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New member -- need advice please

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone:

I would like to introduce myself and my cat Beau. Beau has been with me for 14 1/2 years, and he is my soul-mate. He is a large (14 lb) and very beautiful semi-long haired polydactyl grey-and-white cat with classic markings. I will try to post a photo of him. He is a very unusual and excellent cat. Beau is closer to me, and more dear to me, than anyone ever has been. I found this forum by a referral from the Border Collie Boards, where I am a member.

I am writing here to ask if anyone can help me to find information on kidney problems in cats. Beau is showing the early stages of kidney failure, according to my vet, and I am trying to find out what kinds of things I might be able to do to help him. I know that it probably cannot be reversed, as it is age-related, but I want to do everything I can to give him the best quality of life and the longest life possible. I just don't know what I would do without him, he means that much to me. I am going to see a naturopathic vet next week for a second opinion. I do not want to give him the prescription kidney diet food, because it has meat by-products in it, which I know is very low quality food. Beau has never had anything but the best food I can get for him all his life, and I would be willing to cook for him every day if it would help. I am in fact willing to do anything that I possibly can for him. Currently he is getting the Azmira food, which has human-grade meat in it and is made here in Tucson where we live.

I know that I am brand new here, and asking for help, and I hope you will excuse me for that. I didn't even know there were cat forums until today when it occurred to me to ask about it. If anyone has advice, or has been through this and knows anything that might help, please let me know. We sure do appreciate it.
D'Elle and Beau
post #2 of 9
D'Elle, you need not apologize for asking for help. It doesn't matter that you're new. That's what we're here for, and honestly it is how many of us came to this board--because we needed help.

I'm afraid I can't give you any advice, but I know there are very knowledgeable people here who can. Just hang in there and someone will be along who can direct you to the right resources.

Good luck, and please keep us posted on Beau. He sounds like a wonderful kitty.
post #3 of 9
One of the best wesites I have found is here

It breaks everything down to make it easy to understand. I have a cat with kidney problems, and the website has answered everything for me as well as given me alot of advice and things to talk to the vet about.
post #4 of 9

I sent you an email with links earlier, and hope that you got it

I would like to suggest you reconsider Azmira, if you are feeding their canned foods. 1: take their lamb and barley, it has a phosphorus per centage of over 1, and 2: though this is still hotly debated on the crf list, I would not give any cat, especially not a health compromised one, garlic. While the subtance in garlic is not exactly the same as that in onions which causes Heinz Body Anemia in cats, it is similar, and there are list members who can sadly testify as to the fact that the degree of sensitivity to garlic can vary greatly from individual cat to individual cat, with a very low intake being too much for some.

Article on garlic and onions and vet article on the dangers of onions and garlic are two articles I've used in making my decision to not feed my guys garlic.

skritches to Beau,
post #5 of 9
My Zoey is a polydactyl.. I would love to see a pic of your Beau!

My family cat ChiChi has CRF and she has been hanging in there for 5 months now, even though she will not eat any of the special diet food If she would I would much rather have her eat a food with by products in it that will help her kidneys.. I am also against foods witih by products but if it would help my cat with this horrible disease I would feed it to her.
post #6 of 9
I don't know anything about cats kidneys I'm afraid, but just wanted to say hello, and to send best wishes to you and your cat. I understand completely how you feel about your cat, it would be a wonderful world if everyone felt the same about their animals.

Good luck.

post #7 of 9
I'm glad you came for advise.

Leah from the BC boards.
post #8 of 9
Hi D'Elle - As Stephanie said, no need to apologize! We're all in the same boat since all of us need advice sooner or later and you'll get lots of help and support here.

My oldest girl, (about whom I feel the same way as you do about Beau) has had kidney problems for over 2 years now. She's 16. She's also got liver disease, which as you can imagine, makes things "challenging". The best advice I got was at the earliest hint of kidney disease, to start doing subQ fluids (subcutaneous) at home. It's the single most important thing you can do. Depending on exactly what type of kidney problem Beau has, there are also some meds your vet can prescribe as well.

I have two types of vets helping me: my conventional vet who does bloodwork and exams and prescribes some meds, and an integrative medicine vet (uses conventional and alternative remedies) who also prescribes supplements and holistic meds. My girl's last bloodwork, done about 5 weeks ago, showed normal BUN and just slightly above normal range creatinine! BUN and creatinine are two major indicators of kidney health of which you'll want to keep track.

The issue of food is mind boggling! As Pat & Alix said, there is lots of debate not only over ingredients like garlic, but low protein vs. high protein. I think you're on the right track wanting to feed Beau the purest, most natural food you can (avoid dry food if you don't already). There are other high quality foods available besides Azmira if you decide to switch him. Ask the vet about Beau's phosphorus levels - with my cat, fortunately, it hasn't been an issue. I also do feed her a high quality food, Wellness, which does contain a trace amount of garlic. I've asked both my vets about the garlic and they agree that this isn't a problem. My cats have been on this food for a couple of years, and their bloodwork as far as red cell counts always comes back normal. Still, everyone has to feel comfortable with what they're feeding, and what works well for one cat won't necessarily work for another.

Please let us know how Beau's doing and never hesitate to ask questions!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you to all who responded both here and in private messages and emails. I will get copies of Beau's test results and post them here, as someone suggested, so that I can get feedback from people. I just found out TODAY that garlic is bad for cats and that Azmira has garlic in it! Now, Beau has been doing very well on the Azmira (I just switched him a couple months ago) and his coat has improved and he is eating well, seems very happy with it. I do not know how much garlic is in it, and if I should switch to something else or not. Anyone with advice on this?
Thanks again
D'Elle and the Magnificent Beau
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