As you can tell, I absolutely love senior animals. Especially cats. I like dogs too. As animals get older, they can succumb to all kinds of ailments and diseases. Things like arthritis, diabetes, weight gain, and other diseases.
I have had two cats that have had chronic kidney disease and today I’m going to tell you my story of how I dealt with chronic kidney disease with my cat Carlton.
When Carlton came to the shelter he weighed 26 lbs. By the time I adopted him, I think they had gotten him down to 20 lbs. Still, I knew we had a long way to go in his weight battle. A few months later, after doing bloodwork, we learned he had kidney disease.
At the time, I had no idea exactly what this meant or how long he would live. I wasn’t thrilled with the vet we chose either, so soon after, we switched.
Our new vet was fantastic and explained about the disease and what we could do to help Carlton have a better life. Kidney disease often presents itself in older cats. There are two kinds, renal and chronic.
Renal is when the kidneys start failing suddenly. This can happen due to various things like your cat getting into poisons, experiencing trauma, shock, etc. Chronic happens over time and the reasons for development aren’t always clear.
What to Watch For
There are many factors that could be a sign of kidney problems. Here are some things to look out for.
- 1. Frequent urination or urinating outside the litter box.
2. Drinking lots of water.
3. Weight loss or loss of appetite.
4. Vomiting and/or diarrhea.
5. Bad breath that smells like ammonia.
The first thing our new vet did with Carlton was take blood to check his kidney enzymes. He also had us bring in a urine sample a few days later. The next thing we did was put him on prescription dry cat food to help manage his disease.
We would have his enzymes checked on a regular basis, about every month, to monitor the progression of his disease. It was always nerve wracking to find out how fast things were progressing. We eventually got to the point where I was giving him subcutaneous fluids under his skin at home three times a week.
I did everything I possibly could for him but eventually I just knew it was time to put him down.
A year and nine months after we adopted him, I sat in the vet’s office for two hours, bawling my eyes out because I knew we had to let him go. Call it “Meowmy’ intuition. I didn’t want him to suffer and I could tell he was just beside himself.
He was so uncomfortable he didn’t know what to do. I can still remember holding him and him burying his head in the crook of my arm. I finally mustered up the courage and let him go. As devastated as I was, I knew I had made the right decision. I still think about him and miss him everyday.
He was the cat I always wanted. He was literally my baby.