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IV fluid therapy for Kidney failure

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with their kitty receiving IV fluid therapy for severe kidney failure. What I'm wondering is if it helped the kitty's condition and quality of life. I know every cat is different and what works for one might not help another.

The reason I'm asking is my cat Patsy took a turn for the worse and I'm trying to decide what to do. I don't know if it would be fair to Patsy to put her through anymore or say good bye. Her doctor said the chances are good that the IV fluids will help her feel better and extend her life. Even if they do work she will have to have sub-Q fluids twice a day at home (I'm already giving her fluids twice a week) plus a bunch of other meds. She is 15 yrs old.

I don't want to put her through any more than I absolutely have to but I don't want to lose her either. The doctor did say If I decide not to do the IV fluids I should start saying good bye right now. Right now I think it's worth trying one round of the IV fluids (3 days) then leaving it in gods hands. I have until tomorrow morning to decide. I think it is a little harder for me right now because I just lost my Princess 2 months ago. Princess kind of made the decision for me so that was a little easier (well as easy as it can be)

PS - I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense or for any typos but my mind is going in a million directions at once right now
post #2 of 19
I don't have any experience with kidney failure in cats. I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry for your loss of Princess. I'm sorry that Patsy is so sick
post #3 of 19
I'm so sorry to hear about Patsy and Princess.

I don't know if you saw my threads about Mackerel, but she was diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure and was on an IV for three days, and that really brightened her spirit and improved her kidney function.

Unfortunately now, a month later, the ARF has reappeared... she has FIP so she also had a problem with water retention and anemia, and the kidney failure was part of a bigger picture.

But she definitely improved and brightened after the IV fluids. I would say that if your vet says that it will help her feel good and extend her life then try it. If I hadn't gone ahead with the IV fluid treatment a month ago I would have lost her very quickly, I think, and I've really valued this time.

Of course it's all up to you and what you think is for the best. You know Patsy better than anyone.

Vibes for you both.
post #4 of 19
I have no experience either, but I think Jalindal posted a lovely reply, and I just wanted to send vibes to you and your baby.
post #5 of 19
I have a fluid cat that has a disease "Hypercalcemia" that if I do not give her fluids every 2 days, 3 at most, but mostly 2 times a day, depending on how much I give her each time, if I do not give her fluids, the toxins she has will turn into kidney failure. The vet at the kill shelter said she was a short-timer. This was over 2 years ago, her last blood and urine showed she was healthier than even the last check-up.

They do need their levels checked as often as your vet sees fit.

Once you get used to the fluids (I'm guessing you're giving them under the skin and not in a vein? (Sub-Q). IV would mean in a vein). Sub-Q's are so much easier.

If you need ANY help with making this as comfortable as possible for your cat, please write me, I can help and am red cross certified in dog and cat first aid, and have 6 special needs cats that get all sorts of medicines.

If you stop the fluids, your cat will become dehydrated within a couple of days and after that, it will be very, very painful if she doesn't receive the fluids, so I'd just suggest giving her the fluids. You can get a box of 12 1,000 Ml bags at Costco for about $20.00 (as opposed to most vets who charge between $12 and $24 PER bag. (ugh).) I also have websites for needs and all sorts of medications that is much cheaper and the exact same thing. Just ask your vet to write a prescription for 12 bags of fluids (since it's a lifetime thing - I'm totally used to it now and used to be scared of needles, but this is no big deal when we're talking about the loves of our lives.

You will know when it's "time". When she starts meowing differently and more often; becomes incontinent (you can use puppy diapers for this, they have a hole for the tail), but when they have that look in their eye and are meowing completely different than you've ever heard, for me, that was the time to let my precious Pagode go...

So sorry you and Patsy are going through such a time like this. Know you will see her again.

I will pm you my e-mail address, so if you need anything at all, please feel free to write if you're comfortable with that.

Warmly,

Julie O'
post #6 of 19
I'm so sorry you lost Princess and will sending lots of vibes for you and Patsy.

I don't have experience with IV fluids either, but it's something that has been on my mind since my oldest cat, Katie, who will be 18 in a few months, is in early stage renal failure and it may be necessary at some point. Katie really fights being medicated, more so than any other cat I've had to give meds to, so I've wondered how she'd do with IV fluids. Fortunately, the only meds she's on right now is a tiny pill daily for hypertension, which is easily slipped into her food. If/when the time comes that we need to do fluids or other treatment, I'll certainly do what is ever necessary medically, but also need to consider her quality of life and stress level. The question really becomes how much is too much.

If your vet feels Patsy can benefit from the fluids at this point and it won't stress her too much, then I'd be inclined to give it a try. Just want you to know we'll respect and support whatever you decide to do and will be thinking of you and Patsy.
post #7 of 19
If either of your cats have a hard time and fight the fluids, what you can do is wrap them in a clean towel and actually put the needle through the towel or leave a space so that you have control of arms/legs and can still get the skin up to get the needle in. Again, Sub-Q's are sooooooooooo much easier than getting a needle in a vein, belivee me!

Until about 6 months ago, my Autumn was fine with me giving her fluids. Then suddenly she started biting me (most likely due to being totally sick of being poked so often and then walking off balance for a few hours while the fluids are soaking in). If biting occurs, you can buy these inexpensive, very lightweight muzzles. I use it just for the poke because it's the suspense that scares her. Once the needle is in, I take off the muzzle, talk with her gently, pet her cheeks with one hand (with forearm under front of chest so no "quick surprise getaways").

It helps a lot! I haven't had to use the towel . . . yet, but know many who have and said it works great for them. My Autumn is living a nice quality of life and shows no signs of sickness in all this time - it's because of the fluids.

To find out if your cat is dehydrated, gently pull up some skin on the back, past the scruff area (which is not a good indicator), and then let it drop. If it drops to normal within one second, all is well; if it takes 2 seconds, your cat is dehydrated and needs fluids to wash out the toxicity in her body. If the skin stays straight up and doesn't go down, she is in emergency need of fluids and needs to be taken to emergency (or your vet if they're available right then) to get on a fluid drip.

Don't forget, Costco sells a box of 12 1,000 Ml bags of whichever fluid you use (I use Sodium Chloride - has the least calcium), but if you're using lactated ringers, Normasol, whichever, at Costco it's going to cost only about $20.00 for a box of 12 big bags. Needs you can buy 100 for about $13.00 (where I get them on line), as well as drip sets for when it's time for a new drip set.

Let me know if you need any of these websites. Many have changed this last year.

Warmly,

Julie O'


Quote:
Originally Posted by eilcon View Post
I'm so sorry you lost Princess and will sending lots of vibes for you and Patsy.

I don't have experience with IV fluids either, but it's something that has been on my mind since my oldest cat, Katie, who will be 18 in a few months, is in early stage renal failure and it may be necessary at some point. Katie really fights being medicated, more so than any other cat I've had to give meds to, so I've wondered how she'd do with IV fluids. Fortunately, the only meds she's on right now is a tiny pill daily for hypertension, which is easily slipped into her food. If/when the time comes that we need to do fluids or other treatment, I'll certainly do what is ever necessary medically, but also need to consider her quality of life and stress level. The question really becomes how much is too much.

If your vet feels Patsy can benefit from the fluids at this point and it won't stress her too much, then I'd be inclined to give it a try. Just want you to know we'll respect and support whatever you decide to do and will be thinking of you and Patsy.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
First off I want to say thanks to everyone for their advice and kind words. I decided to go ahead with the treatment. I was leaning that all along but I want to make sure I was doing what was best her. I didn't want to be selfish and make her go through spending 3 days at the hospital for the IV fluid therapy, sub-Q fluid injections at home at least twice a day, and a bunch of other daily meds for the rest of her life. Plus right now she has to be syringe fed because she refuses to eat and has lost tons of weight (2 lbs in about 2.5 weeks). I meant to give an update yesterday but I was really tired because I stayed up all night to keep an eye on Patsy and then after I picked her up for the night I wanted to spend my time with her. I actually stayed up last night too because I wanted to keep an even closer eye on her since she had the catheter in her leg. I needed to flush it out every 4 hours and to make sure it didn't get pulled it out or caught on something. She did really well with the treatment yesterday. Patsy was VERY happy to see me when I picked her up. She couldn't get out of there fast enough . She was kind of groggy all night because she was given an appetite stimmulant to see if we can get her eating again but other than that she was a good girl. She back at the hospital now for her second day of treatment. Hopefuuly soon she will start acting like her normal self soon.

I will update when I know more.
post #9 of 19
I hope Pasty starts coming around soon!

We did fluids at home every couple of days for my RB girl Tiger. My friend was in nursing schools then so she came most days to do the "sticking" part. I would just hold her. She had kidney failure and was also having thyroid problems. We were giving her 3 different meds 2 times a day (maybe 3; it's been almost 8 years now). I would say it extended her life about 3 months. She really was a lot better for most of that time. The vet told us that once this treatment stopped working; she would go quick. And they were right. For a while Tiger was back to herself; when before the meds and fluids she was too weak to jump up on her favorite chair to sleep in my bedroom. I was very happy with how much it all helped. But her time came and when it did I knew we had done everything we could for her. It helped a little.
post #10 of 19
I am very sorry to hear about Patsy but glad to see she is receiving fluids well. My 1 yr old cat Joey is having kidney failure issues and is currently on his 2nd day of 24 hour IV fluids. We have gone to see him three times at the animal hospital since we dropped him off Friday and he is always so happy to see us but so sad when we leave.
Good luck with everything with Patsy and I hope she continues to do well with her treatments.
post #11 of 19
I am sorry to hear this, i lost my crf kitty in Dec. If she is refusing to eat, you need to look at whether there is anything like nausea that is causing it. If not, she might just be telling you she has had enough. I personally only believe in force feeding if is temporary and they can recover. Ultimately crf is a terminal illness so you have to ask if you are prolonging things for her or you.
post #12 of 19
I have had two cats that I have had to give SubQ fluids to and I have to tell you with SubQ fluids and a treatment that I tried recommended from another member on here I have to say that my cat Tedi would not have made it for over two years with kidney failure and three years of heart failure.

Eventually, his heart was giving out and I couldn't battle between the two anymore. His kidney values were normal by that time, but his heart couldn't take it anymore.

I am sorry to hear that you already had to go through one loss. I think that it is always worth a shot to try anything. Cats will let you know if they do not want to fight anymore.

If you want to learn more about what I tried then please PM me. I am a firm believer and the next cat that reaches that point I will be doing the same thing with. It is like having to take care of anyone who is sick so it can be demanding, but in the end you know that your cat is feeling better and it makes it all the more worth the while.

Also, if you have a good relationship with your vet, as I do, I asked my vet to write me a prescription for the IV fluid and needles because it was cheaper and I was giving fluids 3 times a week at home.

PM me if you have any questions!
post #13 of 19
I had a cat that I lost last year to crf and he was on fluids too. Unfortunately in his case, it progressed more rapidly than the vet thought or expected and we had to make that hard decision to let him go. However, I would never have considered stopping the sub-Q fluids even at the end. I didn't want to see him get dehydrated and continued even up to the day we had to put him to sleep. The fluids definitely helped in the beginning of his treatment so I would definitely give it a shot. Just a note though, see if you can take the prescription for sub-Q fluids to a human pharmacy. I found that a whole case is a lot cheaper than even one bag at the vets. It's exactly the same stuff, just gotten from a human pharmacy instead. It helps save a LOT of money.
post #14 of 19

I know this is an old post, but maybe someone will stumble upon it looking for answers.

 

6 days after diagnosing CRF in my kitty, we put her in the hospital for 2 days of in hospital IV fluids, which caused congestive heart failure and fluid buildup in her lungs and chest cavity.  She could not breathe and was suffocating.  The vet made a house call and we had to say goodbye.

 

She had a heart murmur before IV fluids, so this may have attributed to the problems.  Or the fact that she was very unhappy without me and my husband nearby, was terrified of other pets/people, was 14 and sick, and we put her in a hospital without around the clock care where someone could check on her. 

 

This was over a year ago and I am still searching for answers.   If your cat has a heart condition, I would only do Sub-Q, not IV, fluids, and at a smaller amount.  For my kitty, 100ml seemed to be okay every other day for a few days leading up to hospitalization for IV fluids.  I have since read that if doing IV fluids, Sub-Q should not be given immediately prior due to over hydration.

post #15 of 19

Hi I am wondering if they mean Sub-Q fluids that is help. Whether IV fluids are helpful can depend on some blood values. I Highly recommend you join this yahoo group for support and some expert help. You won't regret it.

 

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-crf-support/

 

I did have a cat with CRF he lived about year after he was diagnosed and had up and down days. We did do sub-Q fluids and they were helpful. I'V. can help get the cat through rough period. Please join the group and start read the site and you will get the answers you need.

 

http://www.felinecrf.org/

 

They got me through alot. I still have one cat that is kidney impaired but not in CRF.

post #16 of 19

Hi , its late so stressed, emma my cat of 18 years. had been diagnosed last year with high blood profile leves. just slight. she has lost weight. i took her back they gave her iv fluids for rehydrtation and she ate baby food. julie, now she is not eating. i do the fluids every day, and she sleeps and walks around, but cant seem to buy any thing baby food nothing she will eat. its been one day. i dont want to be cruel. i could force some down her. i feel i want to do whats best. am i evil and making her suffer>>>>-?????-

post #17 of 19

karen45 - you will get more responses to your own post if you start your own thread.

 

Get some AD from your vet.  If she will not eat this wet canned food as is, dilute it with some water and syringe feed her.  A cat cannot go without food for long or can develop hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver.

 

There is a sticky on kidney failure with a lot of good info.  I'll get the link and post back here.  http://www.thecatsite.com/t/119727/crf-chronic-renal-failure-links-and-experiences-with

 

Some more here:

http://www.thecatsite.com/newsearch/?search=chronic+kidney+disease&type=all

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen45 View Post

Hi , its late so stressed, emma my cat of 18 years. had been diagnosed last year with high blood profile leves. just slight. she has lost weight. i took her back they gave her iv fluids for rehydrtation and she ate baby food. julie, now she is not eating. i do the fluids every day, and she sleeps and walks around, but cant seem to buy any thing baby food nothing she will eat. its been one day. i dont want to be cruel. i could force some down her. i feel i want to do whats best. am i evil and making her suffer>>>>-?????-

 

Does she like any treats?  Temptations?  My old guy rbheart.gif Svenrbheart.gif lived with kidney disease for 3 years and we always had issues with his appetite.  Usually I could get him to at least eat handfuls of Temptations (which are 100% nutritionally complete BTW), and they also make vitamin added Temptations.  I also kept cans of Fancy Feast, all varieties, even Meow Mix Market Select tub things for him and also fed him freeze dried 100% chicken (Halo or Wholelife) and even raw chicken or turkey, which he really liked.  You can also try some deli meats (try to get the lowest sodium possible).

 

Does your old girl seem to have an upset stomach?  Are you giving her Pepcid AC or anything?  Is she vomiting froth...that's a sign of over acidity that the Pepcid AC might help. 

 

BTW, my guy only liked Hills A/D when I first opened the can, and, naturally he would only eat about 1 Tablespoon per serving, so 1 Tablespoon cost me about $1.69!  And he only liked it for a very short time.  He much preferred the Fancy Feast, or the Temptations rolleyes.gif.  Our Vet said "let him eat whatever he'll eat", and we completely agreed!

 

Oh, you can try warming her food a little bit by adding some warm water.  It will help her smell it better.

 

vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif

post #19 of 19

AFAIK this is THE site for people with CRF cats:

 

http://www.felinecrf.org/

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