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Old 08-07-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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I believe it's also called renal (sp?) failure.

A little back story - my mom got her cat about 5 years ago from a friend who moved away and couldn't take him. He was around 5ish then, so he's at least 10 now. The friend didn't know too much about his history - she had rescued him from somewhere. So we know nothing of his past.

He was diagnosed a month or so ago with renal failure, but he is not in end stage or anything. He is dehydrated though, and showing signs in other ways (gross, but pooping where he shouldn't every so often).

The vet gave my mom some tips for hydrating him (a little water in dry food, etc.), but also wants her to give him fluid injections. She did this once with her other cat - that cat got sick from that Iams food issue and my mom did what she could to keep her alive and hoping to make her better, but she passed on. After that, my mom is not sure she wants do shots again because she felt she only prolonged the other cat's suffering (she didn't think about that until way after the cat passed) and doesn't want this cat to suffer either. He acts normal otherwise.

My aunt thinks my mom should put him down. What do you think? What would you do?

ETA - the cat has a vet appointment in 2 weeks for a follow-up, so my mom is not making any decisions until she sees how heis doing.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I think she should start feeding him ONLY wet food. Cats are not by nature thirsty animals and by now we all know wet is so much healthier than dry-even with some water on it. if the cat is otherwise not acting sick then the subcutaneous fluids would do him a world of good. I understand her reluctance but if it is not prolonging his suffering and might improve what time he has left why not? do you live at home or where you can help her?
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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I know she was feeding them both dry AND wet food, which is why she is also concerned. But I do get what you saying about wet food only. I think she stopped in the last week or so because the wet food was giving one of the cats "bathroom issues", but she couldn't tell which one.

I don't live with her, or where I could help her (our schedules are opposite during the week)
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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I recommend the Fancy Feast Classics. The other versions were either not eaten, or resulted in the dreaded bathroom issues. We mix a large amount of water in the food (cat soup) and it really helps. I highly recommend subQ fluids, as they can make a lethargic cat feel like a champ again. And check out the following website for more kidney support.

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments and How to Cope With It
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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Chaos was on subq fluids for years. (5, I think) We had her on Hill's Prescription Diet k/d - mostly dry but some wet food. I don't think she was suffering all those years, with the exception of her last year, when she started showing some other health symptoms. Perhaps putting her on that diet (have to get from the vet only, as it's by prescription) would help.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
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Nothing more to add except just because one cat reacted badly to the fluids doesn't mean they all do. Fluids can save an animal just as they do people.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
Nothing more to add except just because one cat reacted badly to the fluids doesn't mean they all do. Fluids can save an animal just as they do people.
You're alking about the fluid shots correct? If so, it's more an emotional thing for my mom.

I told her do what the vet said about getting him more fluids via water in food, tuna "broth", and tehn see how he is at the follow-up appointment.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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The fluid injections actually work to keep the cat from suffering. Dehydration is very uncomfortable. Yes ultimately the cat will succumb to something, either from the kidney disease or other complications, but using the sub-q fluid therapy is the opposite of prolonging suffering. It is prolonging how long the cat will feel comfortable. There are tons of variables so impossible to predict for certain, but cats can live anywhere from months to several years with chronic kidney disease (as it is now known, formerly chronic renal failure) especially when the fluid is part of the treatment. There has even been a device developed that gives a permanent port to make the injection dead simple, although many find it easy enough to learn to give real injections.

Please have a look (and have your mom have a look) at that web site MissNM posted above. It is a wealth of info on the subject: http://www.felinecrf.org/

If it were me I would look at the fluid treatments, and I say this as one that helped care for a CKD cat and we didn't know enough about the fluid then to inquire. And the vet never suggested it. So I would definitely not overlook that option with another cat. And I would keep that aunt well out of any decision making.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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When I first found out Chaos need subq fluids, I cried my eyes out. I thought there was no way I would be able to handle sticking a needle in her fur. But the vet showed me and my husband the correct way to do it and some tips (like to make sure the fluid bag was higher than the patient - we used to hang it on a towel rod in the bathroom and sit on the floor with her, on our soft bath mat, to comfort her). My husband travels a lot, and there were many times I had to do this solo. Even he was shocked that I got over my squeamishness. I just thought, this is what is necessary to keep her living for many years to come, so get over it!! We gave Chaos a treat or two afterwards to reward her for being a good girl.

I just checked my records (I still have them all) and We first gave the fluids to her Feb 2005. She died Jan 2010, just shy of being 19 years old. These fluids helped her so much, and I would never think twice about having to do it again. She gave me almost 5 more years of joy after having to start her on fluids!

It's hard to get used to, but you can do it. Greg is right, it definitely kept her from suffering.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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I gave my little CKD girlie sub Q fluids four times a week for three years, and she had a happy excellent quality of life for those three years.

Adding water to dry food will not properly hydrate her. Feeding her canned food, and adding a little water to that, will help.

Tuna is not good for cats, including cats with kidney disease, it is too high in phosphorous. Avoid fish of any kind, including fishy cat food.
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