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kidney issues

kidney issues

Postby bluedawg » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:07 am

as i just mentioned in the wet food thread, avery has a touch of the kidney issues. :/

we took him in for a normal checkup on december 1, and because he's getting to be a senior (he'll be 12 next week), she did some extra tests... full blood panel and a urinalysis. his urine concentration looked just fine, but his BUN and creatinine values were both at the high end of normal--still normal, per se, but higher than she'd like to see, ideally. so, she asked us to come back with him in three months, and have him re-checked.

we took him in last week (march 11) and had the blood panel redone, and his BUN and creatinine had both crept up another tiny amount since the december 1 test. they were still technically normal, but now even more borderline, and she just wasn't too happy with the upward trend. all other blood values look perfectly fine. so she asked us to bring him back in for a re-do of the urinalysis (as well as a urine protein check) and also a blood pressure check. we did that today.

his blood pressure is perfect, no problems. and his protein/creatinine ratio looks just fine, too. but his urine isn't concentrated as well as it was in december--basically it's slightly below the "we'd like it to be at least here" cutoff point. :(

[sidebar: for those of you who have known me a long time, you may remember that our kody was diagnosed (out of the blue) with acute renal failure at the age of 6, and we had to treat it super-aggressively for about 9 months--subcutaneous fluids at home three times per week, the whole deal--and then he died suddenly, of a giant pile of cancer, a few days after he turned 7. :cry: so basically, any hint of kidney problems makes me want to projectile vomit and start crying. i'm trying very hard not to spaz out, and my vet is doing a pretty awesome job of keeping me grounded and giving me perspective. but still.]

so anyhow, she called this afternoon to give me those results and to ask me what he's eating. i told her wellness indoor formula, and she wanted to just look it up and make sure its calories/protein/etc. all check out okay for a cat with early kidney issues. (she called back a little while later, and said it's fine.) at this point, she wants us to pretty much keep doing what we're doing, but try to introduce a bit of wet food to his diet (both avery and finley hate wet food, so: yay), and do whatever we can to encourage drinking.

all of this to say... for those of you with kidney cat experience: are there any wet foods that are better quality than science diet/purina/etc.? those are the standard 'kidney diet' cans that our vet stocks (maybe also eukanuba?) but i was soooooo happy to get the kitties off of science diet and onto wellness, that now it makes me kind of sad to think about feeding him science diet to 'make him better.' i just keep thinking about all the stuff i've read about what goes into most pet food; ugh and sad face. because avery hasn't cared for wet food in the past, i might not actually have the luxury of being picky about this; we may just have to try whatever's available and pray that he actually likes one of them enough to eat some, but i thought i'd at least ask.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby vegematic » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:18 am

I was pretty sure Wellness made wet foods for kittehs. Does your vet not recommend it for some reason?
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Re: kidney issues

Postby bluedawg » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:25 am

i think she specifically wants him to try a 'kidney diet' wet food (even though he can stay on 'regular' dry food at this point). so, i don't think wellness makes any prescription-type foods.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby Miso Vegan » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:39 am

no advice, but {{{{bluedawg + fam}}}
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Re: kidney issues

Postby vegankitty » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:15 am

Hugs.

I'm pretty sure kidney diets are low protein. Maybe you can find information on home made food? I don't know if you want to go there though.

I suspect Vladimir has kidney problems so I've been researching them before I take him for his annual checkup. He's 17.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby vegankitty » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:32 am

Hugs.

I'm pretty sure kidney diets are low protein. Maybe you can find information on home made food? I don't know if you want to go there though.

I suspect Vladimir has kidney problems so I've been researching them before I take him for his annual checkup. He's 17.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby Shiva » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:53 pm

Oh, {{{bluedawg.}}} :(

The protein debate re: older cats and cats with kidney disease can be frustrating and confusing. :/
Most veterinarians believe that cats with kidney disease should have low phosphorus diets, but they disagree about the amount of protein. On one hand, a low protein diet is supposed to decrease the work load on the kidneys because they have less protein waste to process. These diets derive more of their energy from fats and carbohydrates, which are supposed to be less taxing on the kidneys. On the other hand, a diet of a normal amount of protein is supposed to keep your pet healthy, and the protein is not believed to cause a problem for the kidneys. Cats normally need a high protein diet. A moderate amount of high quality protein as recommended by your veterinarian may be the best course of action.
Source.


This article specifically recommends Wellness canned food for cats with chronic renal failure.
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If this post was edited, it was probably for spelling.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby debiguity » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:38 am

[quote="bluedawg";p=1476]i think she specifically wants him to try a 'kidney diet' wet food (even though he can stay on 'regular' dry food at this point). so, i don't think wellness makes any prescription-type foods.

I'd talk to the vet about it. One of the reasons wet foods are now thought to prevent kidney issues is because they are low in carb (cats, as carnivores, are not meant to have a high carb diet, and it's impossible to have a truly low carb dry food, because of the process of turning it into kibble, and they can never drink enough water to make up for the extra carbs and lack of moisture in the food, etc etc)...but the high protein aspect of the wet food might make it an iffy thing for a cat who already has kidney disease. However, if he's still pretty much borderline, perhaps the wet food *would* be the way to go.

I have no idea, but I'd ask the vet to make sure you're comfortable with what you're looking for.

But also, though finley and avery both hate the wet food, you might want to see if you can get finley on the wet food too.

Try the different styles of wet food - there are some that are sort of "chunks in a gravy" and others that a solid mass. My cats hate the gravy ones, and love the others.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby bluedawg » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:05 am

thanks guys, this is all super helpful! my vet mentioned the protein restriction debate as well, so it's good to have a resource to read more about it.

today we bought a can of the hills k/d from the vet's office, and also a can of wellness chicken (based on the list from the link, above), and i'm going to see if he likes either one. i'm also going to compare labels and talk to my vet next week (she wasn't in the office the past couple of days, so i'm on hold for conversations like these until monday, heh).

thanks again for the feedback and the hugs. :love:
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Re: kidney issues

Postby Miso Vegan » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:48 am

Probably any that were on the store shelves had already been pulled, but there's a voluntary recall of Wellness canned cat food going on:
http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/letter.aspx
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