Helga’s vet visit today – no improvement – more meds prescribed

Helga is an abandoned tortoiseshell Persian cat diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Due to her condition she is not able to be re-homed, and is our long-term foster cat. Her treatment will continue as long as there are donated funds to support it, and we will foster her till she gets well or passes on. If you wish to donate to Helga’s continued treatment for her renal failure, our POSB savings account number is 188-52652-7, SMS Elaine to indicate that your donation is for our veterinary fund.

Helga went for her check-up today at the vet, which is now bimonthly. The prognosis was not good, as her urea and creatinine levels have gone up –

– from her last pre-op blood test results which were 2.2 (creatinine/CRE) and 42 (urea/BUN). Dr Hsu says it is still manageable without daily sub-cutaneous injections, but he prescribed another medicine today for her, which was costly. It is a probiotics formulation specific for kidney function –

I also mentioned to Dr Hsu that Helga can go for one or two days refusing to eat, and that sometimes we have to give her regular canned food mixed with baby food to coat her renal kibbles or pouch food before she would eat. He says it is actually better for her to go without food for two days than to feed her non-renal-specific food even if the alternative is also low in phosphorus (so far we have tried baby food, Science Diet and Wellness formulas which have dry matter phosphorus below 1%). And also, to only feed her her Vitamin B supplements when she is not eating. Because Helga violently refuses to be pilled or syringed we got a pill-popper today for that purpose too; and on the days she refuses to eat, to pill-pop her with her meds which is normally mixed in the food.

As for her refusal to eat, Dr Hsu says that as long as she is still energetic and remains unwilling to eat for only 2 days, it is okay, and only bring her back to see him if she becomes lacklustre and her fasting continues for 3-4 days. So we will just have to wait out each of her anorexic bouts which happen fairly often. To be honest this will be quite traumatic for us to bear out because she whines a lot when she doesn’t want to eat, and watching her hungry but refusing her food for even one day is heart-breaking for us. But it looks like we have to bear it and watch her suffer for her health.

We also topped up her supply of Royal Canin Renal diet dry food today, which is often out of stock from the supplier, hence we bought in advance before it runs out. She still has her Fortekor medication, and we will replenish it whenever it runs out.

The total bill was $263.25, with no charge for consultation –

which will bring our veterinary fund to just over a hundred dollars, so we do need your continued financial support for our veterinary fund which is primarily for Helga since her treatment will be long-term. Do note that our veterinary fund is also for other foster cats when there are veterinary emergencies that cannot be home-remedied.

Apart from pharmaceuticals, Helga is also on herbal supplements (mixed in her second daily meal, spaced out at least after 3 hours of consuming her medicine) of nettle extract, alfalfa extract – both meant for reducing creatinine levels – and slippery elm bark as digestion aid, as digestive problems have co-morbidity with renal failure. I will be upping her nettle and alfalfa dosage from today onwards, and also replenished her nettle extract just now which just ran out.

We will be scheduling her next vet visit in 2 months’ time.

While it was grim to see Helga’s condition not improving and seeing how costly her treatment is and will continue to be, on the bright side Helga had an enjoyable time out and about today. I brought our cat leash so she could hang around on the clinic floor and outside Parkway (where I bought her nettle extract) instead of being in the carrier all the time. She talked to taxi-drivers to and from our foster home, and has earned a new nickname – Puteri (meaning princess) because she was utterly whining all the way in the cabs.

0 thoughts

  • Actually wouldn't it be better not to feed dry food seeing as how cats with CRF are prone to dehydration? Dehydration tends to be exacerbated by kibbles and the whole point with kidney problems is to keep the fluid intake up.

  • Helga is not on a dry diet, but a mix of dry and wet, and we check her often to make sure she is rehydrated. She also drinks plenty of water which she has access to at all times.

  • That is actually not a good idea. Firstly because Helga is on the verge of gum disease probably from not having had proprietary dry food for most of her life. Secondly, most of the nutrition is in the dry food, not the wet food. To subsist her only on wet food will worsen her tooth and gum condition and also likely malnourish her because she already eats so little.

    The ideal diet for any cat is still a mixture of both wet and dry food, not either one singly. Unless the cat is totally disinclined to drinking water, dry food is definitely more healthier for cats, sick or healthy.

  • Well I myself am a raw feeder so I have differing views regarding dry food but I do hope Helga gets better and eats more soon. Gambatte kudasai beautiful! We're all rooting for you girl =D

  • Yes I do think there are differing opinions on wet vs dry and for us we believe in a balance of both – and a cat fountain to ensure enough water consumption. Helga helps herself to plenty of water from the fountain whenever we let her roam around the house!

    We do think a raw diet is good too, as long as there are the right supplements to ensure balance, and proper care of teeth and gums (such as raw strips of meat to tear and chew to keep teeth and gums healthy, not just minced meat, or cat-specific dental care).

    Would be less concerned over the insistence of dry food in Helga's renal diet if not for her teeth and her small appetite. She loves wet food so much more and wouldn't touch a kibble unless it was mixed with wet food. But she would lose weight (due to CRF) a lot slower if she ate more dry food and we can slow the development of gingivitis if she is on both wet and dry, hence the reason for the wet-dry diet.

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