helga has chronic renal failure

Read more on Helga’s abandonment by her previous owner here

After Helga went home with Sam, she went to the vet for a check up today. The vet aged Helga to be at least 8 years of age and not 5 years old as communicated to us. She also has a yeast infection in her ears. The vet also realised that one of Helga’s kidneys is smaller than the other, and ordered a urine test and a kidney/liver function blood test. 

The diagnosis was not good. Helga has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure (CRF). I spoke over the phone with the vet, Dr Brian from ARC (Tampines) and he said that Helga, with treatment, may have over a year of quality life. Treatment includes a sub-cutaneous injection daily –

Helga’s liver/kidney function blood test results

It was a moment of grief for all of us, and we decided that Sam should return Helga to us. I did some research and approximate the veterinary costs for Helga to be about S$200-300 a month. It is a huge burden not only financially, but also from the daily injections which have to be administered at home. It was not going to be easy for Sam, living alone with four other cats (including Sam who is now Lenny, and is doing well), to undertake the tremendous burden that CRF brings. We also discussed the possibility of euthanising Helga, but she is at present eating and drinking well, and has not yet shown the full-blown symptoms of CRF. It was a heartbreaking moment for all of us to find out that poor Helga is so sick. It was also hard to watch Sam say goodbye to Helga, feeling helpless that he could not afford the finances or time to care for Helga himself.

Helga is now resting in the pen, a bit teary-eyed and sad because Andy just cleaned her ears to treat the yeast and ear-mite infection, and we fed her antacid and anti-diarrhoeal medications since she is still having digestion problems from converting to proprietary cat food (she was likely on table-scraps before). After all that ear-cleaning and medicating she is now upset –

– and stewing inside the litter tray. Her pen is freshly cleaned with a new hammock though I doubt she will climb it because she is more of a ‘grounded’ type of cat, being Persian. She just ate her dinner heartily and we will be buying renal diet for her when we take her to the vet this coming week. I will also be learning how to administer her necessary daily injections.

At present, we have $300 set aside in our veterinary fund which should hopefully tide Helga through for one month of treatment.

We will need your help to sustain Helga’s treatment over the next year. If you can contribute to Helga’s treatment, do give generously, specifying that your gift is for Helga. You can give by depositing into our bank account (SMS Elaine at 90880675 to indicate your gift is for Helga) or you can accompany us to the vet when we are bringing Helga to pay The Animal Clinic (Telok Kurau) directly, just contact us to find out if you can make it when we go to the vet with Helga.

All of Helga’s veterinary expense receipts will be posted on our blog, and you can request for a donation receipt from us.

We will continue treatment for her as far as donations for her treatment will go. If or when the funds simply do not sustain her treatment, we will allow nature to take its course, or euthanise Helga if she is already in pain and there are no more finances to fund her treatment.

Read more on Helga’s visit to the vet to begin her treatment on 7 June, here

0 thoughts

  • The important thing is to keep Helga hydrated, which means making sure she gets lots of water. Because her kidneys are failing, they are not able to process all the fluids she is taking in. You will notice that she pees more frequently than normal and her pee is clear instead of yellow-ish.

    The general course of medication would be Fortekor, and sub-q. You might need to sub-q her daily initially but once she is not too dehydrated the sub-q can can be done once every 2 days.

    A simple test to see if she's dehydrated or not is to do the "skin-pinch" test, ie. pinch the loose skin on her back. If it falls back quickly that means she hydrated. Try it on Scooter or Slinky to see the difference.

    Diet-wise it is recommended to feed her Hill's k/d, or Waltham Renal, both of which are only available at the vet. Since you have a multi-cat household it's best to make sure Helga doesn't eat other cat food which are generally high in potassium.

    Sparky, one of our cat, has been diagnosed with CRF more than a year ago. But with lots a patience and TLC, we try to make him as comfortable as best we can for the remaining time he has with us.

  • Hi, just to share with you that recently one of my cat lover friend introduce some herb products call Azmira to me. Site: http://www.azmira.com/ This is drug-free.
    I started to use this product recently on my cancer cats. It works quite well. Though cancer is not curable, but this product make my cancer cats have more appetite, put on weight and most importantly, happy and comfortable. U know cancer is painful. All this years, I have been giving my cancer cats antibiotic which has side effects like kidney failure, etc. Do give it a try, no harm. You can make an appt with Marcus from Petopia 68869056. He is experience with this product and you can bring yr cat together with the medical report. He will advise what herbal treatment to give. 🙂 Lilian.

  • Hi Lilian,
    Yes have seen Azmira products before on sale at Little Paws at Telok Kurau. Will do more research to see how they can help Helga. Sorry to hear about your cats.

    Dr Hsu advises not to start sub-q first, and we are feeding her Royal Canin Renal diet which she is taking to well. Upon your advice we are not letting her roam unsupervised outside her pen because she really went for our cats' food bowl! Then I read what you said and we stopped her in time. Thanks for the advice, and I hope Sparky has as long as possible to spend his life with you.

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