20 = 35% of calories can safely be from protein. It must be high quality protein, which means meat, fish, milk, and eggs, and not grain or soy.

I am under the assumption that you have been feeding mostly dry foods. Many use a vegetable based protein instead of animal and that is part of the problem.. Your cat needs protein as it is a carnivore and cutting down on it will lead to other health issues and may cause faster degeneration.
You want to cut down on phosphorous (no fish allowed now)

The best way to do this is with a raw diet which you can make yourself or buy. (Making yourself is better) link provided at the bottom
If you are unwilling to do that then something like the non fish flavors of Wellness or Merrick with NO grains are good alternatives. Wysong is also a good canned choice. This list gives a breakdown. Remember you want low phosphorous
http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/CanFoodOld.html

You should be giving sub-Q fluids as needed.


You also will want to look into phosphorous binders. Something like aluminum hydroxide
Ask your vet or look into calcitrol


You may want to talk to the vet about having injectable Pepcid AC on hand or you can buy it in pill form (ac not plain pepcid) and give 1/4 tab for stomach upset which happens a lot in crf cats due to acid in the stomach.
I hope this stuff helps, here are many links for you
Making cat food
http://www.catinfo.org/makingcatfood.htm
other links. Read, read, read!!!!
http://www.felineoutreach.org/Educat...=KidneyDisease
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/kidn..._to_begin.html
http://www.felinecrf.org/
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/F...ec=group&slk=3
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/F...ec=group&slk=5

About that vets diet. This report is for dogs but applies to cats
http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Opera/21...
post #14 of 18
spookzilla-

About this clicking sound......and maybe the decrease in his eating.

I've heard of this in humans - the cause either injury or a condition of the "jaw".

I did a little searching and found this.

In that case, the kitten appears to have "come" with the condition. However, I'm wondering if your cat may have had some misadventure while "on the run" - a fall, an accident are causes of jaw injuries.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
Good luck! Feel free to PM me if there's anything I can help you with. I've been dealing with CRF for nearly 8 years, and 3 cats (5 cats, if you include my Angel Spooky and my sister's Angel Billy!)....so I feel like I have a lot of experience, and hope to offer!
It's quite a club isn't it? I'm up to 4 kitties I've had with this, with the first one, Patrick, having almost 4 years of care, then came Tyler, Frankie and Tippy (his crf was secondary to his PKD). I think it's fortunate for this forum to have you,me and Jennifer and others who I'm not naming...lots of experience here
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
spookzilla-

About this clicking sound......and maybe the decrease in his eating.

I've heard of this in humans - the cause either injury or a condition of the "jaw".

I did a little searching and found this.

In that case, the kitten appears to have "come" with the condition. However, I'm wondering if your cat may have had some misadventure while "on the run" - a fall, an accident are causes of jaw injuries.
Thanks Blaise, that really seems to describe what he's doing I have noticed that it comes and goes, it was really bad a few days ago but lately it's almost gone. The first time I noticed it was after he had his dental work done in April, I thought maybe it was related to that--maybe there could have been some damage done then, it stopped a few days later (I mentioned it to the vet and he didnt' seem too concerned). He had most of his teeth removed then so I don't think it's teeth related I'm thinking maybe it's a pre-existing condition since he wasn't doing it when he first came back from being lost, it started about a week later.

Thank you everyone for your great advice and support
Thanks Optionken for the very thorough response. He eats mostly canned food and just a little dry. I was thinking about the protein quality, right now he eats Max Cat canned and Wellness indoor dry.
I left a message with the vet yesterday to ask about potassium supplements but I didnt' get to talk to him yet. I asked him about it when I first spoke to him (before I saw the #'s) and he didn't seem too concerned...I'll ask him again.

I've heard that slippery elm is good for settling the stomach, is anyone familiar with that?

I came across a holistic herbal supplement from Omega Alpha for kidney detoxification, it sounds promising:
http://www.omegaalpha.ca/en/product/...neyTone_trade/

Any thoughts or experience with this?
post #17 of 18
I tried slippery elm for Samson, when he was having nausea/vomiting issues, but wasn't impressed with how it worked for him. We also tried Pepicd (1/4 of a 10 mg tab, twice a day) and it didn't work for him either. We finally settled on a regimen of 1/8 tab of Zantac (ranitidine) a day, and 1/4 cc of Reglan syrup, 3 times a day to control his n/v. He was also getting sodium bicarbonate to help with metabolic acidosis issues.

I guess I don't have as much faith in homeopathic/holistic type treatments (although I know that some can be useful) because of my nursing background. I tend to lean toward the conventional, allopathic medical treatments.....probably because that is what I know and am comfortable with.

Slippery elm can be purchased in most health food stores. It certainly can't hurt to try it, as I've read that there is no problem with toxicity. Here's a link to a recipe for Slippery elm bark syrup. http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_tr...B_syrup_recipe
post #18 of 18
I've used the slippery elm bark syrup - using the recipe that Pookie-Poo gave you a link to (on my favorite site, as noted in the crf sticky section from me), and felt it worked okay. Mainly stayed with using pepcid...if Patrick had had mouth/throat ulcers I would have continued using the slippery elm.

I've had good experience with 1 other non-traditional med (for post spay situations)...so am open to some alternative meds (the other is actually a homeopathic med which did, I admit surprise me when it worked...as a retired RN, I can be quite skeptical!)
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