Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

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Chat Noir
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Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Chat Noir » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:33 pm

Hi All

We have had some bad news from our vet. Portia has kidney failure and our vet said she is so ill she should be "put to sleep".

She is 15 years old and over the last 6 weeks her weight has halved. She has been on Metacam for over a year and over the last month she has gone from "fussy eater" to barely eating at all. The vet ran some blood tests and informed us of her prognosis today.

Our vet has always been a woman we trust. However, we cannot shake the feeling that it is too soon to give up. Portia's behaviour and health is not as it was of course. In conjunction with her eating, she is more lackluster and her coat and eyes are duller. But she is still jumping up to the window to do her neighborhood watch, still purring and having cuddles and I just think she has more years left.

I am posting in the hopes that you can advise me further. The vet quotes a load of stats at us which I don't understand but you may:
Urea level - 31, normal should be 10.
Creatanine level - 600 (should be no more than 100)

We are going to speak to the vets again this week to explore our options further. We are considering getting a second opinion and will try to get loan if money becomes an issue.

Hope to hear from you soon, thank you.

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by booktigger » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:00 pm

Sorry you've found us under such sad circumstances, sadly those values are very high, did the vet suggest stopping the metacam?

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Chat Noir » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:03 pm

Oh yes we stopped the metacam last week. We bought 8 different types of food, all of which she rejected except her first love tuna, which is obviously protein rich but the vet said that it is good she is interested in some food.

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:36 pm

I'm sorry you have had this bad news about Portia. I can't advise one way or another about her prognosis or what you should do. But I will say that Tommy's health declined suddenly, to the point where I took a picture of him one night thinking 'this will be the last picture I have of him' - he looked so 'down'.

But the vet had given him a shot to encourage him to eat and some Semintra and within a couple of days he had really picked up.

I know it won't be forever and am making each day I spend with my lovely boy count. I hope you can do the same for your baby.

All good wishes

Sue x

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by hgale » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:48 am

I'm sorry to hear about Portia.

My only experience with renal problems was with my Mischa in February 2014 - I'd been away for a works conference and my friend who was taking care of her said she'd completely emptied her water bowl - unheard of. When I got home, a very miserable cat was waiting for me (she'd been fine right up to when I left for the conference). I whisked her off to the Vet on the Sunday, they did tests and said her renal levels were high and put her on a drip which should have helped. Sadly, the levels continued to rise and as she was nearly 20 years old, I decided the kindest way I could help was to let her go peacefully before it got any worse. The Vet did mention about renal diet etc but as she was so elderly, I didn't want to prolong it before she might have suffered - my Vet fully supported my decision.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help - obviously Portia is younger than my Mischa was (which was a factor in my decision), perhaps a second opinion will help you.

Please give Portia a cuddle from me and Denver.

Helen

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Joanne_ » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:35 am

When my cat Jimmy was diagnosed his readings were around 700. He was put on a special diet which he hated so he was given a special powder to place in his food. He was not 100% himself lounged around a lot have excessive urination which meant he would start using places in the house to urinate which he had never done before like the shower at the front door... He had a lot of downs but then he had periods of highs like he was a young kitten again. However after having it for 10 weeks, he got worse on new years day, his kidneys had given up:( he was no longer eating or urinating... When we took him to the vet we knew it was time:( They vet ran bloods and aid his readings were a whopping 1500 ish and there was no going back.

I guess at the readings she has it is possible she can live longer, however it effects cats differently so if she is really poorly you just have to look at her quality of life really. But don't give up if you feel she is not at that stage yet.

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Chat Noir » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:40 pm

Hi all - thanks for all of the responses so far.

A wee update. Apart from being slightly more cat-nappy and the weight loss, she is doing ok. She is eating a little, drinking, cuddling and purring and frankly I think with the right treatment, she may feel better.

I have been researching the illness all night and coupled with your helpful comments, I think she has a chance. We would only agree treatment if it improves her quality of life and causes minimal discomfort but treatment is where we are at.

We have a consultation (without Portia) tomorrow and we are armed with facts and questions so fingers crossed she will get better.

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by meriad » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:35 pm

I really should know much more about renal failure than I do, given I lost one of my cats to it; but he was ill when I adopted him and I knew I wouldn't have very long with him (although I did hope I'd have more than the short 7 months I did).

I think a lot depends on whether the kidney failure is acute or chronic - I cannot remember which is which, but one is a sudden onset and more serious whereas the other is a gradual progress that can be managed by diet and medication

If you have time before your appointment have a look at this website - it's very comprehensive and may give you answers or additional questions to ask http://www.felinecrf.org/index.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Best of luck for the vet appointment and fusses to Portia

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Crewella » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:42 pm

I'm so sorry you're facing this, it's an awful position to be in. I've lost a cat to acute renal failure and it was heartbreaking. In my case, my boy was not even slightly amenable to being prodded and poked at the vets and we did decide to put him to sleep. He would have been miserable having to endure the sort of fluid therapy and pill popping that trying to treat the condition would have entailed, and there was only a small chance of success anyway. He was 17.

I would have posted the same link that Meriad did, and I've found this page very useful too:

http://www.surroundedbycats.com/10Emma.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

By the sound of it, you case is acute rather than chronic, but there is good background info there that might help you to understand the issues.

A second opinion is always worth having, even if it only serves to give you some peace of mind. I wish you luck for the appointment. xx

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Chat Noir » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:06 pm

Thanks Crewella and meriad. That first link has given me so much hope and I will read the second link tonight.

We have just got back from the vets with our second opinion - from the same vet!

After explaining Portia's current behaviour and eating/drinking, she agreed that we have to try treatment. We need to get a urine sample, she will be given an antibiotic, a daily dose of Semintra and an antacid (all to be spaced out over a period). We have also been given some special food for her to try once her appetite is restored. So I have gone from being devastated to hopeful in the space of 48 hours. I know that it may not work but I am glad our vet is supporting us to at least try.

Thanks all and I will keep you updated xx

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by hgale » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:56 pm

That is good news! Please keep us all updated and lots of gentle fusses to Portia.

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by bobbys girl » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:01 pm

That's good news. :) I hope it continues for you. It is a bit of a roller coaster, Tommy's kidney problems mean he is up and down from day to day. But every extra day is worth it.

Fusses to Portia.

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Re: Renal failure - terminal or treatable?

Post by Crewella » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:04 pm

That's good news - whatever the outcome at least you'll have tried. All paws here crossed for him. xx

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