Last friday, my little 13-year-old Russian Blue, Grace, wasn’t acting like herself, so I took her to the vet. They ran some tests and found out she was in severe kidney failure. They advised keeping her at the hospital and giving her fluids and antibiotics (for a UTI) along with heat support (her temp was very low) and we’d see how it goes. When we brought her in, her creatinine and BUN numbers were off the charts, and her red blood cell count was low.
A blood transfusion and fluids perked her up, and on Saturday and Sunday she seemed better–still weak, but more her bright-eyed self. When I picked her up yesterday morning to take her to the new vet (affiliated with the hospital, which was only open nights and weekends for emergencies) she even protested a bit about the car ride, which I thought was a good sign.
We visited her again last night and she seemed worse–lethargic again, trying to hide under her blankets, and not wanting to eat or drink. This morning I called and found out her red blood cell count is at 20% (down from 23% a couple days ago, and up from 15% when we brought her in), her BUN is still off the charts but now measurable, and her Creatinine is at 7.3 (down from 7.6 this weekend, and down from off-the-charts on Friday). She has some ulcers in her mouth now, which the vet said is consistent with kidney failure and might be contributing to her reluctance to eat. They’re going to do another blood test tonight to see where the numbers are.
We love this cat. She’s our baby. But now I’m starting to wonder if we’re not keeping going with the treatment for our sake instead of hers. The spouse is wondering if another transfusion might help–I plan to ask the vet when I go visit her today, but…even if it does, I wonder how long it will help. We have the money to pay for the treatments, but I don’t want to keep them up if all they get us is a short time with a cat who isn’t happy with her life.
So my question is, for those who’ve dealt with this before, what’s been your experience? This is chronic kidney failure, not acute (she didn’t get into any poison or anything–she’s a 100% indoor cat). It’s apparently been creeping up for a while, but cats are very good about not acting sick. Just a couple days before she got sick she seemed her usual happy, healthy self.
Should we help her keep fighting? Or is anything we do only likely to prolong the inevitable for a short time, and we should let her go?