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The Heartbreak of Kidney Failure  


kidney failure in Siamese in blue point Siamese cat purebred show cat

Minnie Blue Point Siamese


Kidney failure can begin with little warning, as we discovered. By 5:00 a.m. on the 10th, I knew there was something wrong with our 11-year-old blue point Siamese, Minnie.  She was visiting the litter box every 10 minutes.  I brought water to her, which she drank, but still back to the litter box. 


I woke my husband informing him of the situation. He needed to get her to the vet as soon as possible. Minnie’s normal weight was 6 lbs., the fear is rapid dehydration. 


Left for work hoping for the best. Urinary infection? With antibiotics and fluids, she could return home in a few hours. This was my husband’s favorite cat and worse yet, it was his birthday.


The heart wrenching drama unfolds as we faced a decision to do everything or let nature take its course. The prognosis was not good. Her best chance was to go to night emergency care. They could give her fluids and drugs as needed. 


We took her to the emergency care at night. My husband picked her up in the morning, taking her back to our vet’s for the day. She refused to eat for either place. We bought baby food, feeding her on morning and night pickups. 


The last time we saw her alive was evening of the 12th. Time spent in the emergency patient waiting room for transfer check-up was promising. She ate more that night. Walked back and forth between us on the floor. Minnie purred and purred. Her way of letting us know everything will be okay.


A good last memory. 


She died the next day. Went into cardiac arrest, they gave her CPR and drugs. Unable to revive her.


The decision to do everything possible, if there’s a next time.

Maybe. Number one, it depends on the age and temperament of the cat. Number two, the daily progress. With today’s knowledge, I would have taken Minnie home on the 12th. Of course, easy to speculate knowing that she died without me being there.


Important facts I learned.

They have to have fluids and they need to eat. Those both lower their internal temperature, which causes stress on the kidneys. They can administer fluids and drugs, but at some point, they either improve or don’t make it. 


The doctors’ comments from the 4 days of care revealed interesting facts. Today, if faced with a crisis again, I will pay close attention to the numbers.


On the morning of the 10th, Minnie weighed 4.5 lbs. Vitals at the emergency recorded her numbers on the evening of the 10th as temperature 98.7, pulse 190, respiration rate 36, weight 4.75 lbs.


On the evening of the 11th, temp. 98.4, pulse 232, respiration rate 32, weight 4 lbs 10 oz.  Her weight was up as she ate most of the jar of baby food.


On the evening of the 12th, temp. 97.6, pulse 200, respiration rate 28, weight 4.5 lbs.


According to VCA: The normal body temperature range for cats is between 100.5°F and 102.5°F (38.1°C and 39.2°C). A cat’s normal heart rate tends to range from 140 to 220 beats a minute. The more relaxed your cat is, the more likely he will be on the lower range of that scale. Cats, with or without heart disease, have a breathing rate of between 15-30 breaths every minute. Lower rates are even possible and are no cause for concern as long as your pet is otherwise healthy.


The vitals are relevant. They can help determine if a cat is improving or declining. With knowledge, you can make wise decisions in your cat’s health. If faced with such tragedy. Talk with your vet to decide when to continue with care or when to stop treatment. With this information, we can see that her body temperature was dropping and of course she was below her normal weight. Her pulse rate fluctuated and her respiration rate dropped. What stood out to me was her body temperature. I don’t know if keeping her warmer could have helped and could it even be done was a big unknown. Going forward is to understand what causes kidney failure and can we do something everyday to make a difference so our little ones don’t fall victim to this kind of tragedy.




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