Management of chronic renal failure in my cat

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    Question: Beau was recently diagnosed from a blood test with probably early CRF. No urine test was done. He has no symptoms as of yet. He just turned 16 and has basically been on Science Diet all of his life until recently. No other health problems. My vet has not been very helpful and their are no other well respected vets in our area. I have tried to switch Beau to a homemade diet (several different ones) without any luck. I did switch him to Nutromax dry, which seems to be a better food than the SD. Are their any other choices for a natural food with low protein and phosphorus? Should I feed him wet or dry food? What things can I give him and what things can’t I give him? Should I have a urine test done? Should I take him to a holistic vet? Should I supplement his diet with additional vitamins/herbs/etc?. I would appreciate any help you could offer. Thank you very much!

    Sex: Male Neutered

    username: [email protected]

    Pet: Feline

    Breed: DLH/1/2 Siamese

    Age: 16

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Heidi, thanks for your questions! To properly help manage Beau I need to know the results of his bloodwork, specifically BUN, creatinine, phosphorus, hematocrit, and whatever other results you can supply.

    In general however, feeding a *high quality* lower protein, lower phosphorus diet is critical to his long term quality of life. For home-cooking, see if he will eat white meat chicken or turkey, which can then be added in a 1:4 proportion to “wet” rice (which is rice cooked with double the amount of water, for twice the length of time resulting in a “mush”).

    A good multivitamin source such as Nutrived microencapsulated cat vitamins is also important. Kidney supporting western and chinese herbs, kidney glandulars etc. are all excellent adjuncts.

    It is also critical to monitor his red blood cell count since it is this value along with the presence of kidney toxins in the bloodstream which help maintain his appetite and weight. This is critical since most CRF cats die or are euthanised, not from their underlying disease, but from wasting due to inappetance.

    Depending on the blood values, I also may recommend that you start administering fluids subcutaneously at home. This is a simple procedure but extremely important .

    A urinalysis and urine culture are critical for ruling out the presence of bacteria and other complicating factors such as crystals.

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