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  #1  
Old 03-04-2007, 01:52 PM
nonacetone nonacetone is offline
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Dialysis Means Getting Rid Of Your Cat?!

My mother is going to be needing kidney dialysis. They're setting it up so she will be doing it at home. She was told that she MUST get rid of her cat.

Mom loves this cat. She's had the cat for 14+ years. The cat is very healthy and active, it gets regular visits to the vet, combed twice a day, eats only Science Diet cat food, etc. The cat is spoiled rotten, which is how it should be, don't get me wrong. The cat hates everyone but my mom. Mom has decided to have her put down, because she swears no one can care for the cat like she can. She's very upset about having to get rid of her beloved cat. She's upset to the point of vomiting, she's not eating right, she's crying constantly, shaking, etc. She's got a bad heart, and the stress isn't good for her. What can I do to help? Any ideas? Giving the cat to someone else is NOT an option. The cat hates and detests EVERYONE except my mother, as I said above. Many people have tried to befriend this cat, to no avail. My mom is all this cat knows. Taking her away from mom and putting her into a new environment at her age would probably not be good for the cat. So, maybe having her put down would be best. The cat cannot be put outside, as it was declawed when mom got her as a kitten.

I've gotten all off track here. Sorry.
My main question is WHY did the damned Dr. tell her to get rid of the damned cat?! Is having a cat when you are taking dialysis detrimental to the human body or something? Do they carry disease of some sort that only kidney dialysis patients can catch? Is the so-called 'specialist' a wacko? I've never heard of this before and I cannot find anything regarding this on the web. Maybe I'm not searching correctly, I don't know.
I'm being rather cocky, closed-minded and stupid about this, I know. But, it is because I've just never heard of such a thing, plus it's really upsetting my mother! Is it really, REALLY true?

Thank you for taking time to read this.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2007, 02:13 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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From searching, it appears the risk to patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis is from Pasteurella multocida peritonitis caused either by direct cat bites, or the animal biting through the dialysis tubing. Cite.

However, the article does not advise that patients should get rid of their pets, but rather simply need to be vigilant to prevent bites and chewing of the tubing. If her cat is not a biter, there's not need to get rid of it, assuming this is what her doctor is concerned about. The person to ask about that is, of course, the doctor himself.
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2007, 02:24 PM
nonacetone nonacetone is offline
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Thank you very much, Q.E.D.

So, yeah. I'm going to call her Dr. and find out about this.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:26 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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You know, I just HATE this sort of crap where someone tells someone to get rid of a beloved pet with NO consideration of just how upsetting that can be.

I'll shut up now, since we're not in the pit.
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:29 PM
Quiddity Glomfuster Quiddity Glomfuster is offline
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I would ask another doctor. I've had allergists insist I get rid of my cats and I ignored them. I'm not allergic to cats anymore but there's no way I was going to get rid of them because some real hard-line allergists demanded I do so, particularly because other allergists thought that was too extreme a measure.
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:29 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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I agree, Broomstick. I'd rather the doctor just tell me the risks in keeping my pet and let me make an informed decision. FWIW, I would keep my cat, given the information provided in the page I liked to.
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:35 PM
beckwall beckwall is offline
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If your mom is doing dialysis at home, I imagine it is peritoneal dialysis. In that case, there are tons of supplies kept in the home, and it is imperative that everything remain sterile. I'm not saying that the cat will disturb anything, but does your mom want to take that chance? Also, a cat box for indoor cats is just a disease waitiing to happen. I would think twice about keeping the cat, but that is just my humble opinion. I was a dialysis nurse for 10 years, and I know how very sick the patients get when they come in contact with germs.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:41 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick
You know, I just HATE this sort of crap where someone tells someone to get rid of a beloved pet with NO consideration of just how upsetting that can be.
I just hate the sort of professional who tells the patient to do something with NO explanation.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2007, 07:26 PM
Vlad/Igor Vlad/Igor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckwall
Also, a cat box for indoor cats is just a disease waitiing to happen. I would think twice about keeping the cat, but that is just my humble opinion. I was a dialysis nurse for 10 years, and I know how very sick the patients get when they come in contact with germs.
I agree with you that germs are all over the place, and cat boxes are not clean. However, I live in a less-than-perfect house, and my son gets a growth hormone shot every night. He has never gotten an infection in the three years we've been doing this. His room is a pigsty, and not from our lack of attention but from his ADHD/Aspergers. I also have no doubt that you saw many patients with grave infections from poor sterile technique. But what you never saw were the people who lived in a wide variety of home environments who never had problems. Before nonacetone's mother gives up the cat, she should be given the benefit of the doubt and educated as to how to maintain a clean environment, with a pet present, for her dialysis. I took care of all of our cat's needs while my wife was pregnant, and I'll bet something similar could be worked out here.

Besides which, the Dr. who has ordered the banishment of the cat is not the one who will be administering the treatments. An RN and/or a dialysis tech will be the ones on site, so if there are any questions or concerns, they are the ones who should be consulted about the home envornment where the dialysis will be performed. They will also be the ones who will make the final judgement about whether the envirnoment is safe for dialysis at the time it is to take place, and having an animal around is only one of many reasons why they would elect not to perform it.

Vlad/Igor
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2007, 07:46 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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perhaps there could be a dialysis room where you could block cat access? a litter mate litter box would cut down on cat box handling, or perhaps someone could deal with litter box detail.

i would def. get a second opinion. don't let the cat go yet!
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  #11  
Old 03-04-2007, 08:14 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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peritoneal dialysis, which is great if you can get it, is usually done while you're asleep in bed. I can see how this could be problematic for pets, but I'm unclear as why it would be a deal breaker. then again it's not my area of expertise. One thing I do know, is that it only takes 1 or 2 infections to ruin peritoneal dialysis, then you're stuck with hemodialysis, which is more hassle, and, I think, a reduced quality of life. I think you should find out exactly what the docs worried about, then make an informed choice.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2007, 08:34 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I'll try to remember to query my dialysis RNs, or the nephrologist who oversees the dialysis plans for my patients on this, tomorrow.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2007, 08:36 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiddity Glomfuster
I would ask another doctor. I've had allergists insist I get rid of my cats and I ignored them. I'm not allergic to cats anymore but there's no way I was going to get rid of them because some real hard-line allergists demanded I do so, particularly because other allergists thought that was too extreme a measure.
Actually, I would ask the cat's veterinarian. He/she knows that cat, at least from the health aspect, and probably knows quite a bit about the owner's situation (if this is something chronic).

Also, veterinarians may know a lot more about zoonotic diseases than human doctors do.

I can think of some diseases that are more likely to affect immunocompromised people, but I don't remember any of them requiring the animal to be removed, more like the previously mentioned "Be more careful, be more clean, be more vigilant" advice.
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2007, 09:28 PM
nonacetone nonacetone is offline
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Thank you to all that responded.
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2007, 10:48 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Her choice is between:
- getting rid of her cat,
or
- getting rid of this doctor.

I know which I'd choose!
There are lots of doctors out there; but not so many cats that have been with her for 14 years. (How long has this doctor been treating her?)
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2007, 12:29 AM
MaceMan MaceMan is offline
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For another perspective on this issue--her cat is very old. How many more months does it really have left? And, I think the anticipation of having to put her cat down is a real problem. If your mother is crying constantly over it, then a decision should be made and executed as soon as possible.
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2007, 12:34 AM
Quiddity Glomfuster Quiddity Glomfuster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceMan
For another perspective on this issue--her cat is very old. How many more months does it really have left? And, I think the anticipation of having to put her cat down is a real problem. If your mother is crying constantly over it, then a decision should be made and executed as soon as possible.
14 is not that old for a cat. I've known a couple to live to 21.
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2007, 06:34 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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The doctor should have given reasons why the cat should leave to the patient. Doctors are human and don't do things perfect either. I'm not even sure the doctor knows she has the cat, and didn't just present the cat in a list of items that will need to happen for treatment. The doctor didn't say kill the cat either, so they likely expected it to go to a friends house or shelter. It doesn't sound as if the patient explained they needed to know why, and the cat will have to be put down if they can't keep it.
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2007, 08:16 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze
Actually, I would ask the cat's veterinarian.
Not necessarily a good choice in these litigious times. Most veterinarians nowadays when told a client's physician's advice are loathe to disagree. I may go as far as to make the general recommendation of seeking a 2nd opinion if they are not satisfied with their physician's care.

I generally frown on declawing, however I have had immunosuppressed clients whose physicians will be happy only if the cat is declawed. I offer this surgery free of charge, as long as the client has some proof.
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2007, 09:46 AM
Harriet the Spry Harriet the Spry is offline
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I agree the idea of confining the medical treatment or the cat to a specific part of the house is worth considering. An older cat spends the vast, vast majority of its time sleeping anyway. Also, maybe ask the vet and physician about preventative antibiotics for the cat, if what we're talking about is a bacterial infection.
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  #21  
Old 03-05-2007, 10:29 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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My ex-GF kept her cat while she was on dialysis with no problems at all. But litter box duty was my job.

She did die a few years later, but it was from complications of a non-feline nature.
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  #22  
Old 03-05-2007, 10:53 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harriet the Spry
I agree the idea of confining the medical treatment or the cat to a specific part of the house is worth considering. An older cat spends the vast, vast majority of its time sleeping anyway. Also, maybe ask the vet and physician about preventative antibiotics for the cat, if what we're talking about is a bacterial infection.
I agree with this. I see no reason why she can't just keep the cat out of the dialysis room.
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  #23  
Old 03-05-2007, 11:02 AM
Szlater Szlater is offline
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In peritoneal dialysis, how is the opening into the peritoneum managed? Is there an indwelling catheter or a stoma?

Are dialysis patients significantly immunocompromised?

Could the doctor work around the cat by checking for infection more frequently? Prophylaxis? There must be some options.

This is what I would consider to be a quality of life issue, and there's very little point in treating a patient if doing so reduces the quality of life, which it sounds like it will if you have to get rid of the cat.
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  #24  
Old 03-05-2007, 12:52 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Szlater
In peritoneal dialysis, how is the opening into the peritoneum managed? Is there an indwelling catheter or a stoma?

Are dialysis patients significantly immunocompromised?

Could the doctor work around the cat by checking for infection more frequently? Prophylaxis? There must be some options.

This is what I would consider to be a quality of life issue, and there's very little point in treating a patient if doing so reduces the quality of life, which it sounds like it will if you have to get rid of the cat.

indwelling catheter
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