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Lincoln's Ckd

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by HelenRB, May 8, 2019.

  1. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    I have posted on here before about behaviour, as Lincoln adjusts to living with me. I adopted him in late January from my aunt who has early-onset dementia. He is a senior, but I'm not sure how old - between 12-15. He went from a big house full of kitty siblings to a small apartment with just me, and I work full-time. He has settled in well, though, and I have gotten really attached to him.

    I had started to notice that he was drinking more, and seemed to have lost a little weight. I took him to the vet yesterday, and lab tests showed kidney disease.

    The vet said the only thing to do is change his diet, and that some cats do very well with this and can live for years. I bought him some Hill's k/d, both dry and canned (he had been getting a mixed diet already). He seems to like the taste of it and ate well last night and this morning, so that is encouraging.

    I am so sad and worried. I found Tanya's site last night and started doing some reading, but it felt really overwhelming. I chatted with a good friend who is a vet tech, and she recommended scheduling a follow-up to check him out in a few weeks, and she also said I should ask about Epakitin. I was disappointed that my vet didn't give me more information, and I was too overwhelmed at the time to ask all the questions I'm now thinking of.

    I am committed to taking the best care of Lincoln possible and extending his life, and quality of life, as much as I possibly can, but I feel overwhelmed. Are there things I should be doing right now for him, other than just trying to make sure he eats this new food and puts some weight back on? I have a two-week vacation booked in June, but am planning for him to stay with friends that he knows and likes, so hopefully that won't upset his routine too much.
     

  2. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sorry you haven't yet gotten any responses. I am sure over time you will!!

    But, in the meantime, maybe you would like to read a few other threads from members who have cats with kidney disease, just to see if there are any helpful tips/advice.

    Search Results for Query: kidney disease | TheCatSite
     

  3. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 TCS Member Top Cat

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    A tip I have is omega 3 (fish oil). Kidney disease is an inflammatory disease and fish oil is anti-inflammatory. Cats with kidney disease tend to live longer on omega 3s. You can feed up to 600 mg of combined epa and dha. I feed 300 mg a day for each cat for maintenance since they're not old.



    All you need to know about kidney disease.
    Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition – Common Sense. Healthy Cats.
     
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  4. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Thank you both.

    I do have fish oil for him that I originally got because he had dry skin (my apartment is very dry). He doesn't love the taste, but I'll keep giving it to him.
     

  5. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Many of us here have CKD kitties. If you can get him on an all wet diet, the more water he takes in the better. I too have my CKD cat on a prescription food. It has been over a year since her diagnosis and she is still doing well.
     

  6. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    I am really pleased to hear that, Denice!

    Lincoln genuinely seems perkier after a day of eating very well. Tonight he has been running around with his favourite toy mouse, chasing a string and using his scratching post, and wanting lots of cuddles.

    But, he also had a very soft stool with bloody mucus in it, so I am going to call the vet in the morning.
     
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  7. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 4, 2019
    The vet's office said not to worry too much about the blood in his poop, and it may just be some sensitivity to the food change and his stressful vet visit. He didn't seem to have any discomfort or distress, so I am just supposed to keep an eye on it and see if it happens again.

    The little diva this morning turned his nose up at his food after I added fish oil, so I set down another plate without fish oil, and then after waiting for them to come to room temperature he ate both.
     

  8. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm so glad he had an appetite this AM! My senior lived 4 more years with kidney disease, cancer took him, he had a tumor in his abdomen. Encouraeg water, I set several small bowls of water around the house to encourage drinking, they always check out bowls. He drank quite a bit, running water from a faucet had him come running. As long as your boy keeps eating, that is good, it means he is feeling good. I'll pray for that little boy, i hope you have many more years together!
     

  9. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Thank you so much di and bob. That means a lot. And it's so good to hear from people who have/had CKD kitties who have lived more good years with the disease.

    We lost our beloved family dog in January and it was so hard - he was a golden retriever, not quite 11 years old. I'm still hurting from that, which probably makes me even more worried about little Link.

    He's doing well still today. At lunch he was hiding a bit, but he might just have been annoyed with me trying to make him eat more. ;)
     

  10. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    I also had a CKD kitty. He was diagnosed when he was already in stage three, and still lived (very good quality) an additional 3 years. He passed at the end of last year at the ripe old age of 20. The only things we did with him was a change of diet and sub-Q fluids. The fluids were only periodically in the beginning, but in time he needed them daily. One thing to keep in mind, CKD kitties are prone to dental infections, so if you notice he does not eat as well and has any bad breath, don't hesitate to bring him to the vet to check his mouth. Our kitty was too old and sick for any dental work (would not have survived anesthesia), so we kept his mouth issues under control with antibiotics. Near the very end we did try putting him on "anemia injections", but he passed shortly after so I'm not sure if they helped or would have helped in the long run.
     

  11. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    One other thing, if you find he is not too keen on always eating the K/d, there are other foods that you can try.
    CKD kitties are prone to becoming picky with their food as they do tend to feel nauseous and associate that with their food.
    What we did to encourage consistent eating was we had 6 different wet foods and 4 different dry foods that we alternated on a rotation. He was never able to get tired of eating the same thing and if one day he was having a bad day, the next day was a different food than previous, so he would not refuse the offering.
    We used only vet prescribed foods, it was just easier for us and at Toby's age, we were not concerned about long term issues (vet foods don't have the greatest ingredients, but they do work).
    We used:
    Wet - Hills KD, Royal Canin Renal Support E, D and T, Purina NF (both early and advanced)
    Dry - Hills KD, Royal Canin Renal support A, F and S.
    Purina also has a dry version, but we did not bother with it because we tried to make sure that Toby had more wet food then dry.
    Our vet did day that the formula of the Purina NF did seem to be a hit with CKD kitties, it is formulated with new research in mind. Basically, it's not less protein that is a problem with CKD kitties it's too much phosphorus that's the issue. So the Purina foods have more protein, which of course makes them more palatable.
     

  12. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Thank you so much, Jem! It’s really helping me to hear success stories. And I appreciate the information about the different foods. Lincoln has always been a bit of a picky cat to begin with, and likes a lot of variety. If he had his way, he would eat people food for every meal! My vet only carries one flavour of the k/d but I know there’s at least one other that I might be able to find elsewhere, and they do have the Royal Canin renal food too.

    I’ve been worrying a lot about this... I am single and just starting out in my career, work long hours, live alone, and am still paying off student loans. I live far from family, although I’m hoping to move closer in the next six months. I’m worried about having the resources (both financial and time) to care for him. I’m trying to just take each day as it comes, enjoy my sociable, snuggly little guy and do my very best for him.
     

  13. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    Well, do not hesitate to come back anytime if you have any other questions or just need to vent. CKD, although manageable, does have it's ups and downs. And I know with Toby we went thru a few scary moments as his disease progressed, but he was able to come out on top, (until the end of course, but let's face it...he was 20!)
    Keep up updated and I wish you and Lincoln all the best.:heartshape:
     

  14. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Thank you Jem, I really appreciate that.

    He is not doing great this morning. He had a pet-sitter yesterday because I went to my parents' for Mother's Day. He didn't eat a thing. This morning he ate a bit of the k/d wet and had a drink of water, then hid and wouldn't come out before I had to leave for work. He never used to hide on me.

    He did stand up on his hind legs and reach for the can when I opened his new can of food.
     

  15. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    Have you thought or did the vet mention anything about subQ fluids?
    The first time Toby crashed, giving the fluids really helped perk him up and he started eating again. Because this is early on (what stage did the vet say he was in?) you may only need to give him fluids for a week or so to get him going.
     

  16. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    The vet didn't even mention stages - really, he didn't explain much of anything. Everything I've learned I've read myself afterwards.

    I might go back to the clinic and ask to see a different vet. The first vet we saw there when I first brought Lincoln home seemed to genuinely love cats and was so patient and caring with him. This one just seemed to be in a hurry.
     

  17. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    I think going back to the first vet would be a good idea.
    The thing about CKD kitties is they are very prone to being dehydrated and sometimes they just physically can't drink enough to keep up with how much they pee. The problem is also that the kidneys don't filter properly, so the build up of toxins causes them to not feel well, which in turn, makes them not want to eat. They just keep losing high amounts of fluids and the toxicity becomes more and more concentrated. The added fluids from subQs will allow for the toxins to be flushed from the body, making them feel better.
    Administering fluids can look scary, but I assure you, it's not that bad. And the vet will be able to show you how to do them at home. If it's decided that it's a good option, I can give you a few tricks that helped me as well.

    You can check if he's dehydrated by pulling up his fur/skin along his back/scruff and letting go. If it doesn't snap back down and flatten right away, that is a sign that he's dehydrated. Another way to check is to push up his lips. If his gums feel tacky to you or the lips stick when you let go that's another sign.

    When you go back, have the vet to a through check of his teeth/gums as well. That also plays a part in kitties not eating.
     

  18. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Yes, I'll call the vet and request the first one we met with.

    Lincoln does have some dental issues which we noticed right away back in January. He has a heart murmur so couldn't have anesthesia to clean them fully, but the vet was able to do a bit with him awake and then gave him an antibiotic shot. But, I do think his mouth sometimes bothers him.
     

  19. HelenRB

    HelenRB Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    I made an appointment with the other vet for Thursday afternoon - it was the first available.

    I went home at lunch. Lincoln ate a few licks of this "Cat-it" liquid treat that was a favourite, then he went and hid under the bed for the rest of the time I was home.
     

  20. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

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    If he's hiding, not to scare you too much, but that's not a good sign. I'm glad you have an appointment on Thursday.
    If Lincoln prefers to keep to a small cozy area, I would make sure that everything he needs is near him. It might encourage him to eat, drink, use litter box etc.. more, if it's readily available. If he prefers your room set it all up there.
    You might want to consider syringe feeding him some water and wet food if he continues to not eat. Unfortunately, eating might be making him feel unwell, but to not eat can cause a whole other mess.
    @Furballsmom - Can you be a doll and post your wonderful list of foods to entice a kitty to eat?

    Many of the things on the list are not nutritionally balanced for long term use, but it can really help to get a kitty eating again, or at least getting some calories in them until you can see the vet.
     
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