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Old 12-30-2012, 01:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I have a CRF cat and need advice

My Jasper (8 year old male) has just been diagnosed with CRF. The doctor didn't put him in a stage, but according to Tanya's guide, he seems to be a late stage 2/early stage 3. When he first got sick, he was not eating or drinking. This was first noticed on Christmas eve. By the 26th, he had still not eaten but was drinking, so I took him to the vet. He received some SQ fluids, a vitamin B injection, and they took a UA and cbc/chem.

We took him home that night and he perked up and ate a little bit. The next day, the results came in. Everything was normal except for his BUN (45), creatinine (3.5), and his proteinurine (1+). His specific gravity and concentration were perfect. He was taken back to the hospital and stayed for a few days to stay on an IV drip and start his meds (Benazepril). Last night, he had another round of tests done and we got the results this morning. His BUN had dropped to high normal range (33) and his creatinine had dropped (2.9). We took him home along with his meds and some can Renal LP.

He got home and we prepared a can. I tried mixing in his normal dry (IAMs) and some fancy feast. He didn't want to eat it of course (not even my healthy cat would who will eat anything). I force fed him a little bit. I am also leaving out his IAMS. Anything he wants to eat, he will get for now. Problem is, he still doesn't feel like eating and he still looks terrible and he looks like he still feels miserable. Is this normal? He didn't eat in the hospital, and he needs to eat something.

Does anyone else have experience with a cat like this? Will he not bounce back? He is hydrated and his levels are down. Why is he still not eating? I have read Tanya's guide but I would like some more feedback. Thank you eveyrone.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Also, does anyone have any advice on other renal foods? I was thinking of trying the IAMs version. I'm hoping it would be similar in taste to his old food. Or better yet, something great for renal cats with no by-products in it? After reading several other posts, it sounds like IAMs is the devil!

Last edited by nicweb1; 12-30-2012 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi nicweb1, and welcome to the forum!

Just a couple of quick recommendations for you: If Jasper were here, I would be getting some food into him immediately. Cats cannot go without eating close to their minimum calorie requirements for very long...before they begin to develop a very serious liver disease ("hepatic lipidosis" or 'fatty liver disease').

If you can, pick up some of this food from the Vet's office: "Hill's a/d"". This is the one: a/dŽ Canine/Feline Critical Care - Canned This will be the easiest one to use for now, it's high in calories, it flows through feeding syringes very easily.

"Force feeding?".....you are going to have a much easier time of this if you get into the mindset of assist-feeding...you're helping, NOT forcing - this may seem trivial but, believe me, it can make all the difference - for you, and, for Jasper.

You must be extremely careful that Jasper does not aspirate - breathe in - the liquid food...if that happens, there's a great risk for another serious condition (aspiration pneumonia). So, little drops at a time, put into the sides of his mouth, he swallows, a few more drops. NEVER squirt/put anything straight down a cat's throat.

There's lots of info on this page AssistFeed.com: Advice to help a sick cat who will not eat

A quick video course here

If you need more help, there's a group of people online 24/7 here Feline-Assisted-Feeding : Feline-Assisted-Feeding

Now, you asked about "other renal foods"........for now, don't worry about them. This Hill's a/d is close enough to the 'renal food requirements' that it pass for now. The fact is, there are many other foods that people safely use for kidney cats....many people ditch these "prescription" diets and use selected high quality alternatives. But, again, for now, the a/d would be perfect.

If you can't get a/d today, see if you can find a can of Wellness grain-free canned Turkey: Wellness Turkey Recipe and, using a blender, turn it into a smooth, slurry, "thin" enough to go through the feeding syringe.

It's very probable that he will have excess stomach acid - there's a "human med" you can safely use for this: Pepcid AC. Here's some info about this: Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Nausea, Vomiting, Appetite Loss and Excess Stomach Acid

Hopefully, there's enough here to get you started and feel a little more at ease.

Dealing with kidney disease is very much like a balancing act - the natural balance of things is skewed...our job is to make interventions that help re-balance their systems.
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