Feedback (Page 7)
opinions expressed in the Caregiver Feedback pages are those of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Feline
CRF Information Center.
as a matter
of fact i am working on that right now. my doctor in maryland
has a dialysis machine at his vet hospital.... peewee's appt was
has not been developed for cats that will stay open more than
a few days. it is possible that a new catheter will introduced
by a group in chicago in about 6 months.
he has done
treatment on acute cases only. i was informed that cats do not
tolerate the procedure very well, because the neonatal catheter
he must use is very small so it takes a long time to clean the
blood, we are looking at other possible treatments first. if i
want peewee to be a pioneer in this field he is willing to try
but first we will exhaust every other option.
new step has been an insertion of a gastric feeding tube. upon
my request it was placed in peewee in march. he has adjusted wonderfully
and now it is so much easier to give him all of his medications,
amphojel, cisapride, pepcid, cardieziem, amoxicillin, + a mixture
of kd gruel mixed with pumpkin because of constipation and water,
lots of water. this has eliminated the need for sub q fluids,
he also still eats people tuna.
it has been
a roller coaster since march, some good to great days and some
at deaths' door but so far he has rebounded nicely. i just mentioned
your web site to my doctor (nephrology is his vet speciality)
hopefully, he will contact you soon!!!!! i'll keep you informed.
your quick response!!!
for your very kind message regarding Meatloaf. Some of the suggestions
in the dietary management section of the web site are working
and we're concentrating on having Meatloaf at least eat what he
likes--chicken and fish--while we work in the k/d. By the way,
we have found some success in pureeing the k/d in a Cuisinart
along with Swanson's chicken gravy and some hamburger which seems
to make it more palatable for Meatloaf.
After I last
e-mailed you, my vet referred me to a book you might want to pass
on to your readers. It is Dr. Pitcarin's Complete Guide to Natural
Health for Your Dog and Cat. At pages 220-222 there are four recipes
specifically for cats with CRF that cats may find more palatable
than the commercial food. The book was first published in 1982
by Rodale Press and is in paperback. Even in New York City, I
could not find a copy at any of the major bookstores, but I was
able to get it at the public library. It is also available directly
from Rodale Press [(610) 967-5171] for $16.
and God bless you a million times for putting your time and effort
into creating such a comprehensive resource that will help so
You made a
very real difference in our lives today, and (for now at least)
saved our cat's life. Right now I am emotionally spent from our
exhausting day, so I'm not sure I can tell the whole story. In
a nutshell, we learned on Saturday that our 9-year-old cat has
CRF. He had lost a lot of weight, so we took him to the vet for
tests. We lost a cat in December to CRF as well. She was a pretty
sick cat in many ways, but the death knell was when our vet put
her under anesthesia to look into another problem without first
checking how well her kidneys were doing. Her body was unable
to flush out the anesthesia and she just kept getting worse. We
decided to forgive and forget -- that the vet had made an honest
When we took
in our now-sick cat, Legume, on Saturday, the vet said he needed
to do blood work, and that he'd give Gume a sedative so he wouldn't
be unduly stressed. My immediate reaction was, "If his kidneys
are the problem, won't he have problems flushing it out?" He said,
"No, no -- we'll just give him something mild." Being ignorant,
I just said okay. (He should not have given a sedative since he
suspected renal failure, right?) They called an hour later with
the diagnosis and the vet made it sound grim -- like we could
euthanize or let him suffer. Something about this felt wrong.
So I got on the internet and searched and searched, and found
To make a
long story short, which I am not doing, because of all the information
my husband and I pored over this weekend, we were able to speak
intelligently about CRF and ask all the right questions. We were
also able to discover that our vet didn't know squat about it.
When we brought Gume home he was in terrible shape (and he'd been
much better when we took him -- his temp then was normal and he
was running through the house for food).
you, we realized that we had to find a veterinarian who knew a
lot about CRF, and who would be willing to work with us to find
a balance of quantity and quality of life. On our second call
we found a vet who spent a half hour on the phone talking through
this with us. She was very caring and concerned, and was especially
concerned when we told her his potassium level (2). We brought
him in to her and she is giving him IV fluids and trying to get
his temp (which was down to 96, from 101 on Saturday) back up
to normal. I don't know if she will be able to save him or how
far this will go at this point, but thanks to you we were able
to get Gume into a situation where he at least has a fighting
chance to make it if he wants to.
so much for taking the time to put together such a wonderful site.
I have no doubt in my mind that without it we would have lost
Gume and we would have always felt like there must have been something
else we could have done --which is what happened with Tofu, the
first cat we lost to CRF. I do, however, take solace in the fact
that with her, she had so many problems that her chances were
cannot even begin to express my gratitude for the work you've
done. With Tofu, we felt lost without a roadmap. This time, we
knew what was happening and were able to deal with both vets intelligently.
When our new vet (obviously, the old one has been fired) began
speaking intelligently about CRF and talking about the hundreds
of CRF cats she's treated, teaching the owners to do the sub-Q
fluids, etc., we knew we had found the right person.
Thank you. Thank you so much. You will never fully know what a
kindness you have performed, but the fruits of your labors are
being reaped in many places. I send you gratitude and peace.
a most helpful web site. I started worrying about diabetes when
my cat Sheba (still a youth at 13) developed a huge thirst. Then,
the day after a flea bath, she developed cystitis, which I treated
with cranberry capsules. (My theory is that the chemicals in the
flea bath just overloaded her already weakened kidneys and acted
as a catalyst for a crisis that must have been brewing for some
time.) The cystitis cleared up promptly, but the thirst remained
and she began losing weight and became lethargic.
doing some research in a number of cat care books and began to
suspect kidney disease. Immediately I searched the web, using
"feline kidney disease", and came up with your pages. Within minutes
I had an emergency appointment with my veterinarian. Even before
the test results were back, he diagnosed Sheba with kidney insufficiency.
Test results confirmed CRF. I gave him a printout of the information
from your pages.
responded almost miraculously to sub-Q fluids administered at
the veterinary hospital and now at home. Had your information
not been so readily available and thorough I might not have realized
the gravity of the situation until too late. Thankfully now the
prognosis is as good as it can be.
I would like
to share some information that I picked up in my reading, namely
that cats with kidney disease tend to clear toxins through their
lungs and skin to a greater degree than cats with healthy kidneys.
For that reason, thorough daily grooming and a bath once a week
or once every two weeks prevents them from re-ingesting excreted
toxins and thus putting more stress on the kidneys. Encouraging
exercise helps clear toxins through the lungs.
and keep up the good work.
ago, I noticed that my 6 year old cat Luther had begun to lose
weight. We had moved from a townhouse to a big house in the country.
I assumed he was just getting a lot more exercise because he had
many more rooms to run around in (both of my cats are indoor only).
Soon I also noticed his unending thirst and decided it was time
to go to the vet. The vet took blood and within 24 hours I was
told it was his kidneys; his bun was 126 and his creatinine was
11.7. My vet was surprised he was still standing. I cried immediately
and assumed it was just a matter of time - until I got on the
Internet and found your site. It gave me hope that I could at
least put up a fight!
The vet took
an x-ray and determined that one of his kidneys was very small
and probably had never functioned. He immediately put him on the
KD diet and once a week for the next 5 weeks received sub-q treatments.
I also force-fed him amphojel twice a day immediately after he
ate. Within 6 weeks he regained 2 of the 4 pounds that he had
lost and resumed his wrestling matches with his brother.
of this happened, I wondered why after 6 years of living with
1 kidney did he have a problem now and I am positive I know the
reason. My other cat has suffered from urinary tract problems
for years and it was getting worse. The vet prescribed Hills CD
formula and I gave it to both of them (I leave food out for them
all of the time so they can eat whenever they are hungry and it
would just be a big hassle to try to keep them separate). After
thinking about this, I realized this was when Luther began having
his problems. While doing my research, I also read an article
where the author did mention that special diets for urinary tract
problems could aggravate kidney problems. I truly believe this
is the case.
So if your
cat has kidney problems, DO NOT let him/her have access to any
food that is meant for urinary tract problems.
months later, Luther has regained all of his weight and is his
old self again. I have to keep 2 different types of food in tupperware
containers with their name on them and feed them only when I'm
here. This is not the easiest thing to do - I can't stay in bed
past 6:00 on any day because they want to eat and as soon as I
get home from work I have to "serve them" immediately! It is worth
it, however, because I have my old Luther back. Good luck to you
I just began
reading your web page yesterday after finding out about it through
the "Prevention" article. I have been managing my cat Dodger's
CRF for about one year. He is nearly 15 and is one of a household
of 6 felines, three aged 14 to 17. I have lost three cats in the
past three years but none to CRF. At this point Dodger is still
doing well, goes outside, and does not have clinical problems.
He does, of course, drink a lot and has the usual blood value
Your web page
is an outstanding effort. I manage my cats' illnesses very seriously
and study their problems in veterinary texts while relying, of
course, on my vets and the wonderful specialists available in
the Washington DC area. I have not yet absorbed the huge amount
of information you have assembled but have already made use of
some of the dietary information.
to the aluminum hydroxide story. Dodger nearly gagged to death
on Amphogel--this seems a universal reaction. AlOH is also available
in capsule form, each capsule holding 400 mg of the tasteless
powder. (I tasted it!) I break open the capsules with a knife
and sprinkle a portion of the powder in Dodger's food. He does
not appear to detect it at all. His phosphorus value is still
climbing (at 8.0 now) and we are going to try increasing the dose
a bit. The brand name of the product is "Alu-Cap" and it is not
widely available. I found one local pharmacy that had it. It's
also expensive, $22 per 100 capsules (for a very cheap lab chemical!),
but this lasts for several months.
going to so much effort.Avatar was a beauty.
I am currently
doing extensive journalistic research into the topic of pet loss
grief and how deeply it affects so many of us for a very long
time. I happened across your web site and was simply overwhelmed
by both the CRF information as well as the tremendous outpouring
of support you received upon the loss of your beautiful cat. I
have viewed hundreds of pages covering many topics related to
pet loss as well as health topics. Your site is unique and terrific.
I have not yet seen any grief site that compares to those memorials
given to a single pet. My research was prompted by my own agonizing
losses. Last April 14, I lost my feline soulmate when my beloved
16-year old cat, Champy, passed away from a digestive disorder
that puzzled even the most respected feline internist in this
area. Four days after my beloved boy passed away, his lifelong
companion, my beautiful Brandy, also age 16, died from CRF. Unfortunately,
I have lost several elderly cats to CRF over the years so I have
extensive experience with the disease. Your site provides so much
wonderful information for novices and experienced caregivers alike.
I currently have an almost 17-year old part-Siamese suffering
from CRF so will take notes on any new information.
on the loss of your lovely kitty. My research has been greatly
enhanced by my visit here. Thanks for sharing....
I would like
to add my gratitude to those of so many others who also found
your site so useful and informative.
feline companion, Freddie, was diagnosed with CRF on December
27, 1997. He was put on IV fluid therapy and spent most of his
last days in the hospital. Although the IV fluids seemed to help
briefly and brought down his BUN and creatinine readings, he had
extremely rapid protein loss and rapidly worsening anemia. He
did not respond to hetastarch and epogen injections. The fluid
therapy caused life-threatening complications. The hospital let
us take him home at night to try and get him to eat since he would
not in the hospital, but on January 2nd, we were told that even
with transfusions or dialysis he would only live for another two
weeks. We made the decision to put him to sleep January 2, 1998
and are suffering from the most horrible of losses. We were shocked
at how rapidly he got worse (He was 14) and that major medical
intervention did not work or prolong his life further.
has information relating to treatments for protein loss and extreme
anemia when your pet won't eat and doesn't respond to the drugs
cited above, we would be interested in their feedback.
did not have the chance to use the fluid therapy information on
your site, it is obviously very helpful, as is all of the other
information you have made available. Unfortunately, the links
to the grief sites turned out to be most useful for us. A tribute
to Freddie can be found on the Lightning Strike Pet-Loss Support
Message Board which was posted January 3, 1998.
We will take
a copy of your website notice to our animal hospital and see if
they will post it. The veterinarians did not seem to be aware
of the CRF site or the resources now available on the net. Thank
you, again, for creating such a resource.
Hello I was
glad to see your website on CRF in cats.
I am an herbalist,
and maker of herbal products for animals. Most of our clients
are veterinarians. We have a formula that was created for older
animals. Some of the vets are now using this formula, called Senior
Blend, with great success for CRF in cats. I wanted to let you
know about it,and if you have anyone who is interested in purchasing
the blend, they can email, call, or call our east coast catalog
distributor at the below website. I don't normally like to "push"
my products, however, this one seems to be working really well
for cats that have CRF.
is 406-821-4090, and we are in Montana...mountain time, monday-friday
9-5... take care and continued health for our kitties!
Care Consultant & Herbalist
I have only
briefly browsed through your dozens of pages of chronic renal
failure in felines, and I would like to thank you IMMENSELY for
the support and information you have already provided me. My cat,
who is only about 5 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with renal failure
about two weeks ago (the vet believes she ingested something toxic
to cause an acute onset, though nobody can quite figure out what
it could have been). I am just beginning to make sense of terms
such as "BUN" and "creatinine." I have been giving Scout* sub-Q
fluids only since last Sunday, and have already experienced the
"emotional roller coaster" which you described so well. I have,
just in one week, been excited to see her energy and appetite
levels go up, and then mortified to watch her sink into what seems
like a deep depression (I am also currently feeding her through
an e-tube, as she had ulcers in her mouth when we initially brought
her into the vet). I have gotten pretty good with the needle,
and Scout is actually a pretty good patient (though I have to
admit it is easier--emotionally, anyway--for me to give her injections
when she's fighting me, because at least I know she still has
energy). I have been asking myself those same questions, like,
"Am I really improving the quality of life for my cat?" "Is she
happy like this?" "How long can I do this?" I can't imagine the
situation for those cat owners who have been doing this for years,
and hope the prognosis for Scout is a good one.
me feel awful that I may have to "make a decision," and I want
to make sure that I have explored all of our options before I
do that. I would like to thank you for at the very least, as someone
who is just beginning this journey, for enlightening me as to
what kinds of options to look for.
that other people were giving hints as to the care of their cats.
I would like to lend mine, albeit young. Scout would not eat the
food the vet originally recommended (actually, she ate it, but
then vomited it almost immediately, which, I'm sure made her not
want to eat it again). My vet recommended baby food (Gerber, Beech
Nut, etc.) to get her used to solids again, because it is easy
on the stomach. If anyone takes this advice, PLEASE check with
your vet, because there are some ingredients you probably need
to avoid (ours was onion and onion powder). But Scout loved it,
and it's made it easier to adjust once again to solid cat food.
again for your insight. I plan on looking to this page frequently
during the care of Scout (care I hope lasts for a long, long time).
lost her fight with CRF on March 3, 1998.