Raw diet for a cat with Chronic Kidney Disease - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Raw diet for a cat with Chronic Kidney Disease

Hi, I'm new here!

I have a 7 year old indoor cat, Milner, who's being treated for trauma-induced (we think he either fell off a ledge and down my stairwell or was accidentally pounced on by one of the dogs) CKD. He's maintaining very well and you'd never know he was "ill". His last bloodwork was done a little over a week ago and most of his kidney values weren't far from normal. My vet gave us the OK to decrease his subQ fluids from 7 days a week to 3-4 days a week (YAY!). The vet also prescribed him Hill's k/d several weeks ago, which he likes and eats, but there's got to be a healthier diet for him than that garbage that'll still maintain good kidney function. I can't find a whole lot of info on raw diets for kidney cats. Could anybody point me in the right direction? I just placed a huge order so I can switch all of the other cats and dogs to prey model raw. Ideally, I'd like to do something similar for Milner, though I read that a lot of bone wouldn't be appropriate for a CKD cat.

Anyone heard of Feline Instincts? They have a supplement mix for kidney support that you're supposed to use along with a provided raw recipe. Feline (CRF) Kidney Failure Diet Part of me is tempted to try this, but a bigger part of me thinks it could possibly be a waste and wonders if I could achieve the same results on a regular raw diet without all the extra stuff. Anyone have any input or experience?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 10:20 PM
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I've heard/read about Feline Instincts multiple times. It seems to me (my perception - not necessarily reality) to be used and promoted primarily be folks who are still somewhat inexperienced with raw and/or are not fully confident of either the raw diet itself or their ability to provide a balanced menu.

I do not give my cats any supplements at all.

That said, you have to be careful because your cat's health is already compromised. Changing diets causes changes in a cat's digestive system in several ways; the only experience I have is with cats that are (at least believed to be) completely healthy. I think it would be wise to start with a diet specifically geared to your kitty's condition and then, maybe, tweak it a little as you gain more experience/confidence/knowledge.

Hopefully, someone with a CKD cat will drop in soon with more solid input than mine.

Kudos to you for managing your kitty's health!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

Yes, I don't plan on using any supplements for the other animals' diets either. I just wonder if this would benefit his special needs since it's specifically a kidney support supplement paired with a kidney support diet. I've done so much reading since his diagnosis and even more in the past couple of weeks and a lot of those ingredients do seem to be suggested for renal support by an awful lot of holistic pet sites...

They have a one month and a five month supply of the supplement powder. The one month supply is $14.75 and it includes the salmon oil that the diet recipe calls for. I'll have basically all of the other ingredients for the recipe from the others animals' regular raw diet, sooooo... I might just give this a try. Hydration is probably the single most important treatment for CKD and this diet contains a HECK of a lot more moisture than k/d kibble, that's for darn sure! Also, it's formulated to be a lower protein diet but the protein source is of a much higher quality than prescription dry food. I can't see how this could hurt anything but my wallet, it's GOT to be more beneficial than what he's eating now. Right??

Milner and I are going for follow up bloodwork in about a week and a half to see how the subQ fluid decrease is affecting his kidney values. I plan on mentioning all of this to my vet but I doubt he'll be very supportive, being that he's a traditional vet. We have a very good relationship, so I feel comfortable using an "I'm going to do it whether you agree with me or not so you might as well help me do it properly" approach

If anyone has opinions on this supplement, either through personal experience of based on the ingredients, I'm very eager to hear them!

Last edited by RachelsaurusRexU; 08-14-2010 at 02:05 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 07:43 AM
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Hi! Honestly ANYTHING would be better than KD for your cat. It sounds like your cat has pretty mild renal insufficiency and KD really should not be fed to any animal who isn't in end stage renal disease. That much protein restriction could lead to much bigger problems.

I think going with a natural formulated diet for kidney cats is the way to go. Due to their specific dietary needs, I can see why a supplement might be necessary. There is yahoo group for Felinecrf that will be of some help to you. Also Tanya's crf page if you haven't already been there is a god-send.

If your vet is willing. There is a company called BalanceIt.com they formulated a cooked diet for my dog with renal insufficiency (but also sold me their supplement) (she also has IBD) My vet had to provide a history for their vet and a diet tailored exactly to her needs was forumlated that she is doing quite well on. They do diets for cats as well. I don't know if they do raw diets. I kind of remember that that they dont, but if you decide to go with cooked home prepared, that may be an option for you.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelsaurusRexU View Post
......I can't see how this could hurt anything but my wallet, it's GOT to be more beneficial than what he's eating now. Right??...
ABSOLUTELY!!

And, honestly, I spend more than that on freeze-dried treats every month. 'Cause, I'm a total push-over. *rolls eyes at self*
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Kobster, thank you for that info! I just joined the Yahoo group and I have Tanya's CRF page bookmarked. I will talk to my vet about BalanceIt.com and see what he says.

I agree that Milner's case is quite mild. I'm actually a little confused by the diagnosis... Several weeks ago Milner fell very ill. It was sudden and within a matter of a couple days he went from slight lethargy (which I originally attributed to a couple 95-105* days we had) to total lack of appetite and being so weak and painful that he would barely walk around. Of course I got him straight to the vet. He drew blood and took urine, which he said looked cloudy, bloody and all around AWFUL, so he put Mil on antibiotics thinking it was the result of an infection. The next day he called me and said Milner's kidney values came back very strange, definitely not normal, but didn't really fit with any condition he'd seen either. He said they were "All over the place" and to see what happens with the antibiotics and call him if Milner worsened. Not even two days later, Milner began vomiting constantly. He was spending a lot of time hiding in weird places, which is very strange for him. We went back to the vet and he thought Milner needed to be hospitalized. I had done so much reading that I was bombarding Dr.Wells with "Could it be Addison's? Could it be Lyme? Could it be CRF/CKD? Is my cat dying?" He didn't think it was any of those things but couldn't pinpoint what it was. After the second round of bloodwork Dr. Wells called me and said Milner's kidney's had "crashed and burned". Mil was hospitalized for over a week, in which time they took xrays (which showed no obstruction, mass, or anything), got him rehydrated, started him on aluminum hydroxide and got him eating. Toward the end of Mil's stay, Wells did bloodwork again and told me that his values were still on the high side, but the best thing I could do was get him back home and continue treatment here. He also discovered that Milner was having trouble with one of his hind legs. It would sort of pop out at the knee from time to time and he looked uncomfortable walking on it now that he was finally feeling well enough to be mobile again. That's when he came to the conclusion that there was some type of accident and all of this was a result of physical trauma to his back end and kidneys.

In the last few weeks, Milner has just flourished. He's back to a good, healthy appetite, started getting very antsy during his fluids, is wrestling with/chasing the other cats again and has regained the ability to jump up on things lower than the kitchen counter. I don't think the vet expected him to make such a recovery based on his previous condition and all of his bloodwork. And like I said, the last time we had it checked everything was pretty close to normal except his creatinine, which was elevated but vastly improved since the last panel.

Dr. Wells has never officially named it, but obviously we're treating it like CKD. I mean, if the kidneys practically shut down and that damage was done, his kidneys will never FULLY recover and that would be considered a chronic disorder, right? I also read of acute renal failure and very opposing things about it. One site said cats usually don't pull through it, and one said that cats normally recover from it and its not degenerative like CKD. What gives?

Either way, I do think he'd benefit from a real kidney support diet and I look forward to finding the right one for him.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 12:18 PM
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Were you feeding him Nutro at the time he got sick? If not, what was he eating?

This sounds an awful lot like one of the many nutrient imbalances that plague commercial products.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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No, it wasn't Nutro. They were all on Blue Buffalo duck, dry. He was eating and so were the other cats. Nobody else got sick...

They're now on Wellness canned chicken formula (except Milner) until our raw order comes in. God, I can't wait to switch. I've HAD IT with pet food.

Last edited by RachelsaurusRexU; 08-14-2010 at 02:46 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 07:46 AM
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It does sound more like Acute kidney failure. The thing with ARF is, IF they survive the crisis, they usually are just fine and live a good long life. It depends on what caused the crisis. It will of course cause damage, but won't be progressive like CRF is. Since he's come out the other side of things, I would hope for ARF. Keep a close eye on his labwork. He may not need a renal diet at all in a few weeks.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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That would be pretty awesome! Then I could put him on a regular prey model raw diet which will benefit him anyway!

Thanks for the help and suggestions, guys. Keep your paws crossed and I'll keep you updated!
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