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My 16 year old cat has just been diagnosed with stage 2

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My 16 year old...

My 16 year old cat has just been diagnosed with stage 2 kidney failure (CKD). I've know most of the causes and symptoms and treatment information, but wonder why she seems to be breathing with a little difficulty. I watch the in/out movement of her chest and it is rapid and erratic, not a smooth action. She is restless when she tries to sleep. Is this another symptom of CKD?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name?

Tiny.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?

I don't think so.

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/31/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian replied 9 months ago
Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,963
Experience: Veterinarian - BVSc
Verified

Hi there,

Thank you for your question regarding your girl Tiny who has IRIS stage 2 renal failure. No, the respiratory issue you are seeing is definitely not a common symptom of renal disease. It is possible that in the later stages of renal disease (stages 3 & 4) we could see some breathing issues due to concurrent anemia, however even this is less likely. It is quite possible that Tiny actually has a concurrent issue here, and older cats are prone to primary heart issues that can lead to fluid build up around the lungs, so it will be quite important for your local vet to assess this next week if you can get Tiny seen again. It is possible that hypertension related to the kidney disease has led to this fluid build up around the lungs as well, so a full check up again, blood pressure measurements and an xray or ultrasound of Tiny's chest would be the next best step here.

For tonight if this breathing issue seems particularly bad right now, please keep an eye on your girl's mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of her gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if she is continuously panting or open mouth breathing at all tonight, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

All the best with your girl and do follow up on this with your local vet when you next can. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

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Cat Veterinarian: Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Hopefully that message came through ok? Let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr E

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Cat Veterinarian: Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Are you still there?

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Cat Veterinarian: Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Hi again,

I thought I would quickly check in to see how you are doing with your girl Tiny. How is she doing at the moment? Did you get a chance to follow up with your vet as yet?

It would be great to get an update when you get a chance.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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