Skip to comments.Has Anyone Had To Go Through A Cat With Chronic Renal Failure?
Posted on 11/25/2010 8:54:14 AM PST by NoGrayZone
For the last couple of months, I thought my elder kitty was just going senile. She turned 19 this summer and has the usual "old cat" look....frail back and hind legs, loss of muscle and weight and just looks "old". She also started tinkling and pooping outside her liter box and seemed obsessed with her water bowl (hovering over it for hours).
She has hip dysplasia and "old cat back", which cortisone shots took care of 2-3 years ago, then they stopped working. I found Syn-Flex for pets online and she made a miraculous recovery.
The vets did all kinds of tests, etc last time I bought her in and nothing came back. I started seeing weird symptoms for the past month, but just assumed she was getting senile.
I looked up her symptoms and found CRF, which is common at her age. There is no cure, it only gets worse. I do not want to bring her to the vets. Last time she was there (my original vet is now elder and seemed to have lost some of his mind, perhaps senility is creeping in. I heard that in the vets office). I don't like the other vets there, nor trust them from my last experience.
There is also no cure for it.....just things to do to ease any symptoms to make them more comfortable.
I found, online, Tinkle Tonic, which seems to ease a lot of symptoms for this disease.
I was just wondering if any FReepers had to or are dealing with this and perhaps can give me some helpful advice.
I have lost two young cats that were 4 and 5 years old to this disease. It is fatal and irreversible. See your vet who can give you good guidance on this. I am so sorry.
I have been through this a number of years ago and found a web site www.felinecrf.com that has much useful and comforting information. Look under Caregiver Information and Managing CRF especially.
Here is a solution:
I have a male cat, and males are notorious for urethra blockages because of mineral build-ups. He got that, and peed little drops of blood and urine on everything.
I removed the minerals from his water by using reverse osmosis water to water the catz for a few weeks.
There is a down-side. RO water will kill anyone that uses it as a sole source, long term. It actually leaches minerals from the body.
When Sky starts the pee-pee dance, we go on RO water for a few days, until the problem clears up.
Don't know if that will help with your situation, but you have my prayers for comfort during a difficult time.
I believe we have a responsibility to our pets to make the judgment for them when it comes to the end. We need to do the right thing and cry or mourn for our lost pet after.
I can’t do that. I know it is very selfish of me but I’m just not ready to let her go.
Call a farming friend or cousin ... They’ll take your kittie in and be lovingly with them till the end.
Get your vet to prescribe Hills Prescription diet, k/d Feline Renal Health, with chicken. It comes in wet and dry. Our 16-year old cat has been diagnosed with renal failure and has been on this diet for over a year and has gained weight.
Wow, that is the website I found a few days ago. She has most of the symptoms listed there.
She doesn’t seem like she’s in pain, more uncomfortable and confused.
I ordered the Tinkle Tonic and am praying that relieves some of her discomfort.
I also layed down some old towels which she seems more comfortable relieving herself, instead of the liter box.
I’m more upset than she is.
I purchase a litre of Lactated Ringers approx. every three weeks from the vet. They showed me how to administer subcutaneously. Initially, I was giving him 100 milliliters every day. I did this for 5 days. Now I give him 75 milliliters every other day.
It requires you to monitor his activity level and to increase the dosage as necessary.
Eventually, I know I will have to do the right thing for him and euthanize. It wont be easy, but I have to do what his best for him.
Thanks. I’ve spoken to the vets office, but what they suggest I simply cannot afford, and I feel like crap because of it. They also won’t keep her overnight because she hasn’t had her rabbi shot and I won’t allow them to give it to her. My 3 cats are strictly indoors and have no need for them.
Nor do they have ANY will to go outside (they run for cover when the front door opens, lol).
I wish I had the thousands to spend, but I don’t. It’s very upsetting. =(
Last year my mother's beloved kitty cat (just two years old) began suffering from a faulty metabolism that caused everything he ate to turn into sand in his bladder. She had him cleaned out, even paid for a very expensive operation to reroute his "plumbing" (an operation that works in most cases). But it didn't work for him. His metabolism simply quit on him, and nothing could help. Even after the operation his bladder filled up till it lost its elasticity. He'd probably have required periodic surgery just to stay alive (which she couldn't have afforded). But she never had to make that decision because he died on the operating table. I can't tell you how hurt she was or how it hurt me to see her suffer and grieve so.
These are things you simply don't get over. We know that for people there is a World to Come. I don't know if there is one for our beloved pets or not, which makes losing them so traumatizing (I'd like to think they'll be there, but I must defer this decision to our beloved Creator).
I am so sorry for what you are going through. This isn't going to help any, but I just want you to know that this happens to everyone who has an animal friend. It's inevitable. You are not alone in your pain.
May G-d comfort you.
Thanks Johnny. She was my first family member since I moved out of my house (I was 19 and got her when I was 21).
Your words do bring comfort and I thank you for that (((hug))).
My dog lived for two years with CRF with daily fluid administration (at home—it took us awhile, but it became routine and non-stressful for us and our dog), home-cooked diet that is very low in phosphorus (not low in protein) and something called azodyl (supposed to absorb toxins). Kidney values returned to almost normal and our dog died from cancer, not renal failure. Our dog was 15 when diagnosed and lived a quality life with renal failure until the end when cancer affected both liver and kidneys.
My neighbor’s 15 year old cat lived for another year with daily fluids and modified diet. Sometimes a struggle finding foods that appeal to animals with kidney disease, but it was worth it to us. The feline CRF website is excellent and there are yahoo groups for people whose animals have been diagnosed with CRF. Best wishes.
I did everything I could to keep him alive. Wound up giving him IV's at home but it was no use. It only prolonged everyone's agony for about a month.
We finally had to .... well, you know.
First of all, my sympathy(more aptly, empathy) is with you.
I have quite a bit of experience dealing with feline CRF, unfortunately. My last kitty, a Persian, was diagnosed with CRF when he was 9 years old; his was attributed to polycystic kidney disease, which is fairly common in that breed, and incurable.
First of all, if your cat is in kidney failure, this will be evident in kidney function tests. Kitties will have either some or all of the following: elevated BUN/urea,creatinine, phosphorus, calcium, or potassium. There are other elevations that can be found in a regular blood panel.
If kidney failure is evident, you have several options: the use of subcutaneous fluids and phosphorus binders(if needed), special diet and other home treatments. Some cats don’t respond at all and, ultimately, need to be euthanized. I have known people with elderly cats who got good results, so there could be some hope for your kttty. The goal is to make your pet as comfortable as possible by giving him or her the best quality life attainable.
I’m enclosing a link for you that you will find helpful. It’s a site for those dealing with feline kidney disease, and it’s not only very informative(I used it frequently when dealing with my sick ones), but supportive:
Had it not been for this site, I don’t think my last cat would have experienced 4 more years of high quality life. He was on daily subcutaneous fluids(not all CRF cats need fluids) and several other medications, but you would have never known he was sick by looking at him. My husband and I made this commitment to him and, although, it was a little expensive, it was worth it.
Have a look at the website I included. Even if you opt for no treatment you will find a lot of encouragement and support as you go through this process of letting go. The woman who owns this site, and others who contribute, have been through it all.
My heart goes out to you——I know how hard this is. Hugs to you and your kitty.
I knew something was wrong several years before it showed up in tests. Even took him to a university hospital, but apparently they can lose 70% of their function before it shows up.
I lost him way too early, at 14 years old. He had several small strokes which he seemed to deal with okay, but then had a big one and I had to put him to sleep. Broke my heart. I still miss him.
You have absolutely no idea how much that means to me. It does feel lonely and knowing you and so many others are here and have had to go through the same is very comforting.
Thank you for your kind words.
I am so sorry for your loss. These past 4 days I just keep trying to think how on earth am I supposed to live without her?
I think our agony is probably much worse than theirs is.
It's well documented. Basic science stuff.
You may or may not know about this CRF support group. It is excellent.
My heart goes out to you.
Thank you so much and to all my fellow FReepers. You have no idea how comforting it is to hear your words and advice and also to know I am not alone.
The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie-- Perfect passsion and worship fed By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart to a dog to tear. When the fourteen years which Nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, And the vet's unspoken prescription runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns, Then you will find--it's your own affair-- But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear. When the body that lived at your single will, With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!) When the spirit that answered your every mood Is gone--wherever it goes--for good, You will discover how much you care, And will give your heart to a dog to tear. We've sorrow enough in the natural way, When it comes to burying Christian clay. Our loves are not given, but only lent, At compound interest of cent per cent. Though it is not always the case, I believe, That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve: For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, A short-term loan is as bad as a long-- So why in--Heaven (before we are there) Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
The treatments were not that expensive. I seem to remember about 80 dollars (this was back in the early ‘90s) The first treatment got her about 6 additional months. Each subsequent “dialysis” lasted a shorter period of time - I guess because her kidney function continued declining.
Then the toxins build up again and she needed another treatment. The cat was in and out of the vet quickly, taking 5 or 6 hours, if I remember correctly - for the entire fill and drain process.
There was also a change of diet to reduce the metabolic toxins and reduce the load on the kidneys.
When all was said and done, we got her another 2 years or so, probably at a cost of around 400-500 dollars.
Our vet had a theory that soybeans in cat food produced a lot of toxins that were hard on the cat kidneys, and since that time I have read cat food labels and tried to minimize the amount of soybean meal they eat.
I now feed a Diamond brand dry food, and it has no corn, soy, beef, or wheat. It is a chicken and rice formula, and costs about $20 for an 12 pound bag at Tractor Supply.
Since being on this food, my cats have been especially healthy. I believe it has reduced the number of skin and digestive problems, and they appear to thrive on it.
As for your cat, 19 years may not be enough for you, but this really has been a good long life for your kitty. And there does come a point where we need to let them go. But maybe you aren't at this point yet. You might want to ask your vet about this procedure, and maybe get a second opinion. I apologize for not having more details, but it has been a long time.
Good luck with your kitty cat.
I had a cat with CRF & treated her from age 18+ through to 20+, with a saline solution (similar to the lacted ringer's solution that Glennb51 described using in #13). That ensured that the cat had sufficient water, and also the critically important electrolytes. The solution was prescribed by my vet; as was a special low-protein diet food (also obtainable from veterinarians.
BTW, from this ordeal, I learned that cats typically don't drink enough. If they don't get enough fluids, that hurts the kidneys, and can lead to CRF. They can get part of their fluids from soft cat food; but, if you feed them kibble, they need to drink more. I also learned that cats like to drink flowing water. The Bengal breed won't drink still water at all. I now have one of those cat drinking-water fountains. My cats drink more water as a result. I consider the fountain essential, to help prevent another case of CRF.
Yes. It’s terribke and hopeless. Time to put her to sleep and end her suffering.
Are you sure that your cat is not diabetic? We have an older cat, and the weak back legs and hovering over the water bowl are similar symptoms. Our cat gets daily insulin injections now and doing much better. He actually went into remission for a while and did not need the insulin. Strength has returned to his back legs. We feed him Purina M/D cat food, Evo grain free cat food and canned food at least once a day. If possible, you should try to get your cat completely off dry food and stick with the high quality canned food as much as possible.
We had a sweet little girl kitty, a tortie point Himalayan who was 16 years old.
Last year she had the exact same symptoms.
She had renal failure and nothing could be done.
We cried and it broke our hearts, but we had to let her go or else let her suffer. Not to mention the mess in the house.
One month later we lost another kitty to complications of dental disease. That kitty was 17 years old.
This is so hard I know. I just said a little prayer for your cat. It is the hardest thing to go thru. I have had cats in the past. They lived a long time as well. It is never long enough with our pets. Prayers for sure!
She will let you know when she wants to go!
We have a 17 year old Maine Coon that looks just like your kitty.
I had to respond because you described the personality of our little old guy.
He has always been the 1st to welcome a new kitty too. People love him.
He is really showing his age now. When we lose him we will really mourn.
Thank you. I know 19 years is quite a long time for cats, but I do wish it were longer. I truly believed Kitty would live to be at least 25 years old.
Her decline seemed to come on so quickly, I just haven’t had enough time to come to grips with it.
It’s very selfish of me, that I know. I just can’t let go yet. I will do everything every FReeper has posted here. I love her too much not to try anything and everything.
We lost one our cat Emma three months ago to renal failure. I believe that she had suffered with it for most of her life. You are in my prayers.
2 cats in 1 month? May God comfort you for your loss. And a big (((hug))) of comfort to you and your family.
Thank you so much for your prayer. And your right, it is never long enough.
I hope so. I don't think she wants to go yet.
Thank you so much for your prayers!
It was so depressing. Living in Indiana in winter is gray and cold.
I spent weeks so darn depressed. It took a lot of time thinking about it to get to a point of knowing we did the right thing.
My husband took one of them to a nearby field to bury him.
My husband’s depression lasted for days. We called those kitties our kids. So it was very hard.
We have a Maine Coon who is the best cat ever. He is old too. I am already depressed thiking about losing him. We got the kids all about the same age. We didn’t even consider how hard it could be some day in the future.
Your are welcome. I have a yellow Lab she is 10 I dread the day she goes. You will be in my evening prayers as well!
*Kisses* *hugs* *prayers*
I am so sorry for what you are going through, and truly understand your distress.... however this particular illness isn’t something I’ve had to deal with.... yet.
A bit more than a year ago I lost one of my two orange tabbies to liver cancer.... a horrible experience. Currently, one of my two oldest is dealing with a chronic upper respiratory infection....been going on for a couple of years with that. She is also having issues with finding the litter boxes. I think that is a combination of not always feeling well and senility. Poor old thing. :~(
The hardest, most painful thing, is gauging their quality of life..... to determine if it’s TIME for THE decision. We don’t want to lose them, but don’t want them to suffer a second longer than they have to. Sigh.
My sick little old girl still enjoys her food, is piddling and pooping in a normal way (though on the paper I put down instead of the box, grrr).. and truly seems content most of the time..... just OLD. So, with her, as long a a round of antibiotics every 3 or 4 months helps, she stays with us.
It is so HARD, this life and death responsibility.
You’re wrestling with so much right now. I really feel what you’re going through..... I’ve been there many times with my furry children. It never gets easier, does it?