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Unread 06-01-2009   #1 (permalink)
GregC
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Default Important Lesson for Owners with Older Cats: Beware of Kidney Disease

I hope to save someone the heartache I experienced over losing
Maggie, a lovely gentle 17 year old Orange Maine Long Hair Coon:

http://www.i-love-cats.com/forums/sa...old-53768.html

I have learned much about the complexities of CRF/kidney disease/renal failure. It silently strikes older cats and some types of cats are prone to this than others.

If you have an older cat, you need to be vigilant of changes in weight and eating/drinking habits.

You should also know what ' normal weight' is for your cat.
For example, weigh your cat and record her weight now.

(What I did with Maggie , was to know my weight and then hold her while weighing again).

Then weigh your cat in a month. If you see a weight loss, something is going on. That might be accompanied by increased water drinking, lethargy and bad breath. Listen for ' bellowing ' and observe litter habits.

See your vet and ask for a blood test, and ask for kidney values.
Make sure your vet records the Creatinine and BUN #'s for BB.
also read
Feline CRF Information Center - Tests & Diagnostics

Its important to rule out any possibility of CRF/kidney disease/renal failure.

Do not overlook the importance of the Creatinine and BUN #'s. A cats kidney can give normal blood readings while operating at 70% failure

Once kidneys exceed 70% failure, the Creatinine and BUN #'s in a blood test will spike up.

At this point, you and your vet need to aggressively attack kidney failure and then have an ongoing treatment plan for the rest of your cat's life.

One error I made was my first vet was too passive- he recommended a change in diet to kidney food. This was ineffective and wasted 2 months of valuable treatment time.

Finally, I found a 2nd vet who was highly skilled. I spent $3200 to revive Maggie- but that and a treatment plan only bought us another month of relative health.

I lost a wonderful loving cat. I hope you learn from this and rule out
CRF/kidney disease/renal failure in your cat, if it is showing symptoms.
 
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Unread 06-01-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you for writing this post. I have been worried about kidney failure ever since I decided to get a Maine Coon.
Even though she is very young, I weigh her every week and watch her carefully (I make her sit on the scale by herself Treats are involved,hehe). I am dead scared of losing her to this.
I think I will ask for a blood test for kidney values every year, just in case. Should I maybe do this more often when she gets older? What would you recommend?
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Unread 06-01-2009   #3 (permalink)
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you are very smart to be concerned.

What does your cat weigh now ? How old is she ?

My girl weighed about 10 pounds at the most before she started losing weight

Keep in mind, it is normal for Maine Coon to lose some weight while aging ( my first vet argued with me about this, but he was wrong)

I think a regular vet visit, once per year, starting around age 10 or 11 is very safe. Then get the blood test and ask for kidney values.
 
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Unread 06-01-2009   #4 (permalink)
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She's very young (7 months), so she's just gaining weight for the most, hehe. She's almost 9 lbs. I am careful about her not getting overweight though. I use a measurement cup and I can still feel her spine under some flesh. She's been eating much more since she got spayed. She used to eat slowly before thorughout the day, now she eats her bowl of food in just 10 mins or so. I feed her in the morning and evening.

I've always been prepared for the responsibilities of having a cat. She is my baby

I know of a Maine Coon that died of kidney failure at 8 years old. I will take her to the vet for her vaccinations every year, so maybe I should ask for a blood test for kidney values as well? Even though she is young?
I'm paranoid about her health, hehe.
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Unread 06-01-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatrineA View Post
She's very young (7 months), so she's just gaining weight for the most, hehe. She's almost 9 lbs. I am careful about her not getting overweight though. I use a measurement cup and I can still feel her spine under some flesh. She's been eating much more since she got spayed. She used to eat slowly before thorughout the day, now she eats her bowl of food in just 10 mins or so. I feed her in the morning and evening.

I've always been prepared for the responsibilities of having a cat. She is my baby

I know of a Maine Coon that died of kidney failure at 8 years old. I will take her to the vet for her vaccinations every year, so maybe I should ask for a blood test for kidney values as well? Even though she is young?
I'm paranoid about her health, hehe.
you are a cat lover made in heaven

Perhaps ask your vet for an opinion , when to test. I would think you should have many years. The kidney failure at 8 yrs is a stunner to me. I just read that scientisits are linking the cat food recall in 2007 to a spike in kidney disease. Damn those companies for getting cheap wheat gluten from
(???) (China)

Just for curiosity- do you allow your sweetheart to roam around the neighborhood ?

My Maggie was an indoor cat
 
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Unread 06-01-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregC View Post
you are a cat lover made in heaven

Perhaps ask your vet for an opinion , when to test. I would think you should have many years. The kidney failure at 8 yrs is a stunner to me. I just read that scientisits are linking the cat food recall in 2007 to a spike in kidney disease. Damn those companies for getting cheap wheat gluten from
(???) (China)

Just for curiosity- do you allow your sweetheart to roam around the neighborhood ?

My Maggie was an indoor cat
Thanks I will ask my vet next time for sure.

I remember hearing about the cat food recall. Wasn't it a specific brand? Like Hills or Science plan? What would you recommend feeding her?

She only roams around when I put a harness on her and follow her, hehe. Anastasia is an indoor cat too. I will always have indoor cats.
She was horrified of the outside world and would start crying as soon as I took her outside our apartment door. She's better now, but everytime I take her for a walk, I carry her for some distance, then she walks all the way home.
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Unread 06-02-2009   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know what happened, I tried to open this thread many times but failed, now only I am able to read it. Thank you Greg for your kind warning and gentle reminder. Hope more people will be able to read this too.
God bless you !
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Unread 06-02-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info Greg,much appreciated.xxxxx
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Thank you, Greg
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Unread 06-02-2009   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KatrineA View Post
Thanks I will ask my vet next time for sure.

I remember hearing about the cat food recall. Wasn't it a specific brand? Like Hills or Science plan? What would you recommend feeding her?

She only roams around when I put a harness on her and follow her, hehe. Anastasia is an indoor cat too. I will always have indoor cats.
She was horrified of the outside world and would start crying as soon as I took her outside our apartment door. She's better now, but everytime I take her for a walk, I carry her for some distance, then she walks all the way home.
Hi Katrine, I checked my notes on the cat food recall. I know that none of the cat food I purchased had the poisened wheat gluten additive.

All the cat food co's put up 800 phone #'s and noted their web sites if their cat food was safe or if they were recalling their product.

I also recall, the biggest co with the most recalls was based in Canada-they had multiple brand names. Plus our large grocers ( like Safeway) here in the US put their brand names on cat food ( Safeway has "Priority"). So I can't put together a list for you

Anyway, for dry food, I buy IAMS for my cats. I know this is safe. For wet food, I would go to Pet Express, for 1 or 2 of their brands ( Homestyle) and they were adamant the product was safe. This is a local pet chain store here in the US.
 
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