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Recently diagnosed CRF, some questions...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My cat was diagnosed with CRF today at the vet. Instead of copying and pasting, here is the story of Corgan and his last couple of days: here.

I have a simple question, really. We are visiting the vet tomorrow (8am EST), and I'd like to know what questions I should ask, and what kind of research, etc. I need to do.

I've already found a great couple of sites (felinecrf.org for example, with an overwhelming amount of information. I'm going to get a copy of his blood test from today tomorrow as well.

I'd extremely appreciate any feedback or advice, as I'd like to help Corgan out as much as I possibly can. I can't stand to see him like he is right now.

And I'm still contemplating as to leave him with the vet for a couple days, or do SQ fluids at home (which is what I've already told them I'm going to do). My budget is tight, but I can try to borrow money for him.
post #2 of 16
It was hard for me to read your post as I lost my Tigger to Renal Failure after he ingested a Lilly. In his case there was nothing we could do as he ingested a large amount and we didn't catch it until a couple days later. But I know how your cat is behaving as Tigger was the same way the day I took him to the vet. I figured it was just something minor and some drugs would fix him right up. I left the vets office 3 hours later without my Tigger.

If you can, have the vet administer the IV fluids and check the bloodwork for a few days. They will be able to tell quickly if the fluids are helping. Some cats react to the treatment very well and others do not. If Corgan takes well to the treatment then it is something that you can do from home. Depending on the degree of failure, you may have many months left with a relatively healthy cat. Keep in mind that at some point, the treatment won't help any longer and you will have to make the decision to put him down before he's suffering.

When I had to put tigger down, it wasn't a cold heartless procedure done by a vet in the back room. They had a special quiet room with a couch and waterfall. They had already prepped his leg for the injection. I was allowed to spend as much time as I needed with him and was given the option to be with him as he was put to sleep. It was a very hard decision but I felt that Tigger would be more comfortable in my arms. After he was gone I was again allowed to stay with him until I was able to leave. We it's time to go, your cat will let you know. You shouldn't feel guilty allowing you cat to cross the rainbow bridge when it's time. It's what he wants and your ability to let him go shows as much love as all the effort you have spent making his life as wonderful as it could be.
post #3 of 16
I send you big hugs and a prayer... Kandie has Crf but it was caught in the early mid stage ...
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehranudh
My cat was diagnosed with CRF today at the vet. Instead of copying and pasting, here is the story of Corgan and his last couple of days: here.

I have a simple question, really. We are visiting the vet tomorrow (8am EST), and I'd like to know what questions I should ask, and what kind of research, etc. I need to do.

I've already found a great couple of sites (felinecrf.org for example, with an overwhelming amount of information. I'm going to get a copy of his blood test from today tomorrow as well.

I'd extremely appreciate any feedback or advice, as I'd like to help Corgan out as much as I possibly can. I can't stand to see him like he is right now.

And I'm still contemplating as to leave him with the vet for a couple days, or do SQ fluids at home (which is what I've already told them I'm going to do). My budget is tight, but I can try to borrow money for him.
I am very sorry for the diagnosis. I've had one kitty with crf (low numberrs though when diagnosed, and when he had to be pts, it was not due to his crf but other factors) that lived almost 4 years after diagnosis, have two currently with crf - one diagnosed almost a year ago, and very stable, one newly diagnosed and I am going to do my best to get 6 to 10 years more for her (she is very young).

I think my favorite statement from a support list I am on, is that you treat the cat, not the numbers.

I will pm you the address of this support group (which does refer folks to the felinecrf.org site - please, keep reading all it has to say - re phos binders - if needed, potassium supplements if needed, acid reducers, foods, constipation and more).

If you do join the support list, you will have access to their file on good places to order fluids, iv sets etc at very good cost (usually buying from your vet will be much more expensive), needle suggestions (terumo ultra thin walls are my cat's fav).

You are right, that is a high BUN, but just as important, is what your cats creatinine level is, hemaglobin (Hgb) and hematocrit (hct), urine specific gravity (the concentration of your cats urine), phosphorous, calcium and potassium levels.

My cat that lived almost 4 years was on calcitriol the entire time, an acid reducer, a supplement once he did become anemic, and did not need daily sub-q's until his last months.

Get a copy of all the lab results, ask if your vet will give you a prescription so you can either order iv fluids and supplies online or via a store such as Costco, read the felinecrf.org site re foods (and visit the katkaram site for values on various dry and canned foods, so if needed, you can ask your vet about using a food with a comparable protein/phosphorous value).

Off to send you that pm, and best wishes to you and your kitty,
post #5 of 16
I had a 17 yr old cat that we recently put to sleep who had CRF. He was diagnosed with CRF 4 years ago and my mother in law was told he had 6 months to live. She decided to just take him home and let him enjoy his last days without having needles and IVs plugged into him. He got over his sluggishness, and acted like a regular cat for a while after that. He just peed all the time.

MIL moved a couple of states away and felt that Tiger was too sick to take on the trip. So she left him with us. This was 2 years ago. We took him to the vet, and his numbers again were elevated, I don't remember the exact #s, and we decided to work on his diet and see if we could stabilize his #s through a kidney happy diet. This worked for a year and a half, as his numbers kept going down!!!

Back in November he started looking ill again. We brought him in for a check up and his BUN and creatine were sky high. The vet told us that it was getting close to his time. She suggested the IV and my husband and I took him home to think about what course of action we were going to take. Very soon after that Tiger started having Seizures. After his first one he was so weak and in so much pain, he didn't want to be touched. He was in a coma like state for a good half hour. We brought him in that day and decided to have him put to sleep. Our poor boy suffered in the end, but he lived happily for 4 years CRF.

Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.
post #6 of 16
I am so sorry about the diagnosis for your cat. I pray the treatments will help him and that you will still have some quality time with him before his time comes. I went through something similar last July. Our 12 yr. old Max got sick on Thursday afternoon, panting and drooling. He was an outside cat. When I called the vet, they said put him where it was cool and give him some water. But he was worse on Friday. I took him to the vet. The bloodwork showed the kidney failure. The vet thought it was CRF. He kept Max all weekend and treated him with fluids, etc. But he didn't improve any, only got worse. By Monday morning, we knew what we had to do. I held him in my arms. It was so painful. We never knew what caused his kidneys to fail. He had always been a very healthy cat. Even though he lived outside, he was confined in a cat enclosure and we didn't think he was exposed to anything. Prayers to you and your sweet cat. We are all hoping for his improvement.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I send you big hugs and a prayer... Kandie has Crf but it was caught in the early mid stage ...
Jennifer, would you be willing to share some of Kandie's story? How long she's had this diagnosis, how she's doing, how you treat her?

It would also be great if Stephanie would as well. I don't want to be the only person posting in this thread who has experienced being able to fortunately stabilize my kitties with crf and have them live beyond a few weeks or months as so many vets will predict with this diagosis.
post #8 of 16
Pat and Alex, did I also post a story of stabilizing my cat with CRF and having him live for a couple of years?
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzymslizzy
Pat and Alex, did I also post a story of stabilizing my cat with CRF and having him live for a couple of years?
Yes you did, I am sorry, my life is busy, and while I do my best to read and remember what I have read, I don't always manage it.
post #10 of 16
well here is a story of hope, i think

my now 19 yr old girl has had CRF "officially" for nearly a year now, but it was clear that her kidneys were failing at least 2 yrs before this (this is my 3rd CRF cat so i knew what to look for)

when her creatinine was high enough for the "official" diagnosis, she went on subQs as often as i could get her to take them which back then was about every two days, i thnik. at least twice a week.

she went back to have blood work done and her values (creatinine and BUN) had increased but not much

her vet said to give her fluids daily at 100mls or every other day at 200mls

i went with the 200mls every other day but it wasn't long before she starting refusing them and i could only get them into her about once a week.

she went back for more blood work and i was sure the numbers would be higher, but she had actually gone down back into the normal range for the creatinine. BUN was still a bit high, but she is NOT on a reduced protein diet, there are none that she can have due to food allergies.

she is over due for blood work now, but she has no serious signs that her kidneys have gotten significantly worse- she has no nausea or vomiting and her appetite is great (that may be due to her IBD- she needs to eat a lot due to a malabsorption problem)

she still will only accept fluids about once a week. in the meantime i add water to her food, (canned food only) and she has a good supply of fresh Brita filtered water that she loves to "steal" from my glass LOL
(so now i pretend its my glass of water to encourage her to drink more, she loves to think she is getting away with something!)

she is slowing down a lot and losing wt, but that seems to be more due to her advanced age than the CRF.


my other two cats with CRF also had diabetes. one of them was very sick from many other things, so CRF is not what caused his death

my first girl had diabetes and CRF and back then, the treatments were very different.
she ate only dry food, and when she got sick and would not eat, she went in to the hospital and got IV fluids for a day.
she came home and was fine, even though her vet said she had extremely high numbers, she ate well, and had no vomiting etc.

a while later she "crashed" again, stopped eating and drinking and even stopped peeing
she went into the hospital again, and they gave her IV fluids AND subQs and they called me after the first nite, and said she was too upset being there and would not eat. they did not expect her to make it thru another nite so they sent her home.....

i was told that the only chance she had was if i could get her to eat, so i got some baby food meat and rubbed it on her tongue, and held her limp body in my lap and cried and cried.
we both fell asleep on the floor
i woke up to a familiar sound- she was crunching away on her dry food!!!

she went on to live another 6 mos.

and this was without the subQ treatments we now give at home, this was a long time ago, and that just was not done back then..


so as Pat says, treat the cat, not the numbers!! my girl Sara, the one who did not have the best treatment, did great with very high numbers.

with only those two hospitalizations, she lived two years with CRF and that was after the damage done to her body by uncontrolled diabetes.

there's a lot of hope out there.

i pray that your kitty does as well as so many are doing these days.

just take it one day at a time, thats all we can do

all the best,
post #11 of 16
Quote:
And I'm still contemplating as to leave him with the vet for a couple days, or do SQ fluids at home (which is what I've already told them I'm going to do). My budget is tight, but I can try to borrow money for him.
i would wait to see how your boy does with the subQs at home, i imagine the vet will want him to have them at least once a day, maybe twice a day til his numbers come down.

if it looks like you will not be able to get the fluids into him by yourself at first (it is not always that easy to do at first, but usually gets much better the more you do it)
anyway, if you have trouble with the subQs at that point i would go with the in hospital IV
see if they can keep him just one day, during the day and not overnight if he gets really stressed at the vets NORMALLY (dont go by how he is now, he is not feeling well)
the fluids will make a dramatic difference, so the more that they can get into him the quickest way, the sooner he will be feeling better and will probably not be so grouchy.

you might want to see about applying to IMOM- i will look up the link for you. if you qualify, they have assistance that may pay for vet visits and the fluids and needles you will need.

i am not sure how they determine who is eligible- i had a diabetic cat who was sponsored thru them and they paid for almost a years worth of vet visits and diabetic supplies (around $1000 total!)

you have to post frequent updates on your pet and let ppl know how much he means to you because that is how you get ppl to sponsor and donate to help him.

this is not hard to do when you love your kitty!!

i will be back later with the link.
post #12 of 16
I'm so sorry you're having to face this with your baby and know it can feel so overwhelming. I'm surely repeating some of the information already offered.

It's wonderful that you've already discovered felinecrf. It ireally 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 had much improvement after changing her diet to this exclusively. Also, she has recently begun taking Epakitin, a phosphate binder, and this has made a terrific difference in her labs! 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. You and Corgan will be in my prayers. Please feel free to pm any time at all.

Stephanie
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by catnapt
well here is a story of hope, i think
<snip>
just take it one day at a time, thats all we can do

all the best,
It is a story of hope, thanks for sharing it here. And I couldn't agree more, taking each day as complete and full and worth everything helped me, versus my thinking of upcoming loss. I didn't want to waste any of our time left together by being sad while Patrick was still with me.
post #14 of 16
I just lost my 17 year old girl to Crf last month. She was diagnosed with it in June 2005. We worked with her every day giving home sub-q's and lots of love. She had her good days, and she had days where I wondered if I was doing her an injustice by keeping her alive. Every day for the last year she made it a point to let me know how much she loved us. My little girl fought till the last day when she could no longer get up. It was at that time that I took her in to let her cross over in peace.

This forum has alot of good information and support for you while you are going through this. There are people on here who have done remarkable things to keep their CRF cats condition in check with diet, and sub-q's.

Many prayers and hugs
post #15 of 16
This is such a very touching, inspiring thread!
post #16 of 16
Kandie is a happy and mostly healthy 18 yr old now...

She was diagnoised with CRF at 14.5 or 3-4 years ago ... My mom cried when she was diagnoised as she lost a cat to CRF ... Kandie was caught early mid stage and for the first year I had her blood work done every six weeks and read everything I could ,.. Kandie s diet changed drastically ... First we tried Rxs but she wouldnt eat then I found a senior that my vet said would be okay and I learned how to read a can label.. Her numbers stayed stable till an infection ... Then I started cooking for her and did this at least 50 diet for a couple years ...
About a yr and half ago I took her off dry completely and looked into homemade only .. I got her numbers down to diagnoisis leval ..
I changed to a holistic vet and learned how to do raw the right way ...
Today her creatine and bun are down from evan six months ago but she has high potassium ... I am looking into that further as she is hard to pill and my vet know this hence why she is not on meds... She eats raw and canned with a kidney supplement a jt supplement and some other supplements ... She just started accupucture and so far I see a little appitite and potty improvement and she is tolerating it ....

There is hope .Find a vet you are very comfortable with as you will see alot of them.. When Kandie was diagnoised I started preparing for her death well now I am prepared for her to out live her owner( my mother )
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