Tommy update - advice please!

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bobbys girl
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Tommy update - advice please!

Post by bobbys girl »

I posted the following yesterday under another thread. As I had no replies, I'm posting here.


'Well he is back home, a little groggy but OK, considering. The good news is there is nothing wrong with his Thyroid. The bad news is it's his kidneys.

He is anaemic and he has Chronic Kidney Disease. We are going back tomorrow to collect meds. and to talk about diet etc.

So now I'm asking all you lovely folks out there for your advice on management of his condition and things to look out for.

It puts things into perspective. Now I don't mind if I EVER get a new shed, as long as my boy has a happy life, however long or short that is.'

PS, OH has asked me to ask you how much do you pay for dental work (a general clean and check-up on a cat that has never had one) and Full Bloods. I know 'it all depends', but general prices would do. Yesterday the vet gave us a price then the receptionist (who drew up the bill) tried to charge us €100.00 more! Trying to pull a fast one?

Tommy seems more his old self today, though he has lost so much weight from his face, he looks even more like Shrek's Puss in Boots with his great big eyes.
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Kay
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Kay »

I've never (yet) had to deal with kidney problems, but I can advise that I paid £180 for full bloods and the extraction of 4 teeth recently, and my vet is a small rural practice, generally less expensive than posh town vets

and older cats, especially with known kidney problems, should be put on a drip for 24 hours before any anaesthetic, to reduce the risk, and that would bump up the bill, of course
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meriad
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by meriad »

Hey there. I'll never know if what Molly had was acute or chronic kidney disease but what I do know is that the day we did her bloods and realised her values were up she went on a daily dose of Forkekor. I would need to check with the vet when it all started but I'm sure wthat I had about 4 - 5 years with Molly after diagnoses and I know that in her last year her levels were actually really stable.

Molly never took to any of the renal foods or renal binders and given she at this point was an elderly cat anyway both the vet and I figured that quality of life was more important than quantity and that it was better for Molly to eat whatever she would as long as she ate.

I took Molly for regular blood tests, either every 3 or 6 months depending on the levels.

I know Mark was saying that his vet now uses something else instead of Fortekor, hopefully he'll see this post and will reply as well

Fusses to Tommy
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Crewella »

All my gang's dentals have been around £200-300, including bloods (as most have been older).

I struggled to feed renal wet food to mine and ended up feeding a mixture of renal dry and senior wet food.

Glad he's feeling better. xx
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HRHFluffy
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

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Sorry to hear about Tommy's recent diagnosis. Fluffy was diagnosed with CKD 3yrs ago. That was when I joined CC to get some much valued advice. Mark has had several cats with the condition so his input was a great help.

Sounds like Tommy has lost a lot of weight so it's vital that he eats whether it be renal food or not. This website is the first port of call for me and several others on here: http://www.felinecrf.org/what_is_ckd.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I constantly refer to this whenever I have a new symptom come up with Fluffy. It's a wealth of information and can be a bit overwhelming at first but is well worth the effort. Fluffy doesn't eat renal food. She has gone through phases of eating it but it is a chore for her. She is currently on gourmet perle pouches which aren't ideal for a ckd cat but it is her favourite at the moment and the only thing she is keen to eat. The best food for a ckd cat is the one they will eat. They will need every ounce of weight to help them through this disease. Wet food is best. I give Fluffy a very small handful of dried at bedtime. If Tommy would eat cereal free food then that would be a good thing. Mark will be able to advise on which brands are cereal free. I'm not sure if Felix are or not.

I add a phosphorous binder to all Fluffy's food. The phosphorous content in food is what does the damage to the kidneys. Adding a binder to the food reduces the amount of phosphorous that gets absorbed into their system. I use Renalzin. I get it from this site which is one of the cheapest places to get it http://www.animeddirect.co.uk/renalzin-150ml.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

Meds wise I use Semintra (this is what Ria was referring to). It is supposed to be better than fortekor and the side effect is to reduce blood pressure which Fluffy has a problem with. She is on a low dose of aspirin every three days to help prevent blood clots but this is because of her hypertension (she also has a grade 5 heart murmur). Tommy may need to have his blood pressure checked as it is common for ckd cats to have high blood pressure too.

Fluffy had full bloods and a dental last year with two teeth extracted and it came to £442!! She was on a drip for sometime afterwards which may have bumped up the price as Kay mentioned.

I know it's a distressing time. Has your vet indicated how severe the kidney disease is? Ask for a copy of the blood test results. Try to keep Tommy as well hydrated as possible.

Gentle fusses to the lovely boy and hugs to you

p.s. Anaemia is very closely linked with kidney disease. There is lots of info on the website about that too and suggestions for different meds that may help.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Crewella »

I'd trotted off to find links, but Carol beat me to it! :)
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by HRHFluffy »

Sorry Helen :D It's only cos I have them constantly to hand that I can find them so quickly.
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Crewella
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Crewella »

No worries - may the best woman win! :P

Actually, your info will be better and more-up-to-date anyway, as it's something you're currently dealing with. Any experience I have is from a few years back. :)
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by bobbys girl »

Thanks girls for all your help. Keep it coming, we need all the help we can get.

We are having liver for tea tonight and will save some for Tommy - for his anaemia. Don't worry about onions as mum and OH don't like them anyway (just me!)

He is spending a lot of time outside, sitting on the window ledges around the house. Seems happy enough, but the weather is not good.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Crewella »

HRHFluffy wrote:If Tommy would eat cereal free food then that would be a good thing. Mark will be able to advise on which brands are cereal free. I'm not sure if Felix are or not.
I think Felix pouches in jelly (not gravy) are cereal free, and (thanks to Mark) I used to feed the senior version as it's lower in phosphorus.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by lilynmitz »

My Lily was diagnosed with kidney problems so long ago I can't remember when it was! She's been on daily fortekor and a combination of senior and renal foods ever since, and more recently I've been adding ipakitine to her food. I give her the fortekor in webbox strips (or more recently, Whiskas tuna meaty sticks), or if she's in a mood and won't eat them, I just crush them into her food. It seems quite palatable, as on odd occasions she's picked up the fortekor off the floor and eaten it without the webbox if it dropped out!

While CKD/CRD is an awful condition in the long run, it's much better understood and treated now than it used to be, and also I think it tends to get picked up much more quickly, so the sooner it's caught, the better the prognosis. Keep an eye on his blood pressure too - I think this is a related issue (fortekor, among other things, helps reduce high blood pressure, which I think is why kidney disease can lead to blindness in cats). Lily's on istin for her blood pressure as well now, on top of her meds for HyperT.

We've kept her going for years on this regime. We nearly lost her to acute kidney failure at the start, which was how she was diagnosed, but she rallied from that and is still with us 4 or 5 years later. She's getting much more frail now, so if she won't eat her senior or renal food, I just feed her what she wants. As others have said, "something is better for her than nothing", and quality of life is definitely more important than quantity.

Hope Tommy is coping well with the treatment and new diet. Give him a hug from us.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please! - another renal patient

Post by Joyceh »

Hi All

I'm back on here after a prolonged pause (some on here might remember me and my globe-trotting duo Big Cat & Crazy Cat from the old site).

Sorry to hear about Tommy and wish you both all the best. I'm hoping you don't mind me tapping in to your thread but since I came on to ask more or less the exact same questions, it seemed an idea to keep everything in the same place and hopefully the information is useful to all.

Big Cat has just been diagnosed with CRF and I'm exploring his options. He is also anaemic but his thyroid is OK so sounds like we had the same panel of tests done :)

Big Cat is a massive foodie, but first try on renal wet food has not been great (I still have other flavours to try!). The links on here have all been really helpful but I wondered if anyone had any ideas on "normal" cat food which might fit with a renal diet? I'm aiming for quality of life here and if he doesn't settle on the specialist renal food, I'd like to know if there are any flavours/brands etc of normal food to avoid or use?

Joyce
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bobbys girl
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by bobbys girl »

Hi Joyce,

I haven't had chance to go shopping for renal food for Tommy. The vet gave (sold!) us Hill's Renal Health dry food. I give it to Tommy in small amounts, he tends to eat little and often. If I give him a lot in one go, pig bin Gracie cleans up what he leaves! :roll:

At the moment I am giving him a little fresh chicken a day and a mix of Coshida and Sheba (I'm disguising his meds in the Sheba). He is looking a LOT brighter and is playing again. So something is working! :D :D
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Joyceh »

Awhhh - glad he is seeming a bit better. Big Cat is absolutely fine in himself. I knew he was drinking more and weeing more but his bloods 6 months ago were fine so I didn't stress him with lots of investigations at that point. This time he was struggling a wee bit more with his arthritis so the vets checked him out again before looking at pain med options. I do need to get some dried renal as his current diet is 50% dry but my vet is a fan of wet food so loaded me up with varieties to test. Since he is usually not at all fussy, the fact he would not touch the first batch of wet renal food when hungry does not bode well!
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Crewella »

In general, I've found that healthy cats will eat renal wet food, but as soon as they actually need it and their appetite isn't 100% they won't - I tried all sorts of different brands but had the same result with all. To be honest, they all smelled horrible and had a weird texture .... I couldn't really blame them!

I had more success with renal dry food, and tend to feed a mixture of wet and dry anyway, so in the end I went with feeding them half renal dry and half senior wet food. In general senior food is better, probably because part of the ageing process is likely to include some loss of kidney function - my staple was Felix senior pouches in jelly.

As has been said, any food is better than none!

I'm glad he's brighter - give him a fuss from me. :)
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by booktigger »

Renal dry seems to be a lot more palatable, I've had a few needing renal food and all have been fine with various dry brands. Wet food, Royal Canin has always been the most popular. As renal is so expensive, I feed Buster a mixture of renal and senior wet and renal dry.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

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Boris has kidney issues & won't touch renal food on its own. However we're having great success in blending a pouch of renal & a pouch of Felix Senior together. We also hide a little renal dry into the mix. Currently he wolfs half the mix in the morning & half for his tea. The last couple of weeks he's put a little weight back on & hasn't had the sickness usually associated with CRF either.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by booktigger »

cathyday wrote:Boris has kidney issues & won't touch renal food on its own. However we're having great success in blending a pouch of renal & a pouch of Felix Senior together. We also hide a little renal dry into the mix. Currently he wolfs half the mix in the morning & half for his tea. The last couple of weeks he's put a little weight back on & hasn't had the sickness usually associated with CRF either.
Buster much prefers to have half renal and half senior in the same bowl. I've just bought 3 boxes of renal so he has a different flavour each day, and 2 types of senior so one day is jelly and next is gravy
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by bobbys girl »

It's early days yet, but Tommy seems much brighter and almost back to his old self. Thanks to all of you for your advice and support. I will keep this thread going for a while because I feel it is helping all of us with the same problem.

I think he has forgiven us for his trip to the vets. He has stopped flinching when my OH touches him and last night he slept between us. :D It is one of the things that really bothers us. Most cats don't like being hauled off to the vets, but Tommy really HATES it. He gets SO stressed, poor little man. For such a big cat he is a real wussy puss.
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by HRHFluffy »

Really pleased Sue that Tommy is improving so well and that he's forgiven you for his traumatic experience at the vets :)
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Jan »

Crewella wrote:
HRHFluffy wrote:If Tommy would eat cereal free food then that would be a good thing. Mark will be able to advise on which brands are cereal free. I'm not sure if Felix are or not.
I think Felix pouches in jelly (not gravy) are cereal free, and (thanks to Mark) I used to feed the senior version as it's lower in phosphorus.
Hi Crewella ... have only just seen this thread and looking through quickly, I saw your post about Felix in jelly being cereal free and lower in phosphorous. What luck! Its Blackie's favourite food - always has been. He will eat the RC wet renal but I'm a bit worried that it might be high in calories? At the moment, he's getting his Felix and the RC food - with some Thrive now + again (another fav).

I'm going to get the book about CKD on Amazon as I'll find it easier to dip in/out of it and know what to look out for and more important, what to ask the vet.

I wish everyone's cat with this disease a long and happy life. Must go .... there's some scratching of the mat going on ... meaning His Lordship wants to go out :roll:
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by bobbys girl »

Tommy seems to be doing OK at the moment. He has his medicine, every morning, on a spoonful of Sheba. He usually licks all the gravy and leaves quite a bit of the meat - but at least he is getting his meds. ;)

He is not a big eater, but he does get food on demand. He likes Felix Senior in jelly and his dry 'renal' biscuits (so does piggy Grace :roll: ). He also gets a piece of chicken fillet every other day and James Wellbeloved Senior. I'm not sure if it's the best for him but it is good food and he likes it.

He hasn't put any weight back on, but he is much brighter and has gone back to doing the Tommy Twostep when he wants out. I think there is life in the old boy yet. Thank God! :D
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Re: Tommy update - advice please!

Post by Crewella »

I was wondering how Tommy was doing! So glad he's back to his old self. With any luck, over time, he might put a little weight back on too now he's eating well. :)
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