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HELP- kidney failure/dying

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello. I have not visited this site for a while.

I thought I'd see if anyone out there could help me regarding my cat- Sunniday.

The vet just told me today that Sunniday has kidney failure and won't live very long. She has been at the vet since yesterday. (I was out of town and asked a friend to take her to the vet cuz i was very worried about Sunni and didn't want to wait until I got home from my business trip).

The vet says she's not in pain as of now. She's on an iv with fluids cuz she's a bit dehydrated and has lost a lot of weight. Hopefully, after she eats a bit, she'll come home in 1-3 days to spend her last days with me and my other cat Zebra. I just can't stop crying (have been crying since last night when I found out Sunniday was still at the vet. When I heard that Sunniday had to stay overnight at the vet, I knew that was not a good sign at all).

The vet warned me that at the end, Sunni will have seizures, convulsions,etc before dying.

Now, my questions are-
Will the seizures be painful? Should I put her to sleep BEFORE she has seizures? Or let her die on her own?

I want to have as much time as I can with her but at the same time, I don't want her unhappy or suffering unnecessarily.

Any of you have had any cats who have had kidney failure? Could you share your experience with me, what did u do to help your cat at the end or ????

I am really desperate right now and really need advice. I am really grieving - still crying!!!
post #2 of 20
And we ended up calling the vet to come out and put sweet Bravo to sleep before the seizures came. The warning signs for us was the trickling of urine that never stopped and his lethargic state, the next symptom would of been seizures and I could not tolerate this wonderful shop kitty to have to go through that. It was the hardest decision for us, but today, I know it was the right one. He was grateful to slip away too, and that gives me great comfort. Hugs to you as you deal with this...((((((()))))))))
post #3 of 20
I'm so sorry to hear that Sunniday isn't feeling so well. I have no advice to give but just wanted to send my love and prayers. Just make the decision that you think is the best for your baby. My thoughts are with you.
post #4 of 20
Hi Pamela
I have been through this too with my cat Jeebers.
I had him for 10 years before this was dianosed. First symptom was weight loss so I took him to the vet and she confirmed the kidney failure. We were able to give him fluids at home...the vet showed me how to put the needle in and how much to give at a time. This helped him alot. I never saw any seizures but I knew it was time when he started to hide in the basement...cats know when their time has come and they go find a place to be alone. I would not suggest letting your little one die on its own I would think there would be some suffering.If your cat has not lost too much weight maybe you could try the fluids.My vet also told me that one of the main contributors of the kidney failure was a dry diet. Jeebers would only eat dry food.I tried to give him wet but he refused it until he had this problem.If I can help at all I am here.I know how painful this is.
Good luck,
post #5 of 20
i am so sorry you are going through this. we had to put are cat sox to sleep about a month ago due to liver failure. he was obviously dying and in pain. he keep flipping his tail real hard. the vet said seizures would be next and it's not something we want to witness. i was not going to be selfish and keep him longer. as much as i would have loved just one more hour, it was killing me, to see him in pain. he was suffering. i lost a piece of my heart that night. i got tears coming to my eyes right now. i do believe your baby will be in some pain. you will know when it's time. give him as much time as you can and stay with him until the end. i am so sorry.
post #6 of 20
I am so sorry to hear about Sunni. You should make the decision that is best for you and Sunni. Maybe the vet could give Sunni some pain medication??

Sending good thoughts your way.

post #7 of 20
I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you. I just wanted to say you have my sympathy, and I also wanted to share a poem with you that gave me a lot of comfort both before and after the loss of one of my cats last year. Hopefully, the poem will provide the same type of comfort for you.


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor, those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...

Author unknown...
post #8 of 20

I am so very sorry to hear what you are going through. I went through the same thing earlier this month with my 16-year old Jynx. We went back and forth to the Vet and tried medication after medication. He deteriorated very quickly. One day, I looked into his eyes and his expression was something I've never seen before. He was saying to me that he was in pain and he wanted me to know it was time to say goodbye.

We went back to the Vet, just to be sure. She took one look at him and agreed that it was time. She said I could take him home and let him pass away there, but he would be in pain, if he wasn't already. So he passed away very gently in my arms while I whispered to him and stroked his sweet head.

Pam, you have to do what you feel in your heart is right for both you and your kitty. This is a very difficult time, but you will be in our hearts and we'll be here for you.
post #9 of 20
Pamela, what a heartbreaking post to reply to.

I have two kitties at the rainbow bridge who died of kidney failure. I also have kidney failure. I have also previously worked in a dialysis center.

Mine is not that severe yet, but I still have days when I am naseous, have intractable migraines, and have no energy.

End stage kidney failure is a miserable state to be in.

You will know when it is time. Please fight the urge to keep Sunniday for one more day, or one more week.

Unfortunately, it is a terrible fact of kidney failure that there is no cure. So there is no good purpose in putting off what is going to happen.

It will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but please let Sunniday go when it is time. Again, end-stage kidney failure is a miserable state to be in.
post #10 of 20
Very sorry to hear about Sunniday. My cat of 23 years was diagnosed with kidney failure 6 months before I ended up putting him down this past Christmas.

If you love her, swallow your sadness and do the humane thing and euthanize her before she starts to suffer. My vet gave me the option of bringing him in every week to be put on an I.V for rehydration, but I felt putting the cat through that much stress and needle-sticking was just cruel and would only prolong the inevitable. Plus, there's no quality of life. Sunniday will likely end up just lying around, doing nothing, having energy-less eyes, etc, and that's NOT the way you want to remember her. If you decide to let her live at home a little while, while you come to a hopefully benefical-to-her decision, be sure to place water dishes in a few different areas, because she's going to need plenty to drink, and might not have the strength to walk very far to get it.

Just because she's not meowing or crying doesn't mean she's not in pain. What do we humans often do when we're sick and/or in pain? We curl up in a ball and try to sleep and be left alone. Do we feel good doing this? No. Does your cat? You can bet NOT.

Best wishes...
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello. I thought I'd give an update regarding my cat, SunniDay.
First, I wanted to thank each of you who took the time to reply to my concerns and supported me. These people are as following:
Lorie D.

She was originally brought in to the vet on April 16 and the vet kept her for 2-3 days to determine what was wrong and try to do something to help. She was diagnosed with kidney failure and she was in the advanced stages. Finally, I brought her home on April 19 (Friday). The vet told me that she had been eating a bit so they let me bring her home. I got to spend time with her during the weekend and she ate a bit on Sunday (didn't eat anything Fri and Sat- I tried everything even cooked chicken and salmon to try to coax her to eat).

On Monday, I brought her in for a followup and the vet suggested trying Sub Q (IV treatment). At first I was resistant to this idea due to the quality of life- I thought she'd be hooked up to an iv all the time and that'd prevent her from moving around freely. Cats are meant to roam freely thru homes or outside.With Sub Q treatments, what was needed to do was put the iv in her neck and let the saline solution in for about 5 minutes (1 cc daily) so that was a very short and quick procedure.

After the vet explained the procedure and the benefits/disadvantages of this treatment, I decided to try it for 1-2 days to see if it helped her have a better quality of life. I couldn't put the needle in myself (wimpy me) so a WONDERFUL friend of mine and her hubby would come over daily to help me with this. Sunniday started eating more after this and was more alert, interested in the environment and stopped hiding. I was thrilled and continued the treatment.

However, on Friday, she stopped eating even after getting the treatment.Throughout the weekend, she refused to eat. She pooped outside the litterbox and slept a lot more. That's when I knew it was time to let her go. Her eyes were different- can't explain how but her eyes were telling me she wanted me to let her go.

On Monday, I brought her in for another followup and told the vet everything but didn't tell him that I knew it was time to put her to sleep. I guess I was hoping he'd try something else. But after he listened to her and checked her out, he told me that it's time to let her go. Of course, I started crying a bit but I knew it was the right thing to do.

I asked if it was possible to have it done at my home cuz Sunni HATED going to the vet and I didn't want her last minutes of life to be of fear and upset. I wanted her to go peacefully. I also wanted Zebra (1 1/2 year old cat/friend of Sunni) there so hopefully Zebra would have a chance to say goodbye and understand that Sunni would be gone.

On April 30, 2002, (Tues- the next day)I had SunniDay put to sleep at my home. The vet came and put her to sleep while I held her on my lap (she LOVED to be on my lap and would do anything to sleep on my lap). She passed away very peacefully.

I am so glad I got to be her mistress for the last 1-2 years of her life. I will never forget her even though I only had her for a BRIEF time.

Again, thank you all for your advice and support!
post #12 of 20
But grateful you knew enough to listen to your cat and let go before it was to late and sunniday really started suffering. I know it was a hard decision, but it was the best one you could make.
post #13 of 20
I know you will miss Sunniday terribly. It just takes time. At least your last days with her were well spent and she knows how much you loved her. Sunniday is in my thoughts.

post #14 of 20
It is always very hard to say goodbye. You did the right thing and the kindest thing you possibly could have done for Sunniday. She passed away knowing how very much she was loved. My thoughts are with you.
post #15 of 20
I am so sorry for your loss.

I am glad, though, that she was able to start on her journey to the bridge from home, from your lap no less!

The worse part of letting a kitty go, to me, is that you have to load them up in that crate they hate so much, take them in the car they hate so much, and be at the vet, where they are so afraid. They spend their last minutes in fear and distress, on top of their illness.

Bless your vet for allowing your wish to be granted. Sunni's last mintues were filled with love and comfort.
post #16 of 20
I am so sorry to hear about your Sunni. She was a lucky girl to have you. I know the pain you feel, but you did the right thing.

I have a cat in kidney failure right now and it's a day to day thing. Today I took her to another vet for a second opinion and also because this second vet, and his office, are on call 24/7. Because Tiger is so ill I feel I needed that for her.

Anyway, she was on IV fluids for 5 days, now on Sub Q. The 2nd. running a specific gravity test on her urine to make sure her failure is not related to an infection.

She's very alert and talkative which has the dr's stumped. Her tests and dehydration tell them she should not be so agreeable and happy. Anyway, she's not feeling great. Right now we're just waiting to see if her condition will get to a point where she'll want to eat. She eats a little, but not much. She's down to 5 lbs.

I just hold my breath and hope for the best. I've had to put to sleep many animals (I do rescue work) and believe me, it never gets easier. If fact it gets harder and harder to do.

Sunni's smiling down on you. She's up there with all the other little angels that have been taken away too soon.
post #17 of 20
I am so sorry for your loss, Cooie. WEnt through the same thing recently--however, I lost a 15 month old Rottie pup to congenital kidney disease and pyelonephritis with uremic gastritis thrown in...She went downhill just like Sunni--diarrhea, leaking of urine, vomiting, anorexia. She was on IV fluids the better part of two weeks. When she would eat a tablespoon of broiled chicken, I would feel encouraged--then the next time, she would refuse to even lick baby food off my fingers. Anyway, I had her put down after two weeks of this misery. The sonogram showed grossly deformed kidneys, and aspiration biopsy showed the infection in her abdominal cavity--probably from the kidney infection and the gastritis. It is so hard to watch a beloved friend suffer---they estimate Anna had only 25% of her kidney function at birth--she weighed only 5 oz at birth--which is really tiny for a Rottie.

It must be my mission in life to care for sickly animals. I went to pick up my Siamese kitten last week and ended up with two, as I just couldn't leave the runt that no one wanted.....She is maybe 2/3 the size of her sister, eats much less and spends most of her time on my lap. The breeder says she is fine--just shy, but after my experience with the Rottie...anyway both cats will be checked out Monday.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Gatsbycat
post #18 of 20
God bless you. I have been there too. You will never forget Sunniday. It's hard to remember that God just lends us his little creatures for only a short time. I'm so grateful that He does, however. Some people can't do it, but I recommend getting a new kitten right away. She will not take Sunni's place, but will ease your pain, and you will be helping the new baby.
post #19 of 20
Hi, Pamela and Patty---don't know why my earlier posts never appeared here. We--the Golden, The Great GAtsby, the female Siamese kittens, Grushenka and Tatyana and myself are so sorry for your respective losses. Sounds like kidney disease is fairly prevalent in cats. I wonder how much of it is congenital, as I had to put down a 15 month old female Rottie because of a congential kidney disorder called bilateral renal dysplasia. The also had a kidney infection. The vets estimate, judging from what the sonogram revealed that she was born with only 25% kidney function, and then, with the infection--prognosis was very, very grim.

She, too spent a lot of time hooked up to IV, refused to eat for most of the two weeks before I had her put down, vomited, had chronic diarrhea. She knew when it was time and died ever so peacefully surrounded by her friends and family. She was one of the special ones---the other was a 12 year old female Siamese who died of smoke inhalation when my house burned three years ago and a Labrador who died of old-age related problems at 14.

Through the agony of my Rottie's illness, I learned that when the BUN and creatinine blood values are elevated--it's called azotemia--that it means the animal has only about 25% kidney function left. Usually these tests are not routine, but I am going to have them done on all my critters annually from now own. In Anna's case, there was not much that low protein diet, etc. could do, given the kidney infection and uremic gastritis, on top of grossly deformed kidneys. Her kidneys were just unable to filter out the toxins,effectively as she grew. and these toxins tend to accumulate in the stomach and abdominal cavity, so I am told.Sorry I am just rambling. Guess it's my way of dealing with your loss and mine----GAtsbycat. It makes the ones you have left even more precious doesn't it?
post #20 of 20
I have not been on this website for quite some time ; so I only discovered your thread about SunnyDay right now ........ !
This is all really sad , but believe me , you did everything you could for your sweetie !! SunnyDay is a happy now !!!
Remember all the good days you had with her !!
Take care Pamela !!

huggies from Sydney !!
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