Feedback (Page 6)
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 must tell
you that my wife and I really learned a great deal from your web
site. While all of the information is invaluable, it is also most
comforting to know that others are going through the same difficult
experience. The only way one can deal with the CRF situation is
to take one day at a time. If you don't do that, it's much more
I have a 19
yr old male Siamese, Mokie*, who was diagnosed with CRF last June.
We give him regular sub-q treatments and some pills to keep everything
working. I am committed to hanging in there with him as long as
he seems comfortable. I also have added incentive because his
19 year old sister (same litter and in good health) gets extremely
vocal when he is out of her sight.
this disease, Mokie lost his sight very quickly about three months
ago. The thing that did surprise me is that I did not read any
letters on your site which talked about blindness. Our vet has
indicated that blindness is quite common in older cats with kidney
disease. Apparently, the CRF causes high blood pressure which
can rupture the retina. Mokie went from decent vision to total
blindness in a few short days. It certainly was not a gradual
process. I wonder if we had gotten him on blood pressure medicine
earlier (when the CRF was first diagnosed), if his sight could
have been preserved. Mokie has adapted quite well to blindness
because we keep him confined to just a couple of rooms which he
knows well--the master bedroom and the kitchen which are contiguous.
For your information
on this disease, the vet concluded that Mokie's CRF condition
was caused by years of eating Hill's special diet for feline heart
patients ("Hills CD") which is low in fat but very high in protein.
He ate this (his sister wouldn't) because we had another cat in
the family with a heart problem which required that we give all
the cats the same food. Hence, Mokie, at 19 on Feb 26, has a strong
heart but lousy kidneys.
insidious nature of CRF, we are experiencing the annoying problem
of Mokie now refusing to use any one of his three litter boxes
to urinate. (He does use the box to defecate which proves he can
find it.) He mostly urinates on the floor but sometimes he pees
on the recently water-proofed master bed. While we have hardwood
floors which clean up nicely with a squirt of "Natures Miracle",
I'm growing increasingly frustrated with this problem. I am wondering
if anyone else has experienced this problem??? I would imagine
it is related more to his blindness than to the CRF. However,
I would like to point out that despite his age and blindness,
he remains quite mobile. In other words, his refusal to use the
litter box seems to be more mental than physical. I would appreciate
hearing from others who may be in the same boat (of urine)!! And
in case you're wondering, my wife and I vacated the master bedroom
for the guest room awhile back!!!
quite comfortable considering the CRF and the blindness. His level
of comfort has increased dramatically since he started his blood
pressure medicine, fiber pills and appetite enhancers. He also
gets the sub-q routine, two days on and one day off with 150cc
for each treatment. His weight has increased from 7 to 10 pounds
after dropping from the 14 level when he was healthy. He is a
big, handsome chocolate point siamese with the greatest personality
of any cat we have ever had and we have had several. That's why
it is so hard to let go of him.
your great web site.
lost his fight with CRF and related blindness on June 20, 1997.
Linx is a
nearly 15-year old cat that I rescued as a kitten from the Humane
Society two days after having left my parents house and moved
to college. She was diagnosed with chronic renal failure last
Thanksgiving and it has been a trying, emotional experience.
I am extremely
blessed with a wonderful veterinarian who is available to me at
all times of the day or night. As Linx receives fluids there once
a week, suffice it to say that everybody there knows her and always
inquires of her progress.
Your web site
is thoughtful, extremely accurate given what I've been told by
my vet in the past several months, and heartwarming. But enough
of that. I'm writing to share with you a new treatment for appetite
that has worked wonders with Linx. I still occasionally give her
Valium, but we started her on 1/10 of a tablet of Megestrol Acet
(20 mg). This a cancer treatment given to humans to increase appetite.
Her dosage is 1/10 of a tablet for four days and then on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays. Speaking from someone who has tried everything
available so far, this has worked wonders for Linx. She is now
eating dry food again! And last night she woke me up because she
was hungry. I recommend it highly.
also mention that when Linx was so bad, we gave her injections
of (Decodurabulen). I'm not certain of the spelling, but I'll
check with my vet and let you know for sure. It's my understanding
that these injections helped stimulate the kidney tissues. That's
when she started to feel good again, and sleeping peacefully.
I don't know about Avatar, but when Linx was at her worst she
wouldn't really sleep, she just crouched. Now she's back to curling
up like a normal cat. She takes Winstrol V, Lotensin for blood
pressure, Tumil - K, Megestrol and Valium as well as Calcitrol.
I also try to give her Pet Tinic as often as I can for iron.
I want to
thank you for your excellent web site. We just lost our beloved
Chowder last night to CRF. Your site was a great comfort in giving
us the information we needed to understand his condition. I thought
everyone might be encouraged by the amazing quality of his life
despite the CRF and a creatinine count of over 30, the highest
two separate doctors and labs had ever seen.
He was only
3.5yrs. We didn't know until a week ago, but he was born with
only one developed kidney. He was just like any other kitten,
and even as a young adult showed few signs anything was wrong.
He loved his water. He vomited a little more frequently than we
would have liked. But there always seemed to be an obvious reason
for it. He loved to eat little bits of leaves and plastic that
he could find, before we could. These would always be in his vomit.
He was never sick for more than a day and a half. He chased around
the house and his demanding little personality always kept us
hopping giving him all the attention he wanted.
When he finally
became sick and would not eat or drink for a day we took him to
the 24 hr animal hospital. He was given a SUB-Q until his regular
vet opened a day later. When put on an IV for 2 days the CRF was
so advanced from long term loss of protein that the fluids leaked
into his abdomen. The vet told us he was end stage, nothing more
could be done and that he could not believe that the cat was able
to live at all, let alone a normal life with a creatinine of over
30 and a BUN of 72.
him home and he had 2 more good days of his favorite things. He
was finally allowed to go outside without sitting in our laps.
He was so proud of himself finding the perfect spot in our flower
garden to lay and watch the squirrels, and sniff the plants. Finally
on the 3rd day he became too weak to walk to his spots and started
to shake from a high potassium level and we had to let each other
were amazed at the manner in which Chowder had adapted to and
even thrived despite the continuing increase of toxins in his
system. A tribute to endurance and adaptability of the feline
members of our families.
again for your wonderful site and best wishes to you and all the
cats and their persons who need your help.
We don't know
how old our CRF cat Cinnamon is, since I got her from the animal
shelter, but we're guessing she was two at the time, which would
make her ten years old now.
positive for feline leukemia when I adopted her. She had been
scheduled to be put down at the animal shelter that very day,
but she was so friendly (and still is) that I couldn't resist
her. I took her home and she spent about three months under our
bed, coming out only for food, water and litter box trips. Nine
months later she tested negative. I'm told that about 30% of the
cats who contract FeLV manage to throw it off.
Then she suffered
a spinal injury several years later and was in such pain that
we thought we would have to put her to sleep. We took her to UC
Davis, where they did a myelogram and discovered that some relatively
simple surgery could help.
In April of
1996 she was diagnosed with CRF. From then on, the story is familiar
to readers of your CRF page. She's doing well at the moment, recovering
from a urinary infection and eating like a horse. We take her
outside occasionally to get some fresh air and exercise. Last
week she climbed a tree and explored the roof, just like she used
to do before she got sick. She gets subqs every other day, Petinic
daily and currently Clavamox in pill form. She was on Epogen for
seven months but developed antibodies to it about five weeks ago.
The only real problem we have at the moment is inappropriate urinating.
She uses the litter box if it's handy, but will also urinate on
bathroom rugs or on the towels I put in front of the litter boxes.
She drinks a lot of water. Her weight is stable at 7.4 lbs but
I would like to get her back up to 8 lbs before she has another
We have made
a number of sacrifices to keep Cinnamon alive. They were worth
it, but we're aware of them all the same. We can't plan on being
away for more than 36 hours without having to have her hospitalized,
and my plan of taking a couple months off from work to travel
will have to be put on hold indefinitely. My fiance is starting
to grumble about her despoiling his bathmat; I do laundry constantly
when at home because she pees everywhere. We found that F.O.N.
works well for neutralizing urine smell.
after spending 3 weeks at the Vet, Samantha was diagnosed with
CRF. She had been very dehydrated and took a long time to respond.
We began SubQ fluids at home. In October, Nutmeg was also diagnosed
with CRF. Unfortunately, Meg would not tolerate the fluids and
we lost her within 5 days. At the time I visited your website
not only to help me understand their disease but it was also a
way for me to deal with my grief and guilt.
done very well on SubQ fluids. She has continued to gain weight
and her BUNs have remained statistically stable. She tolerates
the bloodwork very well.
I have come
back today because of Samantha. She has reached the point where
she has built up so much scar tissue around her shoulder blades
that she can't accept the fluids. I am seeking help. Because of
your page I learned that I can give her the fluids somewhere other
than between her shoulder blades. I was so worried that there
wasn't anything else that I could do for her. If you know of any
other ideas, I would certainly appreciate hearing about them.
for your webpage. It has been a great help!
Samantha (and John, Cassie, Pandy, Caspar, Alex, Chessie, Boomer,
Qantas, and Momcat)
so much for your most informative web site. As an abyssinian breeder
of 13 years I have treated cats for both acute and chronic renal
failure. You do a great favor to all cat owners by providing critical
but easy to understand information about CRF. And it's nice to
get a chance to learn a few new tricks..I used the tuna juice
idea but with meat babyfood. A little spoon of chicken, twice
as much hot water and a couple scoops of "special" cat food and
my girl has her face in the food before I get it on the ground.
for your web site - taking the time to put all that together was
certainly a "good deed". I was thrilled to stumble upon the site
and learn that what we were going through was normal.
My one question
(my vet asked) is what is the name of appetite stimulant you mentioned?
My vet said many have side effects since they are steroid based.
My answer to that was the cat would probably be in a rough shape
by that time, and side effects would probably be the least of
the kitty's problems.
Read on if
you have time only -- it's our cat's story.
was diagnosed with renal failure about 8 mos ago - but it took
a nasty fall off our balcony (4 floors down to concrete) and a
visit to a different vet at the emergency clinic to really help
17 year old Taipan. The fall knocked a tooth out and winded him,
but xrays showed brittle bones that were unscathed (thank goodness).
The vet's more immediate concern was that the cat start receiving
s.c. fluid at home on a daily basis.
Our own vet
showed us how and in three weeks (the fall long forgotten), our
kitty has really picked up.
now he doesn't want to eat this and he won't eat that - so I was
grateful to find two foods on your list (with 800 numbers) that
we've never had where we live.
coddling him (since his fall), so trying to get him to eat without
"roast beef bits" as inducement has been practically impossible.
The tuna (and other) juices sounds like a great idea. I'm phoning
the two 1-800 numbers on Monday to see if anything is available
here - and if not, I'll try to get the products UPS'd
. Thank you
again. It was very encouraging to see your site. We now believe
we'll have our kitty for a while longer, and we are grateful for
every day we get with him as long as he is not suffering.
|Just a note
to say thanks for this web site. My cat Buster was diagnosed with
CRF March 7th. He spent 6 days at the Vet hospital and I spent much
of that time in tears and feeling very depressed. Your web site
gave me alot of good information and hope. Buster is doing very
well. He has been taking sub Q`s three times a week and really likes
his kd cat food. The Vet is going to try to cut back the subQ therapy
to twice a week. Buster, who will turn 12 next month, has alot of
energy, is eating like a horse and seems to enjoy all the extra
attention he is getting.
I just wanted
to thank you for all the work you've obviously put into your page.
Our kitty, Trifle, has been diagnosed with CRF for the last 2-3
years, and has been stable since then. However, we are now in
the midst of a crisis with her, and the information both in the
web pages and the responses from visitors to your web page has
been really helpful and comforting for both my husband and me.
by your site to see what's cooking. It looks great! Congratulations
for keeping it updated and growing. I'd like to mention a couple
of things that I've learned over the past few weeks. You might
want to think about adding some of this information or modifying
your text slightly in these areas.
Lucky has high calcium, but normal phosphorous and potassium.
Because of the high calcium, my vet specialist did not want to
put him on Calcitriol. As you probably know, Calcitriol can raise
calcium levels. I found out that the Calcitriol specialists at
OSU were recommending Calcitriol for cats with high calcium, so
I convinced my vet to try it. We are currently using it at half
dosage. It has been several weeks now, and Lucky's calcium, phosphorous,
BUN, and Creat. levels have all come down significantly. His liver
values, which were starting to look bad, have also improved.
started Epogen a couple of weeks ago when Lucky's anemia became
severe. I noticed that your description says that Epogen is given
Sub-Q. Actually, I am giving the injection "IM" directly into
the muscle of the thigh. The other folks I've talked with about
Epogen are also giving it this way. I don't know if you want to
make a distinction in your description between Sub-Q and IM. The
IM method is a bit trickier and may require two people. I don't
know if Epogen is given Sub-Q. Maybe it can be given both ways.
Amphojel has caused Lucky's most significant problem, which is
severe constipation to the point of intestinal blockage. I noticed
that you mention constipation in passing in your discussion of
Amphojel. In Lucky's case, this problem is of major concern as
it has been life-threatening on more than half a dozen occasions.
(If you want details, write back and I'll explain.) Believe me,
I tried everything under the sun to control the problem and even
seriously considered putting Lucky to sleep, as the problem became
almost unmanageable. The vet told me the only option was surgery
to remove Lucky's colon. (That was B.S.) I finally took Lucky
off Amphojel and his constipation went away almost immediately.
My vet specialist convinced me to put him back on it but at a
lower dosage. Now, we're doing a delicate balancing act to keep
him happy. I would recommend that people who are experiencing
severe constipation problems and intestinal blockages consider
Amphojel as a primary cause. It seems to me that some vets may
be off base in diagnosing and treating constipation related to
CRF. I don't know why they don't consider Amphojel as the culprit
I have for now. Hope you don't mind the input. I give in the spirit
of helping you help others. Take care.