Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Facing Laszlo's Kidney Failure

We had some bad news about Laszlo recently. He was losing weight, and he was drinking and passing water in truly massive amounts. He was obsessed with water, climbing into the shower to lap it up and endlessly yowling at the faucets.

We took him to the vet and the results came back as CRF, or chronic renal failure. Basically, his kidneys were shutting down, which is something that happens with older cats. (Laszlo's about 12 now.)

That was kind of a blow, but thankfully we've been able to manage it so far. The first line of defense was new, low protein food. We worried about a couple of things. Would Laszlo eat it? And would we be able to keep feeding Leela the food she was used to? We were worried we'd have to feed them separately and try to find some way to keep them out of each other's food. Given the way they eat, it would have been next to impossible.

Fortunately, we seem to have lucked out in that regard anyway. Laszlo quickly took to the low protein food and prefers it to what he was getting. Similarly, Leela doesn't seem to want the stuff and sticks to the food she's used to. We just have two little bowls of dry food beside each other now and have never seen any indication of either of them eating out of the wrong bowl. Huge stroke of luck.

The second line of defense is subcutaneous fluids. That was something of a hump for us to get over because it involves sticking Laszlo with a needle. But he needed it, and so we gradually managed to face it down and get it done.

Thankfully, so far at least, it all appears to be working fine. Laszlo hasn't regained the weight he lost, and he's still creating clumps in the litter box the size of coconuts, but he seems to be his regular happy and affectionate self. He doesn't act like a sick cat at all. We have no idea how long that will continue, but for now all is okay.

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