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My cat has kidney failure. Is raw diet helpful?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is my first post.
I just found out this past Friday that my 15 year old Siamese, Loki, has CRF, vet says it is genetic. Her BUN was pretty high, 96.

She reacted quite badly to the vet and his assistent, very frightened and angry. They tell me that subcutaneous fluid therapy would be hlepful, but basically the last word from them is "hey good luck!"

Well I am pretty sad. Loki is better now than she was the other day, but her appetite is down and she appears to be experiencing some nausea. She has lost about 20% of her body weight in the 6 months.

So I am looking into how to help her best. She outright refuses to eat the SD KD, dry or wet.

I was wondering if anyone here has had good results with their CRF cat on a raw meat diet?
Also, I have read a lot about a raw meat diet here, and it seems a little odd to me. There are so many "bugs" to be found in raw meat. Does that mean cats can just handle that sort of thing or should I be looking for meats from organic, etc sources?

I also saw some information in accupressure and accupuncture. Has anyone tried that? Did you have good results?

Thanks in advance. I have had Loki since she was 6 weeks old. I would really like to keep her with me and make her comfortable.
post #2 of 10
I would first find a holistic vet or one that is willing to help you down the holistic path... I have a CRF girl myself who gets high end canned mixed with raw ... I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO FIND SOMEONE TO HELP AND NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN..... some raw diets are complete and others arent ... reasearch and get some one to help you...

what is your LOKIs creatine ???
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Her creatine is 3.3

I am almost afraid to take her into another vet.
She was so scared of this last one she had to be muzzled and restrained. They tried to take her temp and she got away with the thermo still inside her. She was VERY angry and frightened.
post #4 of 10
I feed all my bengals a raw diet, but none of them have or had health issues, so I agree with Sharky, please find a holistic vet.
What you could do, is get the diagnosis and test results from your current vet and just have a holistic vet look at the documents first. See what he or she can recommend as a helpful diet.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I have been worried she will die soon because of this. It just breaks my heart. She has been with me through college, marriage, childbirth, divorce...

I have a copy of the lab report and will find a holistic vet.
post #6 of 10
I haven't any advice, but send to you both.
post #7 of 10
Hi, I am sorry to hear your kitty got this diagnosis. I hope it will help if I tell you that there are a number of TCS members who have had kitties with this, and some have been able to extend their kitties lives for several *good* years.

I can give you NO better advice than this...go to www.felinecrf.org and read the entire site. It is meticulously researched, it is accurate, it is what helped me so much with my Patrick (who lived almost 4 years after his diagnosis at 15).

If you were interested, there is also a support group I can refer you to, where the moderators and long term members are just fantastic. Pm me if you want the information on the group.

I wish you all the best...please take advantage of the katkarma pages listed at the website above as a resource for finding the protein and phosphorus content of prescription and non-prescription foods. There should be several that would fit what range your vet wants for your kitty, allowing you to test several.

I will tell you that to me, controlling phosphorous content is more important than protein level (and the quality of protein fed matters imo, as well). There are phos binders that can be used, potassium supplements if your cats Potassium (K+) is low.

My suggestion for giving sub-q's at home, use Terumo ultra thin walled needles...they honestly are sharper (easier to insert) and Patrick tolerated these best.
post #8 of 10
Great advice from Pat & Alix. I, too, have a girl with CRF.

Hydration, or fluid therapy is the single best thing for a cat with CRF, (unless the cat has heart problems). I think your vet's comment "good luck" is pretty flippant under the circumstances. Just because Loki reacted badly to the vet and his assistant, does not mean she'll be that way with you when you administer fluids. Ask your vet what the recommended amount and frequency of fluids would be for Loki. BTW, you can ask your vet for prescriptions for the hydration equipment (fluid bags, venosets (the line the fluid goes through), and needles - ask for Terumo ultrathin wall 20 gauge) and buy from medical supply companies on line, rather than from your vet. You'll save a good deal of money.

Kidney problems commonly cause nausea. My vet advised me to give my girl 1/4 tablet of Pepcid A/C (10 mg size) once daily on an empty stomach. It's been very helpful. Ask your vet about this.

Cats with kidney problems can often feel chilly - make sure Loki has a warm, quiet place to curl up. My cat loves a warm towel right out of the dryer wrapped around her.

Since Loki has lost so much weight, I would be less worried at this point about *what* she's eating, and more concerned that she's eating *something*. If you can, avoid dry food - it uses up too much precious moisture, and you want to keep Loki's system as hydrated as possible. Try different varieties of high quality canned food til you hit one she likes. Make sure she's eating enough because too little food or no food at all can cause a liver disorder called hepatic lipidosis. Loki has enough to deal with now without that. If she isn't eating well on her own which is likely due to her nausea, you may have to syringe feed her. There's a very helpful website I can refer you to if you need to do that.

I had spoken with a couple of holistic vets about the possibility of acupuncture for my cat, but they felt it wouldn't be beneficial for CRF. All (both holistic and conventional vets) agreed that fluids were the absolute best thing for kidney problems. My advice would be to get started with the hydration ASAP and worry about a raw diet once you get Loki feeling better.

You obviously love Loki and are dedicated to helping her so she's already got a great advantage in that.

Please let us know how it's going.
post #9 of 10
My cat had CRF for four years. She was very difficult at the vets office but it was very easy for me to give her the fluids at home. When I went on vacation it was very easy for a vet technician to come in to my home and give her fluids. If your cat is friendly to you, I don't think you will have any problems giving fluids at your home.
I gave my cat canned and dried food specially made for cats with kidney disease along with Benazepril and subq fluids. She did very well on just these things for very a long time. My two cats with kidney disease both liked different kinds of kidney diet wet food. Try experimenting with the different brands. Some brands even come in different textures. Both my cats like the IVD modified diet dried food.
Please try to give her the fluids at home...maybe you could get a vet tech to come to your home to show you how to do it.
Please keep us posted.
post #10 of 10
I have been feeding a raw food diet to my six cats for a year. I initially did it because one of my cats started having immune system problems. He was going downhill fast. I had heard about raw food diets but was overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to do one. I bought "The New Natural Cat" by Anitra Frazier. It details everything and how to do it. My youngest cats swithched over quickly, but my older ones it took some time for them to get used to it. It can also be time consuming to do everything form scratch. People think I'm crazy but I credit a raw food diet for saving my cats life. He has not had to go to the vet (except for vaccs.) since I started him on the diet and he is the picture of health! And this was the cat that was dying before my eyes. Just be sure to read very thoroughly all you can on the matter. It can be a bit overwhelming at first but I am sure you can do it!
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