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Roger L. Welton, DVM
Roger L. Welton, DVM , Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1449
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
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Advice as to whether I should put my cat to sleep to day or

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Advice as to whether I should put my cat to sleep to day or Epogen will help. She s a CRF cat 18 years 4 months. Had her since a kitten, diagnosed with CRF almost 2 years ago and hyperthyroid. Been on kidney food diet since then. Kept expecting her to die b/c they told me she would essentially at every turn, well she didn't and had a good quality of life, going outside, and fairly active just old. Her bun is about 100 and creatine just under 5 hardly changed in 2 years. I brought her in Thurs b/c her wobbleness was getting worse and i suspected low potassium, it was. IV since Thurs afternoon and no improvement although values are normal now. Her anemia was around 20% before, now 8.5% and vet said lower b/c she was dehydrated. She stopped eating Thurs. They gave her a shot of Epogen b/c it is non regenerative. I am wracked with guilt b/c I took in a stray who had fleas and treated them both with Frontline. Frontline didn't work on her for some reason and I didn't realize extent. vet gave her a pill and a lot died with in hours. He said they were likely making her anemia worse.

I can tell he wants me to put her down....he acted like a year ago I should b/c she was old and had hyperthryroidism and CRF. She just started not being able to walk in spite of the anemia.

My question is what hope is there really she can get maybe even another good month once the Epogen kicks in. yesterday he seemed more hopeful when he suggested it . today he doesn't since the potassium wasn't cause of her weakness.

I don't want to put her down if there is a hope she can hang on for a few days for the Epogen to improve her quality of life. She's a fighter and I think I owe that...but I can see she is miserable now. But she's been like that before and bounced back after fluids.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Roger L. Welton, DVM replied 3 years ago.


You have certainly come a long road with this disease. With BUN around 100 and Creatinine around 5 for the past 2 years, you are very lucky to have a very resilient kitty that can withstand those kidney levels.

Since these numbers are unchanged after all this time, it is reasonable to assume that her severe level of anemia is what may be contributing to her being so weak. Epogen is a good medication, as it provides the hormone stimulation for the bone marrow to begin making red blood cells - primarily the job of the kidneys that clearly cannot provide that function at this point. 8.5% is a very severe anemia, and one treatment of Epogen is not likely to change that very soon. My suggestion would be to give her a blood transfusion to stabilize that anemia, which will likely stand to make her feel better, while the epogen has time to work.

A first time blood transfusion for a cat does not require a crossmatch, so you can simply get donor blood in infuse it into the IV. A donor cat must be at least 11 pounds in size. In my clinic, medical team members and doctors typically provide their owner cats for use as really is no big deal for the donor and recipient, and may go a long way toward buying your kitty some time.

Please feel free to discuss my recommendations with your veterinarian.

Roger L. Welton, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1449
Experience: Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, and Book Author
Roger L. Welton, DVM and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you - one last question my vet I can tell does not want to do the transfusion- he said I could go to the emerg vet and it would be 500-800 does this sound right? I have 2 cats who haven't been typed but are big and healthy. Thanks!

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