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Distended belly in old cat who has kidney disease

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

My 18 yr old cat's belly got distended and firm about 6 weeks ago, and has continued to grow.  I took her to the vet and was surprised that she had no guess as to what it might be. 

 

She's had kidney disease which I've been managing with IV and other meds for the last 6 months or so, and have assumed it's only a matter of time. 

 

At points in the past she's howled a great deal, and I've given her pain meds in addition to courses of antibiotics, etc, which sometimes seemed to help and others not. 

 

I can't afford any more tests or treatments--I've already got a few thousand in debt from her and my other cat, who died of kidney disease at 17 last year, so am not going to do x-rays or other tests, and just palliative care at this point.

 

She's stopped howling, and is now barely eating--a few teaspoons a day--which I assume to be a sign of nearing the end (famotidine and mirtazepine have no effect at this point).

 

I've assumed that, since she's not howling, she's not in pain, but could I be wrong?  I don't want her to suffer, so will euthanize her if she's suffering, but if not, would prefer to keep her at home until the end (which I've done with my two other cats).

 

 

Also,  any ideas about what the hell could be swelling her belly so much?

 

Thanks for sharing your experience.

post #2 of 8

When the vet checked her out, did she say if the swelling was fluid? Did she suggest a tap to remove the fluid and make your cat more comfortable? As you know, at some point some cats with renal failure who are receiving sub-q fluids stop absorbing them and the fluid builds up in their body.  That has happened to a couple of my CRF fosters.

 

Has you cat always howled, even when she was well?

 

I've never given pain medication to a cat in renal failure, unless they had another condition for which they needed it. What is the pain medication for?  And, what pain medication?

 

Cats don't have to howl to show they are suffering. If I was faced with a cat with a distended and hard belly who was eating only a few teaspoons of food a day, I'd euthanize and put her out of her misery. But, then, I've never waited until the end - with renal failure that can mean seeing them go through seizures which I've found unendurable and have rushed them to the emergency vet.
 


Edited by Simka - 5/31/12 at 12:27pm
post #3 of 8

It should be an obvious thing to the vet, but are you sure she's not constipated? My 18 year old who went through kidney failure would get backed up and bloated, most likely due to Buprenex. We did xrays to confirm it. Some Lactulose may help fix the issue if you do decide to keep her going.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by xthoroughbred View Post

It should be an obvious thing to the vet, but are you sure she's not constipated? My 18 year old who went through kidney failure would get backed up and bloated, most likely due to Buprenex. We did xrays to confirm it. Some Lactulose may help fix the issue if you do decide to keep her going.

That's a good thought, and one I didn't have because I've never had to deal with a constipated cat. It's good to know this is a problem that can happen with CRF cats since I foster them frequently.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks to you both.  I've decided to let her go, and am on my way to the vet's.  I will be so lonely without her.

post #6 of 8

If I'm in tears at work, I can imagine how you are feeling right now. It's a terrible feeling, sick to your stomach, full of dread, almost in denial that it is happening and it seems you are in a hazy world that is only part real. From your description, it does sound like you are doing the most loving and unselfish thing you can do for your cat at this stage of her life. Keep that in your thoughts, get out lots of photos and think about what a wonderful life she has had. I am sorry for the loss you are about to face.
 

post #7 of 8

Aww/hugs.gif.  My boy, Sven, had CRF, and he went to the bridge on March 29, 2012.  While at the final Vet visit, I told him he was going to be free, and you should have seem him perk up.  I think it made us both feel a little better, although DH and I, and even the Vet, cried our eyes out once it was. 

 

My sympathies.  hugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gif

post #8 of 8

Yes, it's so lonely without a cat especially if you have had one for as long as 18 years, but I feel you are doing the right thing for your cat. 

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