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Caregiver Feedback (Page 3)

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.

We wanted to send you a really big thank you! Our wonderful cat has serious kidney problems and to make a long story short - after having iv and ip fluids - he was home for two days and sick again. The vet had suggested that if he crashed soon after the fluids, it might be in his best interest to be put down. We were really depressed until I got on the web and found your site. We have been doing sc fluid infusion at home and the effects are almost miraculous. He is back to his loveable self! I'm not sure how long this will work but he certainly still has a tremendous amount of life left in him and we wouldn't have known without your info. We will make sure our vet knows how positive this home therapy can be.

Anyway, thanks again! Keep up the good work.

Susan


Let me begin by saying that your site is wonderful. We found out that our cat might have crf and our first reaction was shock. The information you have put together has been of great comfort to us. Thank you so much.

Our cat, Freemont, is an 11 year old male. He appears perfectly healthy and really has no symptoms. We took him in for a routine check-up, and blood work showed an elevated creatinine level. 3.3 in house from the vet (their norm being .8 - 2.4) and 2.7 from their lab on a full renal profile (their norm being .5 - 1.8) His specific gravity also was somewhat off. We just had an ultrasound done, and there were no indications of tumors or other disease. The vet thinks Freemont is most probably in the early stage of crf, and said we should just come back in about 3 months to check the bloods, and also said a special "kidney" prescription food might be indicated. He gave us a formula from Hills.

We're searching for answers. Do you have any suggestions? Like I said, Freemont does not seem to be sick in any way. But we love him very much and would like to do anything we can to help catch and manage this condition in the early stages. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for your wonderful site.

Ric & Debbie


Only one week ago, my kitty Max, was very, very sick. He had been getting fluids every day for two weeks, but because he is such an "ornery" guy (part of why I love him so much) he just would not tolerate the procedure any more. He stopped eating, got very weak, and my vet said I needed to think seriously about putting him to sleep. I decided to get a second opinion, and had a vet come to my house to examine Max. To make a long story short, this vet suggested a steroid shot before taking any drastic measures. Since the shot, my cat has improved tremendously, and in one week he will start getting daily doses of steroids in pill form.

Again, thanks for the info on your web site. It is so nice to know there is a place to go for not only information, but emotional support as well.

Jan


One of our sixteen cats, Sheena, age twelve, now has CRF. I was beside myself. The vet gave us fluids to administer daily. Two weeks ago we found out the bad news. I went to the Internet hoping for some additional information. Bless you - I found your site. When I left the doctor's office I was sure I had caused her disease, or could have prevented it. The doctor didn't say I caused it but I felt responsible. Reading the information from you was comforting. The information was helpful and agreed with the information from our doctor.

Sheena has an appointment this afternoon. I hope her BUN is down and her weight is up. She doesn't seem to be in any discomfort, just very thin. 4.6 pounds from 7.0.

Kay


Our dear "feline daughter" is almost 17 years old. Although I have just this minute discovered this web page, I want to thank you very much for making it available to the many users who can access it. I took Smokie to the vet yesterday. He suspected that she could possibly have CRF and our hearts sank sadly. He also said that Smokie was visually the best example of a 17 year old cat that he has seen in many years, as far as her general appearance. He indicated that we could run some tests such as blood work, but also said that we probably wouldn't see any positive results at this point, and it might be better to save the $60 at this stage. I hope he is right. Meanwhile, I am going to seek all the information that I can so maybe our baby can get some relief for whatever is ailing her. She is only a house cat, but she looks like a Turkish Angora. Again thank you for the information.

Paul


I have a CRF cat and just read your web page. It was very helpful and informative. "Abbey" and I just wanted to express our thanks to you for putting it together. We are hanging in there for now, but I am riding that emotional roller coaster every day.

Thanks again,
Sylvia


This is the most wonderful thing anyone could have done for owners of pets with CRF. I have a 14 1/2 year old (Truffles) feline who was diagnosed with CRF 2 years ago. She almost died when she was first diagnosed, but with forced feedings 4 times a day, lots of love and patience, sub-Q's daily and my wonderful Vet, she is better now...she has good days and bad days..going through bad time now, and as my emotions run high, I always wonder, is this the last stage? I try to keep calm so my "Truffles" will be too. This is a heartbreaking disease.

Again, thank you so much for the info on this disease, it does make it a little easier when you understand exactly what you're dealing with and do all possible to make your pet's life more comfortable.

Linda

Thank you so much for creating the Feline CRF Information Center! My 10-year-old angel, Fellini*, was diagnosed at the end of August with CRF. I found your site shortly thereafter and it has been tremendously helpful -- the information is great and useful but the emotional support and the stories of other people who are caring for a cat with CRF have really gotten me through some tough times.

Fellini is a Bombay cat who used to weigh a hefty 14 pounds. I have had him since he was 5 months old. I got him to keep my kitten, Truffaut (then only 6 weeks old) company. At the end of August, Fellini's weight had dropped to 8.8 pounds and his creatinine level was 7.8. I was devastated by the news that he had CRF and my vet wasn't sure how much time he had left. We decided to take it day by day. He was on IV fluids at the vet's office for 4 days and his creatinine level didn't drop much. I took him home and expected the worst. My fiance and I struggled with daily sub-q fluid injections and trying to get him to eat. We thought it would be impossible to ever get the fluids in this feisty cat. Fellini's a little fighter for sure (but he's also a major cuddler.)

Finally we got a system down and have been able to give Fellini his entire injection daily (the tips in that section of your site were great) warming the fluids really made it easier. Fellini seems to be feeling better now and his weight is up to 10.1 and his creatinine has dropped to 4.1. We are also feeding him dry k/d as well as other foods. I also try to give him amphojel several times a day since his phosphate level was high. He HATES amphojel though so sometimes I skip it. He is also anemic, though less so now than he was back in August.

I plan to put Fellini in the Tribute section of your site and will send more information soon. Luckily his buddy, Truffaut, has a clean bill of health at 9 and a half years.

Thanks so much for all the effort it took to put together this site. I've told my vet about it and she may post your sign in her offices.

Jacqueline

*Fellini's photo and story are in our Tributes to CRF Cats Gallery.


Six months ago my 14 year old cat Chessie developed CRF. It hit me hard. A friend told me about your web site which really helped me. Chessie has been receiving hydration therapy once a week along with steriod and KD dry food. It has been under control. All the tests mentioned have been taken by the vet. Today we had a setback as he developed a kidney infection which is being treated by antibotics. I have always wanted to know if I am doing all I can for my child and after reading all your pages and the others that have written you it has greatly helped me. As I feel that I am on a roller coaster, I have another cat who is 12 yrs old and I am having blood work on him done soon to see how his kidneys are functioning. That is about all I can do for him as there is no prevention for CRF. I will continue to read messages from other caregivers who are dealing with the same illness and to see if anything else is being done. I pretty much ruled out the transplant for now but I might change my mind later down the road. Please keep up the good work you are doing as it really helps someone like me. I also have told my vet about you and he is very interested. Again thanks for everything.

Phyllis and Chessie


I wanted to tell you some hints about giving sub-qs. My Siamese "Angel" is a 12 year old neutered female who was recently diagnosed with CRF. My vet prescribed 100cc sub-q of Ringers every other day and 2cc of Amphogel antacid liquid every day.

I have been having difficulty giving her the sub-q because she won't sit still for the 3 to 5 minutes it takes me, the way the vet showed me how to do it. When I say she won't sit still, that is an understatement, she goes ballistic!

I talked to the vet and he prescribed a sedative, acetylpromazine, to be given by mouth one half hour before the sub-q. The sedative made her more manageable, but it severely affected her motor functions to where she staggered around and fell over like she was drunk. I decided I didn't want to give the sedative any more.

I then talked to a friend of mine who has taken care of two CRF cats and he came over to my house and demonstrated the following:

1) To hold the cat still and have both hands free, you put the cat on a countertop and place a long towel length-wise around the cat's upper chest. Then twist the ends of the towel securely and wedge the ends of the towel between your waist and the edge of the counter. Now the cat is secured, the lower back and hip area is exposed and you have both hands free.

2) To speed up the fluid flow, place a blood-pressure cuff around the Ringer's bag and inflate the cuff so that the fluid is under pressure. Insert the needle subcutaneously under a "tent" of skin, open the valve and the fluid streams in instead of dripping in. The time to administer 100cc's takes about 1 minute instead of 3 to 5 minutes using gravity feed.

These two things have made it much easier to do a sub-q. I hope these hints prove useful, especially for those people who have to do sub-q's without any help. Take care!

Ed

We asked Ed if he would be kind enough to send us some photographs to illustrate his method of immobilizing Angel for her sub-Qs.

Here is my general routine for doing the sub-Q:

1. Warm the Ringer's bag to just body temperature in a warm water bath in the sink. Cold Ringer's make Angel go nuts.
2. Hang the Ringer's bag and inflate a blood pressure cuff around the bag so that the drips form a continuous stream.
3. Twist a beach towel around Angel's shoulders, leaving her abdomen and back legs exposed.
4. Wedge the twisted ends of the towel between my waist and the edge of the counter. This restrains Angel and gives me both hands free.
5. Insert the needle subcutaneously between the shoulder blades and to the left or right of the spine. I try to vary the location of the site for each administration.
6. Start the fluid flow to the needle and watch the drip rate in the IV hose.

Even though the blood pressure cuff blocks my view of the markings of the Ringer's bag, I know from experience that 100ml of fluid comes out in about one minute.

My biggest fear in giving Angel sub-Q injections was that she would come to fear me and not approach me on her own or sleep with me anymore. I am happy to report that this has not happened. I think she senses that this treatment, though annoying, is not a hostile or aggressive action on my part.

I've been doing these sub-Qs since last October, when she was diagnosed with CRF. She has mostly bounced back to her normal self, with the exception that she does not jump on things as much as before. What I still don't know is how long she will last and at what point in her condition will be the most humane time for her to be put to sleep.

Note: Also see our Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide in the Subcutaneous Fluid Therapy section.


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