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Help - Renal Failure

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I just received confirmation from my vet that my cat Tiger is in Renal Failure. She started showing signs of illness, losing weight and drinking plenty of water. The blood work confirmed what we suspected.

I've never had a cat with Renal Failure. The vet tells all we can do is try to get her to eat the spcial diet and give her fluids once a week to help flush out the toxins.

Does anyone out there have any words of wisdom for me on this subject. I want to do all I can for Tiger. I would even consider a transplant if I knew who would do one.

Tiger is only 6 years old and is feluk negative so this is a little perplexing. She's too young to have this dread disease. Then again I realize she could have been born with something wrong with her and I had no way of knowing that. Should I get an ultrasound? Will that make any difference in the outcome or her treatment?

Any advice or comfort you can lend will be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 22
Patsy, my heart goes out to you. Once kitties organs begin to fail there is not much that can be done. I do know of a board that is set up for this type of disease where you can get comments and suggestions from the vet who oversees the board. My shop kitty Bravo was diagnosed with CRF several years ago and even though he also was a youngster, we opted to have him put to sleep because he was suffering. You must do what you think is best. Here is the link. Good luck to you and your kitty.

Chronic Renal Failure Support
post #3 of 22
I'm sorry to hear about your cat being diagnosed with this. I agree she does seem a bit young to be going through this but it does happen and it affects cats of all ages.

Giving fluids is good and can help slow the progression of the disease. Although depending on how fast the disease is progressing you may have to give her fluids a couple times a week. Sometimes the doctor can show you how to do this at home.

Switching her diet can help because the food has low protein and phosphorus content. Usually vets will give you K/D but I've found not all cats like K/D and if this is the case there is a couple other brands that make food that cater to kidney problems like Eukanuba and IVD.

Just make sure too she always has access to fresh clean water at all times.

The doctor may also want frequent checks on her blood profile and urinalysis. The best you can do right now is make sure she gets her fluids when needed and to feed her the special diet. We have a client who has a cat who was diagnosed with renal failure almost 3 years ago. The doctors are stunned by this and all the woman says she does for the cat is give her fluids 3 times a week and feeds her the special diet.

If you have any question about her health or if you feel she's not doing so good contact your veterinarian. Cats in renal failure can get very sick quickly so it's best to act quickly if something doesn't seem right to you.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy for the site, I'm going to it right now. Also, thanks Jessica for the info. I'm blessed because I have a vet who is available for me 24/7. Whenever I need her she is there. I'll be talking to her everyday about Tiger. Do you think an ultrasound would tell us anything else we should know. If so I'll get one. I talked to my vet's associate today and she said an ultrasound wouldn't be a bad idea. Monday I'll ask my vet what she thinks.

Thanks again for caring.
post #5 of 22
It wouldn't hurt to have an ultrasound because you never know what you might find. Although if you think it would stress her out too much then maybe it would be better to skip that unless your vet thinks it's necessary.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
She is a high strung little girl so unless they could knock her out the ultrasound will be out. She's not looking good an barely eating. I think I'll bring her to the emergency room tonight for some fluids. She feels skinnier today than yesterday. I just feel awful because I didn't notice her getting sick earlier. With 54 cats I know you understand how the early stages of an illness can get overlooked. She is a marbled tabby and I didn't even notice her losing weight. I knew she had lost a little, but that didn't alarm me. It seems she kind of went down hill in a hurry.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your help.
post #7 of 22
Patsy, my beloved guy Zebo was diagnosed when he was 8, and still lived to be 13. Lots of diseases are lumped into the catch-all of CRD, so outcomes vary greatly, and outcomes in cats with the same causes of CRD can also vary greatly.

Sadly, there is no cure for most causes of CRD, and most are also progressive, leading sooner or later to total renal failure, what we call in humans end-stage renal disease. The only treatment is to slow the progression (with diet, mostly) and to alleviate any symptoms that crop up.

Ironically, the same year Zebo was diagnosed, I was too. I also worked in a dialysis facility for a while, so I can tell you that when Tiger is approaching end-stage, she will feel very ill. CRD is no fun. Since there is no chance of any kind of remission at that point, it would be kindest to let her go on to the rainbow bridge at that time. For most people and cats, when the nausea is becoming constant, it's end-stage, so once that begins, you'll know it's time.

Until then, lover her and keep following the vet's advice. She may have many more years ahead of her.

((((Patsy & Tiger))))
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well it's Saturday night and Tiger is spending the night at the emergency hosptial receiving IV fluids. The vet wants to try and get the numbers down and to do that Tiger needs to get the toxins out so she may be there till Monday morning and then transferred to my vet for some more for a few days. I'm encouraged by everyones support and what I've read. My vet says she only has 20% function of her kidneys. I'll keep fighting as long as Tiger wants me to.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks to all
post #9 of 22
To try to give you some perspective, I have 30% and most days feel fine, and most of my labs are still normal or bounce around the border of high.

At 10% is when life is at risk and dialysis starts.

So she's kind of in the middle.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Tiger is still hospitalized. The emergency room doctor thought it best that she stay on the IV fluids until Monday morning when I pick her up to bring her to her regular vet.

Thanks for everything. Keep writing, it helps.
post #11 of 22
Patsy, how is Tiger doing?
post #12 of 22
Patsy I should of added this to my post-

it was found that Bravo was intentionally poisoned. So not only was he fighting the toxins from his shutting down bladder, but also the toxin of the *un-named poison* we put him down almost immediately, before he would really begin to suffer. Good luck with your kitty.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
It's Tuesday morning and Tiger's back at the vet on IV fluids. She was talking this morning and ate a little. It's obvious she has mouth ulcers. Keep those good thoughts and prayers coming and hopefully the "talker" will get over this hurdle and be able to live with this dread disease. I'm also holding my breath waiting for the vet to call and let me know how mama cat's feluk/fiv test came out. She's getting tested and if healthy spayed today. She is so feral and so miserable I'm going to get her to her new home as soon as possible where she'll be able to run free again. Her kittens are doing fine without her. They have so much other company with my other young cats. It's hysterical watching the big ones chase the little ones, trying to knock them over with the swipe at the back leg. They think they are hunting baby gazelles! They tackle the babies, put them in a bear hug, kick the heck out of them and when the baby screams, they lick them on the head and let them go. Two seconds later the baby is back for another round. I can't get any work done watching these clowns.

Thanks again
post #14 of 22
I am very sorry to hear about your cat.

I just went through the same thing with one of my cats about a month ago.

One treatment which I tried was helpful- this is called the "Sub Q" (IV with saline 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.

For more information about CRF/Renal failure, check out these great websites I found..

On April 30, 2002, I had SunniDay put to sleep at my home. It's hard to explain but I knew she wanted me to let her go. She had stopped eating, started pooping outside the litter box and was sleeping all the time. Her eyes also were different.

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.

With CRF, the lifespan varies due to what the extent of damage has been done to the organs. Sunni's organs were damaged real bad by the time I got her to the vet.

Hope this helps.. The websites I checked were also very helpful. Pls keep us posted on your cat! Good luck and hang in there.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your letter. Tiger is doing about the same. I brought her to a second vet because I wanted to get another opionion. The second vet took some urine to rule out bad kidney infection, gave me some IV fluids to give her sub Q and told me about an antacid that would help bind the toxins and prevent her from getting more toxic while we're tying to flush the toxins out.

She's so upset with me that she's hiding somewhere in the house. After the antacid she said "That's it, enough". I am so stressed because I can't stand to have one of my cats this ill, it makes me crazy not to be able to do anything more and not knowing if what I'm doing will really make a difference. She is real alert and was very talkative at the vet so that's a good sign.

I'll keep you posted on her progress.

Thanks for caring.

Patsy & Tiger
s s
post #16 of 22
I don't have any advice to give, but give Tigger a big kiss for me. I hope she feels better soon.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Tiger is feeling better tonight. I took her out of her favorite window and made her eat a little A/D, which she does after she sees I'm going to force her!

Then she ate some fancy feast and drank some water. She's now in her favorite chair. She gives it up during the day and the kittens have taken it over because they discovered the heating pad and they love that heat. I know they'd love to snuggle with Tiger, but she never liked other cats when she was well, let alone now that she's ill.

I hope beyond hope that her tests come back and show her problem is due to infection and with antibiotics her condition might improve. I have to keep thinking positive, because if I don't I'm afraid I'll fall apart.

Thanks for your good wishes and prayers.


By the way if anyone would like to see a photo of the kittens you can e-mail me directly. I'm sorry I don't have time now to figure out how to attach them to this forum thing. My e-mail is
post #18 of 22
What happened with Tiger and the CRF? I recently lost a 15 month old Rottweiler due to bilateral renal dysplasia, a congenital kidney disease, that plus a kidney infection. She spent the better part of two weeks hooked up to IV. After two weeks of trying to get her to eat, bad diarrhea and sporadic vomiting I decided my sweet girl had suffered long enough. The sonogram showed these grossly deformed kidneys and they estimated she had only about 25% kidney function at best! As she grew, the kidneys just couldn't filter out the wastes anymore.

I hope your little guy made it. I sorta knew I might not have Anna long---she was extremely tiny at birth--a third the size of her other littermates, and she grew very slowly at at 15 months was a small Rottie---but to make up for it, she was the most loving dog I have ever had---she just had a charisma that everyone responded to--despite her being a Rottweiler! Is Tiger one of these "special" ones?

I now have two female Siamese kittens--one of which is much smaller and frailer than the other--yet is supposed to be healthy. I worry , though. Good luck, you and Tiger. Gatsbycat
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Tiger is still hanging in there and I am too. I think I was in worse shape than her today, cried all day. Then tonight she came out of her favorite window, ate some dry food, some A/D, some fancy feast, and some baby food. Even drank water without making faces.

The nausea has been getting her so I gave her 1/2 of a Centrene tablet this evening. I'm not sure if I have the spelling right. That seems to help her. The dr. says she doesn't have ulcers, but she does this weird thing with her mouth that makes me think otherwise. I'm giving her two different types of antacid. One to bind the toxins and the other to alleviate the acid in her stomach.

This afternoon I had a couple come over to see about adopting one of the kittens. I had just told the girl earlier today that I might have to have my cat put to sleep, so I asked if she'd come earlier than our original date for tomorrow.

Well, wouldn't you know it, Tiger came from behind the curtain and started talking to them and insisted on being petted. I thought to myself, this girl must think I'm nuts putting to sleep this friendly, apparently healthy cat! No, just kidding, the girl knows me so she knows I wouldn't do that. Anyway, poor Tiger is so skinny, you could never mistaken her for a healthy cat.

I just got up to go give Tiger her Pepcid AC before bed and I swear she's acting so much better. After taking her medication she begged for food and then she ate some fancy feast and some cooked chicken. And once again drank a lot of water.

The second dr. I took her to yesterday is looking for some type of infection that could be causing her symptoms because she does not present like a cat with chronic renal failure, i.e., the primary reason is she's so young, she is so friendly and happy. Her kidneys feel the correct size and very smooth and rounded. Hopefully the doctor will find this is an acute attack and she will get better. I don't want to kid myself, but she sure is acting 100% better than she has for the last 7 days.

Time will tell, that's for sure.

Thanks for asking about her. I'll keep you posted.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi all of you friends of Tiger. She is doing very good today. Yesterday morning she was real good, by afternoon real bad, then after her nausea med she was good again.

I cried myself to sleep last night wondering what today would bring for Tiger. Well, she must of heard me because when I woke this morning she acts like she's not sick. She's eating and drinking up a storm without the help of her anti nausea med's. She didn't have diarrhea either during the night like she had the past few nights.

This morning she greeted me like she always did when she was well. She's situated herself on a sofa table that we have by a window. She goes from the window sill back to the table. I set up her heating pad with her favorinte bedding (imitation lambs wool), her food and water, and she's as happy as a clam. She doesn't have that "I want to die look on her face today." She talks and talks to let me know she's O.K. I guess. When she's not talking I know she's feeling poorly. It's 3:42 p.m. and she hasn't needed her nausea medicine which is the first in over 10 days. I gave her the Sub Q fluids which is not easy because she makes these little noises and I'm so nervous doing this needle thing. I'm good at a lot of things, needles are not one of them!

Keep up the prayers and good thoughts. Tiger is most grateful and so am I.

I've gotten three of the kittens adopted. I'm keeping one, so that leaves 2 left for adoption. I know I'm going to miss them little sweethearts, oh I guess for 5 minutes. HA!

I'll keep you posted on Tiger's condition.

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 

Tiger is doing great. She is eating and drinking like a hog. She is on Sub Q every other day now. Today is her first day off of them and she's doing fine.

It seems the fluids actually make her uncomfortable. She acts out of sorts for a while after receiving them. I read somewhere that depending on where they settle while being absorbed, they can be a bit painful.

I'll be in touch. Tiger says thanks for all the good wishes.

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just an update on Tiger. She was chasing lizards today so that should give you an idea how well she is doing. She is on sub Q fluids every other day right now and that seems to be doing her good. Next Wednesday I bring her to the vet for a blood test to see where the numbers are.

I'll keep you posted.

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