Wednesday, February 04, 2009

when it rains ...

. . . it really pours.
After losing little meep, Jim & I needed to get away for a bit, so we took a trip to Disney World.  We boarded Twizzy & Bear at their doctor's office and asked that they run routine urinalysis and senior blood panels while the boys were there.  We always do that when we board them, and things have always come back normal.  But not this time.
Poor Bear is in chronic renal failure.  The vet estimates that he's lost at least 75% of his kidney function.  His BUN and creatine levels are off the charts.  She started him on IV fluids and meds as soon as she got the test results back.  His levels have been re-checked, and although the fluids have helped a little bit, his values are still too high to come home.  He's going to remain on the IV drip until at least Thursday night.  They'll re-check his blood work and hopefully he'll be able to come home.  The vet says that if we can get his numbers down, we'll be able to care for him at home with sub-q fluids, meds, and a special diet.  She has been very upfront that she is not encouraged by how he's responded to the IV fluids so far.  When we went to visit him at the hospital last night, she said that we need to be prepared that he may only have about 1 to 3 months left.
This is all such a complete shock to us because Bear showed no symptoms of anything being wrong.  As a matter of fact, he was actually becoming more social and affectionate than he had been in the past.  Monday will be his first "gotchya day" and in some ways we feel like we're just really getting to know him.  The thought of having to say good-bye so soon is breaking our hearts all over again.
UPDATE @ 3pm:  Just spoke with Bear's doctor and the good news is that we can bring him home today.  The bad news is that his kidneys can't tolerate any more fluids, so there is no reason for him to stay in the hospital.  The hope is that once his body has absorbed the fluids that he's received, we may be able to start sub-q next week.  He's going in for a re-check on Monday to see where things stand.  Although that's certainly not how we wanted to celebrate his first "gotchya day", we're very grateful to be able to bring our Honey Bear home today.


Blogger Kaze, Latte, & Chase said...

Oh no! Gosh that's so scary that you had no idea anything was wrong. We will purr that he starts responding to the IV and can come home to sub-q's soon.


February 4, 2009 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oh my gosh. Being a vet tech and nursing my beloved Bo thru CRF for 5 years, my heart goes out to you for the suddeness of how this has come so soon after losing Meep.

I will keep my fingers crossed that he will respond and give you those extra treasured days with him.

I knew every one of those days in that wonderfully much more than expected 5 years, was an extra special one with Bo.

Bo had fluids every day for the rest of his life after his diagnosis, and his other blood values stayed very stable, which is very unusual.

He never got anemic and he never needed potassium binders. He had an underlying heart problem, which is one reason he went into kidney failure at a younger age than usual.I lost him to his heart problem, HCM (the same thing that Curly Daisy's Pixie had)in 2005.

I am at work right now, but have some good bookmarked CRF sites on my computer at home and I will post another comment with them (so all cats humans can learn more about Renal Disease in cats)when I get home tonight.

You are in my thoughts and if there is anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.


February 4, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger PB 'n J said...

Oh no, this is such sad news! We know how hard it can be, we lost our big sister and brother within two months. So we'll be purring our hardest that Bear responds well to the fluids and new diet.

Purrs to you all,
Pearl, Bert and Jake

February 4, 2009 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Princess said...

Oh ((((hughughug)))) We are praying for all of you. We are just so comforted knowing that you two, mom and dad, are there to love and care for Bear together. I know it is very very hard. You are not alone and we are here for support.
You will be in our thoughts.
I hope the next few days will be good ones and we will be looking forawrd to the recheck on Monday. I am so glad that he can comehome.

February 4, 2009 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Princess said...

^Teri is such a great new friend. It is great that she can give you some assistance and encouragement as well!
Caesar was also diagnosed with CRF. I never thought he would be with us for only 9 more months even though he also had subQ's every day.
I know your disappointment

February 4, 2009 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Holy carp, what a kick in the gut. I am really, really sorry. I hope that the stabby people manage to get it under control and give Bear some breathing room. This just really bites :/

February 4, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger William said...

I'm glad Bear is back home with you. My sis Sophie had CFR but we had 13 good months from the time of her diagnosis. (Forgive me if I've told you that before.) We have all our paws crossed for the best outcome for your little boy.

February 4, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Well, I'm back home now, so here's the info I promised. Get well soon, Bear!

As your vet told you, by the time most people realize there is something not right with their kitties, about 75% of their kidney function is impaired. It's sort of like a balancing act and when the scales tip, they do so quite suddenly.

I truly don't understand all the ways kidney function affects everything from blood pressure to digestion, but only because I don't seem to retain what I read sometimes...but I always know where to go look for info. I know the most common thing that people first notice in their cats is increased water consumption and increased urination.

A young normal functioning cat will have an average of 3 urine clumps in the litterbox a day, about the size of a large walnut. In a kitty with kidney insufficiency in early stages, the clumps will become palm sized and they will ask for water more often, from the faucet, toilet, bathtub is what people notice most.

How old is Bear and when was his last "normal" lab work? That is important in knowing how long this might have been coming on and how manageable the disease can be.

I must have over 300 bookmarked websites on feline health, behavior, humor, etc and I enjoy researching for info too and helping write informational handouts we use at the cat hospital where I work.

Here's the links to some info:
(an excellent site with tons of info, you will want to read a little each day or it's just too much info, and links to a support group)

February 4, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oops, got one on the links wrong--didn't cut and paste all the way!

February 4, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG - poor Bear. I'm so sorry.


February 5, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Riley & Tiki said...

Poor Bear. We are purring and purring that his CRF can be managed. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

February 5, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Niko and Cloud said...

We are so sorry to hear this. We hope he stays as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

February 5, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Petey said...

We will cross our paws and say many prayers for you guys.

February 5, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Parker said...

Oh no. We are so sorry to learn this. Poor Bear - our heart breaks for all of you.
We are keeping you in our thoughts and our prayers.

February 6, 2009 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger The Meezers said...

oh we are so very sorry to hear this. we are praying and purrring for all of you. {{HUGS}}

February 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

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