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Update on Billy

Smiley14
January 8th, 2008, 03:47 PM
I took Billy in today for stage three bloodwork and a general exam and urine analysis. We have good news and bad news from today's visit. For those that don't know or don't remember, Billy is 17 years old and has lymphoma.

Good news: He has managed to gain a pound!! YAY! And great news that his lymph nodes are still clear. YAY again! So he is doing a marvelous job of kicking the cancer's butt so far! :)

Bad news: We believe he is in some stage of renal failure. He has been urinating a LOT lately, so I asked them to check for that as well. His kidney's feel small and his urine is very clear. All signs of kidney problems. We'll get the test results back tomorrow so we'lll know exactly what we're dealing with. But the vet seemed pretty positive that whatever the stage, we can manage it for now at least with simple diet change, baby aspirin three times a week, and daily Cosequin.
The other bad news is the diet change. I spent 6 months finding food that he will eat and now because of the too high of protein levels, he can't have it anymore. I could try Wellness, but he has refused it in the past. The vet wants to put him on K/D of course, which I doubt he will eat either. However, it has been about 8 months since I tried any food switches with him and the last time was when he was still sick. Since he is stable now and not neausous, we're hoping he'll be more open to different food this time around. The other bad part of going to low protein is for the cancer. High protein is recommended for the cancer, but now I can't push his kidneys anymore with it. He's on really crappy food now (the only thing he would eat), so switching to K/D probably won't really matter as far as that goes. But I give him a lot of chicken and meats for the protein, which I am told to stop immediately now. He will not be happy, LOL! Poor kitty! But a food switch is also scary because he can't afford to lose any weight at all. He has slowly gained some ground in that part of the fight, but can lose it again very quickly.

So two big concerns at the moment. What stage of failure he's in and if I can get him to tolerate a food switch without losing all the ground we've gained there. Send us positive thoughts for good results tomorrow and that he'll cooperate with the new food!!!!! :fingerscr

In the meantime, today I'm celebrating the fact that he is still fighting strong against the cancer and that he has actually managed to gain weight! That is AWESOME! The vets were again amazed at how well he is doing. They called him the miracle kitty that keeps bouncing back like a rubber ball. :)

SARAH
January 8th, 2008, 04:01 PM
:goodvibes: and more :goodvibes: for Billy and for a promt recouperation of his health! And permanent of course.

They do say cats have 9 lives ... how's he doing on that count?

chico2
January 8th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Smiley,lots of hugs and kisses to Billy and tell him,he just has to eat,however yucky he thinks it is.:fingerscr
He seems to be a true trooper though,hopefully he'll eat:pray:

sugarcatmom
January 8th, 2008, 05:18 PM
The other bad news is the diet change. I spent 6 months finding food that he will eat and now because of the too high of protein levels, he can't have it anymore.

It's not so much protein that's the issue, it's phosphorus that's hard on the kidneys. And for that, you can add phosphorus binders to the food (ask your vet). You'd be much better off feeding him a food that he likes and eats with regularity than feeding him such a poor quality food like K/D, that will no doubt result in muscle wasting even if he does eat it. What does Billy eat now? A quality protein (derived from meat, not grains and by-products) wet food is far more important than it just being low-protein.

Here's some good info on feline renal disease: http://www.felineoutreach.org/EducationDetail.asp?cat=KidneyDisease

phoozles
January 8th, 2008, 05:42 PM
:goodvibes: coming your way from my clan - great news that Billy is a fighter! :thumbs up :grouphug:

Smiley14
January 8th, 2008, 06:37 PM
It's not so much protein that's the issue, it's phosphorus that's hard on the kidneys. And for that, you can add phosphorus binders to the food (ask your vet). You'd be much better off feeding him a food that he likes and eats with regularity than feeding him such a poor quality food like K/D, that will no doubt result in muscle wasting even if he does eat it. What does Billy eat now? A quality protein (derived from meat, not grains and by-products) wet food is far more important than it just being low-protein.

Here's some good info on feline renal disease: http://www.felineoutreach.org/EducationDetail.asp?cat=KidneyDisease


Thank you so much for the link! I had to come straight into work after his appt and I'm still here, so haven't had any time to do any research yet. This is much appreciated! And VERY good to know. I wanted to research her statement about the low protein and this is exactly what I was wondering. As usual, the vet is not always the most well informed as far as nutrition. My vet is getting there, I've had quite a few discussions with her in regards to dog food and dog nutrition, but I am completely clueless when it comes to feline nutrition.

One thing this article mentions that my vet also mentioned was Benazapril. She wanted to try just a diet change first and re-test in three months to see if we needed to add in the Benazapril. I wonder if it would be better to try immediately. She wanted to just do the baby aspirin, diet change, and Cosequin. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on Benazapril? I belong to a Feline Cancer Yahoo group, I may have to join the CRF one for advice as well. I'm waiting to see what the exact results are first so we have a better idea of what we're dealing with.

In a nutshell, Billy is 17 years old and has eaten crap (Iams) his entire life. I didn't know better until the last few years when I was educated through this board. But what brought me to this board was his not eating in the first place. I tried over 30 brands of cat food, trying all the high quality holistic foods I could find or order online and he refused to eat them all. At that time, he was dangerously underweight and the goal was to get him to eat ANYTHING. After months of experiments and continual weight loss and vomiting nightmares, my dog trainer suggested I try Purina kitten chow. Knowing it was also crap, but extremely desperate, I gave it a try and it worked. 8 months later, it's the one thing he will still eat, along with the chicken I give him daily. (You can search for my past posts about his food struggles).

He will not eat any other meat (including seafoods and tuna) but chicken. He will not eat wet food. Even when healthy, he has always refused wet his whole life. He will not eat homemade recipes. He will not eat raw. He has always been very finicky, but is even worse now. He will only eat dry kibble and chicken. And after his refusing over 30 brands of dry kibble, homemade recipes, and raw the last time I went through this, I am struggling to know where to even start this time. So any suggestions other than the crappy K/D would be great! I will also ask my vet about the phosphorus binders. I know K/D is crappy, but I also wonder how much worse it could be than the craptastic food he is already eating. But after reading this article, it sounds like I don't want low protein anyway.

On the plus side, he was very hydrated, and my vet said we can do subQ fluids down the road if that changes.

As far as supplements, he is currently on BiologicVET (http://www.biologicnr.com/biologicvetnx/productinfo.htm)BioFATS and BioJOINT.

hazelrunpack
January 8th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Wow!! A pound, Smiley! :thumbs up That's great! :highfive:

Keep up the good work, Billy! You're making your Mom very happy. :cat:

ancientgirl
January 8th, 2008, 08:09 PM
We're all sending positive vibes from down here.

I hope Billy gets well soon!

Hugs to Billy and you.

Frenchy
January 8th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Good luck to you and Billy :grouphug:

14+kitties
January 8th, 2008, 09:42 PM
Sending :goodvibes: for Billy . sounds like he is a fighter. :thumbs up

rainbow
January 9th, 2008, 12:00 AM
Sending lots of good wishes for Billy. :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

Steph, have you read Growler's thread on early stage kidney failure? There's lots of excellent information there....

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=45017&highlight=early+stage+kidney+failure

Smiley14
January 9th, 2008, 12:14 PM
The vet just called and it is just what we thought, early stages of CRF. I don't have the report yet, so I can't remember all the stuff she rattled off, but the blood levels are all good, he is not anemic, heart and liver and organs are all strong. The only bad thing that showed up of course was the kidney. So I'm waiting to get the report to see if I can better understand it when looking at it. I asked about phosphorus binders and she didn't think it was necessary since his phosphorus levels were normal. Only something that measures protein was too high?? Sorry, I can't remember the terms.

The good news is that it should be easily managed with a diet change. They are of course still pushing the K/D. My understanding of using the phosphorus binders is that it's used in conjunction with quality high protein, is that correct? So by feeding something with high protein yet, I will still want the phosphorus binders? After reading Growler's thread, I'm going to try the Wellness Turkey. It seems to have pretty low phosphorus and mid-level protein and MIGHT be something Billy will eat. He refused it in the past, but I'll try it again since he was sick the last time. I think I'll PM Growler too for her exact diet combination and supplements too. :)

Thanks guys!!!!

chico2
January 9th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Smiley I am not sure if that's good news or bad,but if it is something managable it's good,right:confused:
I:pray:he will eat,it's nothing more worrysome than if they don't eat,Billy just HAS to eat,tell him that:cat:
With Rockys Thyroidproblem,at least he eats whatever I put in front of him and then some.

sugarcatmom
January 9th, 2008, 02:47 PM
I asked about phosphorus binders and she didn't think it was necessary since his phosphorus levels were normal.

This would be the perfect time to try Calcitriol (http://members.verizon.net/~vze2r6qt/calcitriol/) then, while the phosphorus levels are still in a decent range. You also asked about Benazapril in your previous post and I think that definitely would be worth looking into. It's an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure but one of the feline vets I admire prescribes it to all her kidney patients, whether they have high blood pressure or not, because it also increases blood flow to the kidneys.

The good news is that it should be easily managed with a diet change. They are of course still pushing the K/D.

Of course they are, it's all they know :rolleyes:. Beyond any protein issue, I very strongly feel that the water content of the food is much more important: http://www.catinfo.org/

Kidney Failure: Kidney disease is probably the leading cause of mortality in the cat. It is troubling to think about the role that chronic dehydration may play in feline kidney failure. And remember, cats are chronically dehydrated when they are on a diet of predominantly dry food. The prescription dry 'renal diets' such as Science Diet k/d - which is commonly prescribed by veterinarians - contain only a small amount of moisture leaving your cat in a less than optimal state of water balance. I must say that I find it truly amazing when I hear about the very large numbers of cats receiving subcutaneous fluids while being maintained on a diet of dry food. This is extremely illogical and every attempt should be made to get these cats on a diet that contains a higher moisture content. Please also note the following list of the first four ingredients of Science Diet dry k/d after reviewing this section on reading a pet food label - and bearing in mind that your cat is a carnivore. The first three ingredients are not even meat and the fourth ingredient is a by-product meal.

Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, pork fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken by-product meal

The purpose of this prescription diet is to restrict protein which it certainly does. Unfortunately, it restricts it to the point that the cat will often catabolize (use for fuel) his own muscle mass which results in muscle wasting and weight loss. The level of protein in this diet is not only at an extremely low level, it is in an incomplete form for a carnivore. Note that it is made up mainly of plant proteins - not meat proteins.


After reading Growler's thread, I'm going to try the Wellness Turkey. It seems to have pretty low phosphorus and mid-level protein and MIGHT be something Billy will eat. He refused it in the past, but I'll try it again since he was sick the last time.


I started reading your other thread about the food problems you've had with Billy and totally understand your frustration in just getting him to eat something. Cats are funny creatures. Their notorious pickiness is a survival mechanism to prevent them from eating something toxic, which means they become increasingly suspicious of unfamiliar foods after about 8-10 weeks of age. A cat that's been eating the same thing for years and years is going to be that much more stubborn.

One way to overcome this is to repeatedly offer a new food until it does become familiar (whether they taste it or not, just the sight and smell is enough). A big mistake many people make when trying to get their cat to try something is to only offer the food once and when the cat turns up its nose, declare that food a failure.

Here's what I think you should do to deal with Billy's pickiness: get some canned Wellness turkey in the small 3oz size (a few cans worth, and you may be throwing a fair amount of it out - or feeding it to the dog - so I hope that's okay). Put just a dab (we're talking no bigger than the size of the kibble he's eating) on a plate next to his dry food. Leave it there all day so that whenever he eats his other food, there it is, sitting there looking harmless. Do that for a couple days (put a new dab down every 12 hrs). Then start putting that dab in with his kibble, just on the side or even at the bottom. Very gradually over many days, increase the size of the dab. He'll become more and more familiar with the wet food and maybe accidentally, maybe on purpose, he might end up eating some. At that point, crush his dry food into a powder (a rolling pin or back of a spoon work - put the kibble between 2 sheets of wax paper so it doesn't scatter). Then heavily sprinkle the powder on top of a dollop of the turkey Wellness. Keep doing that until he can eventually, hopefully, eat the canned without much or any dry.

And good luck!! You might need it :D.

amatazes
January 9th, 2008, 02:57 PM
all the love and luck in the world.

:grouphug:

Smiley14
January 9th, 2008, 03:19 PM
Smiley I am not sure if that's good news or bad,but if it is something managable it's good,right:confused:
I:pray:he will eat,it's nothing more worrysome than if they don't eat,Billy just HAS to eat,tell him that:cat:
With Rockys Thyroidproblem,at least he eats whatever I put in front of him and then some.

Good question, Chico! LOL! Normally it would be terrible news, but I'm actually pretty happy with his latest test results. CRF is manageable, the cancer spreading is not. So while the CRF is bad and having to do a food switch is not going to be fun, it's all stuff we can work with. If the cancer had spread, I would have had to put him to sleep as there would be nothing more to do at that point. But his lymph nodes are still clear and for the most part, he is in pretty good shape. Blood work and all other organs are good, his weight is finally good again, and he is eating well. Once we get his kidneys back under control, he should be good for a while hopefully! :)

Sugarcatmom--I can't thank you enough for taking the time to give me some great information. You are a lifesaver! :) Thank you!!! I'll start your advice with the food switch tonight and see how it goes! Would you suggest the phosphorus binders with this food or just the calditriol and Benazapril. She did mention both of those, but yesterday had said to try just a diet change only first. But I know she would give them to me now if I asked. She also said to put him on baby aspirin three times a week, and daily Cosequin for his arthritis and I currently have him on the BiologicVET supplements I mentioned above. Is it safe to keep him on a combination of all that or should I eliminate something?

Thanks to all of you for the positive thoughts!!! I really appreciate it!

growler~GateKeeper
January 9th, 2008, 09:37 PM
There are new studies out that dispute the low protein theory esp for cats being obligate carnivores (meat eaters), therefore when you lower the protein level the food is less appealing to them. What the vets don't mention is the low protein K/D is most often refused by the cats who it has been prescribed - no taste. With a CRF cat one of the most important things is to get the cat to eat - many times they are nauseus & will refuse.

Raise Billy's dish about 4-6" off the ground will keep the excess stomach acid down in the stomach, lessening nausea.

Sugarcatmom's suggestion of crushing the krunchies is great see if that works, you can also add Real Food Toppers (http://www.realfoodtoppers.com/) to entice him to eat the canned, the other thing (& I know you've mentioned no luck w/seafood) is Kitty Kaviar (http://www.vir-chew-all.com/kittykaviar.shtml) which can be used as a treat or added to the top of the food - the stuff is really smelly & most cats like it.

Duffy did well quite on the Wellness Chicken, Turkey, Beef & Chicken which are their lowest phos foods. My reg vet did not even suggest the k/d because she knew there was no way in heck I would feed that stuff.

Start him on probiotics - this will help immensely with any sensitive stomach issues, replaces good gut flora. Could also be why he's so picky with what he eats. You can either give him Wysong Pet Inoculant liquid (http://www.wysong.net/petinoc.shtml), or what I'm now using PB8 capsules (http://www.nutritionnow.com/PB8.htm) (open & mix into food). The Wysong apparantly doesn't taste so good, but PB8 is yorgurt based so more appealing. I give 1 capsule twice daily - 1 in breakfast & 1 in dinner.

Do you have a copy of Billy's lab results?

Duffy's last geri panel & ua also showed phos levels in normal range & when I asked the vet about Calcitrol & phos binders she said "we're not there yet" meaning her numbers were not bad enough. One thing you need to watch out for is balancing the phos:calcium ratio it needs to be roughly 1:2 for example Duffy's phos 1.23:2.45 calcium (values in mmol/L) this is a perfect ratio & dead center of normal range. If Billy's phos:calium is ~ 1:2 the Calcitrol will disrupt that, then you are looking @ readjusting that ratio.

I had also asked about supplements esp herbal (instead of waiting until her numbers got really bad) & since she didn't know anything about that she refered me to a homoepathic vet, he is the one who put Duffy on probiotics. He also put her on Standard Process Feline Renal Support (http://www.standardprocess.com/display/VeterinaryCatalog.spi?ID=350) and Standard Process Feline Whole Body Support (http://www.standardprocess.com/display/VeterinaryCatalog.spi?ID=351) these are all natural supplements that include bovine colustrum an ingredient in mother's milk which is what most of the body's natural immunity comes from. She has done really really well on these supplements, the PB8 & the RAW food. You can see she is more alert, responsive, playing again & her last recheck w/the homeopath her energy (explaination in my thread) surrounding the kidneys & stomach was much much better.

Duffy's homeopath also suggested to go with an all natural free-range hormone-free RAW food. Duffy is loving the raw she is eating Natural Instincts (a British Columbia company) chicken, beef, lamb. {Natural Instincts is NOT the same as Nature's Variety}

Another thing is a Cat Zoom Groom by Kong (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B00009ZJ0Q/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=284507&s=kitchen) this will give him a brushing, massage & release the tension in his muscles & help ease the energy blockage in the body & kidneys.

There are alot of great links in my thread as well incl http://www.felinecrf.org/index.htm this is a site dedicated to CRF by a cat owner who went through it with both of hers. This is another good one http://www.felinecrf.com/index.htm.

Many :goodvibes: & :fingerscr & lots of :grouphug: for Billy & you. Feel free to ask questions, rant & be sure to provide us with updates. :D

Smiley14
January 9th, 2008, 10:53 PM
There are new studies out that dispute the low protein theory esp for cats being obligate carnivores (meat eaters), therefore when you lower the protein level the food is less appealing to them. What the vets don't mention is the low protein K/D is most often refused by the cats who it has been prescribed - no taste. With a CRF cat one of the most important things is to get the cat to eat - many times they are nauseus & will refuse.

Raise Billy's dish about 4-6" off the ground will keep the excess stomach acid down in the stomach, lessening nausea.

Sugarcatmom's suggestion of crushing the krunchies is great see if that works, you can also add Real Food Toppers (http://www.realfoodtoppers.com/) to entice him to eat the canned, the other thing (& I know you've mentioned no luck w/seafood) is Kitty Kaviar (http://www.vir-chew-all.com/kittykaviar.shtml) which can be used as a treat or added to the top of the food - the stuff is really smelly & most cats like it.

Duffy did well quite on the Wellness Chicken, Turkey, Beef & Chicken which are their lowest phos foods. My reg vet did not even suggest the k/d because she knew there was no way in heck I would feed that stuff.

Start him on probiotics - this will help immensely with any sensitive stomach issues, replaces good gut flora. Could also be why he's so picky with what he eats. You can either give him Wysong Pet Inoculant liquid (http://www.wysong.net/petinoc.shtml), or what I'm now using PB8 capsules (http://www.nutritionnow.com/PB8.htm) (open & mix into food). The Wysong apparantly doesn't taste so good, but PB8 is yorgurt based so more appealing.

Do you have a copy of Billy's lab results?

Duffy's last geri panel & ua also showed phos levels in normal range & when I asked the vet about Calcitrol & phos binders she said "we're not there yet" meaning her numbers were not bad enough. One thing you need to watch out for is balancing the phos:calcium ratio it needs to be roughly 1:2 for example Duffy's phos 1.23:2.45 calcium (values in mmol/L) this is a perfect ratio & dead center of normal range. If Billy's phos:calium is ~ 1:2 the Calcitrol will disrupt that, then you are looking @ readjusting that ratio.

I had also asked about supplements esp herbal (instead of waiting until her numbers got really bad) & since she didn't know anything about that she refered me to a homoepathic vet, he is the one who put Duffy on probiotics. He also put her on Standard Process Feline Renal Support (http://www.standardprocess.com/display/VeterinaryCatalog.spi?ID=350) and Standard Process Feline Whole Body Support (http://www.standardprocess.com/display/VeterinaryCatalog.spi?ID=351) these are all natural supplements that include bovine colustrum an ingredient in mother's milk which is what most of the body's natural immunity comes from. She has done really really well on these supplements, the PB8 & the RAW food. You can see she is more alert, responsive, playing again & her last recheck w/the homeopath her energy (explaination in my thread) surrounding the kidneys & stomach was much much better.

Duffy's homeopath also suggested to go with an all natural free-range hormone-free RAW food. Duffy is loving the raw she is eating Natural Instincts (a British Columbia company) chicken, beef, lamb. {Natural Instincts is NOT the same as Nature's Variety}

Another thing is a Cat Zoom Groom by Kong (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B00009ZJ0Q/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=284507&s=kitchen) this will give him a brushing, massage & release the tension in his muscles & help ease the energy blockage in the body & kidneys.

There are alot of great links in my thread as well incl http://www.felinecrf.org/index.htm this is a site dedicated to CRF by a cat owner who went through it with both of hers. This is another good one http://www.felinecrf.com/index.htm.

Many :goodvibes: & :fingerscr & lots of :grouphug: for Billy & you. Feel free to ask questions, rant & be sure to provide us with updates. :D

Growler, thank you so much for your help and support! I really appreciate it. They just called me today to give me the test results verbally and are mailing a hard copy to me, so I should get the report in a few days and can post the numbers then.

Very good to know about the meds, so it looks like her suggestion to hold off on that for now is sound. I tried raw with Billy again tonight and he still won't touch it. What is your thought on cooked chicken? He ate a little of the Wellness, but has been howling for his "regular" dinner, LOL! Poor kitty. I did mix his current kibble with the Wellness as well and of course he ate all that kibble first. I also put a tiny dab of the wet Wellness by his bowl. He totally ignored that. It seems his distaste of raw and wet has not changed! But I'll keep it up with the switch process that Sugarcatmom described. I'm hoping he'll be hungrier tomorrow and more receptive to the Wellness. :) He did eat a good half cup of food tonight (mostly the old kibble though and a little Wellness) at least, so he is getting some nutrition at least. I have to be very careful that he doesn't start to lose weight again, not after we've worked so hard to get him at a healthy weight over the past year and a half. I'm going to get the probiotics you recommended and compare the supplements you use to the BiologicVET ones I'm using now. They seem pretty similar I think?? They have been very good for him and for the past few months he has been eating really well and feeling well. I don't want to lose that. That's my biggest concern at this point!

growler~GateKeeper
January 9th, 2008, 11:31 PM
Mixing the krunchies into the canned is good that way he tastes it @ the same time & :fingerscr he'll realize canned is not :evil: :laughing: Also like Sugarcatmom suggested crush a few krunchies ontop of the canned to hopefully disguise the taste alittle. :D

As for cooked chicken absolutely :thumbs up but NO COOKED BONES, alot of people who don't like the commercial foods & don't want to go raw use a homecooked meal, if you want to go full homecooked you will need more than just the chicken though.

Does Billy like any other cooked meats? Beef, Ham (not as a base meat apparently hard to digest :shrug: Duffy LOVES ham the best), Salami (only in small amounts though it is much richer than the others), Turkey?

You can also try adding a little cooked chicken on the top of the canned/krunchie mix, or just canned & cooked chicken.

I haven't had a chance to read up on the BiologicVET, but I will later

When you get the results def let us know what the values are & include the ref range since Canada & the US use different values (even differs among labs:rolleyes:)

Smiley14
January 10th, 2008, 12:17 AM
Mixing the krunchies into the canned is good that way he tastes it @ the same time & :fingerscr he'll realize canned is not :evil: :laughing: Also like Sugarcatmom suggested crush a few krunchies ontop of the canned to hopefully disguise the taste alittle. :D

As for cooked chicken absolutely :thumbs up but NO COOKED BONES, alot of people who don't like the commercial foods & don't want to go raw use a homecooked meal, if you want to go full homecooked you will need more than just the chicken though.

Does Billy like any other cooked meats? Beef, Ham (not as a base meat apparently hard to digest :shrug: Duffy LOVES ham the best), Salami (only in small amounts though it is much richer than the others), Turkey?

You can also try adding a little cooked chicken on the top of the canned/krunchie mix, or just canned & cooked chicken.

I haven't had a chance to read up on the BiologicVET, but I will later

When you get the results def let us know what the values are & include the ref range since Canada & the US use different values (even differs among labs:rolleyes:)


Thank you so much!!!! He was crying for his supper again, so I tried giving him just a few spoonfuls of the wet with some crunchies of his old kibble on top like you guys suggested, and he ATE it!!!!! WOOHOO!!!! It was only two spoonfuls, but I'll take it! :thumbs up

And that is good news about the cooked chicken. I have been giving him cooked chicken every night for the past 8 months and he LOVES it. I'm convinced that's what has helped him gain weight and get more stable again. He eats an entire big breast every night. That's what he's been crying for all night, poor kitty! The vet told me to stop it immediately, so that's why I wanted to verify. I'm sure it's back to the protein argument. So that will make Billy very happy! :) I've tried full homemade in the past and he refused that as well. But he does love his cooked chicken breast and he'll eat turkey as well. He doesn't like other meats or seafoods. He will eat beef once in a while, but not very much and never more than a day or two at most before turning his nose up to it. He just really likes his poultry I guess! :shrug:

If you get a chance to look at the BiologicVET, that would be great. It was referred to me by Prin last year and has really helped him as well. My dogs get it as well.

I'll post the report as soon as I get it! I'm anxious to better understand it.

growler~GateKeeper
January 10th, 2008, 12:37 AM
Yeah the chicken issue the vet has is most likely the lower protein arguement. :shrug: The conventional vets are against raw & homecooked feeding esp when there is a vet prescription diet formulated for the issue.

In my first visit to my homeopath vet, he also mentioned to me the controversy surrounding low vs high quality protein & the new studies out. I had already read these but it was good to hear the homeopaths stand on the high quality side. :D

Try adding the cooked chicken into the canned a few pieces @ a time then give him some the chicken alone - that way hopefully he gets the idea to eat the canned then he will get what he wants ;)

Smiley14
January 12th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Got the lab results in the mail finally. I'm not sure what all I should post, but everything falls within normal range except for two things, both of which indicate the kidney failure.

BUN is very high at 78 mg/dL. Normal range is 18-36.
Creatinine is at 2.3 mg/dL. Normal range is 0.6-2.0.
Phos was fine at 4.4 mg/dL. Normal range being 2.7-7.5.
Calcium was 9.5 mg/dL. Normal range being 8.7-11.7.
Total Protein is at 6.9 g/DL with normal range 5.9-8.4.

Did you need any other numbers too?

So far, mixed results with feeding, but not too bad. He's still eating the mix of old and new kibble, so he seems to be okay with the new kibble. That's a relief! But he won't have anything to do still with the wet. He ate a few spoonfuls the first night, but refuses to touch it since then. So I'm just continuing to leave a tiny dab out so he will hopefully keep getting used to the smell and of it being there. :)

I have a really stupid question on the cooked chicken. Can it be cooked on the bone and pulled off, like if I pick up a whole roasted chicken or should it be boneless meat that I'm only using? I know you said no bones, but I'm not sure if that is for eating or for any contact at all. Thanks!

rainbow
January 12th, 2008, 01:43 PM
Steph, there's no such thing as a stupid question here. :o

Yes, you can cook bone-in chicken and pull the chicken off the bones. If it was me I wouldn't buy those ready to eat rotissiere chickens though as you don't know what spices they've used. I also prefer to just boil chicken when I have to give it to my pets only but maybe that's just "me" and my overly cautious ways. :laughing: :o

Good luck with the wet food. :fingerscr What two kibbles are you mixing?

Sending lots of good wishes for Billy. :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

growler~GateKeeper
January 13th, 2008, 01:01 AM
Smiley14 do you have the Urine Specific Gravity (USG or SG or SpG) from the urinalysis?

from http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/kf.html
THE URINE SAMPLE
In nearly all cases of kidney failure the kidneys are unable to concentrate urine. That means the Urine Specific Gravity measurement (SpG) that indicates how concentrated the urine is compared to distilled water (SpG = 1.00) will display a dilute reading... actually, very close to distilled water. Since the action of conserving water while allowing undesirable metabolites and toxins to remain in the urine is the job of the tubules in the kidneys, whenever the tubules are damaged water conservation is less efficient; therefore more water flows through the tubules unresorbed and washes away in the now dilute urine. Most cases of kidney failure display a SpG of about 1.008 to 1.012. Generally, a cat's urine SpG will be about 1.025 to 1.050.

Many cases of kidney failure also show protein or sugar in the urine where in most normal animals urine protein is scarce and no glucose is present. The loss, or lack of reabsorption of protein or sugar molecules back into the blood after an initial pass into the tubular fluid, places the animal in a negative protein/energy balance. This state shows up as weight loss and muscle wasting. And since these patients have a poor appetite, the added stress of protein and energy loss in the urine really tends to make the maintenance of normal body weight nearly impossible.

Bacteria and blood may show up in the urine samples of chronic renal failure patients. Infectious agents, red and white blood cells, epithelial cells from the lining of the kidney and bladder structures, crystals, and protein plugs called casts that arise from damaged tubules all may be commonly observed in urine samples. Conversely, some patients have such dilute urine and such thirst that a urine sample may have no detectable cells or debris but simply show a low Specific Gravity and very dilute urine.

From http://www.felinecrf.org/diagnosis.htm#USG
Urine Specific Gravity (USG)
Because of their desert heritage, healthy cats have concentrated urine. The normal range is 1.008 to 1.060 but a cat with a USG below 1.040 is generally considered to have a problem of some kind; in CRF cats it will probably be between 1.008 and 1.012. Once a cat is receiving regular fluid therapy, this test can be rather unreliable

The USG between 1.008 and 1.012 indicate CRF in later (more severe) stages.

I'll give you a comparison here's Duffy's numbers

BUN in US values 40.06 mg/dl...............lower than Billy's
creatinine in US values 2.4 mg/dl...........higher than Billy's
Phos in US values 3.8 mg/dl................lower than Billy's
calcium in US values 9.8 mg/dl.............higher than Billy's
total protein in US values 7.9 g/dl.........higher than Billy's

Duffy's USG 1.038 which is just a little lower than the 1.040 threshold for problems but still causing noticable increase in drinking & peeing

http://www.felinecrf.org/diagnosis.htm gives good definitions for the different values in the blood & urine tests.

*About the chicken Rainbow's right you can cook it bone-in that's fine just don't feed him the cooked bone ;) certain chicken bones they can have raw but not all

Billy's Total Protein value is on the lower end of normal so it still is fine to give the chicken, maybe look into adding Taurine (http://www.felinefuture.com/nutrition/taurine.php) if he's eating more of the cooked chicken than the commercial food which will contain taurine already.

The BiologicVet supplements are different from the Standard Process supplements.
The Fats & Joints are specific to the skin/coat/metabolic energy & cartilage to rebuild/support joints/acts as anti-inflammatory.
Where as the SP Renal Support is specific to the kidneys & liver by detoxifying & maintaining regeneration, the Whole Body Support is whole food nutritional support foir the organs & adrenal glands.

How often is Billy getting the BiologicVet supplements?

I think you should ask your vet before adding the SP (if you were thinking to) as to how that would relate to the BiologicVet supplements Billy is getting - you don't want to overload his tummy with too many things esp since he's not eating so well.

Duffy gets 1 Renal Support & 1 Whole body support & 1 PB8 probiotic w/breakfast, then 1 Renal Support & 1 Whole body support & 1 PB8 probiotic w/dinner

:goodvibes: for Billy :goodvibes:

Smiley14
January 13th, 2008, 01:23 AM
Thank you!!!!

I don't see that urine concentration on here anywhere. It doesn't look like that was included?? I'll have to call the vet on Monday and ask. I got two pages and the first is labeled Hemogram and gives several blood levels and then has a second page labeled Animal Profile where it has the other stuff. This report is directly from the lab, so I wonder if my vet kept the urine sample in-house. They said it was like water when they got it, so that's why we pretty much knew he was CRF before even getting the results. I'll ask on Monday! Does that make a difference in food choices or supplements or does it just tell us how far advanced the CRF is?

The BiologicVet has taurine in it, that's why I chose that particular one last year. I'll ask the vet about the SP and maybe combining with Taurine.

What is your thought on Eagle Pack's Holistic Select Chicken formula. (http://www.eaglepack.com/Pages/HS_CatChix.html) I was talking to my local pet store today when I went to pick up more Wellness and they were telling me they thought this would be better for CRF because of the lower phos?? But I see it also has Anchovy and Sardine Meals in it. You were saying to stay away from fish I think? They gave me a sample packet and I gave it to Billy just to see and he LOVED it, gobbled the whole thing down while turning up his nose to the Wellness. But if the fish is bad or if this one isn't as good, I'd rather keep trying with the Wellness. He ate pretty good today considering!

Oh, one other thing I was going to ask you! :) Is there a way to bring down the BUN or will this food switch hopefully help accomplish that?

Smiley14
January 13th, 2008, 01:26 AM
Steph, there's no such thing as a stupid question here. :o

Yes, you can cook bone-in chicken and pull the chicken off the bones. If it was me I wouldn't buy those ready to eat rotissiere chickens though as you don't know what spices they've used. I also prefer to just boil chicken when I have to give it to my pets only but maybe that's just "me" and my overly cautious ways. :laughing: :o

Good luck with the wet food. :fingerscr What two kibbles are you mixing?

Sending lots of good wishes for Billy. :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

Thanks Rainbow!!! I'm doing a gradual food switch, so am adding a little bit of the new food to the old food. It's Purina kitten chow (see explanation in my post above!!! :) ) and Wellness.

growler~GateKeeper
January 13th, 2008, 02:15 AM
I don't see that urine concentration on here anywhere. Does that make a difference in food choices or supplements or does it just tell us how far advanced the CRF is?

Just a gauge to how far advanced the CRF is

The BiologicVet has taurine in it, that's why I chose that particular one last year. I'll ask the vet about the SP and maybe combining with Taurine.

Sorry :o missed that, check w/the vet about the taurine level he may need but what he's getting now may be fine for him, I'm considering supplementing Duffy's raw w/taurine - will talk to the raw food store people

What is your thought on Eagle Pack's Holistic Select Chicken formula. (http://www.eaglepack.com/Pages/HS_CatChix.html) I was talking to my local pet store today when I went to pick up more Wellness and they were telling me they thought this would be better for CRF because of the lower phos?? But I see it also has Anchovy and Sardine Meals in it. You were saying to stay away from fish I think? They gave me a sample packet and I gave it to Billy just to see and he LOVED it, gobbled the whole thing down while turning up his nose to the Wellness. But if the fish is bad or if this one isn't as good, I'd rather keep trying with the Wellness. He ate pretty good today considering!

Oh, one other thing I was going to ask you! :) Is there a way to bring down the BUN or will this food switch hopefully help accomplish that?

For CRF cats yeah, I would recommend staying away from fish if possible because *almost all fish/fish combo meals are way too high in phosphorus* plus as mentioned here http://www.felinecrf.org/which_foods.htm#tuna

*Tuna (or any fish really) can be a very addictive food for some cats, to the extent that they will refuse to eat anything else :frustrated:

*human-grade tuna has unusually high levels of the toxic metal methylmercury

*If you feed a cat any fish diet exclusively, the cat can develop a condition called steatitis (yellow fat disease), which is caused by a Vitamin E deficiency resulting from the imbalanced diet See 1st point in this quote

*Tuna lacks taurine, an amino acid which cats need to obtain from their food: a lack of taurine in a cat's diet can cause heart and eye problems

*One study,(link can be found on the site) found that "cats that preferred fish or liver and giblets flavors of canned cat food had an increased risk" of developing hyperthyroidism

The Eagle Pack Holistic Chicken looks good, except for the fact it is dry food :shrug: but if that is all he'll eat it's okay. As long as he continues to drink water. The dry matter phos level is @ 1.00 which is good (should be as close to 1.00 or lower if possible) - an explaination of dry matter vs as fed (listed on the can/bag) is in my thread. The fish content looks alright as it is not the main protein source & Billy's eating it :thumbs up. Their site doesn't give a guarenteed analysis of the canned formulas :frustrated: :wall:

The negative side to both the Eagle Pack & Wellness is they both contain cranberries better for urinary tract infections not so good for CRF, but I think they both should be low enough amounts to be okay for early stage CRF

http://www.felinecrf.org/diagnosis.htm#BUN
Blood urea nitrogen is a measurement of the levels of nitrogen in the blood that come from urea. During the breakdown of dietary protein in the digestive process, ammonia is absorbed in the gut. The liver then makes a substance called urea from the ammonia. The urea is carried in the blood, in the form of urea nitrogen, to the kidneys, which filter it out of the blood and excrete it via urination

BUN rises in CRF because the kidneys are no longer able to excrete it efficiently; but it can also rise for other reasons, such as dehydration and urethral obstruction (a blockage which prevents a cat from urinating, more common in male cats); it is also affected by both diet (since it is a by-product of the breakdown of protein) and stress

Diet, making sure he drinks water & reducing stress/upsets are the ways to :fingerscr lower the BUN levels

Smiley14
January 13th, 2008, 03:05 AM
Thanks again Growler!!! I can't thank you enough for all your help! And that's good to know that the Eagle Pack should hopefully be okay. I'm actually surprised he did like it because he normally hates fish! LOL! But the main ingredient is chicken, which is his absolute favorite thing. :) I have to take him back in a month to re-run the tests, so I'll start with this I think and see if we see any differences. It might be too soon to tell, but we'll see. We'll also see if he continues to eat this one or not! :fingerscr I'm still going to keep on trying the canned as well as that is what he should really be eating. The good thing is that he does drink a lot of water and they said he wasn't dehydrated at all. :fingerscr

I can't imagine what stress he would have, unless maybe from the hyper puppy bugging him, LOL! Oh, I got that zoom groom thing you told me about to! He LOVES that! :)

growler~GateKeeper
January 13th, 2008, 03:26 AM
Glad to hear Billy is drinking water - that plus him eating are the 2 most important things right now. :highfive: great that he wasn't dehydrated - everytime last year Duffy went in for tests they said she was alittle dehydrated even though I knew she was drinking water

Awesome on the zoom groom too :highfive: I think most cats would love it, nice massage & brushing @ the sametime :cloud9: I zoom groom Duffy @ least once per day - she gets it after dinner brushed all over, with more concentration down her back which is over top the kidneys ;)

Smiley14
February 5th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Took Billy in for his updated blood tests, so I'll get the results back tomorrow. We'll see if anything has come down yet! Oh, and Growler, I got the urine concentration from the tests they did last month (they didn't retest that this time) and it was 1.015. So not great. I'll let you guys know the results tomorrow!!! :fingerscr

rainbow
February 5th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Sending lots of good wishes for Billy's test results. :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

growler~GateKeeper
February 5th, 2008, 10:11 PM
:goodvibes::fingerscr:goodvibes: for good test results tomorrow :goodvibes::fingerscr:goodvibes:

So they just took a blood sample? no urine sample? They will likely want to retest the urine in 3 months anyways :goodvibes:

Smiley14
February 6th, 2008, 12:00 AM
:goodvibes::fingerscr:goodvibes: for good test results tomorrow :goodvibes::fingerscr:goodvibes:

So they just took a blood sample? no urine sample? They will likely want to retest the urine in 3 months anyways :goodvibes:

Thanks Rainbow!!!!

Growler, yep, they just did a quick blood test today to check on the kidney, especially the BUN. So we'll see if it's better, the same, or worse!

growler~GateKeeper
February 6th, 2008, 12:12 AM
I'll be thinking of you & Billy tomorrow so please do post results :goodvibes:

I've got to wait until first week of March to restest Duffy - will be 3 months @ that time & I'm dying to know her results :yell::rolleyes:

chico2
February 6th, 2008, 07:31 AM
:pray:for both Duffy and Billy:pray:

Smiley14
February 6th, 2008, 03:55 PM
Finally just heard back from the vet! Usually they call me right away in the morning, ugh!

Anyway, good news and semi-bad news this time around! The two we were looking at and comparing from last time were the BUN and Creatinine.

The GREAT news is that BUN dropped from 78mg/dL to 47mg/dL in only three weeks. The not so great news is that the creatinine worsened from 2.3mg/dL to 2.7, which she said shows further progression of the disease. She still feels since he is doing so well on just the diet change alone that we should keep up the current routine and not add in any medication yet or that he will not need the subQ fluids yet. But fluids will be the next course of action if the creatinine keeps going up. We'll recheck in three months now. So of course in the meantime, I do need to keep the same diet, but increase his fluid intake.

So any suggestions for how I can do that? He still won't touch any canned food. Argh! Picky kitty! :rolleyes: But the Eagle Pack is working as his BUN dramatically lowered!!! She was SHOCKED! I was like HA, I don't need your K/D! HAHA! Okay, I didn't actually say that, but I was thinking it in my head. :laughing: So anyway, that's the latest.

growler~GateKeeper
February 7th, 2008, 12:02 AM
The GREAT news is that BUN dropped from 78mg/dL to 47mg/dL in only three weeks. The not so great news is that the creatinine worsened from 2.3mg/dL to 2.7, which she said shows further progression of the disease. She still feels since he is doing so well on just the diet change alone that we should keep up the current routine and not add in any medication yet or that he will not need the subQ fluids yet. But fluids will be the next course of action if the creatinine keeps going up. We'll recheck in three months now. So of course in the meantime, I do need to keep the same diet, but increase his fluid intake.

So any suggestions for how I can do that? He still won't touch any canned food. Argh! Picky kitty! :rolleyes:.

:highfive: That's Fabulous news for the BUN. The creatinine is not too bad, yes it is progression but only by 0.4mg/dL, and was expected to some degree.

If you can have a water dish only Billy can access you can add a small amount of Tuna Water to Billy's water:
from http://www.felinecrf.org/persuading_cat_to_eat.htm#tuna_water
Tuna Water

Whilst tuna itself is not appropriate for cats (see Which Foods to Feed), one possible compromise is to add the water in which tuna is packed to your cat's prescription or other diet in order to moisten it and make it more palatable. Tuna packed in water may actually be packed in a type of broth, which may contain onion; and other brands may contain high levels of sodium, so you need to be very sure the brand you use is acceptable. Starkist Low Sodium Tuna contains only tuna and water and is popular with Feline CRF Information listmembers in the USA.

Perhaps add an extra water dish near his food dish.

Have you got a Pet Water Fountain? The PetMate Water Fountain (http://www.petmate.com/Products/Deluxe-Fresh-Flow-Pet-Fountain__24850.aspx) is what I have Duffy quite likes it.

I would hold off on trying to syringe feed him water as that is quite stressing on the cats.

But the Eagle Pack is working as his BUN dramatically lowered!!! She was SHOCKED! I was like HA, I don't need your K/D! HAHA! Okay, I didn't actually say that, but I was thinking it in my head. :laughing: So anyway, that's the latest.

:laugh: I would have said it! :laughing:

Smiley14
February 7th, 2008, 01:33 AM
LOL, thanks Growler! Yeah, I was laughing pretty hard inside at that one. I should have said it outloud. :laughing:

I do have a pet fountain already, but it's a big one in a common area so he shares it with the dogs. He loves running water, so I was thinking of maybe getting a smaller one and putting it up higher by his food just for him. If I leave a standing bowl of his water by his food, he ignores it in favor of the fountain. I was wondering about chicken broth? Good to know about the tuna water, I'll give that a try, thanks! He's never been a huge tuna fan, but maybe the water will entice him. Of course when I asked the vet about chicken broth, she was like, "oh no, can't have the protein!" LOL! She knows I'm not feeding the K/D, but she can't quite wrap her head around the whole protein thing. But it might be too high of sodium or something else, I'm not sure. Has that been mentioned in any CRF info you've seen? I know he likes chicken, that's why I ask. I'm going to try the tuna water just in case though. Sometimes he does like to lap up the liquids like in canned food, even though he won't touch the food itself, so it's possible he would be the same way with the tuna water. My understanding from the vet that the best way to slow down the creatinine level is by increasing the fluids, so that's my new focus since we've got a tentative balance with his food now.

growler~GateKeeper
February 7th, 2008, 02:57 AM
Sorry I didn't mention it before, yes chicken broth is good too, the best way is to just boil chicken not adding anything to it, the water should then be refridgerated in order to cool it down, it can then be added to either canned food or water.

http://www.felinecrf.org/persuading_cat_to_eat.htm#broth
Homemade Broth/Puréed Food

Some people have found homemade chicken broth (just boil the chicken in water, there is no need to add any vegetables, definitely not onions) very helpful for their CRF cats. It can either be added to food, particularly prescription food, to make it more appetising, or simply given to the cat to drink.

When buying chicken to make the broth, make sure that it does not contain added broth, which may contain sodium and onion. You can check this by looking for sodium in the nutritional information on the packaging: anything over 100mg of sodium means that broth has been added.
Some people have tried a simpler approach and simply add lots of water to their cat's tinned food in order to make it soupy. You can use a blender if necessary to make it fairly smooth. Cats with mouth ulcers in particular may prefer food with this texture.

Since Billy's not too crazy about Tuna I'd start with the chicken broth first. You can also pick up a can of the Eagle Pack Holistic Select Chicken & Lamb canned put a teaspoon or two on a saucer, add lots of warm water or chicken broth to it so the whole amount on the saucer is soupy - see if that entices him ;)

You can add the chicken broth or tuna water to the canned or the water.

Smiley14
February 7th, 2008, 09:17 AM
Sorry I didn't mention it before, yes chicken broth is good too, the best way is to just boil chicken not adding anything to it, the water should then be refridgerated in order to cool it down, it can then be added to either canned food or water.



Since Billy's not too crazy about Tuna I'd start with the chicken broth first. You can also pick up a can of the Eagle Pack Holistic Select Chicken & Lamb canned put a teaspoon or two on a saucer, add lots of warm water or chicken broth to it so the whole amount on the saucer is soupy - see if that entices him ;)

You can add the chicken broth or tuna water to the canned or the water.

Thanks Growler! I'll pick some up chicken to make broth and the canned Eagle Pack and give them a try!