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Old 09-25-2011, 12:17 AM   #15
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quick update

Toro is sitting up as normally as I have ever seen him! His head was up and alert. I should have waited to make that last post. I think the little bit of potassium gluconate we gave him did wonders. Now, we'll be careful not to give too much and keep an eye on his overall appearance. he is an amazing boy! We are so happy to have him in our presence for this one victorious day.
To all the vets out there - thanks for the sagacious advice you all have offered thus far. it has been of tremendous help!
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:16 PM   #16
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I have to share an update on our little man... he is doing so well that I cannot believe it! He is like he was 1 year ago before he was ever diagnosed with Feline Renal Failure. The differences now are that we are working with a vet offering a holistic approach to treatment as well as traditional treatment. She is practicing a Chinese based philosophy and recommends feeding more natural foods over the processed cans and bags we have been giving. And the foods she recommended is based not only on his condition but also his Qi (he is wood if you wanted to know). She understands that I have researched this to the n'th degree and we both agree on the approach to keeping him healthy.
We have been doing the sub-cutaneous treatments nearly daily of about 100 ml so he is well hydrated.
And lastly , we are cooking foods for him that are specifically tailored to his medical condition and what he needs most to help him along.
All of these changes has him running around like he used to and he is fairly keeping up with our 7 month old kitten! Every once in a while you will see him chasing her around!
Maybe he only has a few months left – I do not know. But the way he is right now, I would say that he will be around for a few years! Even his fur looks normal again.
We started cooking his food in batches and it is all natural and has only the stuff he needs. For example, including some greens, we can help his kidneys out by allowing the digestive system to take some of the nitrogen load. So greens are included in his diet to lower the load on his kidneys.
We are going to start cooking for all of our cats – in bulk it is cheaper and takes little of our time AND allows to be sure they are all eating well.
If anybody is interested, I can post some recipes that we used that work well for Toro.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:04 AM   #17
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I know this is really really late, but I'd love to see those recipes. I'm currently taking care of a rescue cat with kidney problems (only stage 2, tho) and want to take good care of her while I'm responsible for her.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #18
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It's never too late to start taking care of your CRF/CKF cat. The first place I would go to find recipes is Tanya's FelineCRF web site. Actually, if you are treating a cat in any stage of renal failure, Tanya's should be your home base for research. She has done an excellent job of gathering the information for all you need to know on CRF cats.

It is important to know that you cannot improve kidney function with a good diet, only limit how hard the kidneys have to work when they are stressed. Once kidney function is gone, nothing will bring it back.

The most important thing is that you should absolutely, positively NOT serve dry cat food of any brand to your cat if you can avoid it. My vet had nothing positive to say about dried foods in the first place because of the fillers and junk in it, not to mention the poor nutritional quality when compared to just about any home cooked meals. We stopped feeding dry food to all of our cats but one still gets a little because she still after months has not fully adopted a wet diet. Dry food is sort of akin to eating Twinkees all the time - sure you can live on it but it ain't the healthiest food on the planet.

My recipes are generally a mix of homecooked natural foods and some of the premium all natural, no filler foods that are as close to homecooked as you can get. For homecooked, We cook things like Chicken or salmon as gently as possible. You can throw in some rice and other fillers as long as they are not toxic to cats (onions for example).

I mix a 50/50 of good protein to pumpkin filling (100% mashed pumpkin, no sugar or cream) and Toro tolerates that fairly well. It has lots of moisture (>80%), low phosphorus and not too much protein for his little kidneys to struggle with. I supplement with ground up Taurine, Potassium Glucconate and Salmon oil as well as a smidgen of vitamin B-50 complex - not too much as it is not palatable.

Also for CRF cats, some greens like asparagus or broccoli are natural nitrogen binders so they help to naturally bing nitrogen in the gut. This improves BUN/Creatinine levels. However, Calcium Carbonate or a quality chitosan-based nutritional supplement will help.

If you are only stage 2, you likely do not need all of that - just a quality diet will do the trick and you vet should be able to help you pick that out. Keep away from dry food, a few cat treats are fine.

As for actual recipes, start at ItchmoForums CRF food recipes. Again, your cat may not be far enough along to need a low protein recipe, but adding natural nitrogen binders will help and may be all you need besides a high moisture diet to keep your cat running well.

Oh, one advantage to a natural diet.... the cat box smell is reduced dramatically! No kidding, we never smell poop now.

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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
I know this is really really late, but I'd love to see those recipes. I'm currently taking care of a rescue cat with kidney problems (only stage 2, tho) and want to take good care of her while I'm responsible for her.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:26 PM   #19
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Thanks so much for all the info, Buttercup! Kitty is doing all right, but she still has a lot of weight to gain from being starved so comprehensively. The vet also recommended as little dry as possible, we're offering it to her between her three meals of wet food. The vet did say that she thought a good diet might heal her condition, so it might be acute rather than chronic. (She's at a cattery at the moment, so while they're willing to care for her, I suspect homemade food might be out of the possible just yet.)
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:35 AM   #20
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Well, if her BUN/Creatinine levels put her at Stage 2, she is at stage 2....There is noting that can improve that, Kidney function is reduced. That is that. The blood tests do not lie. So treat her as well as you and they can. She will not get better.

Our little man went from a soft stage 2 to a solid stage 3 in a matter of a few months. and I suspect that it had something to do with the anesthesia he has to remove yet another bad tooth. He remains at that level today, but better now that we are treating him....
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:02 AM   #21
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Hummm, that's odd, because I'm pretty sure she said that there's a diff between chronic and acute kidney failure.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:10 AM   #22
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You're probably describing CRI (Chronic Renal Insufficiency) rather than CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) which is a condition where the kidneys still function but not enough to meet the body's requirements rather than complete kidney failure. A regular flushing with additional IM fluids helps to rid the body of excessive waste accumulation and this can extend a kitty's quality life by years.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #23
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From all I have read online, Renal Insufficiency is synonymous with CKD/CRF except that insufficiency is sometimes used to described milder cases of kidney disease. I think I have Googled terabytes of stuff on this... Maybe too much stuff.

http://www.iris-kidney.com/pdf/IRIS%...20of%20CKD.pdf
Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - How Bad Is It?
(I know its Wikipedia but.....Renal failure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
chronic renal insufficiency VS chronic kidney disease
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:38 AM   #24
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I think that's right - the medical profession makes a distinction for some reason that's not clear to me. The way that I see it, if your kidneys don't clean your blood enough for you to stay alive then they've failed. It may just be some sly double speak to make you feel better about a tragic situation and an attempt to manipulate you into heroic measures (though I didn't need it - my little buddy was my best friend so I did everything possible). The medical profession seems to base this distinction on the consistent BUN levels measured in the blood tests.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #25
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yea - a measure of the impending doom that awaits you.... Has not completely failed you but certainly heading that way.... Our little man's levels started heading south sometime after a tooth extraction - prior to which, he had stage 2 levels, about what you might expect from a 16 year old cat.

I am content that I /we can treat him and let him have a few more months/years of sitting in the window under impossibly hot sun. But also, now that we know what we are dealing with, when we have to do what is inevitable, I think we will be better prepared to deal with it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:19 PM   #26
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My little buddy developed CRI at age 15 and by giving him IM fluids 3 times a week I was able to give him 3 more quality years before cardiomyopathy finally took him. His BUN numbers were in the normal range just days before.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #27
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IM - not Sub-q? That must have hurt the poor fellow... We have our little IV bag, hose and a box on fresh needles. We even have a Sharps container to put the used needles.

I warm the bag on the heater so it isn't too cold. 150 ml later - he is done and ready for his kitty treats - which he gets for being a trooper.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:14 PM   #28
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Sorry, I meant Sub-q - not really a medical professional here. I used the wall lamp by the door of my AS as a bag warmer - using one, two or three bulbs as required by the air temp inside. My kitty always got lots of petting while he was getting his fluids so he didn't mind the needle stick at all once I got proficient at it.
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