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Anemia and bad kidney

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My vet just told me that my cat has anemia and a bad kidney. I am seeing him next week to discuss further, but wanted to know if anyone had any information about this. I don't think I need to give my cat IV treatment at this stage, but I have no idea if I can expect him to be okay for years to come, or if there is a way to prevent the worst?
Thanks.
post #2 of 23
I'm so sorry you're having to face this with your baby. I know it can feel so overwhelming. You may want to visit this site. It is a wealth of information that has helped me so much. This site also contains a great deal of very helpful information. This is a support group you may want to consider joining. It really helps to know you and your baby are not alone in this situation. Please feel free to pm any time at all. I know others will also have wonderful advice for you!Please know you can ask us anything at all!
post #3 of 23
You may also want to consider asking your Vet. about about your kitty taking Pet Tinic , a liquid vitamin and mineral supplement to increase his iron levels. Sierra takes this twice a day.
post #4 of 23
Hi,
I am very sorry your kitty is dealing with this. Stephanie has already given you all the sites I'd have listed, let me encourage you to go read them over thoroughly, especially re the anemia. Many CRF (chronic renal failure) kitties eventually develop anemia, it is important to know how severe your kitties anemia is, and what the kidney values are.

Pet-tinic plus a good vitamin b supplement with iron may both be appropriate, they may also not be enough depending on the severity of the anemia. If severe, one consideration will be whether or not to use epogen.

I have a crf kitty with anemia (not severe but almost), so please feel free to ask any questions, and know that I, and others here are dealing with or have dealt with this, and we'll support you as best we can.

I highly recommend the support group, it is one I've belonged to for several years, and is wonderful.

best wishes to your kitty as you sort all this out,
post #5 of 23
Sierra's Mommy has given you excellent information! I am on the group she told you about and the lady who owns the website about Tanya is also on that group. There is also a feline anemia group on yahoogroups and here is a link that shows the phospherous and protein level in foods. http://webpages.charter.net/katkarma/dryfood.htm

My Corkie got anemia and vet tried to tell me it was bone marrow cancer. Turned out it was from her kidneys. She got epogen several times and finally was OK> I DO give her fluids every other day though!
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBabies
I am on the group she told you about and the lady who owns the website about Tanya is also on that group.
Yes, you and I belong to the same group, along with others from TCS It is a wonderful crf support list.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. I keep telling my cat he will live a long life! I will find out more from the vet next week so will hopefully know my next move and may have more questions to post here!
Thank you.
post #8 of 23
Please do keep us updated how your kitty is feeling and what your Vet has to say!
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am about to see my vet but I am pretty traumatized. He said my cat has non-regenerative anemia and is losing bone marrow, all because his kidneys are failing. I have to give him fluids and he is going to show me how today. He is also going to talk about the financial burdens as I do not have a lot of money. I am going to check out the support group today! So sad.
post #10 of 23
I am so sorry...one of the things you can check as part of this support group is their list of online vendors for supplies, it is often less than buying directly from your vet, and I think you can ask the list where they (with prescription) order their epogen from (which is expensive...fluids, needles and iv sets are not so much so at all if you use on of the listed vendors).

wishing you all the best, depending on how severe the anemia is, you may be told to use Pet-tinic and a vitamin b w/iron supplement and not epogen yet. Great source for both at good prices is on that supplies list. Patrick also has anemia along with his crf, so I know a bit of what you are dealing with.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you.
I am really scared and panicked about my ability to inject my cat with the fluids. I am not sure if I can do it. I am so scared of needles and I know he will panic if I am scared.
I guess I will find out more soon. About to go to the vet.
Thank you for the advice and kind words.
post #12 of 23
Oh, I am so sorry to hear this Please let us know how he is doing The support groups really are amazing. They helped me so much. Remember we are always here for you.. Stephanie has some great advice.. I wish I knew more to tell you..
post #13 of 23
I'm just so sorry your precious baby has received this diagnosis. This must be so very difficult for you. You are so wise to want to educate yourself as much as possible. I know you can do anything it takes to keep him healthy. Please know we are here for you anytime at all, and never hesitate to pm me if you feel like talking.
post #14 of 23
I'm very sorry you and your kitty are going through this

I undersand your fears. I work at an animal hospital and have been giving fluids to my cat for a few weeks now at home and I still get a little nervous about doing it. It so different when it is your own cat. Of course, it doesn't help that he hates it I just keep telling myself that is it necessary and I must do it. He feels so good afterwards it is so worth it. Good luck and keep us posted.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just came back from the vet and he showed me how to administer the fluids. I am asking my neighbor to come help me on Sunday night as I have to do it every other day. Does anyone have any tips about where to do it? My vet said the couch isn't a good idea. Also, where do I store the fluids? I forgot to ask the vet.
I am sad, but know that my Malachi isn't suffering too much. I hope I can administer the fluids okay.
Any tips on how to calm him down when I do it etc. would be great.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Every time I try to insert the needle into my cat he screams out and tries to run away and I am afraid I am really hurting him. I am inserting it the right way. Now I am in tears and cannot do it. I don't know how to do this without hurting my cat and causing him trauma? I have never inserted a needle before.
Please help!
post #17 of 23
really giving sub cu's is not that bad. I do it when the situation demands it. The thing that bothered me the most the first time was how the cat's skin got all swollen up like a balloon, but as the liquid disperses that goes down. I was uncomfortable at first, but the cats don't really object-

Good luck with your kitty, I hope you have a good outcome after your vet visit-
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GStein
Every time I try to insert the needle into my cat he screams out and tries to run away and I am afraid I am really hurting him. I am inserting it the right way. Now I am in tears and cannot do it. I don't know how to do this without hurting my cat and causing him trauma? I have never inserted a needle before.
Please help!
All cats are very different...but this worked for my Angel...

Here's what I do:

Ok, at first, I was NOT able to do it myself. You need another pair of hands. So get your neighbor, friend, parent, spouse, whoever...anyone that can help you. Then...what I do is take the cat into my guest bathroom cuz it's small. Bring a small towel. I had my friend cover my kitties head with the towel...and hold her down gently behind her head. For whatever reason, my kitty is less likely to go feral-crazy on me if she can't see what's going on. While her head is covered, I grab a bit of her skin, poke the needle in...and voila!

Getting the needle in right might take several tries. My very first time, I poked the needle straight through a fold of skin...so fluid is spraying on her hair instead of under her skin! If you get it under the skin JUST right, kitty shouldn't cry that loud. These days, I'm usually able to do it pretty good. But sometimes, I still poke somewhere that makes my Angel cry a bit.

Another thing that might make it easier is the gauge of the needle. At first, I used 18 gauge needles. They're pretty thick. I think those hurt more. After I ran out of those, I went and bought 20 guage needles. They seem to work a bit better...they're skinnier...I think they're less painful.

Anyways, after a couple times doing this with help, I am now able to do it myself. I do pretty much the same thing...take her to the guest bathroom, cover her head with a towel (but no one holds her down anymore since I'm by myself), grab skin, poke, voila. Once the needle is inserted, I can usually take the towel off her head and just restrain her by the simple act of petting her. Sometimes I get a slow drip...when that happens, Angel might lose her patience and try to rise but then I can gently restrain her by leaving my hand on her back or head.

There's definitley some trial and error involved in doing this...but I've figured out a method that doesn't seem to stress my kitty very much at all (anymore, that is!). I'm sure you'll figure something out!

Good luck!!!
post #19 of 23
Great advice so far! I'd suggest you get Terumo needles, I'm guessing that what you currently are using is monojet. Terumo's come in an thin wall (TW) or Ultra-Thin Wall (UTW), and are sharper, easier/faster to insert, cause less discomfort (in my opinion of using both on Patrick).

You can buy them here (also a great place for iv sets and iv solutions):
Brico

Hang in there, another thing I do, is use a favorite cat bed that I put Patrick in to do his fluids up on my kitchen counter...I always give him a bit of a treat when done, some folks hav a treat or favorite allowed food right there for the cat to be busy with during fluids going in.)

Another tip is to warm the iv bag ...I put the bag (with the ports and connection area/and tubing out of the water) into a large stock pot filled with warm water, and let it sit for 10 minutes. I then drain off the fluid that is currently in the tubing - flush the line - checking the temp by running it across my wrist until it feels warmer) as it is colder than what is now in the bag.

Do NOT microwave the iv bags! Anyhoo, warmer fluids do help make the infusion more comfortable for your kitty.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for replying to me. My neighbor ended up doing it for me. Maybe it was less emotional for her. I think a thinnner needle wil help. I think my problem is that I have no idea how tough his skin is and how hard to have to press to puncture his skin. The thought of puncturing his skin is hard for me.
My neighbor is going to help me the next few times.
I hope this gets easier! I have to do this every other day.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have one more question. In everyone's experience, is it good quality of life to have these fluids every other day for my cat? I know it is early days but it seems so traumatic for him and I am not sure what those long term affects would be? Am I keeping him alive for me or for him? Do the cats really and truly get used to it??
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GStein
I have one more question. In everyone's experience, is it good quality of life to have these fluids every other day for my cat? I know it is early days but it seems so traumatic for him and I am not sure what those long term affects would be? Am I keeping him alive for me or for him? Do the cats really and truly get used to it??
My Angel got used to it pretty quick. I probably started the fluids around the middle of December...and just this morning, when I gave her fluids, she purred through the entire process!

I guess it depends on the cat and how advanced the CRF is...but I know that Angel is still terribly happy!!! She still runs around (though not as much)...love laying in the sun...loves staring out the window in the study...loves hissing at other neighborhood cats that come up to our windows...purrs ALL the time just like normal...rubs up against me and just about everything else...swats at my feet when I go by the bed...tries to destroy her catnip toy...if she'd only eat and drink, she'd be normal! She's just really happy right now.

And she takes all her treatment really well now (though not at first!). She takes the syringe feedings like a trooper...and she doesn't seem to mind the subq fluids at all (except when I mess up with the needle and hurt her when i poke her!).

As long as she seems happy, me and Angel will go on with treatment head on!
post #23 of 23
I think the above reply says it all. Patrick has been receiving sub-q fluids for coming up on 3 years now, but I have to admit, he is the most laid-back cat, and frankly, he and I love each other so much, I think we'd do anything for each other. It's been an almost 18 year love story

Quality of life is something I define by interest in me, food, surroundings, if they still purr (and not a pain purr), if they still have interest in toys, asking to be held and snuggled. I had a thrill of delight in seeing Patrick toss a rosie rat into the air last month and bat at it as it fell...pretty spry for an old fellow who was supposedly terminal a year ago (they thought he had lymphoma vs severe ibd).

Take it a day at a time, but know that there are many owners and cats (who if they could talk) would say it's possible to have several good years w/tx's.
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