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Old 09-20-2011, 11:17 PM   #1
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Our Little Buddy is sick...

Many who have rallied with us know we bring our cats. And our little buddy Toro, whom I have taken to calling "The Old Man" is in veterinary hospital now with kidney failure. He is 16 years old and has been lethargic lately. I noticed increased pee output in the litter box (that is a sign that should not be ignored). He had become lethargic and has had a decreased appetite and of course lost a ton of weight (as far as cats are concerned).
A blood test confirmed that his little kidneys were not working well at all. At this point, in hospital, we are trying to get his body flushed out so we can bring him home.
My hope and expectation is that we will be able to treat him at home as best as we can to prolong his life rather than than to just simply euthanize him on the spot. I doing research on the subject I found that many pet owners have extended the lives of their cats years beyond the doctors prognosis by doing things like home based Sub-Q treatments. Renal failure is the 2nd most common cause of death for domestic felines. A simple procedure like nightly needle pokes to our cat may just give us a few more months with out beloved Toro Torodopolis.
This video shows a procedure to help prolong the life of your cat if you should you find yourself in the same position as we are in. It is simple and painless for the cat.

Giving (sub-q) sub-cutaneous fluids to our kitty cat (Good for sick cat with Kidney failure) - YouTube
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:55 PM   #2
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I feel sorry for you and mostly Toro. Please talk to you vet before relying on "YOU TUBE" Yes, one can prolong the life of your friend for weeks, months or even up to a year. But you are only doing this for you and not your Toro. With the shots, he will be lethargic for a day and than act like a kitten for 2-3 days and than become more and more lethargic and might have some seizures. Than the cycle starts over.
We have had 5 feline family members of which 4 were males that died of kidney failure.
Please talk to your vet and do what is right for Toro. Our prayers are with you and Toro.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:26 AM   #3
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This is sad to hear...We recently lost one of our dogs to her chronic illness, and even though we knew it was coming, it was still hard. We had to give her sub-q fluids many times... We are thinking of you...
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:40 AM   #4
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I am so sorry that Toro is so sick. There is an informative site called veterinarypartner.com which has great articles and information on kidney failure. There are subcutaneous fluids and medications that you can give at home that can often make cats feel much better for at least a short period of time. I have had some cats respond beautifully to home care and others that continue to fail but you do not know until you try. Take care, Susan
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:36 AM   #5
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So sorry to hear this. We went through it a couple of years ago. Fluids gave us quite a few more months...probably 6 or 8. Its tough to go through this process.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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2vets - thanks for the link, I read through that and gained better understanding of what is happening for Toro there. The Vet said he was stage 3 and I now know better just what that means. It will allow me to ask better questions to the doctor when we get ready to bring Toro home.
In terms of quality of life, Toro is still quite spry and lively. He is slower but not as bad as the last 2 cats I had who succumbed to the same thing.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
Many who have rallied with us know we bring our cats. And our little buddy Toro, whom I have taken to calling "The Old Man" is in veterinary hospital now with kidney failure. He is 16 years old and has been lethargic lately. I noticed increased pee output in the litter box (that is a sign that should not be ignored). He had become lethargic and has had a decreased appetite and of course lost a ton of weight (as far as cats are concerned).
A blood test confirmed that his little kidneys were not working well at all. At this point, in hospital, we are trying to get his body flushed out so we can bring him home.
My hope and expectation is that we will be able to treat him at home as best as we can to prolong his life rather than than to just simply euthanize him on the spot. I doing research on the subject I found that many pet owners have extended the lives of their cats years beyond the doctors prognosis by doing things like home based Sub-Q treatments. Renal failure is the 2nd most common cause of death for domestic felines. A simple procedure like nightly needle pokes to our cat may just give us a few more months with out beloved Toro Torodopolis.
This video shows a procedure to help prolong the life of your cat if you should you find yourself in the same position as we are in. It is simple and painless for the cat.

Giving (sub-q) sub-cutaneous fluids to our kitty cat (Good for sick cat with Kidney failure) - YouTube

It is always sad when one of our four pawed travel buddies craters. They just don't have the life span we humans do, and they touch our hearts so deeply that when they pass on it hurts very deeply. We've been giving our 17 year old cat nightly dialysis and it has made a huge difference. There are days though when we think he is down for the final count, lethargic and not eating, but by the next day (sometimes it take two or once it took three) he is back up and back to his normal happy self. Just lately he's lost quite a bit of weight though and that is not a happy sign, but we will ride it out. The nightly injection is no big deal now that we have it down pat (took a day or two to get it to the point where we knew exactly how to do it quickly) and we reward him afterward with a treat and do not let him go and hide under something, he is carried to where one of us is sitting and petted and talked to for a while, then he will sit with us for the rest of the night. When we travel we carry on the routine and have had zero issues. Good luck with Toro.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:27 AM   #8
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Buttercup, you can indeed extend your little buddy's life perhaps even for years with careful, regular treatment if his kidneys aren't too far gone. First of all, you need to begin regular subcutaneous hydration to help his partially functioning kidneys to flush the wastes out of his system.

I can show you where to get the Lactated Ringer's solution and necessary supplies to begin this process. PM me and I'll send you the info.

Normally you setup an every other day schedule but I was able to successfully implement a weekly repeating schedule by skipping one extra day using more fluid throughout the week.

Your buddy will also develop an acid stomach which must be dealt with and I was able to treat that using Pepcid, which I ground up in a mortar and pestle and added water to make a slurry that I was able to dispense with an eye dropper.

Kidney infections are common and they must be dealt with. Strong, long acting antibiotic shots given by the vet are the best solution to these.

I was able to extend my little buddy's life by 3 quality years and I'm glad that I took the time to treat him now that he's gone.

I can give you tips and techniques that I learned along the way if you would like. Shoot me an email and I'll respond.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #9
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I'm very sorry to hear you are going through this. Stay strong and I'm sure you'll figure out the best thing to do for your friend. We also had a cat that we did sub-q fluids for, but she had other problems as well that finally took her. The treatment isn't too bad to do. Every animal is different, and only you and your vet can determine if you should do it or not. You'll know from their quality of life. Take care.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Wow, I am impressed at the number of people who have done what we are planning to do. I am completely unafraid to do the sub-q and have been looking over Toro's blood results. The more I educate myself, the more I am sure that we can give Toro the one thing he loves most, sitting in the window if full sun until his fur starts to smolder from the heat.
I have found some other great sites that have information about renal failure. The latest one is Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Renal Failure. And the message is that it is not an immediate death sentence to have a cat with renal failure.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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I am so sorry to hear about Toro! I had a 21 year old cat that lived another 6 months because I did the sub Q fluids at home. It isn't difficult and the cat really doesn't seem to mind the procedure. You can do this!

All the best to you and little Toro,

Ken
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:48 PM   #12
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Buttercup, I am so sorry that your four legged family member is so very sick. I too, lost one to renal failure last year. Yes, you can prolong their life with what you are suggesting. But then the question becomes who are you keeping them alive for ? You or the animal. I know that letting go is the hardest thing to do, was there just last month with Alexandra. My counsel to you would be not to keep him alive for your sake, but let him go with dignity for his sake. And when he takes that final journey, hold him, comfort him, and tell him how much you loved him and how proud you were that God chose you to be his family. Keep him close in your and you will never be far from him. My thoughts are with you
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:47 PM   #13
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Toro is home and sleeping in Kimber's arms. He is generally quite weak and suffering a case of ventroflexion (his head is drooping to the floor - he cannot lift it up exactly). This is probably due to the low potassium levels in his body. Google it to see what it is like. At first we thought he was drugged but I think his overall weakness is part due to the low potassium levels he likely has right now after 3 days of IV fluids.
He is eating and actually doing well enough to use the litter box and walk around. And no doubt he is much happier to be home - no doubt!
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:08 AM   #14
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Well, not too content with simply waiting for Toro to rebound before we can start sub-Q treatments, I went in town and picked up a bottle of potassium gluconate, 99 mg. I converted the dose over to mEq and saw that he could take 4 pills easily and still not equate the daily Renal K+ brand dose of potassium gluconate gel.
So, I poured an entire ground up pill onto some low protein food and he licked it up and ate like a fiend.
Little by little he is able to lift up his head and he is walking less like a drunk sailor (personal experience here) and more like his normal self - the noble sailor that he is.
He did his normal routine of sitting in every sunny spot in the house, eventually winding up in the bedroom, where the heated mattress will provide him all the comfort that he needs.
I can see in Toro's eyes that he is quite happy to be home. He even is tolerating Mojave's presence around him. This is the best place on the planet for him. His doctor and I spoke this morning about his first night home and he is quite happy that he is doing as well as he is.
With renal failure being as comon as it is, I am surprised that there are not more resources out there for pet owners with these cats and dogs. For example, the local Petsmart store sold Royal Canin brand food, but not the Renal Failure low protein diet food. The sales clerk stated that they could not sell that item without having a vet on staff, which I thought was BS. Looking around I found the "Simply Nourish" brand of food that is low protein (10%) and has no bad stuff - in other words, a very good candidate for cats with CRF. No prescription needed here! We bought 3 cans to try it out and Toro ate it up with an entire 99 mg of potassium gluconate sprinkled on top. Yum, yum, all gone - better than Gerber baby food (for those who know what I mean).
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