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kidney issues

Re: kidney issues

Postby quagga » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:11 pm

Rudy-the-cat and I are going through this now. He has chronic renal insufficiency, which will progress to full-blown kidney disease at some point. The trick is, of course, to do what we can to keep that progression as slow as possible.

Rudy is now on a regimen of Calcitriol (which is vitamin D3) and because his potassium blood levels recently turned low, oral potassium supplement that gets mixed in with his food. At first, we tried to keep him on the KD diet, but he grew to hate that. His vet and I feel that weight loss (specifically muscle wasting) is the first symptom of kidney disease that we want to keep a bay. She was totally ok when I told her that we had dropped the KD and were feeding him Natural Balance kibble and (gasp) Fancy Feast canned. He probably gets an equal amount of calories from both the wet and the dry food. She feels the quality of the food outweighs the specific phosphorous/protein levels; she and I are in agreement on that. So why the Fancy Feast? Mostly because he enjoys the heck out of it and I guess it's not the worst of the worst in terms of commercial cat foods. She'd like to see him on something else, I'm sure.

Every now and then we try him out on a healthier wet food, but he doesn't take to it with the enthusiasm he has for the Fancy Feast. He just had a checkup and overall he is doing great. Some of his poor kidney values have actually improved and he has definitely put on weight. His urine continues to be less concentrated than normal, so he's definitely not cured.

Anyway, I'm obviously not saying go out and feed your cat Fancy Feast (or Natural Balance, either); I'm just saying don't overvalue the metrics of the food against the quality of the food. And also remember to place a high value on his enjoyment of the food.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby quagga » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:15 pm

Shiva--that was a great article. Thanks for posting the link.

Also...hugs to everyone. We're going through some rough health issues with the cats here...everyone is getting old.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby panthera » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:30 am

Sorry to hear about the scariness, bluedawg! {bluedawg, avery, & family} Which one is Avery, again?
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Re: kidney issues

Postby panthera » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:02 am

*sorry I must have just missed the "edit window" so here's a new post*

Sorry to hear about the scariness, bluedawg! {bluedawg, avery, & family} Which one is Avery, again? I imagine that there are better foods out there for him than the ones you mentioned. And I'm sure you'll find it! :book:

Quagga, from what I read while searching for Gold's food, Fancy Feast is fairly well-regarded. It seems to be the top supermarket brand, certainly, and it even seemed to hold its own against some of the premier-brand foods. Rudy has chosen well! It's nice that your vet isn't locked into a "must be a prescription diet" mentality.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby bluedawg » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:52 am

all of this has been really helpful, so thanks again! quagga, sorry to hear that you're dealing with this as well. :heart:

and Miso, thanks for the heads up about wellness--we tossed the can already (sigh) so i can't check, but i'm going to hope you're right and assume that whole foods already pulled any problematic cans. :/

panthera, avery is our older kitty, the blue one (the original bluedawg, my namesake!). he turned 12 today. finley is the one who always has crazy health crises, so it's weird to be worried about avery. anyhow, the good news is that it's SO early in its progression, that we're trying not to freak out too much. once we've had a chance to let avery try both kinds of wet food we bought, i'll check back in with the vet about our progress and see how strong her opinions are re: Rx food vs. high-quality food.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby JasperKat » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:34 am

bluedawg, I can't remember, do you have a fountain for your kitties? My guys seemed to drink a lot more water when they had one. They're a PITA to clean (which is why I eventually got rid of mine) but they like them!

-JK
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Re: kidney issues

Postby bluedawg » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:55 pm

yep, we had a fountain for the longest time, but you're right--it sucked to clean, it was a hair/dustbunny magnet (with three shedders it is impossible to stay totally on top of hair control), and the cats didn't really seem to drink out of it any more than their regular bowls.

right now they have two giant water bowls (kitty-only; maia drinks from her own and is very good about it), and they both strongly prefer one of them ("finley's" bowl). not sure why, but there you have it. we're going to add a third bowl on the second floor; i just keep forgetting to actually pick a spot and do it.

at our old house avery LOVED to get in the bathtub after our showers and lick drips from the tap, but at our new house, he can't do that. :( we only have shower stalls here, and the one tub we have doesn't have a shower over it, so it never gets used. so i'm bummed that his 'fun' method of drinking has been taken away from him, but he still seems to drink plenty from "finley's" bowl.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby flower » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:16 pm

bluedawg and quagga- I'm so sorry about Avery & Rudy. It's so hard to go through these things and I know how frustrating & worrisome it is. I wish I had some good information for you, but it looks like several others have been really helpful.

Crystal was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid late last year & is taking meds that could affect her kidneys, so we have to bring her in every six months to make sure she's doing okay. She's doing great so far and will be turning 19 this August. I hope that she keeps doing well because she's been through a lot these last few years.
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Re: kidney issues

Postby panthera » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:06 am

*Hi Flower!* :wave:
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Re: kidney issues

Postby flower » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:07 am

Hi panthera! :daisy:
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