kidney disease

Ruby’s Last Journey: The Long Goodbye

Ruby

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Today marks exactly three months since Ruby passed away. This is the last part in a four-part series about my experience during the last four months of Ruby’s life, from diagnosis to caring for her through her illness, to having to let her go. Click here to read part one, Ruby’s Last Journey: The Moment That Changed Everything, part two, Ruby’s Last Journey: Practical Considerations of Hospice Care,and part three, Water, Water Everywhere! Hydration for Cats with Kidney Disease.

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Ruby’s Last Journey: Water, Water, Everywhere! Hydration for Cats with Kidney Disease

Ruby’s Last Journey: The Moment That Changed Everything

Ruby-meowfia-cat-cave

When I announced Ruby’s passing in December, I promised you that I would eventually write about my experience during the last four months of her life, from diagnosis to caring for her through her illness, to having to let her go.

I decided to title this four-part series “Ruby’s Last Journey.” My own journey through grief, which is, of course, a large part of all of this, is ongoing. I suspect I will inhabit planet grief for quite some time as I try to move forward without my little girl. Life goes on, but the pain of missing her hasn’t really softened all that much over the last two months.

Writing this series was hard. In the past, writing about losses helped me heal. That doesn’t seem to be the case this time. I know in time, I’ll come to terms with this loss, like I have with all my other losses. The reality is that we never get “over” a loss, nor should we want to. Loss changes us. The best we can hope for is that in the end, it changes us for the better. Continue Reading

How the Assisi Loop Lounge Helps 18-Year-Old Kitty Girl with Arthritis and Kidney Disease

Assisi-Loop-Lounge-cat

This post is sponsored by Assisi Animal Health

When my dear friend Rita and her husband Rob came across a six-month old kitten who had just given birth in an Oklahoma City parking garage, they were not looking for another pet. After taking her to a vet to get her taken care of, they planned to find a good home for her. They named her Kitty Girl because they didn’t want to become too attached. However, as many of us know, the best laid plans don’t always pan out when it comes to cats. Kitty Girl fell in love with Rob. 18 years later, he is still her one and only love. For more about Kitty Girls history, read When You Get the Cat You Need, Not the Cat You Want, in Rita’s own words.Continue Reading

When Kidney Failure Hits Close to Home

Ruby-The-Conscious-Cat

I never wanted to have to write this post.

Chronic Kidney Disease, also known as Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) is a common condition in cats. It is the result of a gradual decrease in kidney function. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never had to deal with this disease with any of my previous cats.

Until now. Last week, Ruby was diagnosed with kidney disease, and sadly, it’s already in the advanced stages. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how my little girl could go from seemingly healthy to terminally ill in less than two months. It just goes to show how good cats are at hiding signs of illness, and how even an experienced cat parent like me can miss the signs (or, admittedly, be in a bit of denial about the signs).Continue Reading

High Blood Pressure in Cats

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Feline hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is usually seen in older cats, and is most often secondary to an already existing disease such as kidney failure, heart disease, or hyperthyroidism. Accurate diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent serious consequences.Continue Reading

The Connection Between Dental Disease and Kidney Disease in Cats

dental-disease-kidney-disease

It has long been known that the inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease can lead to damage to other organs such as the heart, kidney and liver, and lead to other serious health problems. Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for cats: according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, an astounding 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. A new study explored the connection between periodontal disease and the risk of developing kidney disease.Continue Reading

Kidney Transplants for Cats

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Chronic Kidney Disease, also known as Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) is a common condition in aging cats. It is the result of a gradual decrease in kidney function. Healthy kidneys act like a filter to remove waste products from the body. They regulate electrolytes such as potassium and phosphorous, and they produce erythropoietin which stimulates red blood cell production. Kidneys also produce rennin, which contributes toward regulating blood pressure. Kidneys also play a major role in turning vitamin D into its active form, which controls calcium balance in the body.Continue Reading