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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.

Paddy Paws had not eaten for three days. Although her blood work was a little better than it was two years ago and we were trying all the medications our vet had suggested, she had lost almost 2 pounds in the two years, from 8 1/4 lbs. to 6 1/2 lbs. I could tell my wife was in tears when she told me to come home early, we had an appointment for 6:15 last night.

Coincidentally, my employer had just announced their Web Page and invited us to surf during lunch. I found your web page.

So, we still kept our appointment, but Paddy Paws came home with us to try some Periactin. Today she ate.

Thank you,

Steve, Marge and Ben


I just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am to have found your home page on the web. I searched the web for information regarding CRF, and your page was the only reference I found to be of any help to me.

My cat BeBe has had diarrhea ever since I adopted him at 6 weeks of age. My vet treated this with high fiber prescription diets and assorted meds all to no avail. Finally he ran a CBC and blood chemistry test on him. As I am sure you are familiar with the numbers, his phosphorus was at 12.2, his creatinine at 2.6, and his Bun at 62. My vet was very surprised at this reading, and estimates my BeBe is operating on only 25% of his kidneys at this point. He is only 8 months old. If it wasn't for the numbers, you could never guess he is sick. He terrorizes June, his 2 year old "sister", plays catch will his red pompom balls, and kneads me every night, laying with his head between my neck and the pillow. He is so full of love and spunk for life.

Your page had much useful advice, and again I really appreciate finding it. It is hard to know he is so ill and so young. I will continue to keep my head up and be thankful for each day. I wish you both the best of times with Avatar.

Sincerely,
Melissa :)


I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the information I received on your Web site, Feline CRF Information Center. I have a 17 year old cat, Inky, who has CRF. I was looking for additional information on America Online and the Internet, and came across a wealth of information when I found your Web site. The information I found on the nausea and vomiting and low potassium will be of immediate help, I couldn't understand why the weakness in Inky's hindquarters. I can let my cat's Veterinarian know about this symptom now. Thank you again.

I just spent the afternoon and evening looking through your web site. I found it listed in an article in the January 1997 issue of Cats Magazine where the author Barb French gave it a 3 1/2 paw recommendation. Just last night I was wondering if there was such a thing as kidney transplants for cats. My Jenny, a 6 year old domestic shorthair, was diagnosed in March 1996 with CRF. She was on IV fluids for a week and since then on daily sub-Q fluids. She is holding her own and the smartest cat in a household of 11 cats. I will be sending her story and pictures in the near future for your Tribute Gallery. I think this is a wonderful site and have printed out many of the pages to give to my vet. I am thinking about checking into the possibility of a transplant if she is a candidate and if I can afford it. Right now we go day to day. Give Avatar a pat on the head for me and Jenny.

Maria


Gummitch, my nearly-12 cat, was diagnosed with CRF the day after Christmas. In only a week, the fluid therapy has made a wonderful difference. Thank you for this site, since we knew absolutely nothing about this condition. It's so helpful to know I'm not the only person struggling with needles and syringes!

---Jan---

Gummitch lost his fight with CRF on June 5, 1997. Jan has a homepage for Gummitch at: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/5144/gummitch.html


Thank you for this great web site. I, too, will make sure my vet knows about it. Having just received the diagnosis of CRF in one of my two 11 year, 7 mo siamese, male littermates, your page has been a true rainbow in the storm. I plan on using it frequently throughout the management of this disease and look forward to being able to better manage my cat's disease through use of your page and the additional resources it provides. Your time, effort, knowledge, and skills are greatly appreciated.

Debi


Thank you SO much for providing such a wealth of information on CRF. My Sophie was diagnosed 2 months ago with CRF and was given a couple of weeks to live. Her doctor inserted a heparin valve and I did hydro therapy every 3-4 hours, round the clock at home.

Sophie's heparin valve was inserted directly into the vein in her front leg. It consisted of a rubber valve stem attached to a very fine filament. The filament was inserted into the vein with a needle which was then withdrawn. All you could see was the rubber valve stem which was then wrapped to her leg with tape to protect it. It was neat and tidy and did not bother her at all. She could walk, sit, wash herself, and she never chewed on it. The veterinarian showed me how to insert the IV bag needle into the valve, how to count drips (important since it's going directly into the blood stream), etc., and I then took her home for the treatments. The alternative was to leave her at the clinic for three days of fluids, which I chose not to do because of stress on her. I took some time off from work and did the fluids every 3-4 hours, round the clock. The heparin valves usually last 3 days (per her doctor) but the fact that I was doing the injections so often apparently kept the valve open long --- 8 days. We started with a couple of large doses and then settled on 300ml per day until the last day or so.

The treatment did not bother Sophie at all. I would sit in a rocker and plug her in and she would usually fall asleep, or at least purr. Treatments lasted 15 min to 45 min, depending on the rate of the drip. Obviously, most cats would not sit still for this long. Sophie has always been unusual in that she loves to be held and hugged tight, and never gets off your lap unless you remove her. So I was lucky.

So, we got a good flush but the numbers did not go down a lot, especially the creatinine. Her attitude was great. Her appetite increased, she was active, alert, etc.

We waited a few weeks, did another blood test, and she is now on sub-q treatments since her creatinine has crept up to more than what it was before the heparin valve. This is the second week. It still takes me several hours to get up the nerve to poke her and I know she senses my nervousness. I'm concerned because after the treatments (only 50ml at a time) she seems uncomfortable. She kind of hunkers downs and turns inward. On the off days, she seems fine. The question is are the good days due to fact that I AM giving her fluids? I don't know. The information on making sub-q injections easier made my day. (I THOUGHT the fluid seemed awfully cold .. now I will warm it.). Doing the sub-q's at home is so much less stressful than a car ride to the veterinarian every two days. At least, it will be if I ever develop any skill at it.

I REALLY appreciate your page and work. I recently lost my two boys, Cheech and Chong, to cardiomyopathy. I wish there would have been something similar to your page out there for them. I was able to find info, but it was scattered over a number of pages.

Thanks
Susan

Susan added these comments in a follow-up letter: A note of caution - leaving the heparin valve in for so long is very unusual. A couple of days is usually the max. Sophie's doctor was very surprised and monitored it very closely for infection and rejection. I'm not sure how many veterinarians would agree with what we did. I think that her doctor believed that with Sophie's complete acceptance of anything I do to her, along with her deafness, my concern to avoid undue stress on her, and my commitment to do whatever it takes to give her a chance (i.e. taking a week off from work to do the treatments) all contributed to his suggestion of home treatment. For many people, treatment at the clinic might be a better solution.


After over a month of knowing of my cat's disease, I am learning to deal with it better so I can be in a good position to help him deal with it. Right now my vet says his (Butterscotch's) levels aren't too high and nothing is indicated other than the k/d food, which he seems to like. He is eating and drinking fine. He has days when he seems very tired, and that and the frequency of his visits to my (purposely) dripping bathtub faucet are the only signs that he is sick. Well, he's lost weight too.

You are doing a great service with the Feline CRF page. I know I'll be a frequent visitor and perhaps one day a contributor. Thank you again for your hard work, and especially for your kind wishes.

Glenn


What a great site! Wish I had seen it a year ago. Mr. Owl was diagnosed Jan 1 1995, at age 20. With sub-q's, he made it another 9 months, most of that quality time.

Just a few quick suggestions: NO garlic, or onion powder for cats! Can cause anemia.

Geriatric cats appreciate a heating pad (wrapped in fleece) where they can move off or on as they wish.

In hot weather, wrap "Blue Ice" in a towel for them to lie on. Also ice in the water dish.

When first learning to give the sub-q injection, try thinking that you are pulling the tent of skin over the needle, rather than jabbing the needle into the cat. Easier to control.

If you see any fluid leaking after the fluid therapy, apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Kudos to you both for creating such a wonderful tribute to your cat, and providing such a service to others.

Cathy


Just a quick note to thank you for creating such a wonderful page.

My 15.5 year old Kitty was diagnosed with CRF this past October (she has also suffered from diabetes for the past 4 years).

Upon receiving her diagnosis, I was devastated and I wanted to learn what I could about CRF. I immediately began surfing and came upon your page. The page is wonderful and has given me much encouragement. I have learned so much from it and continue to visit frequently.

As to Kitty, she receives 200cc of sub-q fluids every other day -- no problem in administering them -- she takes them so well (she is such a sweet little girl). After a bit of a rough start in October (she wouldn't eat due to the antibiotics she was taking) she did beautifully until she got a bladder infection. Again, once she was off the antibiotics, she was eating well, enjoying life and was my Kitty once again. She continued to do well in November and was doing well until Christmas week when her appetite noticeably decreased, so there is some new work to be done.

Debbie


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