Home > Caregiver Feedback > Page Twelve

Caregiver Feedback

Page Twelve

Caregiver Feedback (Page 12)

The opinions expressed in the Caregiver Feedback pages are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Feline CRF Information Center.

I would like to share some experiences I had with Méia, my 13 years old siamese cat: about 3 years ago she had to have teeth tartar removed, own to an infection in on tooth ( that has to be removed) and shortly after she began to present bladder problems - difficulties to urinate and mucus and blood in urine. The vet put her on a kidney protective diet and for about one and a half year there weren't further problems - then we noted that her appetite was progressively decreasing. Thinking it was caused by the monotonous diet we lifted it 2 or 3 times a week but only with poor results and she was going to be thiner and thiner, urinating and drinking more and more water. The vet ( a good professional), called again, took blood and urine samples and diagnosed "Chronic Renal Failure" (CRF)

Méia overcame the crisis with the usual medication in these cases - a medicine against nausea and stomach problems, force feeding and a preventive antibiotic due to her weakness, but all the same the prognosis wasn't good. Meanwhile I turned the web upside down after something that eventually could offer an alternative solution. I'm a biologist and worked several years researching plants containing bioactive substances in Brazil and with a hint and another I came to Phyllantus niruri, also known as "stone breaker tea" ( = chá de quebra pedra, here). It is a common plant here and I already knew about it benefical and proved effects agains kidney and gallblader stones as well as against hepatitis virus B. With the vet's agreement (there isn't any long term work proving that P. niruri is effective against CRF) we began giving Meia 10 ml of its tea (oraly) every day and are amazed on its good effects. She began to eat normally, put on weight, started to play again and presently nobody would say that there is something wrong with her.

There is a site that presents a good summary of the plant properties at http://www.rain-tree.com/chanca.htm

Note that I don't know or recommend their products and can assure you that this plant isn't an "herbal secret from the rainforest", as its grows anywhere here in Brazil and most people have at least heard about it. In case you are interested in more about it enter Phyllantus niruri at Google or other search engine. If you wish to, contact me and I'll try to be as useful as I can.

Best wishes
Ro Consoli
rota1@uol.com.br


I have been treating my 14 year old orange tiger cat for almost 4 years now. He was diagnosed with a very severe case of CRF a week before my wedding, and was to be euthanized 2 days before the ceremony. My vet recognized my agony and suggested the sub Q treatments to get him through the "honeymoon" period so that I could make the "final" decision after the wedding when I was in a much better frame of mind. Well, that was 4 years ago, and to this day, (knock on wood) T.K. is still receiving subQ's only once a week, along with a diet of Hill k/d. I do not administer the subQ's to him at home. I do make the visit weekly to the vets, that way I feel that he knows that when he is home, he is "safe". Lucky for me, the vets office loves the little guy and charges me minimally.

Just a suggestion, I have found on those days when T.K. doesn't have interest in his food, I give him the water from canned green beans, lima beans and chick peas. He absolutely loves it. It is gone within seconds and somehow it seems to stimulate his appetite within moments to take to his k/d. I also will sometimes mix the water from tuna cans in with his food, which also works.

Maybe the bean water is only something T.K. likes, but I just thought I would throw it out there as an idea. As we all know, when treating and loving a cat that has no interest in food, we will do whatever it takes to get them to eat. If by chance you know of any other homemade "treats", I would love to find out about them.

Also, I would like to say that I refer to your website often for tips, and also to know that I am not alone in my "ups and downs" with my guy. Parts of it bring tears to me every time, but only because I myself have felt each one of the emotions that you speak of. I appreciate all of the information that your site contains and will suggest it to my vets office for pet owners in the future.

Valerie


Hi, I've had some luck with using Reiki, Bach Flower Remedies, and Science Diet KD formula (the dry stuff). I also give my kitty pure filtered drinking water. She really likes the Natural Choice wet cat food that comes in the bags.

She's had almost a complete loss of kidney function, she's the worst my vet has seen with the urine tests. She's been that way for 1.5 years. You never know how they will do. She recently has been gaining weight and I attribute it to the pure water and the new wet cat food. She likes the food so much, she asks for seconds.

Brushing, Petting and massages help also to keep the blood going to the body, muscles, and skin.

Amber


Thank you for the great information!! It is very helpful at a very difficult time. Just wanted to share something that worked for my Lucky. The only thing she would eat was very little of one kind of baby food and very little water. When buying her baby food I bought a bottle of Pedialyte for babies for restoring water and minerals due to vomiting and for dehydration. We noticed almost an immediate improvement in her appetite and now have her back on her own food.(took 3 weeks) We asked the vet and he said at this stage to try anything so I have no idea if it is recommended or not but still have it along with her bottled water and she seems to like both. Thank you again for the great website!!


A possible tip for those kitties who refuse to take anything by mouth (like mine): My cat is only on reglan and sq fluids right now, so this tip is for those cats that are only suffering the side affect of vomiting. I put injectable reglan into her fluid bag and administer it to her when she gets her fluids. She gets them once daily (150-200 mls) unless she vomits than she gets fluids 2x daily to prevent dehydration. This seems to be working. Where she was vomiting daily, she now has short spells, about a day and a half where she vomits, then she's good for at least 5 days! My vets had no idea if this would work, we know that the reglan is stable during IV administration for 3-4 days in a fluid bag, so the thought was to dose out the amount she would get by mouth daily and give it to her via sq fluids.


As the caregiver of two CRF cats, I have found CO-Q10 has given my 19 and 17 year old CRF cats so much energy that the 19 year old leaps and catwalks high areas again and the 17 year old plays again, chases the younger cats and has a terrific mental attitude. Both cats had been going down hill when I decided to administer 30 mg a day to each of them. Each of them have also received 100 ml of lactated ringers daily over a prolonged period of time and this has kept them alive for years.

Wendy Zamecnik


Shoba cat is 17 y/o, was Dx CRF two years ago. Her holistic vet team have supported Shoba beautifully with traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and Jaffe-Mellor therapy. June 10 bloods revealed that our ability to support Shoba so well with alternative meds had maxed out, her kidneys were depleted. We were advised to pull her meds and allow her to cascade in hospice, continuing SQ LRS and one homeopathic kidney drain. At that time I decided to administer a product that Dr. Khalsa had sold me earlier, something she was looking into for its possible benefits to humans and animals in various health/disease conditions. I had been using the neutralizer routinely with my rabbits and began giving Shoba 3 mL orally several times throughout the day. I also used it to blend her favorite foods into the mousse-like soft consistency that she prefers. During the first week, when Shoba should have failed, her incidences of vomiting (pink foam) decreased from several a day to a few a week; today she no longer vomits. Her appetite picked up so that she would eat small meals (1-2 T, 6-8 times a day) and even ask us for (!) more offerings ... after two weeks she regained three ounces of BW. Today she has regained 5 ounces. Her hind quarter weakness has vanished ... we see only the familiar "hitch in her gittalong" that resulted from ACL rerigging several years ago. We had carefully mounted ramps to all of her favorite resting places; she ignores them and blithely hops, skips, jumps, to wherever she wants to go. The awful odor of waste that seemed to pervade every pore of her body has reduced significantly, can only be detected upon close snuggling with our faces right in her fur.

BTW Shoba's blood renal values on 061004 were BUN 151, creatinine 12.6, Phos 19.7, Hematocrit moderately low at 25.3. In the face of those figures we are absolutely amazed at Shoba's rally.

My lay sense of the effect this neutralizer has is that it alkalizes her (relieving the uremic gastritis and esophageal/oral lesions) and detoxifies her, handling some of the waste removal that her depleted kidneys no longer can. I do not know what else to think, except that Shoba shows us daily that she intends to be here in comfort and ease for quite a bit longer than her vets had predicted. We have had CRF kitties over two decades, have never seen any kind of rally or evidence of repair at the end stage of the disease before. These links will provide additional information to anyone who is interested -

Jaffe-Mellor Therapy
Miracle I I Neutralizer
To order: (888) 422-5833, 8:00 AM - 6:00 Pm CST Monday through Friday)


My cat Simon was diagnosed with CRF last August. I started her on a KD diet and started fluids. I also started her on chiropractic treatments twice a month to rejuvenate blood flow to the kidneys. After improvement, the chiropractic treatments were reduced to once a month.

She has improved and her blood work has been steady since March. The BUN has been 40 and creatine has been between 2.9-3.2. Her ALT however has been fluctuating between 110 and 150(mostly 150).

I started giving her wheatgrass. She would not eat the wheatgrass from the pet store (I'm not sure if it's grown with chemicals) so I bought her wheatgrass at Wild Oats Supermarket. It's for human consumption and is actually cheaper. A quarter of a tray (which lasts about a week before turning yellow) costs under $4. She had her blood work up on Monday and her BUN was down to 35 and ALT to 77! I attribute this totally to the addition of wheatgrass to her diet but I believe that the chiropractic treatments also help. She nibbles on wheatgrass throughout the day, like grass and loves it.

I thought your readers may be interested to hear this exciting news. Wheatgrass is a natural, inexpensive supplement that could help other kitties.

Nicole


Your site helped us immensely when our two cats hit second stage CRF over two years ago. We were in total denial before that time. We would like to share a few simple accommodations that we have made over the last two years that have made a huge difference.

Our beloved 16 year old Burmese brothers, Ananda and Zenrin, have been in and out of 3rd stage renal failure for almost a year. We've been hydrating Zenrin for more than two years: Ananda will not tolerate the needle. When our vet described the flu-like nausea that will eventually accompany the disease, significant weight loss became our line in the sand for saying good-bye to these soulmates.

We have made a few simple accommodations that have made a huge difference in their comfort and longevity. Though Ananda will eat NF dryfood, neither boy would tolerate any CRF canned food; but low-protein and low-phosphorus Petreet was a hit. This imported Italian tuna risotto was a great find. Eventually, however, Petreet fell out of favor and we were forced to return to their old favorite Friskies just to keep them eating. Since their taste for particular foods seems to change from day to day, we have two canned foods available at all times. One seems to be received as Poison of the Day, while the alternative usually passes the Taste Test: the choice is never predictable. We also keep an alternative CRF dryfood out, so that Ananda can dismiss it, always with disdain, and choose NF.

Another simple accommodation we have made was providing them a heated bed. By adding the heated bed, their comfort has been enhanced and their daily food requirements have been reduced. A little food, though we offer a lot of food, goes a long way. We built a slightly elevated (3 inches) tray table to hold their food: inverted tableware bowls make great food dish elevators, too. The raised food dishes seems to reduce acid reflux and vomiting. We have also placed their food very close to their bed. Zenrin has moved from hand-feeding to nibbling (and maintaining his weight) throughout the day.

We will sorely miss our boys when their day comes, but we enjoy immensely each and every day we share with them. Our vet is amazed at how well they continue to do. We hope this simple advice may help others in their search for answers in treating CRF.

Sincerely,
Carol and Jim Bartley


Hi,

Thanks for a great site. Our Sydney died on Nov. 22nd after a 3.5 year battle with CRF. Our first vet had a very hands off attitude ("it's terminal, why torture him") and so Sydney really didn't receive any treatment for the first 1.5 years even though he was diagnosed with CRF. Eventually, he started bleeding from the retinas and we switched vets. (German vets, in general, aren't as progressive as their U.S. counterparts I've found.) Our new vet, though, was spectacular and took good care of Sydney.

Our new vet diagnosed the problem as high blood pressure and treated it accordingly but not in time to save his eyesight. We then had an interesting experience in that his BUN and creatinine numbers actually dropped by half about 2 years ago and remained steady until his last blood test in early October. Officially he was still CRF but it wasn't progressing. When Syd became ill he was 12 pounds, at his death he was 4.3. Most of the time he was around 5.5 pounds once he was stabilized 2 years ago.

Our new vet and I had a real partnership in Sydney's treatment and I mentioned the possibility that CRF can be triggered by high blood pressure. She said, in his case, it was possible given the drastic change in BUN and creatinine after he started blood pressure meds. The final weight loss may have been due to a tumor as his last blood test indicated high calcium content.

Sorry...didn't expect this to get so long but I thought that the blood pressure/CRF connection might help someone else if caught early enough. Looking back, had we found his final vet much sooner, at least his quality of life these past 3.5 years would've been better. Not that it was bad but...you always want to do better.

Thanks for reading and kind regards,

Jay


Thank you for your wonderful website. The information is of great value to me and my beautiful Jane. I purchased a tube of Nutri-Cal, a nutritional supplement for sick or anorexic pets. It is available in most pet shops or from your Vet. The manufacturer's phone number is 1-800-267-5707. I use a syringe to administer it.

Somehow this product acts as an appetite stimulant for cats plus it adds important vitamins and other necessary ingredients that may be lacking in your pets' diet if they are not eating.

I cannot take credit for this advice but found it on another website to help cats with CRF. I also purchased cans of Hill's a/d to syringe feed my cat. This food also gives nutritional support to sick or anorexic pets. Your Vet should have it or you can call Hill's at 1-800-445- 5777 to find where it is available in your area.

I hope that I have been able to give back some help to others as you have given me so much guidance and support from your beautiful website. All of you and your beautiful cats are in my thoughts and prayers as I know my Janie will be in yours.

With tremendous gratitude,
Arline


We have been treating my daughter's "baby", a big male Siamese named Mufasa for 3 years now. He will have his 8th birthday on Thursday. The vets believe he was born with defective kidneys.

Anyway, with the exception of an occasional bad day, he is doing quite well. Your website is thorough and is well done. I wish I had known about it 3 years ago. There are some things that we have found to make quite a difference that I did not find on your site. I thought I would share them with you rather than write them on the guest book.

Spirulina powder is high in nutrients and the high chlorophyll levels work as a natural detoxifyer. Three years ago Mufasa had lost 1/2 of his body weight and could hardly stand up. He was scheduled to be put down at the end of the week. After getting the vet's approval, I gave him spirulina out of desperation because of something I had read about a horse several years before. That was the beginning of his turnaround. We started with 1/2 tsp/day and now use 1/4 tsp since we are more in maintenance. We have found that budget brands do not work. We use only Earthrise brand. Its really not too expensive in powder form. Initially we mixed it with tuna juice and put it in a syringe. Now he eats it in his food.

Four different vets have said NEVER use tap water. Use either distilled or filtered with reverse osmosis. We also use a homeopathic form of phosphorous daily. This was prescribed by our vet that is trained both traditionally and in alternative vet med. If we are late in giving this, he begins to hurt. It will stop shortly after giving it. If you understand homeopathic medicine, giving phosphorous would counter high phosphorous levels.

Our vet has us put B12 in his fluid bag. It helps his energy level. He usually wants to eat after fluids. When we do his PlasmaLyte fluids, one person brushes his face, neck, etc. with a soft boar bristle brush while the other man's the needle. Its kind of the gate theory. It works well. In the beginning when we tried treats like the vet said, he looked at us as if to say "Do you think I'm just stupid or something? I know what's going on." I guess the brushing is worth the needle.

We have a chronic problem with constipation. He can not eat any dry food. And still we struggle with it. Stool softeners and laxative didn't help either. At my vet's advice we started adding pumpkin and pure aloe Vera juice to his food. It makes a huge difference. Another thing we have found to help is Mufasa makes a trip to the chiropractor each week. He loves his adjustments and purrs when he sees the Dr coming. (It is necessary to find a chiropractor with a proficient knowledge of working with cats.) We are sure this helps because if the Dr goes on vacation or something else prevents his weekly trip, the next week is not a good week. He hurts, his bowels start to slow, and he generally feels progressively worse with each day. After we return for his adjustment, he begins to improve quickly. Mufasa is also on pepcid ac, lotensin, procrit, and zenequin.

I know some of these ideas are controversial but they have made a difference for us. I hope they help someone else. Oh, and another thing that is helpful...when he hurts it seems to help if we warm him. We put a flannel pillowcase in the dryer and then lay it over him. Don't use the microwave - we almost had a fire! Also, we bought a bed at Petsmart that has reflective material inside. It was about $20. It reflects his body heat and warms him. This is helpful because we aren't always around to notice he needs his pillowcase warmed.

Elizabeth Johnson