I’m so very sorry about your kitty
“Severe” kidney failure sounds like he’s awfully far down the path already. Has the vet offered any sort of timeline?
There are definitely things that can help manage the symptoms. Nothing brings back the kidney function. But you can try to address the nausea that makes living with kidney failure miserable for them:
Fluids do help. How often are you giving them? My vets have always said that fluids don’t prolong life, but improve quality.
Meds. My preference is to hit them hard and get them feeling BETTER. I don’t really see the point in keeping them around if they’re going to be miserable, you know? High kidney values make them feel really pukey so:
- Pepcid addresses the acidy belly and the stomach/mouth ulcers
- Zofran for the vomiting/nausea
- Cerenia also helps with the nausea and provides some visceral pain relief
- Mirtazipine gets them to eat
It’s not a whole lot of fun pilling sick cats. The mirtazipine can be compounded into a transdermal prep by Wedgewood. For the others, I’ll bundle it all up into a scrap of pill pocket (just enough to cover the pills) and only have to pill them ONCE.
I’ve never had a vet offer Zofran, but it works much better than Cerenia for nausea, in my experience. I’d drop the Cerenia before the Zofran, if I had to choose, but they seem to work very well together. I’ve always had to aggressively advocate for my cat. Vets have always been willing to help, but I have always had to ASK and bring up things I’d like to try.
I use the appetite as my gauge. If they eat, we have control over the nausea. Once they stop eating, I call it and have the vet out to the house to euthanize asap (that day, preferably.) While it’s possible to lose control of the nausea and regain it, it’s just a signal that things are going downhill.
Depending on the cat, they can do pretty well for quite awhile. The kidneys also produce the hormone that triggers red cell formation, and kidney failure will eventually also = a very badly anemic cat. You can do procrit to help that, or transfusions. I’ve never had one last that long, but it’s an option if you do.
I’ve been through this a few times. It doesn’t ever get easier. I’m really sorry