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New member with a CRF cat, need advice!

Owlman
December 23rd, 2012, 02:29 PM
Hello there new to these boards!

Not sure if this is the right place to post but here goes.

A little bit about my furry buddy....
His name is Spanky. He is a 17 year old domestic short hair, grey in color.
I've had him since he was 5 weeks old. He's been in good health most of his life.

3 1/2 years ago I noticed him acting strangely. Mostly peeing in strange places
.
A trip to the vet and $1200 worth of tests later I found out he is diabetic.
Long story short thanks to the help of some fantastic people on the felinediabetes message boards I went against everything my vet told me to do and after a diet change and 6 days of insulin and testing his blood sugar at home he started making his own insulin again. I kept him on this diet and he has remained in remission ever since.

He seemed absolutely fine until 2 weeks ago. He started crying in his litter box one night and I knew something was very wrong. Had to take a trip to the pet ER where they gave him an enema.

After a visit to the Vet a couple days later he was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure. I had no idea. He showed no symptoms.

My vet is terrible for trying to bill me to the max. Right now I'm trying to do what is best for him and sorting through what he doesnt need.

I was sent home with antibiotics, probiotics, laxatives (2 kinds) Hills KD food, Azodyl and subQ fluids. Its alot :/

The first issue is he wont eat the Hills KD. I have heard some good things about Hi Tor Neo, but no one here sells it. I picked up some Wellness Chicken, Beef and Chicken and Turkey. He is eating it but it's still too high in Phosphorus and protien. Has anyone had experience with Hi Tor Neo? So far I can only find it online.

The second issue is the subQ fluids. I was told to give him 120mm/day. He only weighs 3.7 lbs. I couldn't believe how little he weighed, hes so fluffy I just didnt notice. Is this alot for such a small cat? I dont want to over do it. From what I have read it says the dose should be 5-10 ml per pound the cat weighs. I haven't been able to give him much as it takes 2 people to do this with him and I'm on my own. My sister came over to help me give him one last night but we only got 30ml into him. Also I was given sodium chloride, Ive heard this isn't the best.

Third issue is the Azodyl. I had no idea it needed to be refrigerated. it sat on my counter for 2 days before I found out. I have no clue if its still good or if I can even give it to him with the antibiotics I'm having to give him. he is supposed to take a half pill, but from what I understand about this drug if you break it open it will be ineffective if it doesn't make it to his bowels.


Long post I know... I'm going out of my mind trying to decide what to do next. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

sugarcatmom
December 23rd, 2012, 05:23 PM
Hi Owlman, welcome to the board (and sorry that it isn't under better circumstances).


A trip to the vet and $1200 worth of tests later I found out he is diabetic.

Yikes! Considering a fructosamine test costs somewhere around $50 the last time I checked (and a blood glucose test much less than that), it's crazy that it took your vet $1200 to figure out Spanky was diabetic. What other testing did they do to rack up a bill like that?

I kept him on this diet and he has remained in remission ever since.

Fantastic! As the caregiver of a cat who has had diabetes for 10 yrs now (requiring insulin shots the whole time), you hit the holy grail of FD.

After a visit to the Vet a couple days later he was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure. I had no idea. He showed no symptoms.

Do you have a copy of all the lab work that was done, including blood and urine results?

My vet is terrible for trying to bill me to the max.

Any other vets you can go to instead? It's not an ideal relationship if you think your vet is always trying to take you to the cleaners. He should be doing things based on what's best for Spanky, not what's best for his wallet.

I was sent home with antibiotics, probiotics, laxatives (2 kinds) Hills KD food, Azodyl and subQ fluids. Its alot :/

It sure is. Most of it completely unnecessary. Why the antibiotics? Which probiotics did he send you home with?

The first issue is he wont eat the Hills KD.

Good for Spanky.

Now I realize I'm not a vet, but I do have a great deal of experience (and tons of research behind me) dealing with various feline health problems. My advice is to ditch the Hill's K/D (along with the notion of feeding Spanky a low protein food). What he needs is good quality protein. Not sure if you or Spanky would be interested in going the raw diet route, but that would be the very best option. If that won't work, there are some decent lower phosphorus canned foods (they don't have to be as low as the prescription foods). Check out this link for some ideas: http://www.catinfo.org/docs/Food%20Chart%20Phosphorus%209-22-12.pdf

And info on why low protein is not a good idea, even in cats with renal insufficiency: The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More Of As They Age (http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/26/make-this-mistake-with-your-pets-food-and-you-could-destroy-their-kidney-and-liver.aspx)


I picked up some Wellness Chicken, Beef and Chicken and Turkey. He is eating it but it's still too high in Phosphorus and protien.

No it isn't. It's actually a great choice, especially if Spanky is willing to eat it.

The second issue is the subQ fluids. I was told to give him 120mm/day. He only weighs 3.7 lbs.

That does seem like an awful lot of fluids to be giving per day. I can't advise you on whether that's an appropriate amount for Spanky, but maybe another vet can.

I haven't been able to give him much as it takes 2 people to do this with him and I'm on my own.

Do you warm the fluids first? What size needle are you using? Most vets send clients home with the big 18g harpoons, which aren't terribly comfortable. You can get 20 to 22 gauge Ultra Thin Wall Terumo needles that deliver fluids almost as fast, but are much nicer to insert.

Also I was given sodium chloride, Ive heard this isn't the best.

You're right, not the best choice unless Spanky has high blood potassium levels. (One of the reasons I'd like to see what the blood work shows). I would at least double-check with the vet on that one. The saline fluids could also be stinging when they go in, another factor in Spanky's discomfort with the whole process.

Third issue is the Azodyl.

I would also ditch the Azodyl. There actually is no concrete evidence that it helps, and it can be a b!tch to administer (not to mention expensive). You'd be better off finding a human probiotic with a similar strain profile and giving Spanky that. MegaFood's Mega-Flora probiotic is one to consider. Can be mixed with food. I know there are people that feel Azodyl has helped their cats, and if they don't have any problems getting the cat to take those giant horse pills or paying that much for a product made by a rather sleazy company, than that's fine. But I personally don't think the cost-benefit ratio is worth it. Much better to spend the money on the best meat-based wet food one can afford.

Owlman
December 23rd, 2012, 07:09 PM
Thanks so very much for your awesome reply.

I will try to be as detailed as I can.
I'll start with his lab work first.

CBC

Test Results Reference
12/15/12 18:43:50
WBC = 8.66 x10^9/L 5.5 - 19.5
LYMPHS = 0.56 x10^9/L 0.4 - 6.8
MONOS = 0.45 x10^9/L 0.15 - 1.7
NEUT = 7.12 x10^9/L 2.5 - 12.5
EOS = 0.52 x10^9/L 0.1 - 0.79
BASO = 0.02 x10^9/L 0 - 0.1
%LYMPHS = 6.5 %
%MONOS = 5.1 %
%NEUT = 82.2 %
%EOS = 6 %
%BASO = 0.2 %
HCT = 30.9 % 30 - 45
RBC = 4.84 x10^12/ L 5 - 10
HGB = 10.5 g/dL 9 - 15.1
Retics = 13.9 K/μL 3 - 50
%Retics = 0.3 %
MCV = 63.8 fL H 41 - 58
RDW = 19 % 17.3 - 22
MCHC = 33.9 g/dL 29 - 37.5
MCH = 21.6 pg H 12 - 20
PLT = 558 K/μL 175 - 600
MPV = 15.2 fL
PCT = 0.85 %
PDW = 27.3 %

Serum Chemistry

ALB = 34 g/L 23 - 39
ALKP = 29 U/L 14 - 111
ALT = 180 U/L H 12 - 130
BUN/UREA = 18.6 mmol/L H 5.7 - 12.9
Ca = 2.38 mmol/L 1.95 - 2.83
CHOL = 6.24 mmol/L H 1.68 - 5.81
CREA = 257 μmol/L H 71 - 212
GGT < 0 U/L 0 - 1
GLU = 6.59 mmol/L 3.95 - 8.84
PHOS = 2.01 mmol/L 1 - 2.42
TBIL = 8 μmol/L 0 - 15
TP = 80 g/L 57 - 89
GLOB = 46 g/L 28 - 51
Sodium = 164 mmol/L 150 - 165
Potassium = 3.8 mmol/L 3.5 - 5.8
Chloride = 125 mmol/L 112 - 129
AMYL = 1349 U/L 500 - 1500
LIPA = 650 U/L 100 - 1400
ALB/GLOB = 0.7
BUN/CREA = 18
Na/K = 43
OSM calc = 337 mmol/kg

Owlman
December 23rd, 2012, 08:00 PM
Hi Owlman, welcome to the board (and sorry that it isn't under better circumstances).



Yikes! Considering a fructosamine test costs somewhere around $50 the last time I checked (and a blood glucose test much less than that), it's crazy that it took your vet $1200 to figure out Spanky was diabetic. What other testing did they do to rack up a bill like that?



Fantastic! As the caregiver of a cat who has had diabetes for 10 yrs now (requiring insulin shots the whole time), you hit the holy grail of FD.



Do you have a copy of all the lab work that was done, including blood and urine results?



Any other vets you can go to instead? It's not an ideal relationship if you think your vet is always trying to take you to the cleaners. He should be doing things based on what's best for Spanky, not what's best for his wallet.



It sure is. Most of it completely unnecessary. Why the antibiotics? Which probiotics did he send you home with?



Good for Spanky.

Now I realize I'm not a vet, but I do have a great deal of experience (and tons of research behind me) dealing with various feline health problems. My advice is to ditch the Hill's K/D (along with the notion of feeding Spanky a low protein food). What he needs is good quality protein. Not sure if you or Spanky would be interested in going the raw diet route, but that would be the very best option. If that won't work, there are some decent lower phosphorus canned foods (they don't have to be as low as the prescription foods). Check out this link for some ideas: http://www.catinfo.org/docs/Food%20Chart%20Phosphorus%209-22-12.pdf

And info on why low protein is not a good idea, even in cats with renal insufficiency: The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More Of As They Age (http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/26/make-this-mistake-with-your-pets-food-and-you-could-destroy-their-kidney-and-liver.aspx)




No it isn't. It's actually a great choice, especially if Spanky is willing to eat it.



That does seem like an awful lot of fluids to be giving per day. I can't advise you on whether that's an appropriate amount for Spanky, but maybe another vet can.



Do you warm the fluids first? What size needle are you using? Most vets send clients home with the big 18g harpoons, which aren't terribly comfortable. You can get 20 to 22 gauge Ultra Thin Wall Terumo needles that deliver fluids almost as fast, but are much nicer to insert.



You're right, not the best choice unless Spanky has high blood potassium levels. (One of the reasons I'd like to see what the blood work shows). I would at least double-check with the vet on that one. The saline fluids could also be stinging when they go in, another factor in Spanky's discomfort with the whole process.



I would also ditch the Azodyl. There actually is no concrete evidence that it helps, and it can be a b!tch to administer (not to mention expensive). You'd be better off finding a human probiotic with a similar strain profile and giving Spanky that. MegaFood's Mega-Flora probiotic is one to consider. Can be mixed with food. I know there are people that feel Azodyl has helped their cats, and if they don't have any problems getting the cat to take those giant horse pills or paying that much for a product made by a rather sleazy company, than that's fine. But I personally don't think the cost-benefit ratio is worth it. Much better to spend the money on the best meat-based wet food one can afford.



1. I cant remember now what it all was. Complete blood and urine work, insulin and needles, whatever her time cost, lab costs, enemas... there was alot!


2. Ten years! Thats awesome. Thats what you do when you love your pet. I'd still be doing it if I had to. I think I just got lucky.


3. Lab work posted!


4. There are other vets forsure. I just dont know who to turn to or who to trust at this point.


5. The antibiotics are for bacteria in his mouth apparently. His teeth arent very good but considering his age I didnt want to put him through the trauma of having his teeth pulled.

I was sent home with Clavaseptin antibiotic, Probiotics florentero and azodyl.


6. I agree that the Hills KD is crap. The phosphorus levels in it seem so low compared to the other brands. I was thnking of trying Hi Tor Neo but you cant seem to get it in Canada. Plus it has by products of who knows what in it. I keep worrying that if I dont get something lower in phosphorus I'm going to lose my kitty soon.

Ive tried to find info on feeding wellness but havent had much luck.
felinecrf is a great resource but no concrete answers. I'm also trying the yahoo support group but its confusing as hell to use.


7. I did not warm the fluids first but I will next time. All I have is the 18 gauge needles. My sister is a surgeon and she is going to get me some smaller needles from the hospital and possibly some different fluids that he will be more comfortable with. I'm not sure how to interpret his blood work for potassium.


8. Yeah not sure what to do with the azodyl. As i said my vet wants me to give half a pill per day to start because Spanky is so small.

But from what I know splitting the dose and putting it into food renders it useless. I dont want to give him too much.




At this point my main concern is getting him fluids and getting his weight up.
My vet told me the Hills KD will help with that. But I dont believe it.

sugarcatmom
December 23rd, 2012, 10:08 PM
I'll start with his lab work first.


Was a urinalysis done? Kidney disease really shouldn't be diagnosed without a urine specific gravity (USG) value.

sugarcatmom
December 23rd, 2012, 10:55 PM
4. There are other vets forsure. I just dont know who to turn to or who to trust at this point.

Maybe after you've posted a few more times (not sure how many you need) I can pm you some vet info (I see we're both in Calgary).

5. The antibiotics are for bacteria in his mouth apparently. His teeth arent very good but considering his age I didnt want to put him through the trauma of having his teeth pulled.

Hmmm....bad teeth can effect kidney health. Has he ever had a dental before? Maybe once Spanky stabilizes, you might investigate the possibility going ahead with it. I know it sounds risky, but with the right protocols in place and a competent vet, it might really help him. My diabetic (who's also had CKD for almost 3 years now, as well as a heart condition for many more) recently had a dental done at the age of 19 1/2. He came through fantastically well and it most assuredly bought him more time. It was becoming a quality of life issue otherwise.

I was sent home with Clavaseptin antibiotic, Probiotics florentero and azodyl.

The Florentero is better than FortiFlora, so that's good, but there are some ingredients in it that are rather iffy. Is it the paste or tablets that you're giving Spanky? If you happen to go near a Community Natural Foods store, pick up some Natural Factor's Ultimate Multi (http://naturalfactors.com/caen/products/detail/4375/ultimate-multi-probiotic) from the fridge. It's what I always use if me or my pets need to be on antibiotics.

6. I agree that the Hills KD is crap. The phosphorus levels in it seem so low compared to the other brands.

It's not just about the phosphorus though. Yes, you don't want to feed foods with really high levels, but unless Spanky's blood phosphorus is out of range (and it isn't), there is no need to be on a food super restrictive in phosphorus. And if it ever came to that, I vote for better quality ingredients and the use of a phosphorus binder instead.

I keep worrying that if I dont get something lower in phosphorus I'm going to lose my kitty soon.

Quality food is more important. As I said, my guy has had renal issues now for a while and the only diet change I made was to increase the amount of raw I was feeding him.

I'm also trying the yahoo support group but its confusing as hell to use.

They can be a great resource, but they really tend to push the prescription foods. I would take nutritional advice from there with a grain of salt.

7. I did not warm the fluids first but I will next time.

It should help. I put the bag and line in a big freezer Ziploc and then immerse the whole thing in a sink full of very warm water for at least 15 minutes. If you haven't seen this site on giving a cat fluids, it has some great tips: http://www.weirdstuffwemake.com/weird/stuff/pets/cats/sophia/catjuice.html

My sister is a surgeon and she is going to get me some smaller needles from the hospital and possibly some different fluids that he will be more comfortable with.

If you can't get them from your sister, the Co-op Home Health Care (http://www.calgarycoop.com/home_health) store has the Terumo needles for cheap.

I'm not sure how to interpret his blood work for potassium.

His potassium is in the low-normal range, so I see no reason why you can't give him Lactated Ringers instead of saline.


8. Yeah not sure what to do with the azodyl. As i said my vet wants me to give half a pill per day to start because Spanky is so small.

But from what I know splitting the dose and putting it into food renders it useless. I dont want to give him too much.

I don't think there's much risk in giving him more if it's mixed with food, to make sure some of it makes it further down the track. But there is another product you could get from your vet called Renal Advanced (http://www.aventix.ca/US%20Distributors/RENAL%20&%20RENAL%20ADVANCED/A2011-56%20RENAL%20CLIENT%20BROCHURE-no%20crops.pdf), by Candioli. It contains probiotics, as well as other nutritional supplements like B vitamins, doesn't need to be refrigerated, and is supposed to be mixed with food.

At this point my main concern is getting him fluids and getting his weight up.
My vet told me the Hills KD will help with that. But I dont believe it.

You're right, your vet is wrong. Would love to know how Spanky is supposed to gain weight on something that he won't even eat. Plus, one of the biggest problems CKD cats face is muscle wasting, and low protein foods are a huge factor in that. I would stick with the Wellness for now, and put some thought into augmenting that with a raw diet.

Owlman
January 1st, 2013, 09:30 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying, too busy through the holidays!

Several new developments to tell you about, all mostly positive!


Great that we are both in Calgary!

So I have taken Spanky to see a new vet. He was fighting very hard in regard to his subQ fluids. He would go so rigid that between 2 people we could not get fluids into him, so I took him somewhere new to have the fluids administered.

Luck would have it that I was able to consult with a feline specialist that gave me new perspective on where he is at. He did have a urinalysis, he does have CRF. His numbers indicate early stage, not stage 3 as my previous vet had told me.

The next thing really got me upset. My old vet told me that Spanky weighs 3.7 lbs. She adjusted all his medications (including the Azodyl) for this weight.

He was weighed at the new vet, where I saw for myself that he actually weighs 4.00 kg. So she mixed up kilograms for pounds. Can't believe the incompetence. I will never go back there.

The new vet had me stop all his current medications. I was also told that he is not that dehydrated, and if he is fighting so hard at home with the subQ's it is okay to not give them for the time being. All I am doing at this point is giving him Renal Advanced in his food twice per day, he seems much happier in the last few days. She wants to recheck his numbers in 30 days.

I feel more relaxed after seeing this new Vet, but if you have some suggestions I would love to hear them. I'm not sure if I should be doing more at this point, but Spanky seems to feeling alot better.

Hope you had a happy new year!

:)

Dog Dancer
January 1st, 2013, 11:40 PM
Good news owlman. Sugarcatmom is a great resource for you, you are lucky to have found her. Hope your kitty continues to improve for you with the new year.

Reg
January 3rd, 2013, 12:11 AM
Hello:
Glad to hear that you have been able to find a vet that you can work with. Hopefully the new vet is going to be more reasonable on pricing.
I was introduced to a web site in early December, that I think you would/could find of value to you, when I was going through similar problems with a cat that I am presently fostering. It has been diagnosed with Renal Failure.

http://www.felinecrf.org/index.htm

Hope it helps you.

Owlman
January 4th, 2013, 04:05 PM
Thanks :)

I have also discovered that website. The wealth of information on there is astounding. The food data charts are especially helpful.

It has led me to be concerned with giving Spanky Wellness food, as it contains cranberries. I did discuss this with my new Vet and she told me not to be too concerned about it. He really likes this stuff and there aren't many alternatives available. The renal advanced probiotic I'm giving him does contain a phosphorus binder, which is good.

I feel like there has to be something more appropriate to give him but I just don't know what it is. Going to stick with the Wellness for now I think as he has been gaining weight since starting it.

Hope you are making out okay with your CRF kitty!

sugarcatmom
January 4th, 2013, 05:51 PM
It has led me to be concerned with giving Spanky Wellness food, as it contains cranberries.

Honestly, the cranberry content is pretty negligible. It's somewhere around the 10th ingredient listed and is highly unlikely to contribute to any acidification, which would be the concern with CKD kitties. I think overall that Wellness is one of the better choices available. Most importantly, Spanky is liking it and doing well!

The renal advanced probiotic I'm giving him does contain a phosphorus binder, which is good.

Are you sure about the phosphorus binder? I know the regular Renal powder contains calcium carbonate, which is indeed a phosphorus binder, but I'm pretty sure the Renal Advanced powder just contains various B vitamins, and pro- and pre-biotics, and I think a herbal supplement. Are you giving Spanky both the regular and the Advanced versions? That's what I was doing for a while, until Aztec decided he didn't like the Advanced stuff anymore. For now (it changes, depending on his needs and tastes), he gets the regular Renal powder, 30mg of CoQ10, around 250mg of taurine, Natural Factor's Ultimate Multi probiotics, and bi-weekly vitamin b12 injections. I rarely give him subQ fluids, like maybe once every 2-3 months to address a specific situation (like if he has an episode of constipation). His kidney disease is stable at about Stage 2-3.

Anyway, very glad to hear you found a more competent vet, and that Spanky is enjoying his food! :thumbs up Keep us updated on his progress.

sugarcatmom
January 5th, 2013, 01:41 PM
Forgot to mention a couple of things:

You may already be doing this, but if not, I suggest adding extra water to Spanky's food (preferably filtered water, although it's not totally crucial 'cause Calgary has pretty good water, although maybe a touch high in mineral content). A couple tbsp worth, or whatever Spanky will tolerate.

Not sure where you shop for cat food, but if you'd like to feed Spanky more variety, Calgary has a ton of excellent pet food stores. Hands down the one with the widest selection is The Cat House (http://www.thecathouseinc.com/) in the Stadium Shopping centre on 16th Ave and Uxbridge Dr N.W. (near the University). Their prices are also quite good for most items. They carry Precise, which has some nicely lowish in phosphorus flavours (turkey and chicken). Merrick BG 96% Beef is another good choice and is also very low in carbohydrates (something to keep in mind with Spanky's history of diabetes).

If Spanky is licensed with the city, you probably have an "I Heart My Pet" (http://iheartmypet.ca/) card. If you show that when you shop at Fairplay (http://www.fairplaystores.com/) on Memorial and Kensington Rd N.W., you get a 10% discount on all purchases (make sure to show the card before they start ringing stuff through). They have a great selection of freeze-dried 100% meat treats from Pure Bites and Whole Life, and also carry Wellness, Weruva, Addiction, Almo, Natural Balance, Go! etc. wet food. Check out the I Heart My Pet link for other businesses that offer discounts. You can easily pay for the cost of the licence with all the savings, and the licensing fees go towards funding the SNAP spay/neuter program.

And lastly, if you're ever interested in trying Spanky on a bit of raw, Tailblazers (http://www.tailblazerspets.com/) is your ultimate shopping destination. They stock Red Dog Blue Kat (http://www.reddogdeli.com/), one of the best frozen commercial cat foods available (the buffalo or venison flavours are super low in phosphorus, but need to be supplemented with a calcium source if fed regularly). Natural Instincts (http://www.naturalinstincts.ca/) is another excellent choice for CKD kitties.

Hope some of that helps!

Reg
January 5th, 2013, 05:46 PM
Hi:

Here is some information that I came across regarding cranberries in cat food that could be of interest to you. It's located in the Tanya's website, here's the link.

http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_treatments.htm#cranberry

Here's another website that will help to spell out how cranberry works on the human body, and I would suspect on other animals as well. I have used cranberry extract on one of my cats for urinary tract infection in the past along with another product, and things seem to clear up after a short time, and never to return again.

http://www.furtherhealth.com/article/55_1_The-Cranberry-and-Urinary-Tract-Infections/

Trying to chase down nutritional information on what's in a can of pet food can be very trying. A pet food company that I have been dealing with for a few years has really simplified the matter, here's the webpage.

http://www.petcurean.com/for-cats/go/canned-chicken-vegetable

Go to the bottom of the page and download to nutrient profile, and have a look.

It sure would make it a lot handier if all the companies would do this with their products, especially for people who are having issues over food for their animals.

sugarcatmom
January 5th, 2013, 06:41 PM
Hi:

Here is some information that I came across regarding cranberries in cat food that could be of interest to you. It's located in the Tanya's website, here's the link.

http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_treatments.htm#cranberry



But since the amount of cranberries in most pet foods, and specifically Wellness, is quite minuscule, it's really not the big deal that Helen's website and others make it out to be. Of course you don't want to feed ANY cat, never mind a kidney cat, large amounts of cranberry. But if there's a food that otherwise has good quality ingredients and an appropriate nutritional profile for that cat, I wouldn't dismiss the food just because it contains a wee little cranberry. Better to feed that than something else with grains and fish and BHT, but no cranberry. :2cents:

Owlman
January 6th, 2013, 12:25 PM
Are you sure about the phosphorus binder? I know the regular Renal powder contains calcium carbonate, which is indeed a phosphorus binder, but I'm pretty sure the Renal Advanced powder just contains various B vitamins, and pro- and pre-biotics, and I think a herbal supplement. Are you giving Spanky both the regular and the Advanced versions? That's what I was doing for a while, until Aztec decided he didn't like the Advanced stuff anymore. For now (it changes, depending on his needs and tastes), he gets the regular Renal powder, 30mg of CoQ10, around 250mg of taurine, Natural Factor's Ultimate Multi probiotics, and bi-weekly vitamin b12 injections. I rarely give him subQ fluids, like maybe once every 2-3 months to address a specific situation (like if he has an episode of constipation). His kidney disease is stable at about Stage 2-3.

Anyway, very glad to hear you found a more competent vet, and that Spanky is enjoying his food! :thumbs up Keep us updated on his progress.

My new Vet told me Renal Advanced contained a phosphorus binder but maybe it doesn't! Looking at the list of ingredients I don't see calcium carbonate anywhere. Maybe she got mixed up. Thank you for pointing that out! She never gave me a choice only the Renal advanced. Can you give both at the same time?

I don't know what CoQ10 is? I have some amino Bplex here that I haven't given to Spanky yet as I'm not sure if he needs it in addition to the renal advanced. Do you give additional taurine due to the type of food you feed?
I'm not too concerned about the cranberries anymore. The amount does seem to be quite small! Glad to hear Aztec is stable!





Forgot to mention a couple of things:

You may already be doing this, but if not, I suggest adding extra water to Spanky's food (preferably filtered water, although it's not totally crucial 'cause Calgary has pretty good water, although maybe a touch high in mineral content). A couple tbsp worth, or whatever Spanky will tolerate.

Not sure where you shop for cat food, but if you'd like to feed Spanky more variety, Calgary has a ton of excellent pet food stores. Hands down the one with the widest selection is The Cat House (http://www.thecathouseinc.com/) in the Stadium Shopping centre on 16th Ave and Uxbridge Dr N.W. (near the University). Their prices are also quite good for most items. They carry Precise, which has some nicely lowish in phosphorus flavours (turkey and chicken). Merrick BG 96% Beef is another good choice and is also very low in carbohydrates (something to keep in mind with Spanky's history of diabetes)


I have been giving him extra filtered water in his food! I have to as it is so dry here if the food sits out for a few hours it gets pretty nasty. He loves Chicken pure bites as a treat and I usually sprinkle some on his food to get him to eat.

I have been to the cat house! Usually just to buy him toys but I think I will be going back there to look at new foods. Usually I go to Pet planet but I find selection there to be quite limited.

As far as carbs go, my old vet tried to sell me dried kibble to help him gain weight, which I would never do. My Dad suggested I try giving him some butter, but I don't know about cats + dairy. Cats don't like pumpkin, I don't know who came up with that idea! Getting him to gain weight is something I'm definitely struggling with!

Owlman
January 6th, 2013, 12:46 PM
If Spanky is licensed with the city, you probably have an "I Heart My Pet" (http://iheartmypet.ca/) card. If you show that when you shop at Fairplay (http://www.fairplaystores.com/) on Memorial and Kensington Rd N.W., you get a 10% discount on all purchases (make sure to show the card before they start ringing stuff through). They have a great selection of freeze-dried 100% meat treats from Pure Bites and Whole Life, and also carry Wellness, Weruva, Addiction, Almo, Natural Balance, Go! etc. wet food. Check out the I Heart My Pet link for other businesses that offer discounts. You can easily pay for the cost of the licence with all the savings, and the licensing fees go towards funding the SNAP spay/neuter program.

And lastly, if you're ever interested in trying Spanky on a bit of raw, Tailblazers (http://www.tailblazerspets.com/) is your ultimate shopping destination. They stock Red Dog Blue Kat (http://www.reddogdeli.com/), one of the best frozen commercial cat foods available (the buffalo or venison flavours are super low in phosphorus, but need to be supplemented with a calcium source if fed regularly). Natural Instincts (http://www.naturalinstincts.ca/) is another excellent choice for CKD kitties.

Hope some of that helps!


I've never had Spanky licensed. Just never got around to it! He has been an indoor cat for many years now as I don't live in a "cat friendly" neighborhood.
There is a horrible woman that lives a few doors away from me that has been known to trap neighborhood pets and turn them over to the city. I was thinking about not doing it due to his advanced age but maybe I should.


My last visit to pet planet they gave me a sample of Natures Variety Instincts Raw chicken bites. I have no clue how to feed it though!

I was thinking I could try it in addition to his wellness food. Just don't know where to start really. How much to give him, how long it can sit at room temperature etc... There seems to be alot of debate regarding raw food.
I spoke briefly with one of the cat clinics in town and they told me that they do not recommend giving an older cat a raw food diet. Don't know why though!