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29 June 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) - aka Kidney problems

Bam Bam, resident evil, is a renal failure cat. You would'nt know it looking at him, but he was diagnosed with acute renal failure (instead of chronic, which we understand, is a little of blessing - he was almost curable). Now he gets the foie gras feeding treatment each night: we got to get a half-Fortikor pill in him to help blood flow through those damaged cashews of his. How did we know he was having kidney issues? We didn't, at least not until he showed us - one day in August last year, he refused to eat and was listless and moody. When we did the fur test, pull up a bit of skin and see how fast it returns to original condition, it just stayed pulled for ever. So we rushed him to the vet. And he was warded for a week. Ever since, he's had to go for a blood test every 3-6 months, and he was supposed to eat only Science Diet k/d, 'special' pet food formula for kidney patients. But he hated it, and if you smelled it, in comparsion to Natural Balance, the usual house rations, you'd understand why. We spoke to the vet, and settled on giving him a NB-k/d cocktail. Food was important to his health, as with any cat (hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) where the liver starts to function abnormally might result even after just a day or two of not eating, and can be life-threatening) .. or human. The WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY CRF CAT? section here gives a bloody good perspective. Bam Bam doesn't want homecooked food (what it may say about our culinary skills, I don't know - I've not cooked meat for a long time), so we stuck with the commercial pet food. He still would pick out the k/d and discard them if he was feeling prissy. The thing about commercial renal failure formula is that there are only 2 options here in Singapore: Science diet k/d or Walthams. If you've read our little primer on petfood, you'd know the concerns we have with those - borne out by Bam Bam's dislike of the by-products filled so-called special formulas. So it was back to the drawing board. Finally, on TANYA's FELINE CHRONIC RENAL FAILURE INFORMATION CENTRE , a support site set up in memory of Tanya, and Thomas, renal failure victims gave, among other easy to understand for the layman stuff, very good info on WHICH FOODS TO FEED. AND WHICH TO AVOID. The key requirements for a renal failrue cat's diet is low protein (now debatable, given that they are obligate carnivores), low phosporus and high potassium. On a site (I don't recall it right now) which listed quality commercial pet food that are good alternatives for the ones who reject the special formulas, like Bam Bam, we found good news. Natural Balance is noe of the non-special formulas that is equitable for a renal failure cat's diet! The key thing is, renal failure is irreversible, but it need not result in ongoing suffering and unhappiness for your cat. Some cats lived years of quality life. It's up to us to ensure that. Another good renal failure primer site: Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) in cats One for the green-thumbed or if you have a garden: Beware Lilies - Kidney Failure Cause! And other plants poisonous to cats - Go to Pawprints: TLC for cat minon requisite education








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