Kidney Failure in a Cat
Kidney failure can begin with little warning as we discovered on the evening of January 9, 2007. By 5:00 a.m. on the 10th, I knew something had to be wrong with Minnie, our 11-year-old blue point Siamese.
She visited the litter box every 10 minutes. I brought water to her which she eagerly drank up, but still back to the litter box. I got my husband up and told him to call the vet and get her in asap. Minnie only weighed 6 lbs. Dehydration can happen with this constant urinating.
Off to work with hopes of only a urinary tract infection, which antibiotics and fluids could cure. Minnie was my husband’s favorite cat and worse yet, his birthday.
Dismal prognosis after a day at the vet’s office.
The heart wrenching drama unfolds. We faced the decision to do everything possible or let nature take its course.
Our vet informed us her best chance for survival if we took her to the All-Night Pet Emergency Hospital. They monitor her vitals hourly, administering fluids and drugs as she needs them.
Minnie used to go to cat shows and liked people, so the stress of the environment didn’t pose an issue. For some cats the stress puts a strain on their chance of recovery.
We took her to the emergency facility. My husband picked her up in the morning returning her to our vet’s office for the day.
Minnie refused to eat for any of them. We picked up jars of baby food and fed her on morning and night pickups.
The evening of the 12th we had been hopeful. We spent 45 minutes with her in the emergency patient room waiting for the check-up on her arrival and transfer. Fed Minnie a jar of baby food and let her down on the floor. She purred as she walked back and forth between us.
We cherished that moment as she died the next day.
Went into cardiac arrest, administering CPR and drugs they were unable to revive her.
Would I do this again?
The answer, maybe. It depends on the temperament of the cat. Over the years I have acquired cats that a day or two under veterinary care could function with minor stress. One I have doesn’t fair well out of her environment and not make a good candidate for an extensive stay at the vets.
With the knowledge today I would have taken Minnie home on the 12th and let her die in my arms.
This is what I learned.
They require fluids and need to eat, but those two things lower their internal temperature, both cause stress on the kidneys. They can administer fluids and drugs, but at some point they either improve or don’t make it.
Read back over each of the doctors comments on her paperwork I received for the 4 days, interesting facts arose.
At the time Minnie arrived at our vet, she weighed 4 lbs 8 oz. Not sure what her vitals were, but the emergency recorded her numbers on the evening of the 10th as: temp. 98.7, pulse 190, respiration rate 36, weight 4.75 lbs
On the evening of the 11th: temp. 98.4, pulse 232, respiration rate 32, weight 4 lbs 10 oz. The weight was up that night as we fed her the baby food.
On the evening of the 12th: temp. 97.6, pulse 200, respiration rate 28, weight 4.5 lbs.
Paying attention to the above knowledge and knowing the outcome. If I face a kidney crisis with another cat, I will watch the numbers. A lot of medical terms on the records, but the vitals tell the real story. The temperature and the respiration rate continued to drop each day.
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