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help - 7 yr old cat dying of renal failure

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I'm hoping some of you have some advice on this topic - ANYTHING at this point will help us.

We have a beautiful, sweet, wonderful Himalayan, who is 7 years old. He's always been small, but recently he has experienced a dramatic weight loss, and lethargy. We took him to the vet, and he was admitted to their hospital. After many tests, it looks like he has chronic renal insufficiency, probably due to a congenital problem.

He is also being tested for renal lymphoma, but at this point, it looks like chronic kidney failure.

If this is true, he will be put on a special diet, and given injections of fluids and a hormone (to help him utilize red blood cells).

Eventually the hormone will be ineffective - so our baby has anywhere from 3 months to a year to live.


We are devastated, and now must rely on pure faith, prayer, and the power of human touch. Does anyone have any advice on ANYTHING we could do to lengthen our baby's life? Does anyone have any stories or experiences to share? I've heard of animals being given only a few months to live...but they make it a few more years. I'm hoping this will be the case for us.

He may be coming home soon, and we plan to touch him, talk to him, and be with him as much as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are just hearbroken.


Thank you in advance,

Maggie
post #2 of 18
Maggie,

I don't know what your kitty's values are and any other health issues he may have, but when it comes to life expectancy for kitties with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) it can vary quite a bit. The best thing I've ever heard, is treat the cat, not the numbers. Your kitty will let you know when it's enough, when it is time.

Until then, there is quite a bit that can be done - please go to this site and ***read the entire site*** www.felinecrf.org
It is the best site on the web, at least it has been for me.

If you want the address of a support group list, please pm me.

My cat Patrick is on the downswing, due to his gi disease,more than his crf - he is coming up on 4 years since his diagnosis with crf. Most of this time has been very good quality of life, and even now, as we are nearing the end, it's been apparent that it's not quite his time.

Many members here have had cats with crf, who lived for varying lengths of time. Keep hope for now, read the site and get educated, join the list I can give you the address for - it is def. why Patrick has lived this long, imo.
post #3 of 18
Maggie...you and your beloved kitty will be in my thoughts and prayers.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie35
Hello all,

I'm hoping some of you have some advice on this topic - ANYTHING at this point will help us.

We have a beautiful, sweet, wonderful Himalayan, who is 7 years old. He's always been small, but recently he has experienced a dramatic weight loss, and lethargy. We took him to the vet, and he was admitted to their hospital. After many tests, it looks like he has chronic renal insufficiency, probably due to a congenital problem.

He is also being tested for renal lymphoma, but at this point, it looks like chronic kidney failure.

If this is true, he will be put on a special diet, and given injections of fluids and a hormone (to help him utilize red blood cells).

Eventually the hormone will be ineffective - so our baby has anywhere from 3 months to a year to live.


We are devastated, and now must rely on pure faith, prayer, and the power of human touch. Does anyone have any advice on ANYTHING we could do to lengthen our baby's life? Does anyone have any stories or experiences to share? I've heard of animals being given only a few months to live...but they make it a few more years. I'm hoping this will be the case for us.

He may be coming home soon, and we plan to touch him, talk to him, and be with him as much as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are just hearbroken.


Thank you in advance,

Maggie


It could be PKD which is common in persians & Himmys.
Learn to give subQ flids your self. It's not hard & it makes the cat more comfortable. I'm sure a vet tech can teach you. Some cats don't like, or won't eat the special canned food. If they won't you might try meat baby food. It's easy to digest And easier on the kidneys. I rescue persians & Himmys in California and have helped many senior cats on their end of life road. Hope this is of some help.
post #5 of 18
Maggie, I am so sorry to hear the news about your sweet boy. Pat has given you a great website to go to and I have heard from many members here how invaluable that place has been.
I personally can not offer advise but will all always support you & the other members will be able offer as much advise to you as we can... good luck!! I hope that your boys time with us is long
post #6 of 18
I know it can be devistating news ... but like Pat said there are things that can help with quality and often quanity of life... Kandie was diagnoised 3.5 yrs ago she is 17.5 today
post #7 of 18
My oldest cat has CRF she has been getting home sub-q's for 9 months. I think that the sub-q's have added more time with us. She is really thin, but she eats, and still growls at the other cats.

I would definatly talk to the vet about giving sub-q's at home. The vet will teach you how to do it. It isn't expensive and really helps the cat feel better.
post #8 of 18
Maggie,

I am so sorry to hear about you and your baby's pain. All I can say is take these good folks advice and bestow all your love on your baby boy. With hope you will have him around for a good long time yet. But youve gotta be strong for him, cats can tell what we're feeling. We are a great community and we are all here for you!
post #9 of 18
Chronic renal failure is not a death sentence, especially in a relatively young cat like yours. The first thing is to take him to a board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist for a full evaluation. With a special diet, fluid injections (which you can learn to do yourself - it sounds intimidating but it's really pretty easy), and daily medication, he can have good quality of life for a number of years.
post #10 of 18
Maggie,

Sorry to hear about your kitty. I have a 16 yr old cat who has been in renal failure for two years. He has done very well on the following regimen:
-daily sub-q fluids (warmed). This is easy once you know how to do it
-Raw/canned food diet. I decided against a prescription kidney diet after much research. The quality of protein is more important than quantity.
-Six Flavor chinese herb tea pills for kidney support
-Four Gentleman chinese herb tea pills for vitality and digestive support
-Twice monthly acupuncture treatment (I have a holistic vet who is trained in acupuncture. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most helpful things for him)
-Pepcid AC (1/4 10mg pill once a day) for stomach upset

I hope this helps. Your kitty can live relatively comfortably and happily with CRF. Best of luck to you.

luna
post #11 of 18
Maggie,

My Tigger and I worked through CRF for close to three years.
She died just two months ago at age 19 -- of bone cancer!
(Total surprise - her renal stats were NORMAL!)

So do not dispair. Some cats can live long loves with CRF,
and yours is younger than Tigger by far!

Do look up the site Pat suggested -- and anything else you can
find on CRF. There's LOTS of info out there. Then talk, often,
with your vet.

Some tips, in so particular order:

1. CRF can cause vomiting. Use towels to save rugs and time.
They can be put in the washer! Ask your vet about something
to lessen the nausea.

2. The sub-Q liquid treatments are really easy, and you and your
cat will become quite expert at it! Important tip: HEAT the saline
before you inject it! (It took me some months to figure this out!
Made a huge difference.) We filled a stock pan with water as hot
as it could come from the tap, then put the saline bag in the
water for 15 minutes. (That was what Tigger liked - experiment with
the right temp for your cat. Start with the temp that is lukewarm
to your inner wrist and work from there .) THEN hang the bag
and inject.

The injection is done under the top layer of skin, NOT into a
vein. Best done around the neck or side, rather than in the
upper thigh -- less chance of hitting muscle. Make a tent
of the skin, then inject the needle along the length of the
tent (think of a roof line supporting a roof and go just under
the roof parallel to the roof line) NOT through the sides of the
tent.

We put a soft blanket on the floor by the sink where we hung the
bag. Then we'd sit on the blanket with Tigger in our lap,
stroke her and croon, then inject. Soft scritches and rubs
while the liquid fed through the tubes. Then a goodie -- she
liked TUNA (always!) or baby food or organic wet food. We
varied it.

It got to the point where she would come look for us when it
was time to do her injections! She would curl up on the
blanket while we finished preps, impatient for it to begin.

3. I found that Tigger and I, as close as we had been, became
even closer during the time we treated the CRF. The treatment
rituals became love rituals, and the almost three years we had
were truly idyllic.

Here's hoping the best for you and your Himmie!

Carol
post #12 of 18
I'm so sorry you're having to face this with your baby, Maggie. 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 site lists the % of protein, phosphorus, sodium and fat in a variety of canned foods, and this site lists dry foods. Sierra eats Innova Lite Canned , and since changing her diet to this, her numbers have improved greatly! 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 know we're all here for you, and please feel free to pm any time at all.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie35
Hello all,

I'm hoping some of you have some advice on this topic - ANYTHING at this point will help us.

We have a beautiful, sweet, wonderful Himalayan, who is 7 years old. He's always been small, but recently he has experienced a dramatic weight loss, and lethargy. We took him to the vet, and he was admitted to their hospital. After many tests, it looks like he has chronic renal insufficiency, probably due to a congenital problem.

He is also being tested for renal lymphoma, but at this point, it looks like chronic kidney failure.

If this is true, he will be put on a special diet, and given injections of fluids and a hormone (to help him utilize red blood cells).

Eventually the hormone will be ineffective - so our baby has anywhere from 3 months to a year to live.


We are devastated, and now must rely on pure faith, prayer, and the power of human touch. Does anyone have any advice on ANYTHING we could do to lengthen our baby's life? Does anyone have any stories or experiences to share? I've heard of animals being given only a few months to live...but they make it a few more years. I'm hoping this will be the case for us.

He may be coming home soon, and we plan to touch him, talk to him, and be with him as much as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are just hearbroken.


Thank you in advance,

Maggie
Maggie PLEASE join this group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-CRF-Support/

These people are all dealng with the same disease with their cats and can and WILL help you help your baby to live a healthy happy life for as long as God wills it!
post #14 of 18
Having just had a cat pass away from CRF, my thoughts and prayers are with you. It's definitely a very emotional time, but given that your cat is so young, I think he's got a pretty good chance of living out a long life. As it was, Nutmeg was about 16 when diagnosed and lived over a year and a half with the disease, on top of other issues.

The best thing you can do is arm yourself with as much information as possible about CRF. I highly recommened the site that was mentioned in other comments and wish that I had found it sooner. My vet didn't say anything about treatment, other than to suggest the special diet, which we did. Unfortunatly, the foods that were prescribed were Science Diet G/D and K/D, and Purina NF, none of which Nutmeg was overly fond of, so I have to wonder how much it actually helped. (he hated the K/d the most, which I found out later many CRF cats don't like).

And as someone else mentioned, I had read somewhere that it might not be the quantity of protein, but the QUALITY that matters. Cats HAVE to have meat in their diet, so there will be some work on the kidney's regardless. If your cat doesn't like the special diets, it might be better for him to just eat a higher quality protein food.

Best of luck to you and your kitty!!!
post #15 of 18
My cat was diagnosed at 16 years old with CRF and was PTS at 20.5 years old because of what we think was brain cancer. I gave her sub-q fluids with potassium added to it at first every other day and by the time she was 20 it was every day. She was also put on a special kidney diet of both wet and dried food. Her stomanch didn't get upset too often so I rarely had to give her pepcid. I think she nibbled on dried food all the time which helped eliminate the acid in her tummy. I also gave her benazepril every other day.
It is very easy to give sub-q fluids. Experiment with the foods to see which one your cat likes best. Good luck
post #16 of 18
I'm so sorry your kitty is sick. How is he doing? Cat's can live for years with kidney disease so there's hope with treatment. I have three persians right now. Lost a fourth one (Hallie) to PKD (polycystic kidney disease) last August. Persians do seem to be more prone to PKD and Himmie's are a specific color persian. Anyway, my Hallie was very young (4 years) and struggled her whole life with it. ... If your kitty does have PKD, it can go undetected for years. Of course I don't know if he is PKD + or not but it ultimately ends up in renal failure also. It's very important to get them on a low protein diet right away and the sub q fluids work wonders. I know it is not fun and you could have a real emotional rollar coaster ahead of you. Read all the info you can on renal/kidney failure and join one of the forums for support. They are priceless! Wishing you and kitty the best of luck!

Tammie
post #17 of 18
just wondering how your boy is doing?
post #18 of 18
Thinking of you.... and hoping you can get the information and help you need, to be able to help your dear little kitty....
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