FIV+ Cat with possible renal failure

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Pip81
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FIV+ Cat with possible renal failure

Post by Pip81 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:32 am

Hi, I'm new to this forum but I'm hoping to get some advice please....apologies this is quite a lengthy story.

We adopted Ralph in June 2013, he is FIV+. In June this year we noticed that he wasn't quite himself, so we took him to the vets where he was diagnosed as having gingivitis. He was prescribed antibiotics and seemed to improve quite quickly. Within a couple of weeks of stopping his treatment, he started to deteriorate again. The vet gave us more antibiotics and suggested that we may need to do an ongoing course of 10 days on, 10 days off....we had done this with a previous FIV+ cat and it had worked well. They also ran blood tests at this stage, his kidney function was high normal.

We continued with this treatment and things seemed steady. Then towards the end of July, he suddenly took a turn for the worse. We rushed him in and he had a temperature of 106.2, the highest our vet had seen for a long time in a cat. They put him on a different antibiotic along with an anti inflammatory. This worked amazingly well and within a week he was back to his old self. Within a week of stopping his treatment, he was right back down to where to had been, so we rushed him in again and his temperature was back up to over 105. They ran more blood tests and everything was perfect apart from his kidneys which now showed he has lost at least 50% of his kidney function. He also had a high white cell count in his urine, but no blood.

At this stage the vet diagnosed him with a chronic kidney infection and suggested that we continue with a 6-8 week course of antibiotics. We cut out the anti inflammatory at this stage because of his kidneys, but soon took the risky decision to put him back on this as we couldn't get his temperature down without it. We've been treating this way now for weeks, he gets an antibiotic injection every 10 days, last week he also go an anabolic steroid injection and is now on anti sickness medication every day to try and improve his appetite. He also get a daily drug called semintra to help his kidneys to function along with the anti inflammatory.

He has stopped being sick, there has been no sickness for a couple of weeks now and we've managed to get him to eat a bit more than he was, but he's still losing weight. He's gone from a hefty 16 lbs to a skinny 12lbs. Most of the time he is bright eyed and responsive to us. Getting him to eat is a daily challenge, we must have about 15 different types of food as he won't eat the same thing 2 meals in a row.

The vet has mentioned that his kidney feels lumpy and that maybe he has kidney cancer, but he's really not well enough to test him further at this stage.

This morning, he was waiting for us to open the bedroom door as usual, he jumped up on to the bed as normal and had a fuss. We gave him his morning medication and then tried to get him to eat without any success. He won't touch anything, but is drinking a lot more than normal. His eyes are much duller and he didn't seem very responsive to us.

It's so hard to know what a good and bad day is for him, he was never a very joyful cat. He has always enjoyed his own company and never played enthusiastically, so I can't use that to judge it. He is spending most of his day just lying in the hallway, although he still always greets us when we arrive home. I'm just not sure what the next step is now. He's not getting better and probably won't get better. We're at the vets tonight and I think he may suggest that we consider saying goodbye....I'm fully prepared for this at some stage, I just don't know when it's time to say enough is enough. I would rather do this a few days early than a few days late.

Having no experience with renal issues in cats, I was hoping to see what other people's experiences are and what signs to look out for with end stage failure. I'm struggling to tell if we are managing the issue or not.

Sorry to ramble for so long!
Thanks
Pip
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Ralph at the beginning of July, before he got really poorly.
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bobbys girl
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Re: FIV+ Cat with possible renal failure

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:12 pm

Hello Pip and welcome to CC.

I'm sorry to hear that Ralph is not well and is having on-going problems. I have a FIV+ cat, Bobby and also a senior (13ish) cat with CKD, Tommy. To have the 2 problems together I would not know where to start!

Bob was born with a deformed front leg, he managed OK until he grazed his knee and the cut refused to heal. he had course after course of AB's and finally had his leg amputated. He took a while to heal but is now fine.

We got Tommy as an adult and are not sure how old he is. The CKD turned him from a strapping, muscular Tom cat to a skinny old man and we thought we would lose him. He is on Semintra and a special diet. He has up and down days but has improved and seems content with life. He is a real meat lover and adores chicken. I get frozen chicken breasts from Iceland. I know they are not ideal, but he does love them and it is a good way of disguising his medicine. Have you tried anything like that with Ralph. As I said it is not ideal but at least he is eating (and enjoying) his food.

The saying, better a day too early, than a day too late, is very true, but I wouldn't give up hope completely yet. I'm sure others will be along soon with ideas that will help.

Best wishes to you and your boy.

Sue

Pip81
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Re: FIV+ Cat with possible renal failure

Post by Pip81 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:32 pm

Thanks for replying Sue

Unfortunately the news tonight isn't great, his kidney is so large now that the vet is almost certain we're dealing with a tumour. We've agreed to continue with palliative care to make sure he's comfortable but we don't think he'll be with us much longer. His kidney seems to grow larger with every check up, so it's growing fast and obviously there's the risk it's spread. I feel better now though that we have a plan at least, and we just need to love him and spoil him and enjoy whatever time we have left with him.

I'm so pleased that your boy is doing well on his treatment and great to hear you're a fellow Fiv+ owner, there's not that many of us around.
Thanks
Pip

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Re: FIV+ Cat with possible renal failure

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:50 pm

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope whatever time you have left is happy. Ralph is a lovely cat.

Keep in touch.

Sue

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Re: FIV+ Cat with possible renal failure

Post by greenkitty » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:41 am

I'm sorry to hear about Ralph, my cat has just been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and I know renal failure is coming. At least you know what you're up against and hopefully can enjoy the time you have left. Have you tried warming his food? I know this can sometimes help.

Fusses to your handsome chap from me x

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