|Purred: Wed Apr 3, '13 2:31pm PST |
|I'm so sorry Joey has chronic renal failure. Kaci was diagnosed with chronic renal failure (aka chronic kidney disease) in October 2010. CKD can be managed and cats definitely can have a good quality of life living with CKD. There are ups and downs with this disease, esp. when the cat has other diseases that complicate matters like Kaci does.
There are prescription canned foods you can get from your vet made esp. for cats with kidney disease. The companies who make this food are Hills, Iams, Purina and Royal Canin. If you want to try them, maybe your vet can give you a sample pack so that Joey can try each one (my vet did). Yes, there's controversy about these foods and I don't have access to any official statistics or studies proving these foods are better or worse for cats with kidney disease. I know of cats who started eating the prescription foods when first diagnosed and have done very well on them. When my cat Jennifer was first diagnosed with CKD, she started eating Hills canned k/d food and also getting subq fluids 3 times a week and lived for 3-1/2 years after diagnosis.
Kaci absolutely refuses to eat any of the prescription foods and eats commercial grain-free canned cat food only. I feed her an assortment of brands: Fancy Feast (only the *classic* grain-free flavors), Nature's Variety Instincts (chicken), Wellness (salmon & turkey and chicken), Performatin (lamb and turkey), GO! (chicken, turkey & duck), Great Advantage (chicken) and a few others. Her CKD often makes her tummy upset and her appetite go off and she often needs to take an appetite stimulant to get her to eat but other than that, she's done well eating those foods.
There's no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for CKD cats and your vet will help in that area. E.g., some cats won't need subq fluids, at least in the beginning, and others need them. Some cats need phosphorus binders and others don't (Kaci doesn't). Some cats have problems with their potassium levels. CKD can cause high blood pressure and blood pressure should be checked and monitored. There are meds for high blood pressure. Other common CKD issues are appetite loss a(n appetite stimulant can help), weight loss, constipation and vomiting.
Kaci stopped eating a few weeks after diagnosis and was hospitalized because her kidneys started crashing from a suspected kidney infection. Afterwards, she started getting 150 cc's of lactated ringer's solution every 3 days for several months. Over a year and a half ago, I started giving her 100 cc's every day. She's lost a lot of weight over the past year and now gets between 60 and 80 cc's daily. If I miss a day or cut the fluids below 60 cc's, she gets dehydrated and constipated, starts drinking tons of water and ends up getting sick. Without the lactated ringer's solution, she wouldn't have made it as long as she has.
I know you must be doing lots of research and reading about this disease. If you haven't come across these excellent websites yet, you should check them out:
Feline CRF Information Center: www.felinecrf.com
Tanya's CRF website (very comprehensive!) I don't have the url but it's easy to find by googling.
Good luck! If you have more questions, send me a pawmail and I'll do my best to help.
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