Helping Your Kitty with their Hangover
I want to start blogging for our Pack on a weekly basis. I am inspired today to tell the story of Cuda, a sweet old kitty cat. She came in for evaluation because she'd started slowing down at home and not eating as well. This is an all too common story for our older feline friends. We worked within the clients budget to come up with a treatment and diagnostics plan. A week later, at 19 years old, Cuda is doing really well. The most important part of her treatment plan is the subcutaneous fluids she's receiving at home from her wonderful owners.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a common disorder in domestic cats. The best way I can explain this disease is like the worst hangover you've ever had, but it never goes away. The goal of therapy is often to get as much moisture into the body as possible. This is done through a combination of diet change (often prescription kidney food), encouraging ample water sources and administering fluids at home.
At first, giving your cat fluids is a daunting task, but in many situations (not all), it can be done in a positive way on a daily basis. The most important part is feeling comfortable in how to administer the fluids. This is why we schedule a time with you during the exam or at your convenience to teach you. Then making it a routine, at the same time everyday, with a special treat before/during/after the process, creates a lasting positive association between your cat and getting the fluids. I've even heard of cats that come running down the stairs at their designated time looking for the treat and treatment!
I hope this inspires more owners to consider having their older cats evaluated for chronic conditions that often time can be treated with minimal invasiveness. We are currently running a bloodwork discount for the month of January. Screening your older pets - dogs and cats - for chronic disease is the best way to recognize and intervene in disease before it becomes a bigger problem.
I hope you enjoyed this first blog and I will try to keep up with this on a weekly basis.
Dr. Nick and the staff at Coyote Ridge Veterinary Clinic