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Anyone have experience with a cat with Kidney failure?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine on my home board (not a cat board) just found out her furbaby Moochie is in the early stages of Kidney failure. She had to take her to an emergency vet when she stopped eating and was acting funny. Please does anyone have any advice or can share their stories of their cat or cats they know that have had to live with this? Will Moochie have much longer to live? It's so sad.. I feel so bad for her, I want to do anything I can to help.

post #2 of 47
It depends on how far advanced the disease is. It needs to be treated right away and aggressively, there are success stories here of owners whose cats have beaten the odds. This website, the gal who runs it specializes in liver disease- post in feline health and see what Traci has to say.

post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
I think she said the vet said it was in the beginning stages.
post #4 of 47
Sicy, Snowball is in the early stages of kidney disease and it can only be dectited(sp?) through blood tests. He eats a special diet of K/D which has kept the disease from progressing so far. Is this the stage your friend's cat is at?
post #5 of 47
Sicy....my bosses cat "Hey" had blood work back in April. The BUN level indicated that the cat was in the very eary stages of kidney falure. Hey is only 6 years old and 14 pounds. She was so upset about it that we went to another vet for a second opinion. The results were the same. She was giving the cat a lot of people food including grapes, and tuna with onions meant for people. Both are poison. The cat ate people food regularly. The cat was put on the SD KD formula for a couple of months with NO people food. The cat has been eating Wellness dry since. I just took her cat back to the vet 2 weeks ago for a retest and the results were amazing. The cats blood panel showed that the kidneys were now in the "normal range". The vet figured it was the people food that caused the decline. The cat also gained a pound and now weighs 15.2 pounds. My boss was delighted with the results as I was. How old is this cat? Does the cat eat any people food?
post #6 of 47
Thread Starter 
Wow Lorie, I didnt know snowball was sick My friend said that she will probably have to go on a special diet and may have to give her fluids. She will find out more information today. I think Moochie stayed overnight at the emergency vet.

I am not sure if she fed Moochie people food at all. I know she is at least 10, I think a little older.
post #7 of 47
With a good vet & a watchful eye, hopefully her adorable Moochie will be around for a good long time.

My Rainbow Bridge girl Macumba lived to be 17, and was diagnosed with kidney failure when she was about 12 years old. She was already taking medicine for hyperthyroid, too, so they caught the kidney problems early in her regular bloodwork - plus she had the symptom of drinking a lot more water than usual.

The vet gave her fluids, and we changed her diet to k/d. With good care & regular bloodwork we were able to keep it under control. I had to watch to make sure she was eating enough, and staying hydrated - hydration is critical with kidney problems - the extra fluids help to reduce the amount of work the kidneys have to do to process waste. The vet can show her how to check the skin on her neck - you kind of pinch it up into a tent, and if it snaps back, she's OK, but if it returns to shape slowly she's dehydrated & needs fluids. I also learned how to give her fluids at home under the skin. You just need to be watchful & have the vet check her out anytime she doesn't seem right - little things like bad breath & lethargy can be a sign she needs more vet care. Eventually, a few years later, she started needing more meds - a potassium supplement b/c she was processing so much fluid, and an antacid medicine to reduce her phosphorous levels.

She lived 5 years with CRF, and when I finally had to make the decision to let her go it was because she developed other severe health issues that were untreatable. There are some pics of her in the tortie thread - she was a total sweetheart.

Try this website: http://www.felinecrf.com/
It's absolutely the best I've seen so far, and was a big help to me.
Best wishes for many more happy years for Moochie!
post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much Tess!! Wow.. 5 years.. that is very optimistic news. My friend loves Moochie very much and I'm sure she will do the best she can to make sure she lives many more happy years

Macumba is so cute...
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
My friend is contemplating going to see Moochie while she's at the vet. Its 30 minutes away but Moochie will have to stay there until Wednesday. She is not sure if she should go see her because she doesnt want to stress her out more.

Do you think it would be nice for Moochie for her (Jenn) to go see her? I think so... I think it would make Moochie happy what do you guys think?
post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
btw she thinks she's about 12 and she doesnt feed her people food.
post #11 of 47
She could try to go visit Moochie & bring along a t-shirt or pillowcase that she's used that has her scent on it, so Moochie will have something to remind her of home. Check with the vet to see if she can bring a favorite toy, too, or maybe a paper bag or soft cat bed for her to hide in if she likes that. I've done that with the pillowcases, and brought a couple extra ones in a bag so the staff can give another to her if the first one gets dirty.

A lot of cats in the hospital will lay in their litterbox to hide, so if the vet will let you bring a soft bed it's nice for her, but it's usually an "at your own risk" thing - it could get dirty, and they'll tell you that you might not get your stuff back if it gets mixed up in the washer. It may help to put her name & phone number on it.

After the visit, when it's time to leave Moochie at the hospital, don't make a fuss - just calmly say "see you soon", blink slowly (that's a cat's "I love you, everything is OK") & leave...then call the vet when she gets home from the visit to see how they think Moochie did after she left.

*Also, it's important to be calm & relaxed - don't get upset if she has an IV in her arm or an Elizabethan collar on or anything - just pretend everything's normal & you're just spending some time loving on her.

I read about the slow blink thing somewhere, & I swear it helps. Yes, I'm a cat nut.
post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
I slow blink with Zoey all the time
post #13 of 47
My Bogart has CRF. Was diagnosed with it a year ago (he's now about 12-1/2 years old). I took him in when he started losing weight and his coat wasn't as shiny as it used to be. Unfortunately, once you notice the physical symptoms, often their kidneys are only about 20-30% functional. If you do regular (preventive) tests and catch it early, they have a better chance for a much longer life, as you can start them on a different diet immediately. The issue with them is not that they don't drink enough water, it is that their system can't retain all the fluids that they injest orally.

Bogart will not eat KD. He will only eat his Science Diet dry (maintenance, not even dry KD) and a little bit of moist food mixed with some gravy. He was on sub-q (e.g. under the skin) fluids for about 4 months and he stabilized his weight and his coat is looking much better these days. The vet thinks he could have a few years left as long as we restart the sub-q treatments the minute he starts showing signs. We check him regulary for dehydration and I often bring him to the vet just for them to look for signs that I may have missed. Bogart has already lived 2-1/2 years beyond vet predictions, so I say if he lives another few years, he is doing outstanding.

It's not the end of the world, it just takes extra time, love and patience.
post #14 of 47
Purina and Waltham also make a kidney diet - you might check with your vet & try those too - I would introduce those every now & then to Macumba when she wasn't eating enough k/d, to perk up her appetite.

(T-touch seems to help with appetite sometimes, too, if you want to try it)
post #15 of 47
Hello My cat fred had kidney failure- along with alot of other problems!we had to get him put down 1 week after he was diagnosed he couldnt go toilet or walk, it was so sad, he was my baby!

My cat is on CD for a similar problem.

Sicy I have heard alot of succses stories about this though and it sometimes doesn't affect some cats to much.

Sending smoochies to moochie, and praying he's okay.

post #16 of 47
Originally posted by Sicycat
Wow Lorie, I didnt know snowball was sick
Sorry I didn't respond sooner! At the end of next month, it will be exactly two years since Snowball was diagnosed. I had taken him to the vet to have his teeth cleaned, and the results of the pre-anesthesia blood work showed a problem...
post #17 of 47
Sicy, I asked Amy Shojai about kidney disease in the Sharing Golden Moments forum. Here is a link to my thread http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=20873 Maybe the information Amy gave me will be useful for your friend.
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lorie
post #19 of 47
Thread Starter 
Moochie is home now but Jenn says she's acting the same way she was before she took her to the vet. Kinda laying around in strange spots and not eating She is drinking water though.
post #20 of 47
Thread Starter 
The vet wants her to force feed Moochie There has to be another way. Is this normal? Will she regain her appetite again? This is making me sad.

post #21 of 47
Sicy, I have a suggestion that might help Moochie. Since she will drink but won't eat, ask your friend to try giving Moochie a small amount of wet cat food that has had more water added to it so it is really soupy and has the consistency of water rather than food. Hopefully, it will work and your friend will be able to get a little more nourishment into Moochie!!!
post #22 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thank you Lorie I will tell her. I also found some good information on the site Tess posted, I just now went to examine it.. there's a lot of good tips for getting your cat to eat.
post #23 of 47
Hi Sicy,

Somehow I missed this a couple of days ago. I see someone has already listed the excellent feline crf site - and I'd like to recomend this group, feline-crf-support@yahoogroups.com as being incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.

Patrick was diagnosed about 14 months ago, and placed on calcitriol, he also is on pepcid ac daily and pet-tinic (crf kitties may develop anemia), and sub-q fluids every other day. So far no binders since his phosphorous levels are doing well. When his appetite was better, I rotated foods using the katkarma food pages (listed at the felinecrf site) to choose low phosphorus foods that were also a bit lower in protein. I've been more concerned with the quality of the protein and the phosphorous level, than the per centage of protein. The best advice I've seen - treat the cat, not the numbers.

Recently, I've had to move to daily assist-feedings, though he is eating crunchies on his own, it's not enough, so I supplement. The good thing about this is that I use a well rate food he normally won't eat, so his diet has actually improved

I'm barely awake, so hope this is coherent...please tell your friend, that as others are noting here, Moochie can potentially live for years with this diagnosis, but it does, especially at first, require some work to figure out what they need to get them stabilized. Mouth ulcers are a common problem, as is stomach acid and nausea (which is why I use pepcid ac for Patrick, and check his gums for sores), bladder infections are also common, so keeping an eye on their box behavior and for signs of infection are important.

Patrick has blood work about every 3-4 months, and is seen in between if I feel he needs it. I shamelessly use various treats to get him to eat a bit more, and just as a reward after his sub-q fluids are given. So far, his quality of life has remained pretty good...he naps, he talks to me with his eyes (feed me now), naps some more, plays with a toy, naps, sits on my lap...you get the picture...typical older cat
post #24 of 47
Thread Starter 
Poor Moochie!! Its like the medication makes her feel worse. She says that after she gives her the medication she drools, and she just looks sick and lays around. When she comes home from work Moochie follows her around and seems ok but as soon as she gives her the medicine, thats it

She was able to force feed her too a few times. She wont touch the k/d stuff but will eat some of her regular food. If Jenn gives her the medicine after she eats, she throws up If she gives it to her before she eats, she wont eat. *sigh* She's going to talk to the vet again tomorrow but I cant imagine how frustrating this is.

Was it like this in the beginning for those of you who's cats have crf?
post #25 of 47
What medication is Moochie on? The crf website that has been listed also lists medications used, what they are used for, and suggestions on how to give, how to time feeding with each,side effects.

K/D is *not* the only food out there for crf kitties!Here are the stats for k/d (based on dry-matter analysis, site listed below): Protein 28.20%, Phosphorus 0.460%, Fat 22.30%, IVD SelectCare Modified is:Protein 28.29%, phosphorus 0.622%, Fat 24.05%, this is a popular food with some crf kitties.
Patrick didn't like the Eukanuba Multi-Stage Renal Diet but does very much like Purina CNM NF - protein 30.78%, phosphorus 0.410% and fat 12.85%. Other crf kitties like Walthams Low-Protein...these are *all* prescription dry foods for cats with kidney failure. Please tell Moochie's mom to go to these pages:
http://www.webpages.charter.net/katkarma/dryfood.htm (where the above figures are from) and http://www.webpages.charter.net/katkarma/canfood.htm so she can see all the options, prescription and non, that are out there.
post #26 of 47
I did not have the same issues with Bogart as Moochie is having. While he lost weight prior to diagnosis, he has been eating enough to maintain his current weight (about 2 pounds less than when he was in his prime) for the last 8 months. He HATED the sub-q's (fought me tooth and nail), and only stabilized his eating after I took him off them for a while. We are getting close to putting him back on them for a while.

CRF is certainly a roller coaster ride.
post #27 of 47
Hello everyone,

My name is Jenny and I am Moochie's mommy.

I cannot thank Sicy enough for starting this thread, or all of you who have taken the time to post messages. Thank you all so much, it means so much to me and gives me hope.

Someone asked about meds....Moochie came home from the vet on Wednesday with Clavamox (1ml twice daily), Cimetidine (0.3ml 2-3 times daily as needed) and both dry and canned k/d. She wouldn't eat Wednesday night. She took a few licks of "regular" food Thursday morning (after refusing k/d), but certainly not enough and not normal for her... Moochie's an eater. So by early Thursday evening, she still had not really eaten anything and I called the vet to tell them this. They told me to stop giving her the Clavamox but continue the Cimetidine, and if she wouldn't eat I'd have to force feed. At first I was giving her the Cimetidine before feeding her... I'd give it to her, wait 30 mins to an hour for it to absorb in her and then I'd try feeding her, but the Cimetidine, to me, made her look even worse. By Friday mid-day, I thought I'd try switching it around and give her the Cimetidine after her food...big mistake, she just vomitted up everything I force fed her and also had some bowel problems immediately following. But then when I came home from work around 5 and offered her food, again she ignored the k/d but then she did take a few licks of her normal food, again not enough though. I should note that over the past few days, there have been times when Moochie has physically looked better and acted better but it seemed like when I gave her the Cimetidine in preparation for feeding her, she looked bad again.

*sigh* I've tried every suggestion I've seen for feeding her... the tuna juice, water in the food, warming the food, mixing half her normal food with the k/d. She just doesn't have an interest in eating. She has been drinking water. I've placed several extra water bowls around the house since she came home and sometimes I notice she'll water from water bowl to water bowl.

I'm taking Moochie back into the vet this morning, and I have a ton of questions I want to ask the vet, so I'm hoping things will work out. I don't wanna give up on Moochie too soon, but it's been so discouraging this past week. I just want her to eat. I can deal with her taking pills and all the struggling/discomfort that involves, but if she's not eating, she appears so weak. I have a feeling they may want to hospitalize her again, to get more fluids in her. I may try that again, but is it normal to keep them in the hospital that long? She was already in the hospital Sunday through Wednesday. I just can't imagine all the stress being put on her with them poking and prodding her and being in a strange place, but if it helps her, I'm all for it.

Anyway, I'm sorry... I don't even know if I'm making any sense at this point. But thanks again, to everyone, for your posts and suggestions, it's really helped A LOT!

post #28 of 47
Welcome to TCS Jenny!
I wanted to suggest that you take along an old blanket or some clothing that has your scent on it. If Moochie does have to be hospitalized again, placing these items in the cage with her will help to comfort her. Also, I know from personal experience that predisone helps to stimulate a cat to eat. However, I don't know if temporarily(sp?) placing Moochie on this medication is an option that your vet can consider.

Good luck, I am hoping Moochie will start feeling better soon!
post #29 of 47
Originally posted by moochiebelle
Hello everyone,

My name is Jenny and I am Moochie's mommy.

Someone asked about meds....Moochie came home from the vet on Wednesday with Clavamox (1ml twice daily), Cimetidine (0.3ml 2-3 times daily as needed) and both dry and canned k/d. She wouldn't eat Wednesday night. She took a few licks of "regular" food Thursday morning (after refusing k/d), but certainly not enough and not normal for her... Moochie's an eater. So by early Thursday evening, she still had not really eaten anything and I called the vet to tell them this. Jenny
Hi Jenny,
If you've not yet gone to the vets, ask them to discuss how to assist feed using a syringe (I use a 12 cc syringe). I've seen Patrick regain his appetite after I've assist-fed him for several days in a row...but I also know his numbers, and he's still in the earlier stages of crf. It is critical that you get her to eat, because cats just don't tolerate not eating very well, and can develop hepatic lipidosis.

What are Moochie's test results - her bun, creatinine, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, is she anemic at all? Get a copy of all the test results, because the feinecrf support list on yahoogroups, or just one of the several excellent websites out there can help you understand exactly what each results means, and the recommended treatment. Was Moochie diagnosed with an infection and that's why she's on clavamox? Would your vet consider changing from the cimetidine to famotidine (pepcid ac 1/4 tab every other day to every day is what many use)? Has he discussed eventually using sub-q fluids for Moochie at home?

I'm sorry, I know I'm throwing a lot at you, and I remember how I felt when Patrick was diagnosed...overwhelmed and just wanting my sweet cream boy to eat and feel better. I hope your vet visit brings you more answers and that Moochie begins feeling better, day by day.
post #30 of 47
Hi everyone,

I'm back from the vet and here's what I know right now:

The outlook is not as well as I expected, but hopefully you guys can tell me otherwise.

Moochie's BUN and Creatinine levels are back up. They were 143 and 12 when I took her into the emergency vet last Sunday, after fluid treatment at my vet for several days (Monday through Wednesday) the numbers dropped to 65 and 5, but they tested her again today and she's back up to 129 and 9 already. (I don't know the other numbers...I have them from the emergency visit, but not today's visit.) So the vet said things weren't looking good, they could hospitalize her again and run fluids, etc. but there was no guarantee it would for sure help. So of course I started balling because she made it sound like I was gonna have to put Mooch down right then and there. But then she mentioned the sub-q fluids (did I get the name right?) which I would have to inject into Moochie twice daily, and I told her I definitely wanted to give it a shot. The vet showed me how to do it while I was there...I just hope I can do it by myself tonight. I may need to see if my mom will come over and help me hold her the first time... I don't want to stick her with a needle and then have her get away from me and have to start all over. I also got different food for her... Purina's NF food with trout as the third ingredient (Mooch likes seafood flavors best) and she actually ate some of it off the vet's finger at the office, and even poked her head out of the cat carrier to take a little bit more from the can, but then that was it (but at least it was something)... I tried giving her the food just now and she wouldn't even look at it. But the vet gave me two different bigger syringes and told me how much I should be getting into her using the syringe and they said if she'll eat her regular food, that's fine too, the most important thing is to get her eating on her own.

So I'm really hoping I can do the needle/fluid thing and get her eating, because it doesn't seem like her kidneys will take much more of this.

Any suggestions on giving the sub-q fluids alone? Can it be solo, or does it need to be a two person job? I usually have to wrap Moochie in a towel if I want to give her pills, etc. cuz she usually doesn't stay very well on her own, so I'm nervous about the fluids, but want to give it a shot.

Any other advice?

I'm sorry it took my cat getting sick to find such a cool cat forum web site like this. I plan to look around here more once Moochie's feeling better.
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