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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10966
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I adopted a Maine Coon from the shelter a couple of years ago.

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I adopted a Maine Coon from the shelter a couple of years ago. For some reason he never ever cleans himself. His fur is matted like dreadlocks. I have to try and cut them out ort year had him shaved! I have tried to bathe him and he howls. His breath is terrible too.
I love him to death, but is there any way I can get him to clean up?
Hello. Thanks for writing in.

Is he overweight?

Is there any inflammation or sores in his mouth?

Any change in appetite or difficulty eating?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Any increase in drinking or urination?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I took him to the vet a few months ago and he was sick. He had an ear infection mites and his kidneys looked bad. He got on antibiotics, ear medicine, etc and he seems fine now. I wonder about his mouth, he has always seem to have a sensitive mouth and difficulty eating. I thought the vet would have looked at his teeth whie he was there, he spent a whole day, very expensive. I wil try and look into his mouth now. If I dont write back then he won.

No problem. That would be my biggest concern. If he has an issue with stomatitis (inflammation in the mouth) or any significant periodontal disease, it may be painful for him to groom. Stomatitis can be the result of an immune system defect, certain viral infections (i.e.; calicivirus, leukemia, FIV) or a metabolic issue (i.e.; kidney, liver, etc). It would be a good idea to recheck some labwork on him to re-evaluate his kidney function. Although he is still a little young to think about it, it may help to get a thyroid value checked on him. Some cats with hyperthyroidism may not groom so well. In general, when cats aren't feeling well, their grooming habits tend to decrease. Make sure he doesn't have any signs of skin allergies or fleas as well. Let me know what you find in the mouth and if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, I did all those checks, thyroid etc. but that was ok. I will make an appt for next week. Thanks

You are welcome. What about the kidneys? You mentioned they looked bad on your previous post. Where you able to check in his mouth?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I made an appt at 2. His was in renal failure I was told, but he has recovered.

I dont see anything wrong with his mouth, his teeth are HUGE. however, he is not happy when I touch his mouth so maybe there is something there. I will tell the vet.

Yeah, there can be lesions or sores further back in the throat area that you may have a difficult time seeing. I would recheck his kidney enzymes just in case. Let me know what your vet finds if you don't mind.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

you bet!


Good luck!!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am at the vet now
Last time he Also had blood in his urine. His
Creatin is 3.3 and now it is 3.4.
His teeth are fine . His bun I has gone up from 43 to 65
I would be concerned that he is not grooming well because his kidney function is getting worse.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes but what causes renal failure?


There are various causes. With his presentation, I would assume it is chronic renal failure instead of acute renal failure. With acute renal failure, there is usually a toxin ingestion, infection (usually leptospirosis) or infarction (lack of blood flow). They are usually extremely sick and produce very little to no urine. The kidneys basically shut down completely. Chronic renal failure occurs over time, although the clinical signs can make it look like it comes on quickly. You will not see an increase in kidney enzymes until 75% of the kidney function is gone. Usually it is just a degenerative issue that comes with age. He may have had a congenital kidney issue, such as polycystic kidney disease, an immune system issue that causes damage to the kidneys, a long term kidney infection, kidney stones or trauma to the kidneys. An ultrasound may be needed to get a full assessment of that. While still young, you can see degenerative disease of the kidneys in certain cats. Let me know if you need any more information at all. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is there anything I can do? is there any medicine?

The mainstay of treating chronic renal failure in cats is fluid therapy and special diet. It they are showing signs of illness, such as not eating, lethargy or vomiting; putting them on 24-36 hours of intravenous fluids will help to flush the kidneys out very well. Once the BUN and creatinine are closer to normal, you can actually give fluids under the skin at home. Depending on the severity of the issue, this may need to be done daily to monthly. The cats that are very advanced need it daily. He most likely won't. Your vet can show you how to do that. Prescription diets low in protein and phosphorus, such as Hill's K/D and Royal Canin Low Protein, help to slow down any damage to the kidneys as well. If certain values, such as calcium, phosphorus or potassium; are abnormal, then medication to control those values may be necessary as well. Of course, if they find an underlying cause besides degenerative changes, therapy for that specific disease may be necessary as well. You can get a medication called Azodyl (it should be non-prescription) that helps to keep kidney enzymes down as well.
Dr. John and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Mary,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Main Coon. How is everything going?

Texas Veterinarian
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He is quite happy you can't really tell he is sick , but his levels were higher. They put some fluid under his skin.
And I am taking him back wed. They are sending his urine? Out got a culture? And they ordered him some food.
They cleaned him up trimmed his fur.
I will just do what I can . He is only four years old.
He is still playful - .
In the meantime I rescued a baby bird which I have in a bathroom-
So I feel like Ellie may Clampett.
Well, he has got to feel better with being all cleaned up at least. They are culturing his urine to see if there may be an underlying kidney infection that could be causing this.