Early kidney issues - home made food?

terestrife

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I posted a couple of weeks back, and I am still trying to figure out what to feed my cat who has early kidney issues. I went to tanyackd group and its overwhelming because of all the info.

The current food I feed my cats is with the brand know better pet food.
Know Better Pet Food | Healthy Homemade Pet Food Products
I mentioned the alternate recipe given to me by the company at the tanyackd group and they mentioned the recipe seemed way too high in pumpkin.

I'm just checking here to get some input on the products I managed to find.

I found these products below:
1. BalanceIT.com
my concern with this site is the use of oil and carbs. my cat is plus size as is I don't want to run the risk of her becoming diabetic. This was recommended by the tanyackd group. This requires vet approval. Which I am willing to do if necessary.

2. TCfeline - Special Formula, 400 g - 180 days of food
I read here in this forum that some cats don't like the taste of this?

3. Kidney Support plus Chicken Liver For Cats & Dogs - Feline Instincts
I wrote to this company and they said I can use it with cooked meat.

4. EZComplete Fur Cats 225g - Makes 12.1 lbs of food
Found this one too.

Currently, I have started giving my cat the supplement Rx Vitamins Rx Renal Capsules Kidney Supplement for Cats suggested by my vet.

She goes back to the vet in three months. My vet was telling me not to change her diet, but I don't want to put it off. According to someone in the tanyackd group they mentioned it was possible my vet could see my cat was having kidney issues since last year (based on the results I sent to the group.) Last year he told me she was doing great.

Just feeling overwhelmed and confused. Just need something simple that will help my cat without being overly complicated with weird ingredients. Cooking for my cats involves a lot of time commitment, just want to keep things simple.

For anyone curious:
this was the recipe given to me by the know better pet food company:
----
Here is the alternative recipe:

2lbs of meat of your choice

1 ½ cups water

½ cup premix

1lb. pure canned pumpkin or pureed steamed squash

½ cup of unsalted butter (this provides highly digestible animal fat, vitamins and calories)

edit: to add the 4th one i found.
 
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terestrife

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What all does the pumpkin provide? Can you decrease it?
This is the email thread to the company, I deleted email addresses. I feel concerned following their advice since they didn't give more info just a vague recipe.

From: Know Better Pet Food
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2022 6:32 PM
To: Me
Subject:
RE: Question

Hi,

I’m not exactly sure on the analysis, I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.


From: Me
Sent: August 25, 2022 8:10 AM
To: Know Better Pet Food
Subject: RE: Question

Hello,

This is very helpful. Thank you!

Would you happen to know what the nutritional value is with this recipe? I want to be sure i feed my cats the correct calories.



On Aug 24, 2022 2:43 PM, Know Better Pet Food wrote:
Hi,

Our premixes are suitable for cats with kidney disease – but there is an alternate recipe to help.
We do this by adding pure canned pumpkin or steamed squash to lower the protein and phosphorus levels in the diet, without losing the quality of the protein.

Here is the alternative recipe:

2lbs of meat of your choice
1 ½ cups water
½ cup premix
1lb. pure canned pumpkin or pureed steamed squash
½ cup of unsalted butter (this provides highly digestible animal fat, vitamins and calories)

Because your cat is just in the beginning stages, I would cut the amount of pumpkin and butter in half and see how he/she does. This recipe is intended for cats with full blown kidney disease.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
 

Box of Rain

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I make no claims to expertise in managing CKD in cats, but feeding that amount of pumpkin runs counter to the advice to feed a nutritionally dense diet.

Pumpkin has far more sugars (carbohydrates) than an obligate carnivore requires (which is none) so could provoke blood sugar issues and is very bulking due to the very high amount of soluble fiber.

Small amounts of soluble fiber can help some cats (and dogs) with both constipation and diarrhea (acting as a bowel regulator), but this much pumpkin would crowd out protein, and it is my understanding that reducing protein in early stage CKD is no longer considered to be a good idea.

Makes me question the advice. The vet say not to change the diet. A future discussion to be had might include the possibility of using phosphorus blockers if/when the times comes.

I hope you find a good solution. Must be stressful to read so much conflicting information (which I guess I'm compounding).

Bill
 
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terestrife

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I make no claims to expertise in managing CKD in cats, but feeding that amount of pumpkin runs counter to the advice to feed a nutritionally dense diet.

Pumpkin has far more sugars (carbohydrates) than an obligate carnivore requires (which is none) so could provoke blood sugar issues and is very bulking due to the very high amount of soluble fiber.

Small amounts of soluble fiber can help some cats (and dogs) with both constipation and diarrhea (acting as a bowel regulator), but this much pumpkin would crowd out protein, and it is my understanding that reducing protein in early stage CKD is no longer considered to be a good idea.

Makes me question the advice. The vet say not to change the diet. A future discussion to be had might include the possibility of using phosphorus blockers if/when the times comes.

I hope you find a good solution. Must be stressful to read so much conflicting information (which I guess I'm compounding).

Bill
the tanyackd group said the product I am using has too much phosphorous. :confused2: im so confused.
 

furmonster mom

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For kidney issues, you really want to lower the phosphorus levels. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice protein, because cats are biologically built to thrive on protein.

I used Niacinamide to mitigate phosphorus levels. This is a relatively new treatment that a couple of vets have been investigating (I don’t have the article pinned, but you might be able to Google it).

I also used a substitution method of “diluting” the phosphorus by using cooked egg whites as a portion of the food. Cooked egg whites are a great low phosphorus protein source, so you can keep the protein level balanced while lowering the phosphorus. You can also feed the raw yolks for helping with hairballs and improving skin condition.

I understand that some folks like to add pumpkin to avoid constipation and keep things moving, but there are problems with it as Bill has mentioned. I found that psyllium husk does a very good job without changing the formula/percentages of the food or adding carbs like pumpkin.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for kidney disease, but we can do our best to mitigate and slow it down. :grouphug:
 

Box of Rain

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the tanyackd group said the product I am using has too much phosphorous. :confused2: im so confused.
Sure, that is because those who formulate this mix (and other mixes) are quite intentionally trying to hit the targets that are identified by the National Research Council (and adopted in turn by AAFCO) as nutritionally balanced for cats (who don't have kidney disease).

"Prescription diets" for CKD are nutritionally "imbalanced" for cats in the general cat population, but reducing (or binding) phosphorus seems like the best current strategy for taking stress off the kidneys.

I'm not sure what the legal, liability, and/or regulatory issues that are involved in marketing a "kidney" pre-mix that is "imbalanced" due to lowered phosphorus levels, but I'm not aware of any on the market, and I imagine it would be legally complicated.

I would be curious to see what sample meals would look like in terms of phosphorus with a recipes that included a taurine rich meat (like dark meat turkey), organs, and a straight calcium source in lieu of edible bone (as bone provides both calcium and phosphorus). Or with other meats and appropriate supplementation with synthetic taurine.

The USDA Food Central database has the nutritional information to ballpark formulas pretty closely.

Your vet would be the person to discuss the alternative of using a phosphorus blocker as a way to potentially protect the kidneys even if the diet was "balanced" for a general cat population (and too high in phosphorus for your cat). The pluses and minuses of phosphorus binders are way outside my knowledge-base.

Bill
 
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terestrife

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For kidney issues, you really want to lower the phosphorus levels. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice protein, because cats are biologically built to thrive on protein.

I used Niacinamide to mitigate phosphorus levels. This is a relatively new treatment that a couple of vets have been investigating (I don’t have the article pinned, but you might be able to Google it).

I also used a substitution method of “diluting” the phosphorus by using cooked egg whites as a portion of the food. Cooked egg whites are a great low phosphorus protein source, so you can keep the protein level balanced while lowering the phosphorus. You can also feed the raw yolks for helping with hairballs and improving skin condition.

I understand that some folks like to add pumpkin to avoid constipation and keep things moving, but there are problems with it as Bill has mentioned. I found that psyllium husk does a very good job without changing the formula/percentages of the food or adding carbs like pumpkin.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for kidney disease, but we can do our best to mitigate and slow it down. :grouphug:
That is my goal, just want my girl to last for as long as I can and help her time on this earth to be happy and comfortable.
I will ask my vet about Niacinamide for right now her phosphorous levels are normal.


Sure, that is because those who formulate this mix (and other mixes) are quite intentionally trying to hit the targets that are identified by the National Research Council (and adopted in turn by AAFCO) as nutritionally balanced for cats (who don't have kidney disease).

"Prescription diets" for CKD are nutritionally "imbalanced" for cats in the general cat population, but reducing (or blocking) phosphorus seems like the best current strategy for taking stress off the kidneys.

I'm not sure what the legal, liability, and/or regulatory issues that are involved in marketing a "kidney" pre-mix that is "imbalanced" due to lowered phosphorus levels, but I'm not aware of any on the market, and I imagine it would be legally complicated.

I would be curious to see what sample meals would look like in terms of phosphorus with a recipes that included a taurine rich meat (like dark meat turkey), organs, and a straight calcium source in lieu of edible bone (as bone provides both calcium and phosphorus). Or with other meats and appropriate supplementation with synthetic taurine.

The USDA Food Central database has the nutritional information to ballpark formulas pretty closely.

Your vet would be the person to discuss the alternative of using a phosphorus blocker as a way to potentially protect the kidneys even if the diet was "balanced" for a general cat population (and too high in phosphorus for your cat). The pluses and minuses of phosphorus blockers are way outside my knowledge-base.

Bill
the premixes that I linked mention kidney issues specifically. i highlighted the part that is pertinent. Just wanted to see if I could find out what people thought of each one.

1. BalanceIT.com
This one lets you choose what issue your cat has and a vet gives you a recipe to follow. If you're curious, you can try their recipe creator. Gives nutrition info. I got confused with the site and thought the recipe for dogs was for cats, so i thought the ingredients seemed wrong until i realized i was looking at a dogs recipe.

Example of recipe for a cat with kidney issues :

Screen Shot 2022-09-04 at 6.32.53 PM.png
2. TCfeline - Special Formula, 400 g - 180 days of food
TCfeline SPECIAL FORMULA Premix for homemade cat food. 14 pre-measured individual sachets, 20g each, net wt 280g, packaged in a box. Each sachet prepares 8-13 daily portions of cat food, depending on recipe used. Ingredients: whey protein isolate, calcium carbonate, taurine, freeze- dried krill, Vitamin B complex with Methylcobalamin (B12), Vitamin E, Vitamin D3, Vitamin A (Retinol). This premix is formulated to prepare a diet reduced in phosphorus. With the addition of recommended vegetables and butter it can be used to prepare a diet reduced in phosphorus and protein, as it is often recommended for cats suffering from problems associated with kidney disease. This Special Formula is useful in helping to remedy constipation in adult cats, and may help in some cases to prevent involuntary regurgitation of food.

3. Kidney Support plus Chicken Liver For Cats & Dogs - Feline Instincts

My Natural Cat Kidney Support premix is for cats & dogs with kidney issues. If your cat has FUS or urinary blockages but no kidney disease then purchase one of the regular My Natural Cat premixes. Available in Trial and Large sizes.
4.

Based on the prey model, EZcomplete fur Cats contains liver and pancreas. We provide eggshell as a species-appropriate source of calcium and trace minerals, but by substituting bone with eggshell, this lowers the phosphorus compared to a diet with bone (the largest repository of phosphorus in a cat's natural diet). This means senior cats and cats with insufficient kidney function may be able to enjoy the benefits of of a diet made with EZcomplete, yet we've formulated the supplement to ensure it meets the needs of growing kittens and pregnant cats & cat moms.
 

Box of Rain

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That is my goal, just want my girl to last for as long as I can and help her time on this earth to be happy and comfortable.
I will ask my vet about Niacinamide for right now her phosphorous levels are normal.




the premixes that I linked mention kidney issues specifically. i highlighted the part that is pertinent. Just wanted to see if I could find out what people thought of each one.

1. BalanceIT.com
This one lets you choose what issue your cat has and a vet gives you a recipe to follow. If you're curious, you can try their recipe creator. Gives nutrition info. I got confused with the site and thought the recipe for dogs was for cats, so i thought the ingredients seemed wrong until i realized i was looking at a dogs recipe.

Example of recipe for a cat with kidney issues :

View attachment 430921
2. TCfeline - Special Formula, 400 g - 180 days of food
TCfeline SPECIAL FORMULA Premix for homemade cat food. 14 pre-measured individual sachets, 20g each, net wt 280g, packaged in a box. Each sachet prepares 8-13 daily portions of cat food, depending on recipe used. Ingredients: whey protein isolate, calcium carbonate, taurine, freeze- dried krill, Vitamin B complex with Methylcobalamin (B12), Vitamin E, Vitamin D3, Vitamin A (Retinol). This premix is formulated to prepare a diet reduced in phosphorus. With the addition of recommended vegetables and butter it can be used to prepare a diet reduced in phosphorus and protein, as it is often recommended for cats suffering from problems associated with kidney disease. This Special Formula is useful in helping to remedy constipation in adult cats, and may help in some cases to prevent involuntary regurgitation of food.

3. Kidney Support plus Chicken Liver For Cats & Dogs - Feline Instincts

My Natural Cat Kidney Support premix is for cats & dogs with kidney issues. If your cat has FUS or urinary blockages but no kidney disease then purchase one of the regular My Natural Cat premixes. Available in Trial and Large sizes.
4.

Based on the prey model, EZcomplete fur Cats contains liver and pancreas. We provide eggshell as a species-appropriate source of calcium and trace minerals, but by substituting bone with eggshell, this lowers the phosphorus compared to a diet with bone (the largest repository of phosphorus in a cat's natural diet). This means senior cats and cats with insufficient kidney function may be able to enjoy the benefits of of a diet made with EZcomplete, yet we've formulated the supplement to ensure it meets the needs of growing kittens and pregnant cats & cat moms.
A quick glance--all I can muster as I'm near heat-stroke after stupidly trying to do some work outside in the 106 degree heat--makes me think I had it wrong about pre-mixes aimed at reducing phosphorus. Must re-read when cognitive function returns to "normal." LOL

Subbing out a straight calcium source (such as ground eggshell) for bone should reduce the phosphorus levels (while supplying calcium). That makes sense.

I'm wary of recipes that substitute meat for plants, grains, and grain-like foods myself.

I'd want firm evidence for moving away from a cat's natural diet.

If there is a pre-mix that cuts phosphorus while making the rest nutritionally dense animal product, that's where I'd go (after discussions with my vet).

Bill
 
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terestrife

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A quick glance--all I can muster as I'm near heat-stroke after stupidly trying to do some work outside in the 106 degree heat--makes me think I had it wrong about pre-mixes aimed at reducing phosphorus. Must re-read when cognitive function returns to "normal." LOL

Subbing out a straight calcium source (such as ground eggshell) for bone should reduce the phosphorus levels (while supplying calcium). That makes sense.

I'm wary of recipes that substitute meat for plants, grains, and grain-like foods myself.

I'd want firm evidence for moving away from a cat's natural diet.

If there is a pre-mix that cuts phosphorus while making the rest nutritionally dense animal product, that's where I'd go (after discussions with my vet).

Bill
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I live in Miami and completely understand. It gets so hot it sometimes feels like it's affecting your thinking. :fireblob:I am looking forward to winter.

I will keep what you said in mind and look over the 4 options. :heartshape:
 

Box of Rain

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Thank you for taking the time to respond. I live in Miami and completely understand. It gets so hot it sometimes feels like it's affecting your thinking. :fireblob:I am looking forward to winter.

I will keep what you said in mind and look over the 4 options. :heartshape:
Here in LA we have "dry heat." LOL.

I also sprayed my boy's shoes with silicon spray (and may have inhaled some). Oh dear.

Bill
 

Mighty Orange

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For kidney issues, you really want to lower the phosphorus levels. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice protein, because cats are biologically built to thrive on protein.

I used Niacinamide to mitigate phosphorus levels. This is a relatively new treatment that a couple of vets have been investigating (I don’t have the article pinned, but you might be able to Google it).

I also used a substitution method of “diluting” the phosphorus by using cooked egg whites as a portion of the food. Cooked egg whites are a great low phosphorus protein source, so you can keep the protein level balanced while lowering the phosphorus. You can also feed the raw yolks for helping with hairballs and improving skin condition.

I understand that some folks like to add pumpkin to avoid constipation and keep things moving, but there are problems with it as Bill has mentioned. I found that psyllium husk does a very good job without changing the formula/percentages of the food or adding carbs like pumpkin.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for kidney disease, but we can do our best to mitigate and slow it down. :grouphug:
Feline CKD: Niacinamide for Phosphorus Control

Above is the link I think she was referring to.
 

FeebysOwner

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I can't be of much help, but I am currently using EZComplete for Feeby's ham baby food meat. The company is very helpful, so you could ask about homemade foods and if there are any other requirements or issues - particularly with regard to phosphorus. They do have a fair amount of additional information on their site that might be helpful. From what I understand this product is truly complete and would not require other additives in order to match the nutritional values required for cats.

The only thing I am not clear on is if it works with human chicken recipes. I know it is not a viable product for chicken baby food meat, based on how it is processed (due to the calcium) - and, even EZComplete themselves suggest you use Alnutrin for that, which does require additional ingredients (eggshells and liver).

Re: the niacinamide - it is my understanding that it has a very bitter taste that is hard to mask. Have you looked into Phos-Bind? It appears to be tasteless but does have a semi-grainy texture. It does seem to mix well with Feeby's canned foods though.
 
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terestrife

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Here in LA we have "dry heat." LOL.

I also sprayed my boy's shoes with silicon spray (and may have inhaled some). Oh dear.

Bill
Hope it is nice and cool in your house. lol

Feline CKD: Niacinamide for Phosphorus Control

Above is the link I think she was referring to.
Thank you! :heartshape: I will mention it to my vet.

I can't be of much help, but I am currently using EZComplete for Feeby's ham baby food meat. The company is very helpful, so you could ask about homemade foods and if there are any other requirements or issues - particularly with regard to phosphorus. They do have a fair amount of additional information on their site that might be helpful. From what I understand this product is truly complete and would not require other additives in order to match the nutritional values required for cats.

The only thing I am not clear on is if it works with human chicken recipes. I know it is not a viable product for chicken baby food meat, based on how it is processed (due to the calcium) - and, even EZComplete themselves suggest you use Alnutrin for that, which does require additional ingredients (eggshells and liver).

Re: the niacinamide - it is my understanding that it has a very bitter taste that is hard to mask. Have you looked into Phos-Bind? It appears to be tasteless but does have a semi-grainy texture. It does seem to mix well with Feeby's canned foods though.
I just found out about Kitty's kidney issues a month ago. Vet only told me to come back in 3 months. Give her supplements and keep her diet the same. Didn't really mention much else. Her phosphorous levels were normal.

I will reach out to Ezcomplete. It says on the label to just add boneless chicken. But let me email them to be sure.
 

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EZComplete contains a source of calcium (eggshells) so that is why boneless meat is used. If you used bone-in meat, the calcium content of the mixture will be too much and may cause constipation.

A little off topic: EZComplete is oddly sold on Amazon via a seller called The Total Cat Store. I don't see anything on the FoodFurLife web site with a list of approved online sellers :headscratch:
 
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terestrife

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EZComplete contains a source of calcium (eggshells) so that is why boneless meat is used. If you used bone-in meat, the calcium content of the mixture will be too much and may cause constipation.

A little off topic: EZComplete is oddly sold on Amazon via a seller called The Total Cat Store. I don't see anything on the FoodFurLife web site with a list of approved online sellers :headscratch:
I use boneless chicken thighs so no problem there. I was checking the website and couldn't understand the measurements they use so im not sure what they mean when they put 0.8 for phosphorus. I just sent them an email.

No worries, if i buy the product I wont risk getting it on amazon.
 

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Alnutrin also has a supplement with egg shell calcium rather than bone. You do need to add liver but it is a very good basic supplement. I use it with cooked meat for our cats and they love it.

EZ Complete really is as easy as just adding meat.

That recipe with all the pumpkin is wild. Why would anyone use a pound of pumpkin to two pounds of meat? It just boggles my mind that the company would recommend that. The fact that the company couldn't give you nutritional analysis is not very encouraging!
 
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terestrife

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I reached out to EZ complete and I am now more confused than ever. They are telling me to keep using the other brand and said know better pet food only uses 0.5% phosphorous, but i don't know where they are getting this info from?


This was their response:


Hi,

The goal for phosphorus on a dry matter basis for our CKD cats is less than 1%. Thus 0.8% phoshorus (on a dry matter basis) is appropriate. We don't have mg information, how many mg of phosphorus each cat eats is totally dependent on the amount of food they eat daily, and I'm not aware of a mg measure to use. The only way to compare foods (because they all have differing moisture content) is on the amount of nutrient per dry matter.

That said, I don't know which Know Better Pet Food mix you're using, but one for which they have nutrient data indicates 0.5%, which is the minimum to meet AAFCO. So it would be appropriate, and less than that of food made with EZC - and you do not want less than that amount. There is current research, several papers, that indicate phosphorus content less than AAFCO leads to hypercalcemia because there isn't enough phosphorus, and that this causes more problems than it solves (the "renal foods" have phosphorus content lower than AAFCO minimum for adults). It seems you might want to stick with what you are using.

But my experience is that these minor differences have no impact on how well kitty does. At some point, most cats will need management of blood levels of phosphorus that cannot be controlled by food. My CKD cats have all done well with food made with EZC, and some have needed phosphorus control and some haven't. All have died of something other than CKD, most of them stable for 2 to 4 years. My current two are stable, one has actually gone from stage 3 to stage 2.

Wishing you and your babies all our best on this journey.

Best Regards,


Edit: I have been looking around the tanyackd group and feel even more confused. So many posts complaining about the powders used for homemade food. Stating that these companies don't know anything about cat nutrition. After my interactions with the owner of the Know Better Pet Food brand I can see what they are talking about.

They complain about these powders but then complain about all the canned food causing muscle wastage. I have no idea at this point what to feed my cats.
 
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Furballsmom

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Canned food in itself doesn't cause muscle wasting.

Appropriate levels of protein, depending on the cat and its kidney health or lack thereof, can keep muscle wasting at bay but as with all things regarding a sick kitty, constant monitoring has to occur to keep everything as much in balance as possible correlating with the kidney function.
 
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