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Unread 02-17-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help sick cat

I don't know if anyone has any ideas to help me. I have a 16 year old cat that is in renal kidney failure. He eats prescription food and has been doing great. About 3 weeks ago he started acting sick. Took him to the vet, we had his blood work run again and his numbers were elevated, but not drastically (34 to 50) I've started Qsub fluids because the vet said he's feeling bad because he's dehydrated. Well, now he has dirreah and is pooing in the house, something he's never done. Bigger problem for us is that we rent our house, I cannot allow him to continue doing this, but I don't know how to stop it. He has 3 spots he's been pooing on and it's nasty stuff. Any advice to help stop it would be appreciated.
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Unread 02-17-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to the forum, though I am sorry it is your beloved cat's illness that has brought you here.

Call your vet and let the vet know about the diarrhea as it is an indication that something is wrong.

He is avoiding the litter box because he blames the box for the discomfort from the diarrhea. You can try adding a couple of new boxes, put the new boxes in the places he had his accidents.

Some questions.

How long has he been having the diarrhea? (how many days) and how often is it happening each day?

When did you start giving sub q fluids?

How often are you giving the sub q fluids, and how much each time?

How long has he been on the renal diet?

Is there a possibility that he has gotten into something toxic? House plants? Human food?

I have quite a bit of experience in this area and hope I can help, after getting more info from you, but the vet needs to know what's going on.

What's your kitty's name?
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Unread 02-17-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Gail, Thank you for your quick reply. Dusty has been on Subq for a week, twice a day, one ML at a time.(is that what the numbers are on the bag? ML?) The vet also has me giving him Azodyl for his kidneys. I called them a few days ago asking if the sub q could be giving him dirreah, they said no and to bring him in if it continues. I'm planning on calling them tomorrow.
He's had the dirreah for 5 days, but it seemed to get better after 2 days, so I thought we were thru it, then it came back worse than it was. Tonight I did not give him the Azodyl, wondering if that's what's doing it (however he had very loose BM before she started him on that.
we thought about putting more boxes out, problem is we have 2 dogs..they would just LOVE two boxes sitting out.
Dusty was diagnosed over 2 years ago with renal kidney failure and has been doing really well on the prescription food. It didn't even seem sick, but he drank alot of water and pee'd alot, which the vet said was good.
I've noticed since I"ve been giving him fluids, he isn't drinking as much OR pee'ing as much. I thought the whole idea of him drinking alot was that it would flush him out, but the subq doesn't seem to do it.
My other problem is, Dusty hate really HATES those fluids. He's a stubborn boy, always has been and he fights the entire time. It's horrible. I feel like I've gone from his favorite person to his most hated person..he jumps when I come around or if I pick him up he wants down, he assumes I"m gonna stick him and make him sit for awhile. OH and no, I don't think he's gotten into anything. We are careful with the dog food, they are not self feeders and there's nothing around the house or in the back yard on the patio (the only place he gets to go) that he could eat anything. If you have any ideas, I appreciate it. Otherwise, I am calling the vet tomorrow and no doubt she will sell me yet another bottle of stuff I cannot use on him. The Amazol was 44.00 and she sold me a bottle of stuff for his liver (33.00) that was HORRIBLE. smelly thick goo that made him gag for over 5 minutes while he foamed at the mouth running from me as I tried to wipe his mouth. (he had the dirreah before I tried that ick on him)The poor cat is starting to hate me, I swear!

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Unread 02-18-2011   #4 (permalink)
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The diarrhea may be from the azodyl, when did he start that? Many cats cannot tolerate it.

Why has your vet started him on that?

I know how you feel about the sub q fluids and Dusty's reaction. But it will get easier, I promise. In time Dusty will begin to make the connection between getting the fluids and feeling better but there are things you can do to make it nicer for him.

I am not a vet, but 100 ml twice a day, every day is WAY too much, in my opinion. If Dusty is going to have fluids daily, 100 ml a day should be the maximum amount he should get.

Excess fluid can cause oedema, a build up of excess fluid, which can put too much pressure on the lungs or heart. Before giving fluids, always check to see if there is any of the pouch left under his "arm pits", if you feel the slightest bit of fluid left do not give any more.

A cat getting daily sub q fluids will drink less, but he should be peeing at least as much as usual. The diarrhea will cause dehydration too, though.

Why did the vet give you something for the liver? And what on earth is it? Denosyl or denamarin are the usual supplements for liver problems (I have experience with that too)

Here are links to two excellent websites for CRF though since you've been dealing with this for 2 years you may already be familiar with either one of them

Feline CRF Information Center - Reception Desk

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Renal Failure

I'm going to put some sub q tips in a separate post, but to do that I have to use my quota of smilies so the forum will let me start another post so these are good luck to Dusty smilies

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Unread 02-18-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Administering sub q fluids

<--fifth smiley so I can make a separate post

(I keep this written and saved, so sometimes it says her and sometime him, though I know in this case, Dusty is a him)

I admit, this takes time and practice. When I first started giving sub q I was a basket case every sub q day. My stress would start as soon as I woke up and rise all day until it was time to do it.

It is important that kitty learn that regardless of his struggles this is going to happen. Of course you don't want him to hurt himself, but be firm and don't release him if at all possible.

Every day, whether it's a sub q day or not, at the same time you will be giving the sub q, hold him on your lap with a soft blanket under him (and for wrapping him if needed) speak to him calmly, tell him what is happening and why, and feel the back of his neck, his scruff, where the needle goes.

Get a feel for how to pull it up to form the tent, where the needle goes.

Doing it every day will teach him that this is going to happen every day, but also he will learn that sometimes it won't be a needle, it is just bonding time.

always give a treat after.

On fluid days:

Warm the bag of fluids in a pan of warm water.(very important) Put the needle on before you get kitty. I loosen the needle cap and tape it in place. My hands don't always work well and I don't want to be struggling to uncap the needle while kitty is waiting.

Hang the bag where you can easily see the numbers, bag must be higher than cat. Run the fluids over your inner arm to check temp and make sure the flow is good. It's should feel barely warm on your skin.

Close the flow again. Get kitty and arrange him comfortably in your lap, on the soft blankie. If he tries to run, wrap her in the blankie. Stay calm. If you are stressed he will be stressed.

Pet her for a minute while feeling the area where you are going to poke.

Be ready for the jump when you poke. Once she gets used to the feeling she will be more likely to be still at that moment.

If you think it will help, give her something yummy to occupy her while you insert the needle. Maybe a dot of mayo on the paw for him to lick off.

While running the fluids keep talking to him, tell him how wonderful and brave he is. Tell her how this is helping her. After a few weeks, she will begin to make the connection between feeling better, and getting sub q.

Massage, or rub, or lift the skin at the area where the fluids pouch is forming to help the fluids disperse. The skin will get tight and it makes it a little uncomfortable for kitty. Helping it disperse as it flows keeps her more comfortable and helps the flow continue at a good pace.

When it's over, release her and give her a treat right away.

It all takes practice, but as time goes on you will develop more confidence in your skills, both with medicating and giving the sub q. the more confidence you have, the more easily she will accept these things.

You can do this, and he will learn to accept it as part of her life after a while.

The daily cuddle as described above is important so he knows that not every single time you reach for her something bad is going to happen.

You may feel like a "bad mommie" and that he is always running from you and hates you, but he doesn't and he WILL get used to it all.

Needle tips: the smaller the needle, the less she will feel it, but the flow will also be slower. A lot depends on how much she is getting.

I use an #18 needle. It's larger, but, for me, the smaller needle (#21) is just too slow.

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions
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Unread 02-18-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Gail, She started him on the Azodyl because it's supposed to help support the kidney function and since his numbers were alittle worse, she thought it might help. I thought it was a mediciation, but after getting it home I realized it's a suppliment. The stuff for his liver is Hepato. it's liquid and she just said that when the kidneys start to go that the liver is next and this would help support the liver. But I can't get it down him, it's too horrible.
I'm assuming on the bag of subq fluid, the 1 to 2 is a ML the 2 to 3, 3 to the 4 mark is a ML, correct? That is what the tech told me to do when she showed me how to give them. She said nothing about checking under his arms for fluid "pockets". I don't feel anything, but I didn't do the fluids tonight, right after I gave him his canned prescription food he had horrible dirreah, I felt that was enough for him to deal with. (and me I guess.)
We recently moved to California from Indiana. We had a great vet there and this is the second vet we tried out here. She seems to truly care and alot of what she says is the same as our vet in Indiana. I think she's trying to help him, but so far, the stuff I've gotten from her I worry about. I've looked at Tanya'a site before but not the other one you sent a link for. I will check it out. thank you so much for your comments...it was nice just getting it off my chest. MY husband is NOT good with this stuff...it makes him very queazy just watching me give the fluids.haha I will post tomorrow and put what the vet said. Lucily I'm off work tomorrow, so I can call them early. Hopefully she can give me something that will firm up his bowel movements and hopefully he'll go back to using his box once that is fixed!
Thanks for the many smilies for Dusty Gail! Your a nice lady.

Wow..never thought to warm the fluid up! Tomorrow is another day...I'll give your directions a shot and see if we can't make it better. I dread giving the fluids..and I know he can feel my dread. I use the larger needle (don't know the size #) they didn't offer me sizes, it goes fairly quickly IF he holds still and I can keep the needle at a good angle. I'll try it tomorrow. Thanks again!
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Unread 02-18-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenie View Post
Gail, She started him on the Azodyl because it's supposed to help support the kidney function and since his numbers were alittle worse, she thought it might help. I thought it was a mediciation, but after getting it home I realized it's a suppliment.
Azodyl is thought to help lower the BUN, the urea nitrogen that gets into the blood stream when the kidney's start to fail. Not all CRF cats need it, and many cats cannot tolerate it.

Quote:
The stuff for his liver is Hepato. it's liquid and she just said that when the kidneys start to go that the liver is next and this would help support the liver. But I can't get it down him, it's too horrible.

That's hogwash. CRF does not mean the liver is next. My Ootay had CRF for three years, and I know lots of other cats in kidney failure, there is nothing wrong with their livers. A friend's cat was in kidney failure for over 7 years, her liver was fine.

I did a search for "hepato" and could not come up with anything as far as supplements. Just that it is the greek term pertaining to the liver. I wouldn't give him any more of that and would ask for my money back.

Make sure you get copies of all Dusty's lab work for your own records. I'd be interested to know what his numbers are.

Quote:
I'm assuming on the bag of subq fluid, the 1 to 2 is a ML the 2 to 3, 3 to the 4 mark is a ML, correct? That is what the tech told me to do when she showed me how to give them.
The numbers represent hundreds. 100 ml, 200 ml etc. A ml is a very tiny amount, less than an ounce (1 ml = about .034 oz)

Quote:
She said nothing about checking under his arms for fluid "pockets". I don't feel anything, but I didn't do the fluids tonight, right after I gave him his canned prescription food he had horrible dirreah, I felt that was enough for him to deal with. (and me I guess.)
I agree. It won't hurt him to skip. It concerns me that no one told you to check for un-absorbed fluid before administering more. It's a very important concern. Oedema can put pressure on the heart or cause the lungs to collapse.

Quote:
We recently moved to California from Indiana. We had a great vet there and this is the second vet we tried out here. She seems to truly care and alot of what she says is the same as our vet in Indiana. I think she's trying to help him, but so far, the stuff I've gotten from her I worry about.
I too am worried, on yours and Dusty's behalf. It's very rough changing vets, especially with a special needs cat. When I moved to where I live now it took 7 years and four different practices before I found a vet I was happy with.

I really REALLY think that 100 ml twice a day is too much fluid for a cat, unless the cat weighs 20 pounds or something huge like that.

Quote:
I've looked at Tanya'a site before but not the other one you sent a link for. I will check it out. thank you so much for your comments...it was nice just getting it off my chest. MY husband is NOT good with this stuff...it makes him very queazy just watching me give the fluids.haha I will post tomorrow and put what the vet said. Lucily I'm off work tomorrow, so I can call them early. Hopefully she can give me something that will firm up his bowel movements and hopefully he'll go back to using his box once that is fixed!
Thanks for the many smilies for Dusty Gail! Your a nice lady.
You're welcome. Thanks for the compliment. Having a place to come to for help and just support can make all the difference in coping.

I've taken care of a lot of senior and special needs cats over the years. I actually like the other site better than Tanya's, but both are good.

A probiotic (other than azodyl) can help with diarrhea, but of course there may be something else going on. He may have developed an infection and need to be on antibiotics. Flagyl (metronidazole) is often prescribed for bacterial diarrhea problems. I'd go with forti flora probiotic if you can get it. It's a powder you sprinkle on the food. Most cats love it and it's very effective, but not cheap.


Quote:
Wow..never thought to warm the fluid up! Tomorrow is another day...I'll give your directions a shot and see if we can't make it better. I dread giving the fluids..and I know he can feel my dread. I use the larger needle (don't know the size #) they didn't offer me sizes, it goes fairly quickly IF he holds still and I can keep the needle at a good angle. I'll try it tomorrow. Thanks again!
Warming the fluid can make all the difference. Cats are so little, they get chilled quickly. Just remember to test the temperature by running it over your wrist or inner forearm to make sure it's not too hot. If it feels just warm on your skin it should be right. A cat's normal temp is slightly higher than ours. 101-102 F.

Yes he can feel your dread and responds to it. Find a way to help relax yourself. Sit in front of the TV for example. When I first started with Ootay I would get more and more anxious as the time came for her fluids.

I started taking a quick walk around the yard to help settle myself, then I would pop a Friend's episode into the dvd, just to give myself something to focus on. Of course I continued to talk to Ootay too, to help her through it.

She was getting 150 ml every other day. With the #18 needle it took 7 minutes.

I'll be watching for updates.
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Unread 02-18-2011   #8 (permalink)
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greenie,

I feel your pain and hope your kitty is getting better. Just letting you know that Gail is the "Cats Meow" person around here. Most every post I read from
her gives great info. As you've already figured out.
Letting you know that hope and good vibes are going yours and Dustys way.
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Unread 02-18-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Butch. I hope I can help Dusty's human give him a good quality of life. It's important to me, helping cats, where ever I can.
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Hello Gail,
I decided yesterday to take Dusty to a different vet. I got a copy of the blood work to take with me. He redid the blood work even though it had just been done last Friday. His numbers were the same. He did a urine check and also did an ultrasound. He said his bowels were inflammed, so that is what we're working on now. He has him on antibiotic and he wants me to continue the fluids, he wants me to give 250ML a day, 150 am-100pm. At least this vet was giving me medicine, not suppliments. The bad thing is, when he did the ultra sound he found a mass on Dusties spleen. He does not think that is causing his current ill feelings, but he also doesn't feel Dusties numbers are low enough to make him feel this bad, so he's not sure what's going on. It was a bad day. He's gotten his antibioic twice now and seems a "bit" perkier this morning. He slept with me all night instead of hanging out on his pillow in the closet, which is where he goes when he's really feeling bad.
I did your trick of warming the fluid this morning and he didn't fight quite as much, so I think that helped! Thanks. I was worried about putting that bag (upside down) in a big pan of warm water, but it didn't seem to hurt it. Is that how you do it?
Thanks so much for your advice, if you have any other words of wisdom please pass it along. I'm glad I took him to another vet. This was a clinic that had an older vet and a younger one. I got the younger one, he seemed to really want to figure this out. He was very compassionate when he told me he had found a mass on Dusties spleen. He just wanted me to know, we're going to get him back to feeling good, but we're not going to deal with the spleen issue, at least not now. I'm sure he was thinking it would be futile to treat a cat with kidney disease for a tumor. But we'll see when I take him back in a week.
Any more words of wisdom, please let me have them!
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