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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry this is long. I need advice on how to get my kitty to gain weight with early signes of kidney issues.

I have an 11 year old femaile blue cream tabby tortie. She is just adorable. High energy, loves to play. She suddenlty started drinking more water and having huge clumps in the litter box. Then I found where she had urinated outside the litter box for the first time ever. I took her into the vet and they ran a full blood panel and took urine samples. No infection. Thyroid, Bun and Creatine values were all well within the normal range, but her urine was very watery. She has also lost weight and is very skinny. In the past 6 months she has dropped just over 1 lb in weight. She eats plenty of food, but tends to throw up a lot. I mostly attributed the vomiting to hairballs because she is also an OCD cat that mows her fur on her abdomen and front and rear legs. The vet indicated that the excessive thirst, urinating, and watery urine is an early sign of possible kidney issues and wants her to be on the K/D food and wants to have her kidney values tested every 6 months. This was on Friday of last week. Over the weekend I started to introduce the K/D dry food by mixing a small amount with her current food. I also decided to try the Hi-Tro Neo wet even though she does not like wet food because it is better for her and it has a higher fat content. She ate about a table spoon of the food and then was not interested in any more. She seemed to be doing really well over the weekend. Eating, playing, etc. However, last night when I got home from work, she did not want to snuggle, did not want her beloved hair ball treats, and would not eat anything. There were some small signs of liquid vomit with no food in it and there was a lot of stuff in the box. ( possible loose stool) She just wanted to be by herself hunkered down. by 11:00 pm I was able to get her to eat about a tsp of tuna, 4 pieces of dry kibble and a few licks of some of the Hi Tro Neo warmed with some chicken broth. I was seriously considering taking her to the vet this am. However, by the time I woke up around 6:00 she had eaten the remaining tuna, finished the wet food and I think she had even had some kibble. She also wanted her hairball treats and felt like playing.

So, did I just upset her system by introducing too much of the new food too fast, or do I need to bring her back into the vet? Also, the vet that was treating her is now on vacation until next Tuesday.

Thanks for reading this incredibly long post.

Elizabeth
 

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Hi Elizabeth
Sorry your kitty is not feeling well, you said the vet ran full blood work, do you have a copy of the blood work? If not could you call the vet and get a copy( for your records) I would be interested in knowing what her Blood Glucose Level is. Feline Diabetes
would also explain the weight loss,excessive thirst,huge clumps in the litter box. A cats B/G should be between 50-120. Some vets say its normal to have a cats B/G up to 250 ( at least mine did, until my boy almost died with DKA(Diabetic Ketoacidosis) If nothing else (if you don't have a copy of the blood work) you could call your vet and ask what her B/G was.
You can also give her 1/4 tablet of pepcid A/C twice a day to help with her upset tummy
 

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My cat got the same stuff around the identical age. Hate that disease. She too never ever peed outside liter box till after disease.

I had to give her IV shots either once every day for a bit, or every 2nd day then when she was good it was very rare. That usually got her appetite back up..
 

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Elizabeth,

There are some members on this board with way too much experience with renal failure in cats, myself included. We have recently provided some useful information on another related thread which you should read. You can find it here:

http://www.catforum.com/forum/38-he...d-out-cat-has-kidney-failure-crf-what-do.html

In order to provide you with the most relevant and potentially helpful information and suggestions, we really need to see your cat's most recent lab results. If you have them, please post them to this thread using the same format that you'll find in the thread I linked above. If you don't have them, I STRONGLY recommend that you go to your vet clinic and obtain a copy ASAP.

BTW, when you post your cat's lab results, please post ALL of the blood values, including those that are in normal range. What is "normal" for a healthy cat is not necessarily "normal" for an aged or chronically ill cat. We need to see it all to put the results into accurate context.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice. I will call the vet to see about getting a copy of the lab results.

The vet did mention giving the cat pepcid, however, this cat is impossible to medicate. The one time I have ever had to medicate her she started frothing at the mouth, fought me and when I did eventually manage to get her to swallow the pill, she forced herself to vomit it up within 5 minutes. She also does not like any pill pockets. This was for antibiotics and pain meds after a dental cleaning several years ago. I don't want my cat to end up hating me, but I can see where the pepcid would really help. The symptoms she exhibited last evening appear to be in-line with stomach acid problems. Please keep in mind that this is an extremely willful cat that does not like to be held or caged in any way and will fight you if you try. She is the cat that is immediately out of the carrier and roaming around the room at the vet. The vet indicated that I could get pepcid compounded, but based on the cat's past issues with medications, she didn't want to go that route just yet.
 

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The vet did mention giving the cat pepcid, however, this cat is impossible to medicate. The one time I have ever had to medicate her she started frothing at the mouth, fought me and when I did eventually manage to get her to swallow the pill, she forced herself to vomit it up within 5 minutes.
Chances are that the meds you had to give her before were extremely foul tasting; thus the battle. If she won't willingly eat pill pockets or any other squishable treat, here is the best way I know of administering pills to an unwilling cat. First, go to a local pharmacy and buy some empty size 3 or 4 gelcaps from the pharmacist. Not all pharmacies carry gelcaps that small, but if you call around, you should be able to find them. Alternately, they can easily be purchased online. Also, buy a pill cutter and a pet piller (thin, rubber-tipped pill shooter).

When you cut a Pepcid AC into quarters, each quarter will easily fit into a #3 or 4 gelcap. This hides the taste of the med to eliminate at least that objection for your cat. Coat the gelcap with butter and insert it into the piller.

Mix a small amount of your cat's favorite canned food with warm water or offer her some salt-free chicken broth or tuna juice. You just want her to take a few laps of something to wet her throat so that she will be able to swallow the gelcap easily. Fill a needless syringe with a cc or two of liquid (water, broth, whatever).

Kneel on the floor with her between your knees, mouth facing away from you. Have the loaded piller and needless syringe within easy reach. Grab the scruff of her neck and lift only her front feet off the ground. Quickly and carefully insert the piller in the side of her mouth and deposit the gelcap as far back on her tongue as possible. Immediately follow that with the cc or two of liquid (administered across her tongue, not directly at the back of her throat) to force her to swallow and to help float the gelcap down her throat. Put her front feet back down on the floor, release her, and offer her the canned food/broth/whatever that you started with.

With some practice, a cool head, and swift delivery, that technique should work to get necessary meds into your feisty girl.

Laurie
 

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My cat Felix was eventually on 5 different medicines and had to take some twice a day for a total of 9 meds per day. We couldn't pill him in the regular way because, like your cat, he was impossible to medicate and we didn't want to cause him any extra stress. Even our vet couldn't get a pill down his throat!

When he first started taking pills, we could just hide them in the wet food and he would eat them.

When that stopped working, we went to pillpockets, which worked for a few months. I found that not using the whole pill pocket worked best - I would just use enough to "wrap" the pill, making sure that I didn't get any of the pill smell on the outside of the pill pocket.

Then I used temptation treats, because they were soft and I could hide the pill(s) in them. That also didn't work after a few more months.

We tried the compounded meds, which sometimes worked, but were very very expensive (we used it as a backup for days we couldn't get him to take the pill forms.)

We finally hit on putting the pills in the gelcaps and putting it in his favorite wet food - he couldn't taste the pills and would eat the pills 90% of the time.

So, you might want to try putting the pepcid in her hairball treats (if they are soft), since she likes those, or try the gelcaps in some tuna or a really smelly wetfood. I just got the gelcaps from our vet's office.

Through all of this I was in tears some of the time, but I found if I calmed down and believed that it would be "a good pill day", it made a difference. I think Felix was feeding on my anxiety. That may sound silly, but it worked.

Also, have you had her tested for diabetes or hyperthyroid?
 

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Hi Elizabeth,

I'm the person who posted the thread that Laurie referenced ;} I have been struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally with my 14-year-old cat's kidney failure diagnosis, and I've come to several conclusions -

I'm convinced that the "kidney" diets are just utter crap designed so vets can make some extra money off of scared, concerned pet owners who have just been told their pet has this-or-that disease.

The Science Diet k/d is absolutely PACKED with grains and grain by-products, which are completely unnecessary for cats. K/d dry lists Brewers Rice and Corn Gluten Meal as their FIRST ingredients. Cats should be on a grain-free diet, hands down.

There is also very little actual, scientific evidence that these so-called "low-protein diets" are helpful for cats with early kidney failure. In fact, reducing protein has been shown to HARM cats, especially elderly ones - they begin to experience wasting and muscle loss.

So, I would recommend taking a moment to think about your kitty's diet. It's much, much better to keep her on a food she WILL eat rather than trying to force her onto one of these so-called "prescription" diets!

My cat wouldn't touch the Royal Canin or Science Diet prescription foods, and she only eats the Hi-Tor Neo unwillingly. I've transitioned her to a commercial raw diet, and she is much happier and actually has an appetite.

Also, it seems like you mentioned your kitty does not like wet food...? Does that mean you have her on a kibble diet now?

If possible, step #1 should be to get her off the kibble. Entirely. Kibble is dehydrating and if she has kidney issues, she does NOT need to be adding to the issue with kibble. She needs to be switched to a raw or canned-food diet as soon as possible, because she is going to need the extra moisture. She may be drinking water now, but CKD is a progressive disease, and eventually the drinking will not be enough - and the kibble will be making it worse meanwhile.

See if your vet thinks your kitty needs a B12 shot - I saw a feline-only specialist and she gave my old girl a B12 shot, and it perked her up considerably.

Have you tried adding a hairball gel to her diet? I used to keep my cat on hairball treats, but she still had issues. I switched to this stuff and haven't had a problem since (even though my cat seems to ingest her own weight in her own fur daily) -

Hairball Paw-Gel for Cats CHICKEN LIVER FLAVOR - Nutri-Vet

I just whap an inch of the stuff on her paw every other night and she gives me a dirty look and proceeds to lick it off. ;}

Anyway -

In an elderly cat, if there is any mention of potential kidney issues, I think you should take her back to be re-tested sooner than 6 months. I'd do it again in a month or two just to make sure she isn't slipping into CKD. I know taking her to the vet is a hassle, but it's best to be proactive and maybe a little paranoid!

Also make sure your vet takes her blood pressure, if they didn't already.

Good luck, and let us know how things are going!
 

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LakotaWolf,

I would caution you against giving a hairball remedy that frequently. Those GI lubricants can interfere with dietary nutrient absorption, and Win needs all the nutrients she can get.

Laurie
 
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