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    Feline Kidney Disease
    An_221042 posted:
    My cat is 16 years old and has just been diagnosed with early-stage kidney disease - she had lost weight, was given a blood test and the results were kidney disease. Her vet has prescribed K/D food and she is taking a daily Enalapril pill. At first she really liked the K/D canned but after a couple of weeks no longer eats it. I also got the K/D dry and she seems to be eating that better than the moist but does not eat as she used to before being put on the special diet. My concern is that she is losing weight and I am wondering if I should put her back on her normal food? I don't want to have to tube feed her. The vets office told me that I would be defeating the purpose of the medication if I put her back on regular food. Would appreciate any assistance possible with my dilemma.
    Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
    Many cats do not tolerate changes in diet at all, others need a more gradual change. K/D is not a very flavorful diet so you are lucky she ate it at all. One of the little tricks you can try is to mix a tiny bit of regular food with the K/D and that will give it a slightly different smell and taste. You can use the tiny cans of different flavored food. It is really important to keep a cat eating and while it is ideal to have her on K/D, making the diet as much K/D as possible is better than none at all and no K/D at all is better than not eating anything. There are some times when the animals we love just don't seem to appreciate what we try to do for them. It sounds like you are trying, now we just have to hope she decides K/D is an okay thing.

    Good luck, this is never an easy switch for a cat.
    FeistyPhyl replied to Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS's response:
    Dr. Beaver - thank you very much for your response. Really appreciate your advice and will give it a try. At the moment I have been feeding her some regular food along with the dry K/D which I am moistening and she is eating some of it. Now I will try her with K/D moist mixed with regular moist and see how that goes. Once again, many thanks.
    Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
    Those are good suggestions. One more: Purina and Royal Canin both make prescription kidney diets. They taste different than K/D but all three are made specifically for cats with kidney disease. See if she likes these. I have some kidney patients that eat one for awhile, then lose interest and like another one, then lose interest and like the first one, etc.

    Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
    The Cat Doctor
    Board Certified in Feline Practice
    FeistyPhyl replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
    Dr. Weigner:

    Thanks for your added comments. I am getting quite desperate at this point as Celine is not eating much at all. At the moment I am giving her a selection of dry K/D, moist K/D mixed with a little of her regular food - as she has stopped taking the moist K/D on it's own -, and dry K/D moistened with water - which is about the only food she is currently eating.

    I will speak with my vet and see if he can write out a prescription so that I can purchase alternate foods. Unfortunately K/D is all he carries.
    crzyctlady replied to FeistyPhyl's response:
    I have had several cats with kidney disease, but will never forget how difficult to find something that the first cat would eat! I spent a small fortune trying every kidney diet on the market, and then my last hope was the Royal Canin Renal LP Modified canned cat food. It was moister with a somewhat fishy smell and more like normal canned cat food. Kitties with this disease often develop upset tummys and also need extra fluids in spite of their tendency to drink all the time. So canned food is better than the dry for them, unless your cat won't eat wet food or prefers dry. Obviously, you want them to eat. I have found that sitting with my kitty and coaxing her to eat gets her to eat a little more.

    You shouldn't need an RX to get this diet. Ask your vet to special order it for you, or call around to find a vet that carries it or does special order it. That is what I did and I bought this food from another vet for the whole 2-3 yrs that we needed it. Sometimes another vet might ask for note from your doctor stating your cat has kidney disease and needs the special diet.

    Another thing that really helps these cats is getting subcutaneous fluids 1 to 2 x/wk. Your vet can do this, but it is pricey, or they can teach you how to do it at home if you are not squeemish. My husband did it for ours.
    Check out for more info on cats with this disease.
    ankey replied to FeistyPhyl's response:
    Our 10 year old kitty with kidney disease has had 2 episodes where we thought we were losing her. Our vet gave us aluminum hydroxide liquid to give her to help stimulate her appetite. I believe that the aliminum is suppose to bind with the phosphorus whih is too high in her system because of the kidney failure and makes her anorexic. She regained her weight nicely after being given this and is currently doing well without it. We have alo learned how to administer Sub-Q's at home to help keep them hydrated when they are having problems.
    YknotYoshi responded:
    I have two cats, one 13 and one 14, the older one has had liver disease since she was 2 and has been on KD dry her whole life. The younger one has also been eating the same food because it is easier to feed them both the same thing. Recently, the younger one has been loosing weight and has been diagnosed with hyperthyroid and early kidney disease as well. She is on medication for her thyroid and the vet recommended that she be fed the KD canned food for the extra moisture. With that being said, they are both eating the canned. A little tip the vet told me for getting the cats to eat it is to mix in a little bit of pumpkin. (canned pumpkin works great). They have been eating it for about 2-3 weeks and they seem to really like it with the pumpkin. I mix about 1-2 teaspoons to 1/2 can. Hope this helps.
    mkupka responded:
    I previously had a cat that our vet maintained for 8 years of end-stage kidney failure without having to resort to subQ fluids. At that time Sheba cat food was low in protein and phosphorus and seemed to make KD much more acceptible to our cat when mixed. What seemed to play the biggest role in his survival was checking his blood pressure every three months and adjusting it with compounded oral amlodipine. He survived 8 years and once we had his diet and blood pressue stabilized his kidney, liver, and thyroid values all stayed close to, if not actually within normal ranges. He fianally passed at age 21 of an untreatable brain tumor.
    melissa111 responded:
    What type of meds did you vet put your cat on?

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