Kidney Failure

(62 Posts)
KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 08:55:23

Thought I would start a fresh thread to see if anyone has experience of this?

Little cat was okay overnight at the vet - ate, drank, used litter tray. Vet is going to check him over and get back to me in a bit.

Yesterday they were talking like he would have no chance, but I've done some reading and found that cats can live on with kidney failure. This has changed my perspective a bit. I've read that even with appalling blood counts, if he responds to a few days of fluid, he might have a chance.

I am willing to do what it takes as long as he will be okay in himself. I'm certainly not going to try and prolong his life if he is in pain.

This is my earlier thread:

I don't want to get my hopes up, but I also don't want to consent to them PTS if he needs a few days to really see how he will cope. The way they were speaking, it was like today would be decision day.

Any advice/experiences greatly received. thanks

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 09:03:11

Yes - I do have experience, Kinky.

It's not great news, I'm afraid, particularly given your boy's age and the speed of onset of the symptoms.

Best to wait and get the vet's assessment of him in a few hours or when they phone back.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 09:04:16

PS - much will depend on the degree of renal impairment.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 09:05:12

Thanks cozie.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 09:26:03

Vet has confirmed he is brighter this morning. Rather than do bloods today, she is now saying to let him have 48 hours on fluids, then send him home and retest after a further 48 hours to see if he is coping off the drip.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 09:30:59

She's recommending giving him a chance to see how he'll cope at least. I'm surprised she's not going to do bloods though. Did she give you any indication of her diagnosis/prognosis other than wait and see?

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 09:43:17

Sorry - my fault as my post was unclear. She'll take his bloods after 48 hours on fluids, let him out and retest bloods. No other indication of diagnosis or prognosis.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 09:48:09

Ah. I would guess she's not hopeful then. Sorry, Kinky.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 09:55:47

She said that some cats pull through and she is hoping that he is one of them. I'm starting to wonder, from what you are saying, whether we are not really getting the information from them that we should be. By tomorrow, I'll be on about £400. The money at this point does not matter - it's what my CC was made for - but I'd expect to be properly informed for it. Do you think I should be asking more questions? She said just to leave him until tomorrow afternoon and then they would test to give fluids a chance to kick in.

I don't know if I'm coming or going with all of this!! We were walking around weeping last night, now she's getting my hopes up but still hasn't given us a diagnosis/prognosis.

Am confused and very tired.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 09:56:38

Vet is a bit dithery.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 10:11:36

I think you need one of the vets on the board to answer, really.

All I know is that I would be looking, at this stage, for a vet to be telling me what she thought was likely wrong - or at least to give me her thoughts on the likely problem with maybe some possibilities. I would also be expecting her to be looking to inform her thoughts with some clinical evidence if possible.

I don't like just wait and see prognoses unless I know why waiting and seeing is a good idea or why there is uncertainty.

But that's just me and I'm probably a nightmare as a main client.

What I will say is that things don't look so hot, Kinky - serious renal impairment as you describe in a young cat. Stay hopeful but be realistic.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 10:40:01

Thanks cozie - I want to do the best by him, whichever way it goes. Is there a vet on here I can ask, or do they just come along?

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 10:42:14

I've rung them back and asked her to call me again.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 10:48:03

No - we do have some vets who post but they do so out of love for cats only and you can't guarantee you'll see one day in or day out. In addition, they can only really give general thoughts because they haven't had the opportunity to see the animals in question.

Your own vet is best placed to take the critical views.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 11:31:27

Right. She thinks he had serious kidney failure probably after living with chronic kidney problems that hadn't been spotted. But, he is improving in himself and they are happy with him compared to how he was when he got there. She said it could well be manageble. It will come down to whether his bloods come down by tomorrow, and then whether he can manage the 48 hours off the drip and bloods hold. If he can't, she said they could do further tests to try and work out a different cause. Cross that bridge then.

He certainly doesn't sound like he's at death's door as he was yesterday, but I do understand it does not mean he will be okay and we still could lose him if he can't come off the drip and manage. Even if counts come down, things will be very different for him.

So confusing!! I am having a steep learning curve about cat illness!

Thanks again cosie. I do appreciate your help thanks thanks

Trazzletoes Mon 17-Jun-13 11:35:46

Oh Kinky I can't offer any advice I'm afraid but blimey! Could do without it, hey? I hope Littlecat perks up and manages ok.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 17-Jun-13 11:38:13

My daring darling cat lived for 2 years after kidney failure. The first vet who saw him when the horror began wanted to put him down. I'm so glad we asked for a second opinion. It did cost a fortune but, I loved him so very very much. I'm so glad we had those extra two years together.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 11:39:34

Hi trazzles hope you are all doing okay at the minute. You're not kidding - talk about being sick to the back teeth of illness and conditions and managing things. Jeez. I just hope he pulls through. And once again I am caught in that whole cycle of trying to make the right decisions. I know it is my cat rather than DD, but it is still mentally exhausting.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 11:45:38

It must be. Especially after all you've been through with DD.

Try to take at least one day off doing something active/purposeful while he's at the vets. He's in a safe place there and you don't need to be moping around the house just waiting for a phone to maybe ring.

SoupDragon Mon 17-Jun-13 19:37:11

It is utterly exhausting mentally. I've just been through it with SoupKitten and it was hell with all the could be this, could be that to-ing and fro-ing.

Fingers crossed for a positive result.

KinkyDorito Mon 17-Jun-13 20:48:25

How is Soupkitten now?

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 20:52:17

She didn't make it, Kinky. sad

SoupDragon Mon 17-Jun-13 21:04:08

Yes, she was never going to get better (heart failure) so I made the decision to have her put to sleep rather than stress her out trying lots of different medicines. Nothing was going to make her better or offer her a decent length of life.

It was two weeks of "could be this... Could be that... Could be this after all" and was very stressful - as you know!

SoupDragon Mon 17-Jun-13 21:05:50

I hope LittleCat proves to be a strong one. SoupKitten was not a robust cat.

KinkyDorito Tue 18-Jun-13 06:15:11

Little cat isn't really either. We'll see. I think I want to know that I have tried for him - like you did. If his counts today haven't improved after 48 hours of the drip, I don't know whether it will be fair to keep testing him. If his kidneys can't survive off this drip, then it doesn't strike me that there is much point prolonging the inevitable. I'll see what the vet says today.

I am really sorry sad sad.

SoupDragon Tue 18-Jun-13 07:05:55

It is right at the top of the list of Shit Things I Have Had To Do sad I now know why my parents haven't had another in the 30 years since my childhood spaniel was put to sleep!

In SoupKitten's case she was never going to recover and even if they found the right combination/dose of medication it would probably have been a matter of months. It was really no choice at all.

Sending positive thoughts your way!

KinkyDorito Tue 18-Jun-13 11:24:17

Not looking as good today. He has stopped eating again. Bloods this afternoon.

I think we are preparing for the worst, tbh.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 11:46:09


Let us know when you've had some news.

SoupDragon Tue 18-Jun-13 12:47:54


idlevice Tue 18-Jun-13 12:56:41

I am so sorry you are going through this. I still feel like I haven't got over it when it happened to one of my cats 3yrs ago. We did everything we could & it ended up costing a couple of grand. My partner was adamant he wanted to try everything, which I agreed with but I don't think we would do the same again. You might be one of the lucky ones but if not, take heart that he will not be in any more discomfort & that the time he did have with you was lovely.

KinkyDorito Tue 18-Jun-13 15:48:34

I'm sorry to hear that idlevice.

I think we're going to be in limbo for a while to come.

His counts have come down a little. They wanted to discharge him tonight, but I've asked them to keep him for another day on the drip and they've agreed.

He has eaten a little and is a bit brighter again.

It looks like we bring him home tomorrow with tablets and special food and see how we go. He still sounds pretty doubtful.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 11:56:14

How is he today?

<<bites fingernails>>

KinkyDorito Wed 19-Jun-13 15:38:13

Will be discharged this afternoon - we're going to get him soon. I'm still not convinced the vet has given him enough fluid, but they seem keen to send him home. They tried to yesterday. I'm going to get him back here, see how he is then take him for a second opinion.

I'm a bit narked that, considering we will be parting with the best part of 1k for the last few days, they have done nothing to ascertain what is going on with him. They are treating the numbers, not the cat - as the Cat's Kidney Failure website says. They've got the numbers down a bit so they are sending him home where they will probably just go back up again without proper management.

They might be right and he could be beyond help off the drip, but I'm finding their attitude very defeatist when, from what they are saying, he is bright in himself, eating, weeing, pooing and reacting to treatment.

I am clueless, so I figured a second opinion might be the best way to go with him.

We're still pretty clueless, but for now he lives. I will put a picture of them as kittens on my profile. Charlie is the one with the brown nose.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 15:45:48

How frustrating!

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 15:46:24

(cute kitties smile)

KinkyDorito Wed 19-Jun-13 15:47:34

Rag-tag moggies! They were the last of an abandoned litter.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 15:54:41

Both mine are/were sorry little rescue cats smile FatCat was the last of a litter, rejected by prospective owners as he was too dark confused and Scout was dumped in a gutter.

KinkyDorito Wed 19-Jun-13 17:45:36

People are cruel. At least they got a happy home in the end though.

Charlie home. His brother keeps hissing at him because he smells of vets. He has little shaved patches all over and still looks skinny, but certainly better than he did. He has tablets and special food and we are supposed to go back next Tuesday for a check up.

He is currently off to shout at the sparrows through the window. smile

We are keeping everything crossed.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 17:48:43

Good luck to him.


SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 18:57:05

Good luck smile

idlevice Wed 19-Jun-13 22:35:18

Hope he's going ok so far! We had a few weeks when we had our cat home when we were given sterile fluid to inject into her under the skin to keep her fluids up - has this been mentioned as an option if you are concerned about fluid levels?

KinkyDorito Thu 20-Jun-13 06:11:44

That's what I was hoping to get hold of, idlevice, but lots of vets won't give it out. Mine seems determined just to see how he gets on without. I've rung a second vet up and will try them Saturday I think to see if I can get my hands on some. After an evening at home, he is much brighter. He's not drinking much, but he is wolfing the special food with water in it. The tablets have also been made more palatable and he just ate it! We were so relieved as were expecting a fight.

Looking at him though, you can see he won't ever be the same. But at the moment he is functioning and doing all his normal cat things so we'll see how we go.

It does not help that his brother has turned on him and keeps hissing at him all the time. Hopefully they will settle down again. I have to go to work today and I'm worried about leaving them.

KinkyDorito Thu 20-Jun-13 06:13:10

I think we are all aware we are on limited time.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 06:31:04

If it's limited time in which he's enjoying himself, that's something.

SoupDragon Thu 20-Jun-13 07:12:51

It may be that the vet wants to start with minimal intervention - it may be that that is sufficient but if not, they may add more medication in.

Sounds like he's doing great at home so far though smile SoupKitten was pretty good at taking her tablet crushed into Philadelphia and then licked from a spoon (may be too salty for you to use?)

KinkyDorito Fri 21-Jun-13 21:38:59

Perky today. He looks much more like his normal self and is being a pest smile.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 21:47:32



SoupDragon Fri 21-Jun-13 21:51:48

Sounds good smile

KinkyDorito Wed 26-Jun-13 19:35:59

Update - mainly for future searchers.

He seems very well in himself but counts are still poor. We've been given sub-cut fluids to try with him. I think we will have a go, but if they seem uncomfortable or like they are hurting him, we will stop.

He will die, it's just a matter of when. Amazingly, he is very normal at the moment. I'm wonder if it will just be a sudden crash when the time comes.

We are also lucky that the vet, if they have some notice, will come out to the house to PTS, so that will be better for him as the trip out is always traumatic.


The bill is also going up. Renal food not cheap, vets visits, tablets, fluids. We're at around £700 now in 10 days.

cozietoesie Wed 26-Jun-13 19:41:32

My experience with treated kidney failure was that it was a long debilitating process and not a sudden crash. Sorry, Kinky, but you may have to make a difficult call fairly soon. sad

KinkyDorito Wed 26-Jun-13 20:49:43

Hi cosie, at what point did you decide enough was enough? At the moment he is like his normal self. Did you give subcutaneous fluid? I know he's dying, I just don't want to make it any worse for him by adding to pain. I also need to have an idea of the point where we call the vet.

cozietoesie Wed 26-Jun-13 20:55:47

That time, the decision was taken out of my hands, Kinky - but I could have wished that I'd made one sooner.

I rather liked Lonecat's view on the matter in a post today - 'more bad days than good' - but the trouble is that cats will put such a good face on things that you can't always tell if they're feeling lousy even if you know them well. sad

idlevice Wed 26-Jun-13 23:38:18

You are between a rock & a hard place for sure. When the end of the journey comes you will have had some time to come around to the idea but it will still be awful. It does seem trite to think of the money but in this day and age it is a consideration. It sounds like you have a good vet which at least is a help.

I don't know how sentimental you are but you can have paw prints made. I wish we had done this actually - even though I don't need any reminders. Just a thought. Keep an eye on him & it is good of you to update for others that may be in a similar situation.

KinkyDorito Fri 28-Jun-13 06:35:04

When we decided to give the fluid, we realised he is badly bruised from when he had it at the vets. We've talked and talked and decided better to let him carry on as he is, without jabbing him every day. I think from an earlier post, there are no guarantees the fluid will keep him alive for long. He is very 'well' at the moment - being his usual fuzzy, pesky self. After the vets he was very subdued. We've decided to let him be so at least he has some normal catty days before the time comes to let him go. As soon as he goes quiet - and I have an idea from when was ill last week - we will phone them.

sad but pleased we have made a decision that I think is the best thing for him. I don't think we'll have him very long now.

KinkyDorito Fri 28-Jun-13 06:37:53

P.S. Part of the reason we won't give fluid is that Charlie is skin and bone. It is difficult to do it without hurting him. I think if he was a more robust cat, we might have tried.

cozietoesie Fri 28-Jun-13 08:35:35

I'm very glad he's well and pesky, Kinky. Here's hoping for a good few happy days - or even weeks - for him.

Sometimes they can suprise you.
Cat2 was diagnosed with CRF in 2009.
She had the fluid treatment too and is still with us four years later.
Thinking of you and puss tonight.

KinkyDorito Sat 06-Jul-13 14:00:43

Still ticking on nicely on renal food and tablets. No idea what his counts are like as we aren't stressing him with vets.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Jul-13 17:52:08

Good news, kinky. If he's happy, that's the main thing, eh?

KinkyDorito Sat 06-Jul-13 18:23:40

He's a pest! He's even been running around with his brother and chasing his red mouse, so he's obviously feeling perky. I know we are on borrowed time, but after the vets I really thought he wouldn't see out the week.

KinkyDorito Mon 29-Jul-13 19:11:43

Just a quick update to say he's fine still. Taking tablet, eating renal food, chasing his brother around the house. smile

cozietoesie Mon 29-Jul-13 19:13:31

Excellent, Kinky.


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