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Old 10-21-2010, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
7,308 posts, read 6,906,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerri Ann View Post

My 15 year old Gato cat was diagnosed with crf during a regular check up. Gato was my mom's cat, a stray she took in before she died in 2000, so he is my last connection to her and I love him so much. He is quite the bruiser! Our vet mentioned teeth cleaning, did blood tests to make sure Gato was ok for anesthesia and discovered crf. Our vet is a long term vet/friend of ours who I trust. He says to move Gato to low protein Royal Canin dry food and a potassium supplement and routine blood tests and we will get many years left with him. The internet tells me differently. Gato is still very active, playing lots, good coat and eating well. And once again had no symptoms prior to diagnosis. He loves his treats (soft Frisky treats) and cheese and bits of raw chicken along with his regular food. So do I add Fancy Feast to his diet?? Anyone's advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
I'm sorry to hear about Gato's diagnosis, but with the right treatment and diet, he can still live a long life.

You say Gato's behavior hasn't changed, so I would definitely not change his diet to Fancy Feast. First of all, it's not a high-quality food. But most of all, the reason the OP cited for being grateful to Fancy Feast for her CRF cat, is that it had stopped eating until she tried Fancy Feast. Since you don't have that problem with Gato, you wouldn't need that as a solution.

As for potassium supplements, I'd call your vet and ask specifically if they tested Gato's potassium levels and what they are. The first vet who diagnosed our kitty, Mew, put her on potassium supplements without even bothering to test her. When I changed vets (for that and a few other incompetency issues), they tested her potassium and it was well within normal range. And throughout her entire illness, it never fell below normal and she never needed it supplemented.

A low protein, low phosphorus diet is best, because the kidneys will have less waste to process. Lower phosphorus (and sodium) foods will help keep electrolytes in balance and is actually more important to regulate than protein. A high quality protein that is easy to digest is still better than a low protein diet that your cat won't eat. And the easiest protein for cats to digest is chicken, so you're okay there! This is a great site to refer to for information on the content of various cat food when deciding what to feed your CRF cat.

Eventually Gato will likely lose appetite and may show some lethargy as the disease progresses. Before trying appetite stimulants, I'd recommend talking to your vet about giving him Pepcid AC. The primary reason for loss of appetite is the increased bile in the stomach that's produced when the liver starts taking over some of the kidney function as the kidneys become less effective. Reducing the bile with an antacid is preferable to giving your cat a stimulant.

And you will eventually have to administer sub-q fluids, which is easier to do than you might think (you just have to pierce the loose skin between the shoulders with the needle and let the liquid flow - no finding a vein or anything like that). The fluid therapy, as well as adding a high calorie vitamin supplement such as Nutri-Stat, can be a huge benefit to maintaining their health.

The other thing to watch for is high blood pressure, which is another common side effect of CRF. At one point, both my cat and my father were taking the same blood pressure medication (Norvasc).

Just make sure to watch Gato's activity level and especially food and water intake, and have him checked at the vet at least every 6 months, increasing to every 4 months as needed later. If you're always on top of his kidney values, potassium level and blood pressure, you'll be better able to maintain his health for a longer period of time. Our CRF kitty was diagnosed at 17 and lived to be 22.

Best of luck to you and Gato!
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:34 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,524 times
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I have an 18 1/2 year old little girl who had an attack of kidney infection about 3 1/2 years ago. The vet didn't take a urine sample and both urine and blood tests are needed to determine whether the problem is a infection or kidney failure. I did tons of research online as the vet advised euthanasia and I was devastated but felt it was an infection. Turns out it was. Took her to another vet - holistic vet - who kept her hospitalized for a number of days and saved her life. She needed sub-Q treatment and was on many meds including a supplement called Renal Essentials made by Vetri-Science Laboratories, 1 pill 2X daily. You can get this online, just google the item.
Vets charge a fortune for this but it's only about $6 per 60 pill bottle. Other things she was on: potassium supplement - got from vet, don't know where else to get this; phosphate block, CoQ10 - 5 drops/day - from vet. She was also on antibiotics - Baytril 1/2 pill daily. The antibiotic has to be processed by the kidneys and too much will be hard on the kidneys so for her this was the proper dose. Better less than more in this case. She pulled through and after a few months was off of everything, didn't need sub-Qs anymore and lived a totally healthy life for 3 1/2 more years.
She has a sudden illness and now is in renal failure, with 10% kidney function diagnosed by ultrasound. She's very weak and not eating much, on the same regimen pretty much as before but hardly able to stand. She's getting sub-Q's 150 ml per day, no problem giving that to her.
One vet recommended Pepcid AC 1/4 10 mg. tablet per day to control nausea, have not tried it yet.
Some days she is very very out of it, sleeps all day and doesn't want to be bothered but today she is rallying and seems so much better. It's a very weird condition and one day they may seem much better and then go downhill again for a while.
It's a tough choice trying to decide whether to force feed, which I've had to do because she's not eating enough or at all at times, and whether to give all the meds she's supposed to have which she fights getting because she rebels against having things squirted into her mouth and it's a quality of life issue. So hard to try to do the right thing for her and balance that with not annoying her all the time with things that have to be done.
For long term treatment the supplies get very expensive but if your vet will give you prescriptions for the fluid bags, tubing and needles you can get these online from numerous pet supply places at very reduced prices compared to what the vet will charge per item.
I sincerely hope this helps some desperate pet owners who don't know what to do and have gotten advice that doesn't sit well with them. One vet wanted to continue sub-Q treatment and my cat would get a huge blob from where the fluid was administered - it was not getting absorbed quickly and she would make a little cry like she was uncomfortable each time it was done. I stopped taking her for treatment figuring she knew what was best and it turns out she didn't need the treatments anymore. The vet wanted the money and should have told me it was ok to discontinue the fluids because they obviously were not needed. Unfortunately many vets are money hungry and you have to get second and third opinions and go with your gut because it's a business and you have to be careful you don't go overboard with tests and treatments that are not necessary and make your cat miserable being dragged to the vet more than needed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
7,308 posts, read 6,906,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catwise View Post

One vet recommended Pepcid AC 1/4 10 mg. tablet per day to control nausea, have not tried it yet.

It's a tough choice trying to decide whether to force feed, which I've had to do because she's not eating enough or at all at times, and whether to give all the meds she's supposed to have which she fights getting because she rebels against having things squirted into her mouth and it's a quality of life issue.
Give your cat the medication she was prescribed. The Pepcid AC will settle her stomach and she will want to eat so no force-feeding will be necessary.

Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hummmmm View Post
Just wanted to share this info for anyone out there who has a cat that has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure.

My beloved cat is a 17 y/o male who was diagnosed last July with chronic renal failure. He really started to go downhill about a month ago - not eating, losing more weight, wobbly walking, hiding, losing fur, his eyes were losing their "light" and the vet thought that it would soon be time to euthanize him. Not ready to give up just yet, I found a wonderful website which gave me tons of great information. One of the things mentioned was that when the authors cat "crashed' one of the only things she would eat was fancy feast. I tried it with my cat and OMG!!! He acted as if he had never seen food before. My husband and I wondered what the heck was in this "kitty crack" but truthfully we were more delighted by the fact that he was eating again.

He has since eaten well on a daily basis, has maintained his weight, is sociable and active again, has beautiful soft fur, and purrs away. I have learned to administer subcutaneous fluids at home twice a week and he does not seem to mind at all. He is rebounding so well. I know that our time is precious. He has his good days and bad but he is no longer starving to death. I know that Fancy Feast is not the ideal food but it is better than no food! For those of you with CRF cats, you might find this website very informative:

[URL="http://www.felinecrf.org"]Tanya's Feline CRF Information Centre[/URL]

If you have to administer sub-q's, you can learn to do it at home where it is less stressful to your cat and will help them feel better and increase their appetite. Believe me, if I can learn to do a needle stick, anyone can.

I hope this is helpful!
My cat Tobi was diagnosed with CRF and was not eating and thanks to you for posting about the fancy feast he is now eating. I searched and found your post ran out and bought the fancy feast as soon as he smelled it he started eating and ate almost half a can. I am going to monitor him now and hopefully he will continue eating.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:11 PM
 
2,079 posts, read 3,236,474 times
Reputation: 1552
Quote:
Originally Posted by hummmmm View Post
Just wanted to share this info for anyone out there who has a cat that has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure.

My beloved cat is a 17 y/o male who was diagnosed last July with chronic renal failure. He really started to go downhill about a month ago - not eating, losing more weight, wobbly walking, hiding, losing fur, his eyes were losing their "light" and the vet thought that it would soon be time to euthanize him. Not ready to give up just yet, I found a wonderful website which gave me tons of great information. One of the things mentioned was that when the authors cat "crashed' one of the only things she would eat was fancy feast. I tried it with my cat and OMG!!! He acted as if he had never seen food before. My husband and I wondered what the heck was in this "kitty crack" but truthfully we were more delighted by the fact that he was eating again.

He has since eaten well on a daily basis, has maintained his weight, is sociable and active again, has beautiful soft fur, and purrs away. I have learned to administer subcutaneous fluids at home twice a week and he does not seem to mind at all. He is rebounding so well. I know that our time is precious. He has his good days and bad but he is no longer starving to death. I know that Fancy Feast is not the ideal food but it is better than no food! For those of you with CRF cats, you might find this website very informative:

Tanya's Feline CRF Information Centre

If you have to administer sub-q's, you can learn to do it at home where it is less stressful to your cat and will help them feel better and increase their appetite. Believe me, if I can learn to do a needle stick, anyone can.

I hope this is helpful!
Yes, you are correct. The thing is to make sure your cat eats well, and if it is only so-called "junk" food, but not the "good" food, ignore this and feed her as much junk food as she will eat! She must maintain her weight as much as is possible. She also will have appetite problems as time goes by and you don't want a skinny cat when that begins.

We did subQ fluids every other day for 2 years, then every day, and for the last month before she died, twice a day. SubQ fluids are absolutely life saving and also make the cat so much, much more comfortable.

Do not use size 18 needles. Use size 21. They are painless and don't leave scar tissue. Warm the fluids to body temperature by putting the bag upright in a bowl of warm water, use a cooking thermometer to check the correct temperature for the cat.
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:12 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,783 times
Reputation: 10
I give my rescued cat a combined raw/home cooked diet and canned food. Prevention is better than drugs and invasive treatments. If my cat stopped eating or drinking, I wouldn't force feed him. He's not a baby anymore. He decides whether or not to eat. It's natural to not want to eat when your sick.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
7,308 posts, read 6,906,045 times
Reputation: 7475
Then I contend you deprive him of a quality of life he's more than capable of having for many years if you refuse to ameliorate the stomach upset that causes loss of appetite with CRF. It's just Pepcid AC for heaven's sake. And it not only made my cat feel completely WELL again, it extended her life by five YEARS. Good years. Pain-free, stomach-upset-free years. Active, happy years. Letting a cat starve to death when you have the ability to give them comfort instead is cruel and inhumane.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:38 AM
 
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Reputation: 10
I am on a second prescription food for my 16 yr. old cat with CRD. She will only eat the dry so we tried K/D first. She loved it, but it caused awful diarrhea. We put her back on the fancy feast which she loves and has been eating all her life. Her stools went back to completely normal. We decided to try another prescription dry food and within the 2nd day of eating it, her stools were loose again. I don't understand and my vet says he's never heard of the happening with prescription food. Obviously it has to do with that, but why is the prescription food causing this?? Help please!!
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:48 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
7,596 posts, read 5,105,718 times
Reputation: 16310
Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenW123 View Post
I am on a second prescription food for my 16 yr. old cat with CRD. She will only eat the dry so we tried K/D first. She loved it, but it caused awful diarrhea. We put her back on the fancy feast which she loves and has been eating all her life. Her stools went back to completely normal. We decided to try another prescription dry food and within the 2nd day of eating it, her stools were loose again. I don't understand and my vet says he's never heard of the happening with prescription food. Obviously it has to do with that, but why is the prescription food causing this?? Help please!!
Please don't buy into all that prescription diet food that most vets push on you. Most of it is crap food, especially the dry. The manufacturers of that stuff have been in bed with vet schools for decades, and the extent of many vets diet training is the marketing campaigns from the pet food companies.
There are many threads on this subject on this forum that can give much better dietary advice for your kitty. This link is frequently posted and a good source of info- http://catinfo.org/
Bottom line, do your own research and above all, get away from any dry food. Your cat will be much better off.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
12,967 posts, read 24,020,746 times
Reputation: 7682
My cat has CRF, and the vet said no more Fancy Feast. The prescription stuff, even canned, is really crap. I bought one can of the Royal Canin, and it was really nasty! It was all meat by products. So he's off of Fancy Feast, and eating better quality canned food, that has real meat in it.
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