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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1556
Experience:  7 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My 18 year old cat was diagnosed with declining kidney

Customer Question

my 18 year old cat was diagnosed with declining kidney function. She was feral I took her in at 5 months. She very loving with me, but terrified of everything else. A snoose sends her scurrying. I embarked on an chineese Herbal and also a standard Rx.
After all our years togather, she began to hide from me . Meds in food didnot work and crushing in water and adminstering with s syringe was terribly traumatic for both of us. rather than have her fear me after all our years togather i havr decided to let
her enjoy her remaining time . Please tell me what to look for as signs .It has been 1 yr. since her diagnosis. I keep food and water avaiable anywhere she is and have 4 sets of stairs to accomidate her arthritis. How will I know wehehshe has declined to the
point that she needs to be put rest. There are 3 litter boxes available for her use and many cushiined napping spots which she visits and she enjoys the enclosed breezeway. her urine seems fine she visits the boxes often and drinks often.Do you have any advice
to make her more comfortable and keep her quality of life what we would want for ourselves.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 12 years. I"m sorry to hear about your kitty. At 18 years of age with declining kidney function I respect your decision to not torment her with too much in terms of treatment and allow her to enjoy the life she has left
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
Kidney disfunction and failure is a common older cat disease. But it is something that progresses at dramatically different rates in different cats. Some cats decline rapidly while others have a good quality of life for a long time. I might be able to get a better idea of how your cat is doing if I had her bloodworm from when she was first diagnosed and some more recent bloodwork to know how her disease has progressed. But I can tell you some general things I would expect in this situation. First, she is likely to have a progressively declining appetite. You may find that she likes a particular food for a while and then suddenly doesn't want it any more.... This is because kidney disease will cause nausea after eating and the cats start to associate the nasusa with the food and don't want to eat it anymore.
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
If she is being picky, but still eating then I think she probably still has a good quality of life. There may come a day where she stops eating entirely. To me this is a time to make a decision about euthanasia because their quality of life will decline rapidly once they stop eating. Another thing thing that you can see is that they will become weak and tire quickly due to the anemia associated with kidney disease .
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
As far as making her remaining time as good as it can be, I think you are already doing exactly what you need to be doing. Providing comfortable, and warm (because they will often tend to be cold) places for her to rest and spending time with her is perfect. Make the food an letterboxes convent for her... she will tire fast so don't make them hard to get too. Provide lots of fresh water... the increased drinking helps flush her kidneys.... And probably the most important thing you can do for her is to know her habits and behaviors so that you will recognize when she is doing poorly so she doesn't suffer.
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
The three things I would consider in deciding if she is suffering are... loss of appetite, weakness to the degree that she doesn't do her normal activities such as going to the litter box, and any drooling or noticable mouth pain (cats with kidney failure will develop mouth ulcers.
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 2 years ago.
I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions that I could help with, please let me know. Dr. Stacy

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