chronic kidney disease

Discussion in 'Cat Forums you can interact with cat lovers' started by xena, May 12, 2003.

  1. xena

    xena Newbie

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    Hi,

    I came home from a short trip to see my cat, Kitty, looking droopy and scruffy. She had lost three pounds, seemingly overnight. The vet thinks she has chronic kidney disease. I read a couple of recent posts about kidney failure. Is this the same thing? Does anyone else have a cat with this and if so did they improve? I'm really sad and don't know what to expect. The vet did see a weird small white spot on one of her kidneys and thought that maybe it was a stone. I'm supposed to give her antibiotics and special food for a couple of weeks and see what happens. She is still eating but doesn't seem to want to use the litterbox as often. Thanks for any info...
     
  2. joannaw1@aol.com

    joannaw1@aol.com Member

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    Sorry to hear about your kitty. Below is some information that you may find helpful. I would also ask your vet about changing your cats food. Some of the newer cat foods have diets low in magnesium and cats eating them produce an acidic (low pH) urine and this is good for some cats with stones. Diets formulated to contain moderate to lower protein levels, lower magnesium levels, and, with increased urine acidifying potential, can help minimize formation of struvite uroliths (stones). There are goods and bads about these special foods - talk with your vet to be sure. One sure good thing for them is water and plenty of it. I know it is hard to get a cat to drink but encourage in any way possible - even if that means changing the water 3 times a day to keep it fresh or if you feed moist food, add a tablespoon of water to it to increase H2O consumption.



    Chronic renal/ kidney failure (CRF)

    CRF results from kidney disease that has been persisting for months or years. It is irreversible and renal function deteriorates progressively over the course of the disease. Cats with mild CRF may not exhibit symptoms. Almost twice as many cats as dogs are diagnosed with CRF.

    Warning signs of ARF and CRF

    Since our cats cannot tell us when they hurt, we must rely on our observations to let us know when something is wrong with the kidneys. Cats may have:


    Changes in urinary habits such as urinating a lot (polyuria) or not at all (anuria)


    Increased water consumption (polydipsia)


    Anorexia (not wanting to eat)


    Listlessness


    Vomiting or diarrhea, which may or may not be bloody

    Ataxia (stumbling as the result of loss of voluntary movement)

    Seizures or blindness


    Anemia and resulting weakness


    Known or suspected toxin exposure

    In addition, cats with CRF may experience weight loss, poor hair coats, and often develop high blood pressure.

    With either form, symptoms get worse as the disease progresses. If you notice any of the above signs, schedule a visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of acute renal failure will greatly influence the success of the treatment. Cats with chronic renal failure, if managed successfully through diet, hydration therapy, and medications, can often live for years with the disease. [​IMG]
     
  3. xena

    xena Newbie

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    Thanks..I cried all night thinking of losing Kitty. She didn't come in to sleep with me for the first time. Today she looks a little better and is eating and drinking. The vet did give her some special food. I'm wondering if there is any other problem that might give the same symptoms? It just seemed to happen so suddenly--just a week or so ago she was her usual self.
     
  4. Dr.D

    Dr.D Member

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    Xena, I'm sorry to hear your cat is feeling poorly. As Joanna said, a cat with kidney problems can live a long time as long as she is under a vet's care.

    Please give Kitty a good scratch under her chin for me.

    ______________
    Cats Moderator
     
  5. joannaw1@aol.com

    joannaw1@aol.com Member

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    How is Kitty doing today?
     
  6. xena

    xena Newbie

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    Today when I got home from work she seems worse. She won't eat which means that I can't give her vitamins or medicine. She seems so miserable. I don't think she has used the litterbox (I have two cats, so it's hard to tell). I just can't believe how sudden this is.

    Thanks for your concern, it means a lot to me. I feel so helpless.
     
  7. joannaw1@aol.com

    joannaw1@aol.com Member

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    Do you have any idea when the last time was that she had some fluids? That is REALLY important. If it has been more than a day, I would highly advise calling your vet and requesting her to get an IV of fluid. It is really simple and isn't as bad as it sounds. The vet actually will just put the fluid under the skin usually on their upper back - neck / shoulder area. It will leave a little hump, but the body will absorb it. It only takes about 5 minutes at the vets to have this done and would probably cost anywhere from $20-$40, but it may be VERY helpful if she is getting dehydrated. DEHYDRATED IS REALLY BAD FOR CATS! Plus hydrating her will help her body flush the bad stuff that her kidneys are having problems with. I just did this a week ago for a sick cat of mine and I have had it done many times to my cats before. It really seems to help just getting liquid back in them. Its kind of like when we are sick - remember??? We were always told as kids to drink plenty of liquids. well, cats need liquid too. I have even gone so fas as to use a syringe to give them water before when they have been really sick. I spent one night up every 1/2 hour giving 2 ml of water - long night but well worth it. Dont be afraid to call your vet if you are concerned - that is what you are paying them for and you and your kitty will be thankful! [​IMG]

    My fingers are crossed!
     
  8. xena

    xena Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice..yesterday she was still drinking. Today I got her to eat a little bit. She still seems alert, but is walking stiffly and seems uncomfortable. I'm bringing her in if she keeps not eating. I won't keep filling up this message board, but will keep you informed on my little kitty. It is so hard to see her this way.
     
  9. joannaw1@aol.com

    joannaw1@aol.com Member

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    Good idea - take her in to the vet if she isnt getting any better. Poor thing!
     
  10. cemeteria

    cemeteria Member

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    Hi Xena -
    I have an eighteen year old girl who just started displaying some very alarming symptoms on Thursday: disinterest in food, extreme listlessness, hiding and depression. We saw the vet on Friday and he took some blood and gave her some fluids. He was leaning toward the possibility of Renal Failure, but we won't know anything for certain until the bloodwork comes back from the lab (probably not until Monday morning [​IMG]). She just seems so miserable! Tonight when I got home from work, she couldn't walk very far without having to rest and catch her breath, so we took her in for an emergency visit. Both vets who have seen her have commented that her kidneys don't feel particularly small or deteriorated. Anyway - tonight's vet (our regular doctor wasn't on call) seems to think my baby is anemic- which I've learned can be a by-product of renal failure. Both doctors have reassured me that many cats with crf can maintain a comfortable and moderately healthy life for some time after diagnosis.
    My advice to you, Xena is to draw as much support as you need from this board - everyone here is very supportive and understanding. I would also advise you to do as much research on crf as you can. Knowledge is power. Once you know exactly what you're dealing with, the less frightening it will be.
    I will be thinking of you, and will check this board to find out how your baby is doing. Good luck and keep your chin up - your kitty needs you!
    Deb
     
  11. xena

    xena Newbie

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    Deb, I was sorry to hear about your kitty. Though some of the symptoms sound the same, my cat isn't short of breath. So maybe it isn't CRF. I hope so.

    Kitty is still alert though she has been going and sitting in the closet for hours at a time. I can't get her to eat much. And when she does, I have to wave the food in front of her nose. It's like she doesn't know what food is. I tried a recipe of liver and rice the vet gave me, but she only ate a few pieces of liver and isn't interested anymore. If anyone reading this has any suggestions on how to get a cat to eat, I would appreciate it. She is still drinking some. I can't just leave her restricted protein food out because my healthy cat will eat it and throw up. I'm afraid that if I didn't wave food in front of Kitty, she wouldn't eat at all. And she isn't eating enough to keep her alive. But it isn't her time to go, yet, she still purrs and looks interested in life.
     
  12. joannaw1@aol.com

    joannaw1@aol.com Member

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    Xena - You can try warming her food a little. Cats really like to smell what they are eating and warming the food a little helps give off scents. Sometimes that can make it appealing to them. My market carries a producat called Cat Sip. It comes in a little aqua box like a kids juice box. It is a milk product, but they take out the lactose that is in milk that makes cats sick. I give it to my two as a treat, but it does have protein and a little fat in it, so it would be some nutrition value and liquid for Kitty. It is less than $2.00 for a box. If your market doesnt have it, maybe Petco or a pet type store.

    I know it is hard, cause like us, when we dont feel well - we dont want to eat either. And like us, the longer we go without eating the less likely we want to eat at all. I would really make every effort to get her to eat and drink. I would let your vet know also what is going on. They may have an idea!

    Fingers are still crossed - for you too Deb!
     
  13. xena

    xena Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice. She is now spending most of her time hiding in the closet. I was wondering if any of you have experience with Zeniquin (an antibiotic) causing depressed appetite. The vet prescribed it for her possible kidney stone, but ever since she has started taking it, she has eaten less and less. I'm wondering if I should keep giving it to her.
     
  14. joannaw1@aol.com

    joannaw1@aol.com Member

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    Xena - here is some information on Zeniquin. (The study was more on dogs, but I would guess it would be the same for cats) If any of these signs are going on with Kitty, call your vet!

    ADVERSE REACTIONS: The following clinical signs were reported during the course of clinical field studies in dogs receiving Zeniquin at dosages up to 2.5 mg/lb daily: decreased or loss of appetite (5.4%), decreased activity (4.4%), and vomiting (2.9%). The following signs were reported in less than 1% of cases in dogs: increased thirst, soft stool/diarrhea, behavioral changes, shivering/ shaking/tremors, and ataxia. One dog which had a seizure the day before study enrollment experienced a seizure while on marbofloxacin therapy. The following clinical signs were reported during clinical field studies in cats receiving 1.25 mg/lb/day: diarrhea (2.1%) and soft stool (1.4%). Vomiting was reported in less than 1% of cases in cats.

    Decreased food consumption and weight loss were significant in the 7.5 mg/lb and 12.5 mg/lb groups.


    Hope this helps!

    Joanna
     

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