Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kidney Kitty -- Part 2

Well, we’ve been dealing with our little kidney kitty for awhile now.  And ya know, dealing with feline diabetes has been a piece of cake compared to this!

With the diabetes, you have a tiny needle and you have a routine.  Yes, you take blood and do curves and adjust the insulin dosage, but it’s very doable and it’s kinda clinical.  You keep records, consult your vet, and your cat still acts like himself.  (or at least ours did)

This kidney disease thing, though, is wearing me slick!

There is so much to learn about, and research, and experiment.  And while we've gotten to where we can give fluids fairly easily now, it’s still a big needle and not a small thing to add to your schedule.

But it’s not all the research, it’s not the giving of the fluids,
it’s not all the pills and meds…

It’s the ups and downs.  The highs and lows. 

What’s he like today?  What is he sitting like that for?  Has he eaten much today?  He’s trotting -- that’s a good sign.  He’s sitting on his haunches again -- that’s a bad sign.  He’s curled up in the sunshine -- that’s a good sign.  He’s sitting under the dining room table; that’s weird.  Is that a bad sign? 

The emotional roller coaster aspect of this disease
is just the pits!

On Monday you think you've got a good regimen going and the coast looks clear for smooth sailing, and later the same week you’re wondering if it’s time to put them down.

I know people without pets don’t get it, but as a dear old friend said to me once, “Love is love.  It’s not different because it’s felt for a person or an animal.  It’s love.”  ♥

And so, my life has become one of a caregiver and researcher.  If it weren't for the internet, I don’t know where we would be right now.  And this, with a vet who is really on the ball!

So, the things that I’ve learned the hard way and want to pass on are:

Buy Pet-tinic the day you learn your cat has this disease.  It’s full of B vitamins and iron.

If you don’t have a Pill Popper, buy one here:  Pill Popper at Amazon   There’s no need to get your fingers near sharp pointy teeth when they have invented this cool tool. 

And remember how huge some hairballs can get.  They’re much bigger than capsules or pills, so they have lots more room in their throat for that crazy pill than you may think.  And really stick that pill popper back there, down their throat!  J

Thankfully, our cat is easy to pill.  I give him some water afterwards from a syringe, to make sure the pill goes down well, and then I say “treat!”, and give him some of his favorite poultry-flavored toothpaste as a reward.  J  He knows the drill that way.

Right away, find a low phosphorus food that your cat will eat, hopefully canned. 

My cat happens to love Blue Buffalo duck flavor dry food. 
(We tried Science Diet GD and it didn’t agree with his IBD, and we couldn’t even graduate to KD, so I had to get online and learn, and then go to PetsMart for other options.  Don’t wait for months to be that pro-active like I did.)

And if your cat will eat wet food, you are most blessed.  Managing your cat’s phosphorus levels will be much easier.  Mine won’t eat wet food, and this is a big problem for us.  I am currently coating his dry food with Aluminum Hydroxide powder (a phosphorus-binder) and am hoping that helps.  We’ll see with his next bloodwork.

Lastly, if your cat has kidney disease, definitely go to this great website:  http://www.felinecrf.org/ and read and learn.  The site is so comprehensive, it can be a little overwhelming, so take it all in slowly. 

Be sure to check that website’s page for “Obtaining Supplies Cheaply”.  I have found several things for ½ the price that I pay at the vet.  Half!  One pill was ¼!  And most of them I can order without a prescription.  You will save a ton of money doing this. 
(I even found my cat’s lysine treats half price on Amazon!)

Be pro-active, but put your own oxygen mask on first
Give yourself “research-free” days and do something extra-nice for yourself.  I try to, but it’s hard, I know.

Our sweet baby is in a good place right now, but in one day, things can take a turn.  All they have to do is quit eating.

And that’s why the website says to enjoy each day,
each moment that you have together.  ♥ ♥ ♥  

A good reminder for all of us.

Lucky Dog

p.s.  I know, I know, I have friends with horrible diseases, and one could think this is just a cat -- it’s not a real problem.  Yes, everything’s relative.  This is just My Story right now, so that’s what I’m sharing.  And I hope someone and their cat will benefit from it someday…


  1. You said you should write a blog entry about all you and Mr. Man have learned about the kidney disease your kitty cat has; girlfriend, you (as some say) hit this one outta the park. I know several people who can - and will! - use all the wonderful info you've compiled and posted. And any time you need an ear, just call. Hugs...

    1. Thanks, sweetie, I hope you're right!