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Kidney Disease

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, tomorrow, it will be three weeks since my dear Baxter had his teeth cleaned. He is still not well. He is now using the litter box but he just isn't himself. I called the vet this morning and asked to come in today. I told the vet that he is still not eating, only minute amounts. I suggested that the vet feel his stomach, as it feels extremely hard. The vet didn't look any further, he promtly told me that Baxter's kidneys are inflamed and extremely large. He says that the condition was probably always existing but was brought to a head with the stress of the dental cleaning. The vet took x-rays and a blood test. The x-rays showed Baxter's kidneys. They were huge. You can see them when he walks. I find out the results of the blood test tomorrow. He is normally an 18 pound, healthy cat. He is large, not fat. He is now 15 pounds, his skin is hanging on him. You can feel the bones through his beautiful, white fur. The vet thinks his kidneys are only functioning at maybe 10%. And there is nothing I can do except make his life as comfortable as possible. He seemed to be an extremely, healthy, cat only 6 weeks ago. This news has been so devastating. I am so extremely sad. He is such a wonderful friend and I can't bare for him to leave. If anyone has had experiences with Kidney Disease, please respond. I want to make the rest of his life as comfortable as possible and yet I have no idea of what to expect. Will he in pain? Is in pain right now? What can he eat? Is there some sort of "Pedialite" type drink that I can offer him?
post #2 of 13

I really don't know much about kidney disease but I do know that Science diet offers prescription foods for cats with various health issues. I used to work for a vet clinic and if I remeber correctly the food for kidney health is called k/d - don't quote me though). Your veterinarian should be able to consult you on this and if the vet doesn't seem to be much help you may want to look into contacting a holistic veterinarian. There are other members here who can give you more information on helping Baxter and we will be here to support you and Baxter through this tough time. I will be praying for you and Baxter.
post #3 of 13
It can vary, depending on the lab results. When you find out, please let us know the exact #'s and possible cause.
post #4 of 13
Raychull, I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. How old is he? I actually just typed a looong response and tried to submit my reply and lost the whole thing! Well, here is the condensed version. I had a Siamese that developed kidney disease at 13. They weren't sure how fast it would progress, but she did live till almost 18. Her only symptoms at first were frequent drinking and urination. I only noticed it because I got a new cat and kept her food and water separate after that. The only thing they gave her was a potassium supplement (powder) to put in her food. They do have low protein food for this, but the vet said cats rarely will eat it. Since they usually have a poor appetite with this disease anyway, we let her eat whatever cat food she liked best. Her last days, she became severely dehydrated (when you gently pinch the skin together and release it, it doesn't bounce back right away) and she was extremely weak and wobbly. I never did see any kidney enlargement, though.

Either your cat's kidney disease is progressing very fast or he had symptoms for a while. I don't think there is much they can do, so don't think it's you fault if you didn't notice the symptoms.

Please let us know what happens.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Baxter is only 3 1/2 years old. The vet said he's never seen kidney's as enlarged as his are unless they are part Persian. I still haven't heard back from the vet regarding the blood tests. Something that gave me some hope, this morning he at more food than he has in the past few days (which was still a very small amount). However, I feel he needs to eat more. I'm scared that he'll starve himself. The vet did say that he may get very skinny. He also did poop (I hope, it could have been vomit) which is good since he hasn't for a few days.
post #6 of 13
I assume the vet also did a thorough urinalisys? Kidney problems can come from a variety of other illnesses or toxins, but very large and swollen kidneys may require such fancy tests as ultrasound or exploratory surgery. Brace for the worst and hope for the best.

The proper food for most kidney patients is Science Diet's k/d, or a similar veterinarian formula (and you CAN quote me because my Lucky had to have it when his kidneys were messed up for a time due to a traumatic accident with his best dog-friend --- crushed pelvis, totally demolished ball joine on one thigh with the total loss of its corresponding socket on that end of the pelvic bone, and broken and crushed bone and joint on the other. He was in total confinement for 4 months (through several more minor surgical efforts to continue repairs after the major operation), and his kidneys did not function properly for some time. My eldest cat, Gypsy, had an inflammation of one kidney recently, and k/d was also the basic food the vet prescribed. She (and Lucky, for that matter) survived the inflammation quite well.

But badly swollen kidneys could indicate some kind of basic malfunction or blockage of the urinary tract (among several other things), or a congenital malformation of kidneys and urinary tract. You'll know more when the blood workup is done. Do let us know. I will include him in my meditations.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is there a place on the internet somewhere that has lab stats for normal and CRF cats? I think this would help me understand Baxter's report. Anyway, I will give you the numbers that are "out of range"

Red Cell Cnt 4.94L
Hemoglobin 87L
Hematocrit 0.266L
Mean Corp Hemoglobin 17.7H
Blood Urea Nitrogen 31.4H
Creatinine 540H
Total Protein 2.21H
Calculated Osmolality 330.5H

The vet doesn't expect him to live more than 6 months. He says he has Polycystic Kidney Disease because his kidneys feel like "grapes" and they are so large. Baxter is also anemic, at this point. I have found a low protein dry food that he enjoys. I offer him food and water all day long. Yesterday, we gave him some Tumil K in a syringe with water. That was a struggle, to say the least. The vet recommended that we return in two weeks for another blood test, keep him on low protein, low phosphate food, 1/4 teaspoon of Tumil K a day, and lots of water.

I don't think more tests will help. His kidneys are so far gone that a test would only give me another reason why he is now dying. I don't need that. I would rather spend the money on his comfort rather than more stress than he needs at this point in his life. I already see his muscles wasting away, he is very lethargic, slightly depressed and was anorexic but seems to be coming around in that area. He hasn't pooped in several days, etc.

I'm now just going to make him as comfortable as possible and I'm going to enjoy every last moment with him. Thank you so much for your concerns. I appreciate all information you have provided and if you have anymore, I welcome it.

Rachel and Baxter

P.S. I hope I haven't repeated too much from other posts.
post #8 of 13
Rachel, again I am sorry about what you are going through with Baxter. I will post these #'s for you just so you get an idea of what the normal ranges for a cat are.

Red cell 15-20
hemoglobin(gm/dl) 8.4-15.0
hematocrit(%) 25-45
mean corp hemoglobin 14-17
urea nitrogen 18-32
creatinine 110-280
protein 0-1
osmolality 300
post #9 of 13

I'm sorry to hear the bad news about Baxter. Don't give up hope. They may be wrong about long he will live. My friend had a cat once that had some kind of kidney problem I believe (I can't remember exactly what it was) when he was very young and he wasn't supposed to live that long - well he lived till he was 20! Actually, I think he outlived the vet that said this!! Maybe he was not as bad as Baxter, but keep your spirits up (and Baxter's) - you never know.:flash: :flash: :flash:
post #10 of 13
This is the worst -- waiting for a beloved friend to die. I had two dogs die of parvo last year before they could be vaccinated. One mercifully died in 11 hours from first symptoms, but the other lingerd for almost 3 days. We did all the heroic things, and it really did seem that he would manage to beat the disease. It sorely tried my acceptance of death as a friend and not the enemy. We get attached, and we love and are loved, and so there is a great deal of pain.

But love makes us human.

I know you will make the right choices. Your choice to make him comfortable for as long as you have shows how much you care. And perhaps your love and care will keep him alive much longer that might be the case if he were under a lot of stress from needles and hospitalization and strangers fussing over him.

You are a lovely person, Rachel, and Baxter was lucky to have found you his friend. But what a wonderful cat he must be as well to have excited this bond between you.
post #11 of 13
Rachel, I'm so sorry about your baby. Is the vet sure it's PKD? I think it's usually diagnosed by ultra sound. Here's a link to a great page with info about PKD:

There is also a mailing list there. Maybe you can join and learn more about the disease and what treatments there are.

All the best to you and Baxter.
post #12 of 13

My cat was recently diagnosed with Kidney Disease. My cat, Leo, he's 13 (14 on Sept 30th) and his health has gone down hill over the last two weeks, dull-oily coat, not eating much, vomiting and skin doesn't bounce back when pulled. Labor Day weekend, my vet hydrated him on Saturday and contacted me Sunday evening with the following, "He ate all the food in his bowl, drank all his water, used the box and didn't vomit. He's very "spunky" and active in his cage...good progress!"

I know how you feel, it hurts like hell and there's nothing you can do. If he's unable to maintain his health, I might have to... hurts to even mention it.

Meantime, his litter box is downstairs, I'm going to relocate it upstairs to make it much easier for him, relieve some of the stress.

My vet said he might be able to come home with me tomorrow 09-04-01 with a strict diet... I'll post an update on what type of diet he'll need to be on.


post #13 of 13

My cat just recently passed away from liver failure. It sounds like the same sort of thing though. He started to eat less and less every day, until we got concerned and took him to the vet to find out his illness after a blood test. After that he would eat almost nothing. We took him to the vet for an IV treatment a couple of times because he was dehydrated. Then we had to force feed him using a syringe (w/out the needle) which we would fill with a perscrption cat food (with a lot of calories in it)and squirt down his throught. We also did this with water. Unfortunately he soon became like a zombie and he seemed unresponsive and uncomfortable. We took him to a specialist who did an ultrasound which indicated that his liver was no longer functioning and that he was suffering. We did the only humane thing we could do and put him down. We could not bear to watch him suffer another night. I felt his pain.

It is so horrible to lose such a trustworthy and loving friend.
We had Norton for @ 14 years and loved him like a son!! It was devestating to say the least. I wish I could think of something to make you feel better, now and in weeks to come, but there is nothing you can do. I hope the doctors are wrong and I pray your kitty is not suffering. This may sound premature and tough, but the only thing that got me through the whole ordeal is the fact that my husband went out and bought me a kitten shortly after Norty passed. I was upset by this at the time, but belive me, it was the best thing to do. I will never forget Norty and it is only a testament to him that I would ever even get another cat. I love cats so much and it is because of Norty. It doesn't change anything.

I will pray for your kitty

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