Yes, this post is All About My Cat. Deal with it.
I had noticed, over a recent three or four week period, that MercuryKitty had been drinking a lot more water than normal. I mentioned it to my friend who would be watching him over Thanksgiving.
I was gone for nine days. During that time, my friend expressed concern about the amount of water MercuryKitty was drinking. She also said there seemed to be a lot of urine in the litterbox – not something I had noticed.
Of course, I did some research on the internet. Issue could be diabetes or, more likely, kidney failure.
I took MercuryKitty to the vet last Thursday – the first time he’s been in over six years. Yes, he’s 13, so he’s needed to go regularly, but he’s also an indoor cat, with no other animals living with him, so I felt fairly safe in eschewing his vaccinations and annual checkups.
The vet’s initial analysis showed MercuryKitty is quite good health. Eyes and ears normal, skin normal (although some dry, flaky “dandruff”), heart and lungs normal (surprising, since he was freaking out – usually they detect a heart murmur, thanks to his stress level). They checked his urine – no sugar found, so it doesn’t look like diabetes, but the concentration was low – they like to see above 1.035 (ten-thirty-five) concentration, and MercuryKitty was at 1.015 (ten-fifteen). Ex-rays looked great – kidneys are the right size, no masses, tumors, lumps, etc. They did some blood work, and that went out to the lab.
I talked to the vet on Monday about the blood work. He said everything looks pretty good, thyroid, electrolytes, CBC all came back fine, except for two things. MercuryKitty’s kidney values were “at the high end of normal,” which could indicate kidney disease. I’m wondering, if it’s still in the normal range, does that mean he’s okay? According to the vet, it’s “an indication of a problem.” Also, Kitty’s glucose is up, which could indicate diabetes. It also tends to spike due to stress, such as taking the cat to the vet.
In other words, both issues could be something serious, or nothing at all, and they want to run more tests.
Can I afford more tests at this point? No, of course not, I’m unemployed. But both kidney disease and diabetes are serious conditions that need to be treated ASAP. In the meantime, I’ve started feeding MercuryKitty more wet food (I found out dry food only is way too dry and leads to dehydration), and he seems to be drinking less water. Is it possible this is just some random issue that has resolved itself?
The symptoms of diabetes in cats: appetite loss, appetite with weight loss, excessive thirst, frequent urination, rapid breathing, vomiting, weakness. He certainly still has a strong appetite, and he is not losing weight, no vomiting, but I have noticed he seems to have a little more trouble jumping onto the bed – maybe due to the fact that he’s gained some weight.
The symptoms of kidney disease in cats: bad breath, frequent urination, increased thirst, ulcers of the mouth, weight loss. He only has two of the five (urination and thirst).
So. I don’t know. His behavior hasn’t changed in the least, and he seems to be completely fine.
The additional tests came back on Friday, and diabetes has been ruled out. The vet recommended putting MerKitty on a kidney diet, and re-evaluating him in a few months. I looked up the KD diet, and I don’t know that I want to pay that much for food at this point in time.
What I’m going to do, instead, is stick to the wet/dry food diet I’ve recently put him on, and have him re-evaluated in a few months. See if there is any change to his kidney values. (And hopefully by then I’ll have a job and can afford all of this!) I’d like to get him on a raw chicken diet, but I’m just not sure I’m ready for all of that yet.
Anyone have any insight into this? Any thoughts on the issue?