2 year old cat with kidney disease?

cataholic07

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My jethro had to get a dental cleaning (both he and his brother had juvenile gingivitis) routine bloodwork and urinalysis was done (urinalysis was done as I noticed him drinking and peeing more so I thought maybe a uti). Turned out his blood work showed possible kidney disease. I was told to do a recheck 6 months later to see if it was just a stress or dehydration issue. And as well to add water to his meals as he was dehydrated. I've been doing that and most meals have been lower in phos food (70-85% usually). But his blood work was worse this time around. We are booking him in for an ultrasound to see if there is anything physically wrong with them. She asked about poisoning and no he wasn't ever really sick like what would happen if he had been poisoned. He has health issues to, had stage 2 periodontal disease (even with brushing his teeth daily), and has a too flexible of joint so is on cosequin for life. But I wondered if anyone had a young cat get kidney disease and what were the reasons? He's just so young to have it and he's my heart cat. I'm quite worried now. I will be only feeding him his DIY raw and other food that is no more than 80% in phos to try and slow it down. Not sure if I should push it lower or is that fine for now?

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di and bob

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The phos levels are within the normal range, so I would continue where you are at. In stage one, the vet usually prescribes calcitriol or vitamin D, which is only manufactured in the kidneys. Fish oil supplements are encouraged too. Stage 2, Benazepril is given to decrease blood pressure. Tooth disease contributes to kidney disease and lowers life expectancy, so taking care of that helps. If caught early, and in a cat this young it is common to be genetic or inherited, life expectancy is still 8-10 years and longer if good care is given.
My cats have Leukemia and are doing very well on DMG which boosts the immune system and Life Gold which treats cancers. The vet gave one of them only days to live two ago, he was that sick....... You might research some kidney supplements and see what your vet says, another excellent site is HomeoAnimal. So just continue to give the excellent care you are giving now, I pray you have MANY more years with your sweet boy.
 

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Just a personal anecdote: When my cat was 2, she had bloodwork done and it came back indicating early kidney disease (she also has one kidney smaller than they other.) The vet had us try to put her on a renal diet but she would not eat it so we gave up. Her recheck 6 months later, showed her kidney numbers improved but still were not as low as they would expect for her age. We decided not to do anything and see how things went (at the time she was very difficult to medicate.) We were told she would probably not live much past 10-12yo. She is now about to be 17 and was only recently diagnosed as having full blown kidney disease. Luckily she is easier to treat now so hopefully with some care, we can keep her around for awhile longer.
 

fionasmom

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I will only speak to the BUN reading; when Jamie, who is going on 5, was about 2 he had a blood test which showed a BUN level of 53. We did ultrasounds, more blood work over the last few years, and it fluctuated into the low 40s with no evidence of disease on the US. He was referred to a cardiologist once a echocardiogram showed HCM, but that is an early case as well. His primary care vet thought that the BUN readings were down to the HCM, but the cardiologist disagrees, so we are back to step one with the kidney issue, although we have some clarity on the HCM which I will not go into. It has even been discussed that he is just some sort of a weird outlier.

I agree with your decision to have a US and that may show something which will enlighten Jethro's case. Please let us know what you find out. Unless Jethro is leading a very different lifestyle than Jamie, poisoning does not sound like a good reason....it is a reason if it is to be suspected, but I have also had those possibilities brought up when vets are not sure what else to do.

We have done runs of subQ fluids which made no difference. He will not eat any prescription food, but is seemingly in good health for all that is "wrong" with him. I continue follow ups of course....another echo in December and another blood test next month.
 
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cataholic07

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Just waiting on hearing back on when we can book the ultrasound. We did a basepaws test and it showed he didn't have pkd at least but we will see if maybe he does have a smaller kidney(s) or just one. He did get a dental cleaning done thats how we knew he had kidney issues, just a routine bloodcheck. My vet wanted to get the ultrasound done first before discussing further treatment. His food already is pretty low in phos but I can get it even lower. He is a big fan of raw lol. I was giving him petwellbeing urinary care as I was told it could also help the kidney's and his urinary quirk (he can pee so hard his butt just moves up and it all goes out of the litter box sigh lol. Hes too tall for litter boxes). He does pee alot and drinks a lot.
 

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Here is a website that explains the different causes of kidney disease, including having just one kidney (just in case that's the issue).

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Causes of CKD

I find it quite interesting that his SDMA actually went DOWN since that's the value used to determine EARLY kidney disease. When you took him in for the recheck, was he pretty stressed out? That can cause creatinine to be higher, just as dehydration can. I know you said he is drinking alot, but he could still be dehydrated. Was he?
 
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cataholic07

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Here is a website that explains the different causes of kidney disease, including having just one kidney (just in case that's the issue).

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Causes of CKD

I find it quite interesting that his SDMA actually went DOWN since that's the value used to determine EARLY kidney disease. When you took him in for the recheck, was he pretty stressed out? That can cause creatinine to be higher, just as dehydration can. I know you said he is drinking alot, but he could still be dehydrated. Was he?
He generally isnt a fan of the vet so probably was stressed. The dehydration did happen a lot more when I didnt add water to his food. He is fed wet or raw 4 times a day with some water added to every meal. I heat up the water to heat up the food a bit as he doesnt care for cold food lol. His USG was low, too diluted which would have meant overhydrated though I am thinking? It was 0.021. Its why we are doing the ultrasound to see the state of his kidneys.
 

michael broad

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I am not a vet but I know that gingivitis is linked to kidney disease. One affects the other. I'm not sure whether gingivitis causes kidney disease or kidney disease causes gingivitis but they are linked. Therefore, I would suggest in the case of your cat this is what is happening. And it may be that the kidney disease is occurring because your cat has gingivitis at a young age. So, why might he have gingivitis at a young age? It is possibly genetically inherited. He may have a predisposition to it. You know that gingivitis is caused by poor oral health but you are a caring cat owner and domestic cats don't normally get gum disease that this sort of age. Perhaps your cat's immune system is compromised? Another point about kidney disease is that if it occurs in a very young cat, it may be due to poisoning as your veterinarian suggested. There are numerous poisons in and around the house which may be responsible but I am speculating obviously. I think the key to resolving this is to check the link between gum disease and kidney disease. One source tells me that "An imbalance of the body's oxygen producing free radicals and its antioxidant cells could be the reason why gum disease and chronic kidney disease affect each other...". But this doesn't really help that much because it's too complicated and what you want is some clear definite method of saving your cat. It's a tough one and I am sympathetic.
 

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This is a postscript to my previous comment. My research indicates that periodontal disease occurs in about 85% of all cats over two years old and it can be found in some cats even before they are one year old. Therefore, although it is distressing, it is not that unusual that your cat has gum disease at quite a young age. My thought, therefore, is that the gum disease is having an impact on kidney health. But I stress, that I am a layperson with a lot of experience of looking after domestic cats but I don't have specific medical training.
 

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This is a further postscript! My research also indicates that an increased susceptibility to periodontitis (the progression of untreated simple gingivitis) is found in cats who suffer from repeated viral respiratory infections, especially calicivirus or bartonellosis and those who have had past exposure to the feline leukaemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus.
 

michael broad

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And again! A study result shows that a 10% increase in gum inflammation reduces kidney function by 3% and that a 10% reduction in kidney function increases periodontal inflammation by 25%.
 
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cataholic07

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Wow dental disease sucks. He did get a dental cleaning in April so that should have really helped his gums. I do brush his teeth daily to. Its just hard cause I dont know if the high protein is the culprit or not. Most values are based on dry fed cats so its tricky. I was also giving him Naturpet urinary care. He had some issues peeing so hard his butt would raise and well no box is as tall as him lol. His tail would shake and it could be frothy. I was only doing half the amount needed (1ml once a day instead of twice) and it helped. I just dont know if it would affect the USG. We also give water with every meal, sometimes its a bit soupy so I don't know if that would make his USG low but his ph was still 7 and sodium normal.
 

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I add water to every meal for both my cats and it hasn't effected their USG, so doubt that's the culprit. I'm guessing you told your Vet all of the above?

As to his peeing high in the litter box, we use a Rubbermaid tote for our litter boxes. They are 15 inches high. We just cut out a little opening in one end for them to step into. Helps keep the litter inside the box when they are digging to China :lol:
 
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cataholic07

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I wanted to get a tote to but havent found any that's tall enough and wide enough for my cats lol. Fynn is about 3.5ft long and both my boys are tall and long. Fynn especially as you can see. I was hoping maybe something else was the cause. :( to think of such a young cat with kidney disease is heart breaking. It's making me wonder if I should get his brother tested as well...

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mrsgreenjeens

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You have a cat that is 3.5 feet long?????? Is that from his nose to the tip of his tail????? How much does he weigh? We used to have a large cat years ago that when I picked him up his tal would go down to my knees, but he still fit in a regular size litter box. He WAS huge in our eyes, so perhaps he scrunched up in the box, I don't remember watching him in there. Or maybe he had his front feet on the floor, I don't know.

If the ultrasound shows this is congenital, then I would definitely discuss with the Vet if you should get his brother checked for it.
 
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cataholic07

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Yah Fynn is a long boy lol. Jetty is too but Fynn can block the hallway access just by laying in the middle lol. We expected them to be big considering at 12 weeks when fixed Fynn was 4lbs already and Jetty was 3.6 lol. Hopefully the ultrasound might shed a little light.
I did the basepaws test to check for PKD and he doesnt have it. Just a carrier for retinal disease.

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BlackCatOp

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What a handsome fella!

Did your vet mention the protein his urine? Cats should not have protein in urine and generally even with CKD proteinuria is not common. (More of a dog type kidney disease). Protein can be a poor prognostic indicator and cause further damage to kidneys. 😥

Regarding litter boxes, I too have kitties that “elevator pee”. My containers are 21 high. I have a long cat too - easily reaches door handles - and he fits with no problem

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mrsgreenjeens

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Regarding litter boxes, I too have kitties that “elevator pee”. My containers are 21 high. I have a long cat too - easily reaches door handles - and he fits with no problem

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Ooooh, nice! Are those swinging "doors" on them? How did you do that? (cut the holes out without starting at the top, etc?)
 

BlackCatOp

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Ooooh, nice! Are those swinging "doors" on them? How did you do that? (cut the holes out without starting at the top, etc?)
Thanks. The is no door. The green are handles from the tote. I used a razor blade to cut the opening and the sandpaper to smooth around the opening. The material cut relatively well. The totes are Sterilite 34 Gallon. I have found them a Target and Menards.
 
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cataholic07

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What a handsome fella!

Did your vet mention the protein his urine? Cats should not have protein in urine and generally even with CKD proteinuria is not common. (More of a dog type kidney disease). Protein can be a poor prognostic indicator and cause further damage to kidneys. 😥

Regarding litter boxes, I too have kitties that “elevator pee”. My containers are 21 high. I have a long cat too - easily reaches door handles - and he fits with no problem

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She only talked about the low USG not the protein. I'll ask her when she calls this week with the ultrasound results though. I'm hoping to continue his raw diet and just tweak it to be very kidney-friendly as he loves his raw. He's picky with both wet and dry. Heck ive been trying the better quality wet that is lower in phos (bff/weruva) and he hates them all lol. I firmly dont believe in dry for kidney cats who struggle with dehydration. I mean if he got dehydrated while on wet food and raw, imagine on dry only.

Those look great! I think predominately the elevator butt is when the litter boxes aren't really clean so it's not something that happens often at all thankfully. Is your cat tall too? My boys are tall and long. Then when you add the litter it makes the height even less lol.
 
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