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Management of CRF

Working with Your Veterinarian Subcutaneous Fluid Therapy Intravenous Fluids Dietary Management Dialysis Keeping Records General

Keeping Records

It's extremely helpful for you and your veterinarian if you keep detailed records on your cat's health. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but you'll find, as time goes on, that it will soon become habit. Keeping track of reactions to medications, doses given and symptoms is crucial when you have a cat with CRF. These records will be invaluable if you seek a second opinion or go to a specialist. Charts and notes can be created on computer or done by hand. A spreadsheet containing lab numbers will tell you at a glance how the disease is progressing. This is most helpful for your veterinarian, too, as it becomes unnecessary to shuffle through paperwork to re-create the cat's history of blood work.

It's also a good idea to keep track of water intake on a daily basis as your veterinarian will want to know how much the cat is drinking. Simply measure the water each day when you change it and then measure what's left when you change it again. Create a daily chart and hang it on the refrigerator or in an easily accessible place. It will only take a few seconds to update it each day and you'll know if there are any drastic changes in water intake.

As the illness progresses, keeping track of the cat's frequency of vomiting, eating habits, bowel movements and urination are all helpful bits of information for your veterinarian.

If your cat is taking medication, it's a good idea to keep a chart or calendar so that you don't lose track of what medication you gave and when you gave it.

Post instructions detailing what your cat eats, any medications it takes, the sub-Q schedule and your vet's name, address and telephone number in a prominent place. In the event anything would happen to you, someone else would be able to take over the care of your cat without too much difficulty.

Because CRF cats are prone to weight loss, it's important to weigh your cat frequently and keep a weight chart. Pediatric and shipping scales will usually display the weight in the appropriate increments. To weigh your cat on a bathroom scale, first weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding the cat and deduct the difference. Your cat can also be weighed frequently at the vet's office without much stress if you weigh the cat in the carrier, then deduct the weight of the carrier. Remember, in cats, ounces are important!

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