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Old kitty & advancing kidney disease

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  • Old kitty & advancing kidney disease

    I think I'm grasping at straws at this point, but perhaps someone has a straw to offer me in this situation. My dear 17 year old kitty, Mimi, is dealing with kidney disease. She's on Science Diet k/d which she eats reasonably well. She also takes Azodyl twice a day mixed with melted ice cream and dosed gently with a syringe into her mouth so I know it actually goes into her system.

    I cannot comprehend what I know will be inevitable. Mimi has always been a bit of an aloof cat except when someone was hurting or sick, then she was glued to whatever was hurting. I can remember being sick with strep and every time I woke up she was stretched over my neck, then once my throat quit hurting so badly she moved on to hunting and such once more. Another time my elderly mom was having a terrible time with leg cramps and Mimi found my mom and lay over her legs until the cramps went away. She's always been intuitive, so much so that when my kids would notice Mimi following me around the house and they asked if I was feeling okay. Now I just try to be there for her as much as she wants. We've been spending a lot of time on the sofa these days. She is the last of three very special heart kitties I've been fortunate to have in my life and I don't want to lose her.

    So if you've made it through all that and have some ideas for us in dealing with this, I would appreciate hearing them.

  • #2
    Is she on canned k/d? Or dry?

    If she is on dry, getting her on canned can do a lot toward keeping her well hydrated. K/D may not be the best option...another grain-free canned may be better. If her appetite is questionable, an appetite stimulate can be very useful. Sub q fluids can also really help her feel better if she's a little puny due to high kidney values.

    Good luck. Kidney disease sucks


    • #3
      Ditto everything simkie said. And if you haven't tried doing subq fluids don't rule it out until you have. Many cats accept injections at home wonderfully, ESP when associated with meal times or treats. While kd and azodyl are good starters they are not the only options. Where are her values? Numbers wise?
      You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


      • #4
        I am so sorry to hear about this. I have had several cats with chronic renal failure. What I have found helpful is
        KD if they will eat it. If she likes it, that's terrific. Mine didn't and I had to hunt a bit, finally just let them eat what they wanted.
        SubQ fluids, it really is no big deal. both you and your kitty will learn about it, I did it daily for quite a while on my cat who had previously been the house crabbypants and she got it. It took about 2 minutes, both of us knew the drill (my old guy was a lover and always just sat patiently)
        Potassium in the Subq water (the vet added this)
        Cerenia-an anti nausea drug, available both injectible and orally but the injectible is the way to go. As those toxins build up, they can be very nauseous and uncomfortable and that really helps.

        Ask your vet if your kitty is a candidate for Epogen to treat anemia. It is expensive but they have had good results with it, but of course, with kidney disease, you know you are never going to be going in the right direction.

        Appetite stimulant (which has been helpfully mentioned several times on COTh the name of which always escapes me). That also helps, so they maintain weight.

        My lover kitty lived about 2 years after his dx, I'd had him 19 years and he was a young adult when I got him. My female who I have her whole life was 17 and she lived for just under a year. Make sure your vet goes over those numbers with you, that tells you a lot. Her breath may get really really bad, again those toxins, urine may smell strong. But mine I think were very comfortable, loved watching birds on the radiators, cuddling on the couch, snuggling with their "buddies". I certainly knew when it was time and they were not okay.

        Again I am so sorry, good luck to both you and your kitty!


        • #5
          Oh, been there, done that, twice. Same breed of cat both times, too - Himalayan. The appetite stimulant is cyproheptadine. It turned both of mine into clingons as well - normally affectionate kitties became super, super affectionate.

          I third or whatever the suggestion to do sub-q fluids, lactating ringers is what they are called. Ask your vet. Mine were relatively young - first one onset was age 2, they told me he'd probably live to age 4, I kept him going til age 7. Second one (just this past January we had to euthanize) lived to age 13 but onset was at age 13. It went very fast. Way too fast.

          Jingles and hugs to you.
          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


          • #6
            I kept a cat going until she was 21 with daily subq lactated ringers. I think we started when she was about 15. She did great on it and didn't mind much (and she was a cat that could be VERY difficult). I would definitely recommend--it greatly improves the quality of life.


            • #7
              Mirtazipine is another appetite stimulate, and it does not have to be dosed daily--we use it twice a week. It can also be compounded into a transdermal gel, so you don't even have to pill the cat