worst day ever - cat kidney failure questions- Growler still around?
My cat is a male and is 14yrs old. For the past two months I noticed that he seemed to be walking with a slight limp in his rear legs. Also he quit eating hard food. I had been buying him soft food which he loved at first, but for about a week he hasn't been eating that well.
I took him to the vet today thinking he had a mouth problem and perhaps some arthritis in his hips. The vet told me that his kidneys felt lumpy and ran some tests. He then came back and told me that he is suffering from kidney failure. I was/am devistated. He showed me all his labs, none of which I can remember now. He also showed me the x-ray and pointed out some dots which he said were kidney stones. He also said he was anemic.
He told me my choices were to do nothing or consider putting him down, or to do IV fluids for three days in hopes of getting his lab numbers back where they should be. Kobe (cat) would go in at 8:00 am and I could pick him up at 5:00pm each day for 3 days. He said if it was his cat he would try this approach. However, when I asked him the best case scenerio he said I am looking at adding months/weeks to his life, not years.
Of course I opted to try the IV treatments. I consider Kobe family.
I am hoping someone can tell me anything. What questions should I ask? what do I need to know? Is it really this hopeless? I was in shock when he was talking to me so I didn't ask much today. I don't know if there are specific stages of kidney failure, or what kidney stone mean in this regard.
If anyone can help, I would appreciate any guidance. I see Growler's name attached to several of these posts, which is why I threw that name in my title. But I would take any advice from anyone.
Is 3-day IV treatment common? Is it helpful? What can I expect? What should I do?
also, are there different levels of CRF? how do I know where my cat is? I see post that talk about managing it for years, but I don't want to get my hopes up. Kobe has been very healthy until this. I just cannot believe it.
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030811]What questions should I ask? what do I need to know? Is it really this hopeless? [/quote]
Can you get a copy of the lab results, including the urine specific gravity? That can help determine how advanced the renal insufficiency is, as well as give you some ideas of where to go from here. For instance, potassium supplementation, phosphorus binders, calcitriol, probiotics, B vitamins, subQ fluids at home, slippery elm bark, etc, are various "tools" in the CRF arsenal that can help keep this disease at bay. A couple of really good sites to read are here:
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030811]Is 3-day IV treatment common? Is it helpful? [/quote]
Yes and yes. IV fluids can really help "flush" the build-up of toxins out and help the cat to feel better, which will also hopefully perk up the kitty's appetite.
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030812]also, are there different levels of CRF? how do I know where my cat is? [/QUOTE]
There are different "stages" based on the lab results. Here is a link explaining them, although the values may be different depending on where you live: [url]http://www.felinecrf.org/how_bad_is_it.htm#how_bad_numbers[/url]
I wouldn't focus solely on the numbers though. There are many factors to this disease and it's important to view the cat as a whole, which includes how they're feeling and behaving and their quality of life. I'm sorry you and your cat are going through this! :grouphug: Cats can and do live quite a while with CRF.
Just passing along my good thoughts as I read your story and feel your distress.
Hi sojuorn welcome to the forum, sorry about the circumstances though :grouphug:
You've gotten some great advice already :) Definately a good place to start is getting a copy of all the lab results this makes it easier for you to refer back to them later if you have more questions.
There's lots of specific information here on anaemia [url]http://www.felinecrf.org/anaemia.htm[/url]
Some info on kidney stones [url]http://www.cat-health-guide.org/felinekidneystones.html[/url]
What brand/flavour food is Kobe currently eating?
What about the daily attitude/activity of your cat? Other than the limp and not eating krunchies, how is Kobe feeling? Affection level the same? Any unusual hiding? Peeing/drinking more than normal? Using the litterbox properly? Does he seem happy/normal or grouchy? Playing/activity level normal? Sleeping more or the same as usual? Pain/discomfort when picked up?
Thank you all for the replies. I appreciate it very very much.
I am going to drop him off this morning for the first of the 3 IV treatments. I will ask for a copy of the lab results then and post what I find. I don't know that the "bad" numbers were very high..
Kobe has not been his "normal" playful self for a few months now, but I had chalked that up to my recent move and the fact that he is getting older. He still runs to meet me every day I come home. Still jumps on counters and on tables (even if he isn't supposed to). He is skinner than ever, but my parents cat got skinner as she aged so I thought it was normal. He still uses the litter box. I had been feeding him science diet (elder cat formula whatever that is called) prior to him quitting eating that. Since then I had been feeding him a variety of soft food from friskies brand to science diet. Whatever he seemed to like best. His affection level is the same, but he much more subdued than normal. Again, i thought he was just getting older and calmer. I don't notice any seeming pain when he is picked up. Never noticed until really watching him last night, but he did seem to drink more at night.
I will say that looking back on it I feel I should have acted quicker. I have noticed what I thought was incrased urine in the litter box some time ago, but I didn't think much of it. I thought the non-eating was due to a toothache or moodyness (he did this before a few years back when he was sick of a certian brand). I thought the limp was just old joints. I feel like I have let him down by not acting sooner. His ailments all seem very obvious to me now in hindsight.
Dropping him off at the vet today is going to be difficult. I don't like the choice that is not inevitably in front of me.
I dropped him off and picked up his labs and now that I think I understand the numbers I feel absolutly sick to my stomach.
BUN - 127 normal - 16-36
CREA - 10.4 normal - .8-2.4
PHOS -15.4 normal - 3.1-7.5
GLOB - 5.2 normal - 2.8-5.1
After seeing the CREA level and reading that anything over 5 is stage 4 90% kidney loss I am feeling that there is no hope. Is the IV treatment even going to help now? Or am I just making him scared and suffereing?
Those numbers are high :grouphug:, but I have seen higher and that cat is doing fine now he also was on IV fluids for several days in a row & saw a good drop in numbers, after the in-clinic IV fluids his owner continued weekly sub-q fluids at home.
The IV fluids will be excellent to flush out the toxins from the kidneys & bloodstream plus will help Kobe feel better, hydrated & likely bring his appetite back a bit. Just being on fluids will drop those numbers down not necessarily into normal range but it's almost like a bit of a reset :) to give you numbers more manageable to work with.
Take it one day at a time right now & focus more on how Kobe is feeling not so much where the numbers are. Some cats can do well for a long time with high numbers, it all depends on the cat themselves and the food/fluid/supplement/stress-free emotional support they get.
Once the days of IV fluids are finished the vet will want to re do the blood work to see where the numbers are at.
As far as food, here are some good quality low phosphorus canned foods to try, see if Kobe likes them:
[URL="http://www.bynaturepetfoods.com/productpages/organiccannedcat.php"]By Nature Organics[/URL] Turkey & Turkey Liver, Chicken & Chicken Liver, Turkey & Chicken, Chicken & Mackerel, Beef & Beef Liver
[URL="http://www.innovapet.com/products/default.asp?id=1693"]Innova Flex Beef & Barley Stew[/URL]
[URL="http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1662"]Evo 95% Chicken & Turkey[/URL]
[url=http://www.canidae.com/cats/cat_and_kitten/canned.html]Felidae Cat & Kitten[/url]
[URL="http://www.canidae.com/cats/grain-free-cat-food/canned.html"]Felidae Grain Free[/URL]
[URL="http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=114&s=20481"]Merricks Before Grain 96% Beef[/URL]
[URL="http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=114&s=20480"]Merricks Before Grain 96% Turkey[/URL]
[URL="http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=52&s=20246"]Merricks Cowboy Cookout[/URL]
[URL="http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/detail.php?c=52&s=01803"]Merricks Thanksgiving Day Dinner[/URL]
[URL="http://shop.halopets.com/Canned-Cat-Food/Wholesome-Chicken-Recipe-3-5-oz"]Halo Spots Stew Wholesome Chicken[/URL]
[URL="http://shop.halopets.com/Canned-Cat-Food/Cat-Canned-Turkey-3-5oz"]Halo Spots Stew Wholesome Turkey[/URL]
[URL="http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/recipes.aspx?pet=cat&ft=2"]Wellness[/URL] Turkey, Chicken, Beef & Chicken, Beef & Salmon, Kitten, Wellness Core Chicken Turkey & Chicken Liver (other flavours are too high in phos)
[URL="http://www.holisticselect.com/product.aspx?pet=cat&cat=2&pid=33"]Holistic Select Turkey & Barley[/URL]
[URL="http://www.holisticselect.com/product.aspx?pet=cat&cat=2&pid=30"]Holistic Select Duck & Chicken[/URL]
Many more choices listed here [url]http://www.felinecrf.org/canned_food_usa.htm#food_data_tables[/url]
Hindsight is always 20/20 & we can't blame ourselves for possibly missing something that was not obvious to us in the past. No matter what age or stage of health, life should be about quality not quantity, when your boy comes in from the vet spoil him with all his favorite things chin rubs, treats & cuddles & we'll see where he's at in a couple of days :grouphug:.
Thanks for the reply Growler.
After bringing him home from the vet yesterday (the first day of the IV treatments) he seemed ok at first. He couldn't really walk well as the vet had his arm all bandaged up with the IV tube still there, but he stumbled around best he could. He even ate a spoon full of food which I thought was a good sign. I was pleased.
However, after about 2 hours he went into a closet an laid down. He seemed very tired, which I also thought was normal as he hates other animals and vets and I don't think he slept at all while he was getting the IV all day, and was probably very stressed. I also read that cat are normally lethargic after such treatments.
But he didn't eat anything other than that first spoon full of food the rest of the evening or the entire night. Also, for the first time ever he seemed "sick" to me. In the morning he would stand up, take a few steps and then slump back to the ground. As if he just didn't have the energy. And he would drag the cast on his arm instead of picking it up.
I dropped him off at the vet this morning and told them about his lack of energy or ability to move much. And the fact that he hasn't eaten now for about 3 days.
Seeing that this morning made me more concerned than ever. I would like to know from other people's experience how their pets reacted after (and during) IV treatments. When does their appetite come back? Am I making things worse on him? Am I making him suffer????
Again, he was acting normal other than the lack of eating and limp prior to taking him into IV treatment. He could jump 4 feet to the top of a table, and would follow me everywhere. This morning he couldn't (or wouldn't) walk 10 feet...
back from the vet after day 2. Vet didn't do anything about the lack of eating, they said they will give him a shot tomorrow to try and get him to eat if he doesn't tonight. He still refuses to eat. He sat with me for a bit, then went to his litter box, and he is now back in the closet.
this is torture on me
:grouphug: What a tough experience to be going through. I don't have any easy answers for you but one thing I'm wondering about is if the vets are doing anything regarding the anemia. I imagine that could be part of why he feels so tired (although for sure the stay at the vet can factor into it as well). Perhaps Kobe would benefit from some vitamin B12 injections, if he isn't already receiving them: [url]http://www.felinecrf.org/nutritional_requirements.htm#Vitamin_B[/url]
thanks for the reply sugarcatmom. I was told that the IV treatment would treat the anemia as well. But I am not quite sure how that works. I asked if there were nutrients in the saline (sp?) but was told that there is not. That it is just pretty much saline and sugar? I forget the exact name of what they were using.
The only thing I could get him to eat was 5 small kitty treats.. I tried 4 different types of food, but that is all he would eat, and no more than 5. I just wish I knew what I should be expecting. The Vet didn't seem to have any good answers for me. I can only pray that the vet knows what he is doing..
Dropped Kobe off for his 3rd IV treatment day today. Spoke with the vet about the non eating and non drinking. Asked about Sub-Q's. Vet told me that at this point Sub-Q treatments will do nothing for Kobe and that he wouldn't recommend them... even if his numbers have come down (doing new labs today). Is this true??
Any input is appreciated, this has been a very painful week.
Sojourn, sorry I have no advice to offer you regarding Kobe, but I am sending along my prayers and best wishes that he recovers. Have you tried just offering him canned tuna or some other fish? It's not an ideal diet of course, but it may be enough to get his interest back into eating.
Don't beat yourself up worrying that you didn't do anything soon enough. Our animals are very adept at hiding their symptoms from us. Weakness is not a good thing in the wild so they hide it. That you are doing what you can for your beloved Kobe now is all that matters. Good luck to you Sojourn, and bless you for taking such good care of your boy.
The only thing I could get him to eat was 5 small kitty treats.. I tried 4 different types of food, but that is all he would eat, and no more than 5. [/quote]
I so understand how frustrating it can be to have an inappetant cat. Like Dog Dancer suggested, try offering other things besides cat food/treats. Low sodium canned salmon, sardines, tuna, plain chicken baby food (make sure it doesn't contain onion powder), plain yogurt, cheese, deli-meats, boiled chicken breast, even KFC, whatever it takes. When one of my guys lost his appetite 8 yrs ago from an illness, the only thing he ate for 2 weeks was yogurt and Wysong cat treats. It got him over the hump and he's still with me at the ripe ol' age of 18 1/2.
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030900] I can only pray that the vet knows what he is doing..[/QUOTE]
Unfortunately I learned the hard way that vets are not infallible. I'm a big believer in doing as much research as I can on my own so that I have a better understanding of what's going on and can be my cat's best advocate. My vets have come to realize that I'm not just going to blindly accept whatever they say. And the best part is that they're okay with that. If they weren't, I'd have found a new vet long ago. So my advice would be to read read read anything you can about CRF. Not all of it will sink in as there is just so much to know, but perhaps some of it will aid your communication with the vet.
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030920]Asked about Sub-Q's. Vet told me that at this point Sub-Q treatments will do nothing for Kobe and that he wouldn't recommend them... even if his numbers have come down (doing new labs today). Is this true??
I don't agree with your vet on this. I think subQs, once the initial crisis has passed and the IV treatments have done their job, can be a very valuable tool in the management of CRF. If your vet won't show you how to do them for Kobe, then I would find one who will. Here is more info for you:
Crossing my fingers that Kobe's lab results show some improvement and that he starts eating soon. :fingerscr
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030900]thanks for the reply sugarcatmom. I was told that the IV treatment would treat the anemia as well. But I am not quite sure how that works. I asked if there were nutrients in the saline (sp?) but was told that there is not. That it is just pretty much saline and sugar? I forget the exact name of what they were using.[/quote]
Depends on what they're using, most have sodium, potassium and chlorine some also have magnesium & calcium.
The one with a sugar variation is 5% Dextrose in Water which is not appropriate in this situation.
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030900]The only thing I could get him to eat was 5 small kitty treats.. I tried 4 different types of food, but that is all he would eat, and no more than 5. I just wish I knew what I should be expecting. The Vet didn't seem to have any good answers for me. I can only pray that the vet knows what he is doing..[/QUOTE]
Try leaving a low plate/saucer of food near where he is laying so he doesn't have to get up & go to the food dish. You've been given good suggestions for tempting foods, also tiny pinch of catnip may stimulate the appetite in some cats.
Cats with anaemia are often very tired & will sleep more than normal, they are also often very cold if you can have him lay on a fleece blanket & tuck it over & around him to keep him warm that will help him to feel better. Warmth might perk the appetite up a bit too.
I would bet Kobe's reactions have more to do with the anaemia than they do just the IV fluids. My CRF girl was in hospital for IV treatments during a severe food allergy reaction and was fine during/after IV treatments, she did have mild appetite loss but the ER staff kept her there until she had eaten enough & kept it down, they did have me come in to feed her as they felt she hadn't eaten enough for them.
[QUOTE=sojuorn;1030920]Dropped Kobe off for his 3rd IV treatment day today. Spoke with the vet about the non eating and non drinking. Asked about Sub-Q's. Vet told me that at this point Sub-Q treatments will do nothing for Kobe and that he wouldn't recommend them... even if his numbers have come down (doing new labs today). Is this true??[/QUOTE]
Sub-q fluids are essential to treat any CRF cat but especially one that has had very high numbers.
I want to thank everyone for their help. Sadly, Kobe passed away today. It had been at least 6 days since he ate anything. After returning from his last IV treatment on Friday he continued to refuse to eat, and also refused to drink. The vet tried to boost his appetite but nothing worked. I tried a smorgus board of food but he wouldn't eat anything.
After each day of the IV treament he returned weaker and less able to walk. After his last treatment Friday his rear legs barely seemed to work. I stayed up with him all night and he could barely support himself the few time he tried to stand up. Also he kept hanging his head as if even lifting that was difficult. He was nothing like his usual self anymore.
I took him to a different vet and they said there was nothing they could do for him. Rather than let him suffer I allowed them to put him to sleep. I sat with him all night and all day today trying to give him as much love as possible.
I am devistated right now. I don't know if I made the right decision. What if threre was something I should have done is all I keep thinking.
I was with him until the end, and held him during the final process. It was by far the worst thing I have ever experienced. I don't know if I will ever recover.
Kobe went from what I consider normal on Monday until a shell of himself today. I want to thank you all again, for everything. Please keep helping others as this site was one of the few things that helped me understand what was going on.
Sojourn I am so sorry for your loss. I too had a boy with kidney issues and in the end I too tried everything. He stayed at the vets for a week and sadly suffered a stroke in the end. I was with him and held him and let him go. It was as you said the hardest thing you have done but if you can think of it this way...it was also the kindest thing to do. In time the pain will heal and you will only have wonderful memories of Kobe.
Kobe is running free of pain now at the Rainbow Bridge where he will wait to be reunited with you again.
sojuorn .... I can't add to anything said or even remove your grief, but I will say one thing...
YOU WILL recover. Eventually, you will remember the good times, the fun times you had with your little friend. You will not remember the sickness, the pain, the failing, the death. You will remember the quirky things he did, the soft/tender moments you shared, the just being a friend with another species of animal.
Your cat has passed to the other side. Whether that other side is nothingness or something bright and special, you were there with him in the end. Besides the life you appeared to have given him while he was here, nothing more could have been asked of you.
Stay strong...keep him in your heart and this (the pain, not the memory) will pass...best wishes.
Oh sojuorn, my heart breaks for you. I so understand the pain and the doubt and the total devastation you must feel at losing Kobe. It brings back memories of my struggle to save my cat, Egypt. The grief can feel like it's crushing your soul and that you will never be the same again. And perhaps in some way, you won't be. You experienced an amazing thing: the pure love of another being and even though they aren't physically here anymore, that love is ethereal. It exists forever in your heart.
Perhaps when you're ready you'd like to make a commemorative post to Kobe in the Rainbow Bridge section here. I'd love to hear more about your special guy, and it can be therapeutic to focus on some good memories of him. :grouphug:
I'm so sorry for your loss, sojourn :grouphug: It was a wonderful gift you gave Kobe, seeing him off as you did. That last Gift is so hard on the humans, but so precious to our little ones, and you did so well!
Please don't second guess your decision. You made your decision with Kobe's best interest at heart and no one (not even Kobe) can possibly fault you for it. Know in your[I] head [/I]that if your [I]heart [/I]could let Kobe go, then [I]it was time for Kobe to go[/I]. Hearts always know best about these things. Convincing your head is always the hardest part... :grouphug:
I wish you peace of mind. May many happy memories of Kobe shorten your grief and bring you heart's ease.
So sad to read your sweet Kobe is gone. You had to make the toughest decision any pet parent ever has to make. You did all you could for Kobe, letting go is the hardest thing...:pray::rip::candle::grouphug:
I'm so sorry sojuorn :2huggers: please know that the Kobe knew you loved him & is never far away.
:rip: sweet :angel2: Kobe :candle: He is playing at the [URL="http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html"]Rainbow Bridge[/URL] with those who've gone before :candle: :grouphug:
I want to add my condolences to you also Sojourn for the sudden loss of your dear Kobe. What a difficult time this is for you, as others have said try to recall all the wonderful things he did to make you smile, because of something silly he may have done. patti
Sojourn, so sorry to hear of Kobe's passing. RIP sweet Kobe, you were well loved. Please know that your memories will help your heart to heal. You gave Kobe the ultimate gift of freedom from his failing body, don't ever doubt yourself for that. Having just done the same for my Shadow recently, I know how heartrenching it can be, but it is the right thing. That you were with him in his time of need is so special for both of you. :grouphug:
Sorry to hear :( I hope your cat gets better and has a good recovery
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