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Chronic kidney disease

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  • Chronic kidney disease

    Hi all, I have a cat who was diagnosed in Sept. 2011 with ckd. I tried the rx diets but he didn't like them and he was starting to lose weight so I just kept him on regular food. He gets fluids daily, b12 every other day, pepcid twice a day, and miralax for constipation when needed.

    His bloodwork has been very good until yesterday when his bun and creatinine went back up to almost what it was when he was diagnosed. I don't understand - he was/is acting like he feels ok. He's never been much of a player but he's eating, drinking, pooping, and occasionally picks on his feline buddies like he used to.

    Did you have any luck with the rx diets and keep yours on them for the duration or just stick with regular food?

    THe only thing I can think to do if I try again is to put him in the back bedroom with a bowl of the rx dry while I'm at work and then pray/try really hard to get him to eat some of rx wet at night.

    I just don't want him to start losing weight - it seems once they start it's just a downhill race.

    Right now, he's still at 12.8 lbs (chubby) and holding strong.

    His creatinine in August was 2.9 and February 13 it's 3.3.
    Bun went from 45 to 58.

    I know the numbers aren't horribly high, but I was expecting good news based on how he was acting so I was shocked.

    Any suggestions?

    Stephanie & Thomas - the furball

  • #2
    Oh man, I feel your pain. Have been there twice with my dearly departed Himalayans. It just eventually gets worse. What I did with mine beside the sub-Q fluids was just to get them to eat whatever I could. Cyproheptadine is a good appetite enhancer. My first Himmie was diagnosed at age 2, they told me he might live for 2 years. Lost him at age 7. My second boy was diagnosed at age 13 and went FAST. I think it was about 3 months from diagnosis to the time I had to put him to sleep.

    Hugs and jingles. What I did find out is that with certain pedigreed cats, especially Himmies, it is a genetic predisposition and bad breeders unfortunately do not make sure that their lines are PKD free. It was just heartbreaking, I loved both of those boys with all my heart.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


    • Original Poster

      I know what you mean - it really is heartbreaking. I love this little cat soo much and I don't want him to die.

      *sigh* Maybe I'm pms'ing - just want to cry thinking about it.

      But for now, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and take it day by day. I'll some different rx foods but if he won't them, so be it. Life is too short to make him miserable at this point.


      • #4
        How old is he? My go-to food for cats that don't have much of an appetite is Fancy Feast. Probably not the best food in the world for a kitty with kidney disease but they love it. That's actually the wet food that I feed all my kitties on a regular basis.
        What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


        • Original Poster

          He'll be 13 in April. (Guessing really, they had him at 4 years old when I adopted him so his official 9th adoptiversary will be April 1st)

          He's been eating really well - I alternate between ProPlan canned and Friskies. I know Friskies is junk but he'll eat it. I also use Precise, Wellness, BG, Merrick, and Natural Balance.

          Naturally the foods with the better ingredients are his and the others least favorite, so it's mostly ProPlan and Friskies.


          • #6
            Oh that sucks, and big hugs to you and Thomas! Have had several with kidney issues. Just what Oliver Reed said: lots of subq (a few times a week, gradually increased), appetite enhancer, and an anti-nausea drug (really, really helps - Cerenia, I used the injectible). Some cats will eat the K/D, both wet and dry and some won't. I think Purina has a kidney food out there too but can't remember what it is (CNM?). My last one though just.would.not. I did not want to wrestle with her. She got FRESH cans of Fancy Feast (did not like any of the expensive stuff), would not touch food if it came from a refrigerated can (and was reheated). Just the fresh bit off the top!

            One of my cats needed a heart med which I would not do again.

            My idea, and it sounds like yours, is to make it all about comfort and well-being. For mine, I think the subq was key, and eventually the medications helped. When you are doing the subq, they might put some potassium in the bag for you. Enjoy every single day with him! He is very lucky to have a concerned and loving mom!!


            • Original Poster

              Thank you. Yes, we do think the same - I'd rather have him fat and happy than to make him miserable - quality of life means alot.


              • #8
                My cat with kidney issues get Royal Canin's kidney food. She likes it better than Science Diet. She was diagnosed at 10 and will be 14 at the end of this month. We didn't start any treatments (other than perscription food) until 14 months ago when we put her on weekly fluids. I sometimes do it more than once a week. Her numbers are worse than when we started but I haven't gotten the message that it's time yet.
                Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                • #9
                  Royal Canin kidney diet killed one of my cats with a recall issue. They were totally unhelpful and unapologetic about it, too. I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.

                  Has your vet mentioned Azodyl at all? It can be helpful for some kidney kitties.

                  Cerenia for nausea and something for appetite (I like mirtazipine--I use a transdermal prep that is only dosed twice weekly) can also really aid.


                  • #10
                    I know some people think prescription diets are creations of the devil, but you can always give it a try and see what happens with the renal values.

                    Hills K/D kept my renal kitty alive for 10 years. Doesnt mean it will do a thing for your kitty though. We have many patients come in with better bloodwork, but some continue to climb. Generally, Wet food (regardless of type) mixed with some water is best so you can ensure proper hydration. If that can be his sole diet that would be best.


                    • Original Poster

                      Ah yes, Azodyl - I forgot about that. I found some in the frig last night and will start that again.

                      Squish, I don't like the ingredients in the rx diets, but I'm willing to try them again. My problem is that Thomas didn't like them, or at least the canned. I'm sure he'll eat the dry, but I don't want him on a dry only diet even if it is prescription.

                      I'll just order a can or two of the Purina and Eukanuba rx diets and see what happens. He would not even touch the Hill's K/D so I'm not wasting my money on that again.

                      Has anyone tried Hi-Tor Neo - the non rx kidney food?

                      I might order some of that too, just for a variety.


                      • #12
                        Just to second what everyone else has said - that both the appetite enhancer, whichever you use, and the anti nausea med Cerenia, seem to really make them more comfortable. I'm sure someone can explain it better, but with chronic renal failure, those toxins can build up in their system and they just feel like crap. I so wish I had known about these for my first two guys who struggled with this. They were great for my little girl though.

                        My first two did not mind K/D but she just wouldn't touch it, even warmed, with broth added. Nope. So what Squish said, just keeping her fed with water did seem to help and what she would eat was the tops off the fresh cans of fancy feast (I'm sure there is a Lilitiger wing on the Fancy feast factory somewhere!)


                        • #13
                          Just find any low phos. food. If the kidneys are severely compromised then you want to reduce protein as well. Feed the food which contains the ingredients you approve of, then regardless of outcome you know you fed what you felt was best and tastiest for your cat. Its MOST important to keep things easy on their kidneys (so, SQ fluids, adding water to their food) will give you better results than any food change.


                          • Original Poster

                            Right now the pepcid manages the acid/nausea and his appetite is good. I just ordered some Iam's renal care, Purina N/F and Hi-Tor Neo. Maybe if I have the three to alternate he'll eat one. If not, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

                            I've been adding water to their wet food for years now, so hopefully that helps as well.

                            I started the Azodyl again and I had some Renafood by Standard Process that I had forgotten about too. Probably doesn't do anything, but he thinks it's a treat and it won't hurt.

                            Hope everyone has a great weekend and your cats do too!


                            • #15
                              So sorry to hear Fancy Feast Classic varieties have lower phos. than the stuff in gravy and most other wet brands. My girl was diagnosed at 15 or 16. Both the vet and I agreed that my girl did not have the temperament for subq or any constant poking and prodding. In the end, canned tuna (the real stuff) and fancy feast were the only things she would eat but she started losing too much. At that point, the vet said forget about the k/d foods and feed her anything with calories.

                              At age 18, I had my heart kitty put to sleep peacefully at my home. There wasn't else we could do. Old age and too much weight loss just said that it was time.

                              I hope that your kitty does better. Not to be a downer here, but sometimes there is only so much that can be done.


                              • Original Poster

                                No, you're not a downer, Mty Max, it's just reality.

                                I hope we have more time together, but really all I can do is wait and see and enjoy our time together. And pray that I have the strength to do what is necessary when it's time.


                                • #17
                                  Rubygirl, you will have the strength. Another downer post but I want to make it clear what happes if you wait too long - as I did with my first chronic kidney disease cat. This will haunt me for the rest of my life. I let it go on a day too long and in the middle of the night he started having the most awful, heartbreaking seizures. I won't go into detail, still makes me sick to think about it. By that time I was sleeping in my clothes because I figured I might have to make an emergency euth run. Grabbed him and hauled a%% to the vet with him in my lap, still seizing.

                                  You do NOT want to have to do this. Trust me. I now know way better and will let them go on their last good day, even if it is too soon.
                                  What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!