Robert asks…

Umm, apparently my cat has early kidney disease? Any suggestions?

My mother took my cat to a vet I had never heard of, behind my back, and apparently they diagnosed her with early kidney disease after a blood and urine test.

What am I supposed to do?? I don’t feel like I believe them. I want to take her somewhere else and get her checked out again. All the vet said to do was to feed her this crappy Hill’s K/D food but my cat doesn’t like it. Isn’t this disease fatal?? I am in a little bit of shock since I just found out! Does anyone out there have any experience with feline kidney disease and possible options and treatments?? Thanks……
Thank you to all who answered. I appreciate the different opinions. I’m still upset about hearing the news, but I feel a little better now. Thanks. =)

Mara answers:

Hi there,

I am sorry to hear about your kitty and the diagnosis that the veterinarian who you never met made. Not knowing the practitioner I am sure is upsetting to you as well.

As far as I am concerned, It is always a good idea, in my opinion, to get a second opinion if you are not confident with any practitioner. Blood and urine tests are generally used to make the diagnosis and are fairly accurate, but repeating them is prudent as well.

Unfortunately, kidney disease in cats is fairly common as cats age. My 8 year-old Oriental Short hair was just diagnosed with possible early stages of kidney failure also, by two veterinarians that I really respect. While tests are all in normal range, some of the behavior he is showing, such as frequent urination and huge appetite for water points in the direction of this possibility. He is not Diabetic.

I so agree with you about Hill’s products. They are really not good nutrition. It seems that many veterinarians prescribe these rx products, but in reality feline nutritional knowledge is very scanty. Veterinarians receive little training in this very important area, and most of it, I hear, is provided by some of the manufacturer’s of these products and want to be sure that vets keep their waiting rooms stocked with them. The product that he prescribed is low in protein but cats need to eat, and it is much more important to be sure that your cat is eating to avoid liver problems. In fact there is controversy about limiting protein with kidney problems, and in fact, may hasten the disease.

Keeping your cat hydrated and not giving dry food is one way that you can help him a lot.

I heartily recommend that you read this article which I found for you on the Original Holisticat site about renal conditions and the types of diet which are appropriate for our cats who have this problem. They are obligate carnivores and need meat. This is a fascinating and excellent explanation of the disease and possible ways to keep it at bay.

Http://www.holisticat.com/drjcrf.html

There are many ways to prolong the life of your kitty. I had a cat with serious kidney failure and was able to prolong her life for several years, and as her disease progressed, we gave her sub-Q fluids which really helped spark her appetite and energy level. A caring and competent Vet will be able to train you how to do this when and if the time comes for it to be needed.

I would suggest seeking an alternative care veterinarian practice to provide him with the most appropriate treatment.

My veterinarian prescribed a suppliment called Feline Renal Support, made by Standard Process. I was happy to see that the article that I recommended agreed with her. While the jury is still out about whether he is in the early stages of the disease, we feel that taking proactive measures now may stave off its progression and bolster his kidney health.

I hope I have given you some options to consider. I know how worried you are. Good luck with your kitty.

Troublesniffer

Mary asks…

I think my cat may have kidney disease?

My cat is about 16-17 years old.She has started to drink a lot and is off her food. I have had 2 cats die of this over 6 years ago and they were terribly upset with the treatment they had.They still died less thn 2 weeks later. My question is this, Shall i leave her alone if she is not in pain or will that be to cruiel. I love her to bits but i feel it is unkind just to keep in treating her for the sake of a couple of weeks. Also the enormous cost has to come into this, i cannot afford £300or £400 hundred if it’s for nothing at the end of the day
I carn’t get any help from the pdsa because although i am a pensioner i have a small works pension and if you don’t claim housing support or council tax benifits you don’t qualify for treatment.I was sent away by them. My last cat 5 yrs ago cost me £300, a blood test alone was £80 and the cat was dead 2 weeks later.
I would pay in a minute, on a credit card if needed, But for another 2 weeks?. I do not want her to suffer

Mara answers:

I always believe that if the cat will die anyway, why not let it live out its days eating the food they like, having treats, playing with you, instead of being lethargic and ill from treatment. You should make the most of these last few weeks, for both of you…you, so that you can enjoy having your cat around you, and your cat so that it can die in peace and happy…all the best.

Chris asks…

My cat w/crf (kidney disease) sometimes eats litter and licks the pavement; is this a sign of deficiency?

He’s in the end stages of renal disease and I don’t want to bring him to the vet and force him through anymore blood tests or treatments. Is this behavior some type of deficiency and can I get a liquid vitamin for him?

He has also become very weak and can’t jump onto the sink or table or chair anymore…what can I do to get his strength back? He still has a healthy appetite and goes outside and lies on my lap happily.

Mara answers:

Sometimes cats get pica (eating strange things) when they are anemic. His crf may be causing bone marrow suppression which will lead to a non-regenerative anemia. Check your kitty’s gum color, if it is pale pink, this might be the case. Regardless, speak with your vet and explain that you want to continue with palliative, supportive care with no further testing. A good vet will understand and help you to keep your cat as comfortable as possible.

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