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My cat has CRF. She was at the vet hospital a month ago for several days and treated with fluids, then home a week and back for a few more days for a respiratory infection. Yesterday she stopped eating more than a couple bites of food so I had her kidney values checked again and they're higher than a month ago. The vet said she has like 5% of her kidneys functioning. He said that treatment with fluids for another week would probably give her a week after that before it happens again. My problem is she's still scratching her scratching post, laying in the sun, making the trek downstairs to the litter box. She acts sick maybe but not like she's dying or ready to give in. But she won't eat much at all.<br><br><br><br>
So do I just let her go hopefully at home or treat for another week? I hate the thought of her spending several days in a place she hates if she doesn't have many days left.<br><br><br><br>
What should I do?
 

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Wolfie- I worked at a VCA Animal Hospital for 6 years. In that time I had ALOT of experience with renal failure....and this is something that is entirely up to you and your kitty. Ask your vet if you can bring your kitty in just for fluids once or twice a week, or see if you can give her fluids at home- In the meantime- if your kitty is happy and content at home, then that is where she should prob. be. Go out and buy her some "junkfood"- Friskies wet food is a great cheap one and let her eat whatever she wants. I am sorry you guys are going through this......just pay attention to your kitty, she'll let you knwo if/when she is ready to throw in the towel.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:">
 

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Wolfie, trust me you will know when it is time to let go and your kitty will let you know.<br><br><br><br>
Just be sure to think clearly about her quality of life, if she is still happy but sick then let her be and cherish the time you have left.<br><br><br><br>
If she is in pain all the time and is no longer enjoying life then it is time to let her go.
 

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All patients we had in the hospitals I worked for did their sub-q fluids at home for their cats in renal failure. Some daily, some every other day, some a few times a week. If you are able to, I would talk to your vet about this option. It could be very helpful and make BOTH of you more comfortable at home. (You because you're helping her, her because she's feeling better)
 

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Such a sad situation Wolfie. I'd have to agree with everyone else, you'll know when it's time, if she's still happy enough I'd keep her at home. I'm so sorry.
 

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How old is your kitty and how high are the kidney values? Also, how low is the hematocrit (percent of total blood volume that is red blood cells)? The kidneys not only get rid of waste product, but also produce a hormone that regulates red blood cell production. How long you can maintain a cat comfortably in CRF depends not only on those factors, but also on how much you are willing to do. Since she can no longer concentrate her urine and can not drink enough to keep up with the loss, you will need to give her extra fluid under the skin to help her out. With a 95% loss, you will likely need to give her some every day. You can also give her food that produces fewer waste products to lighten the load, Hill's KD or Modified Diet (I forget who makes that one) are the two main ones to try. If she is getting anemic, you can try to get injections of hormone to induce blood cell production (you may have some difficulty finding a vet who will or can do this). Some people have maintained their cats for months to years doing this. This basic therapy is not cruel or inhumane as long as you cat is able to still participate in life (ie. responsive, eating, able to get to the litterbox).<br><br><br><br>
I would like to take this moment to recommend that anyone with a cat or dog get a basic blood panel yearly. This will establishes "normals" for that particular animal and detect problems (like CRF) early. The kidney values will start to increase in a blood profile with about 66% function loss, but you will not see any physical signs (dehydration, vomitting, loss of appetite. etc.) until 75% of function is lost. In cats over 10 years, the profile should also include T4 to detect hyperthryoidism, which can mask CRF and is also very common in older cats.
 

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other good food for kidney stuff: eukanuba multi stage renal. it's a prescription food, so i'd ask the vet. if she's not eating hill's a/d is another good one. it's extremely high calorie and it's supposed to taste really really good for cats to entice them to eat. at my work, we give it to animals just coming out of surgery, or sick animals that are refusing to eat.<br><br><br><br>
the sub-q fluids are really easy to give at home, and i know at my clinic, you can bring the pet in and have them done whenever you need them. they don't have to stay overnight, and it takes about 15 minutes. my clinic is 24 hours though, so it's easier for people to come and go at their convenience.<br><br><br><br>
best of luck...i'm sorry your poor kitty is having to go through this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Wolfie, do you have any updates? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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Go to this group <a href="http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-CRF-Support/" target="_blank">http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-CRF-Support/</a><br><br>
and ask your question there. They are awesome. Many of them have cats that were very very ill and came back for years more of good health. Not all vets are very knowledgeable about how to aggressively treat this disease.<br><br><br><br>
Also check out <a href="http://www.felinecrf.com" target="_blank">http://www.felinecrf.com</a>
 
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