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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16732
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my 20yr old cat is being treated for kidney condition

Resolved Question:

my 20yr old cat is being treated for chronic kidney condition and has been taking fortekor for a month. About 6 months ago he started chewing cushions, duvet covers bedding etc. Can you tell me why he is doing this please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that Sparky has been diagnosed with chronic renal faiure.
Is he anemic?
Are his electrolyte levels (especially potassium, phosphorus and calcium levels) normal?
Any nausea that you have noted (this may show as drooling, pickier eating habits or vomiting)?

Ideally if he hasn't had any recent blood tests Sparky would see his veterinarian for an examination and some blood tests including a complete blood count, biochemistry profile and feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency tests. Some cats exhibit pica (eating non-food items) when they are anemic, electrolyte levels are off, kidney enzyme levels are quite high affecting brain function, or they feel nauseous and we do want to make sure that there isn't an underlying reason for his behavior.

In the meantime things I would recommend include an acid reducer in case this behavior is related to nauseousness and an omega 3 fatty acid.
Over the counter acid reducers you can give include either:
1)Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
OR
2)Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help him feel better if he has some stomach upset due to his kidney enzyme elevation.

Omega 3 fatty acid supplements I like are 3V caps or Derm Caps. I recommend a dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 10mg to 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound cat could take 80mg to 160mg of EPA per day.

You can also give him a balanced multi vitamin like Pet Tinic daily.

Best of luck with Sparky, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, he has had blood tests, that's how he was diagnosed. He is on renal cat food but apart from that I think his blood results were not too bad. He is not vomiting or nauseas. I really want to know what is causing him to chew furnishing please, he is destroying so much.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Usually when we see them chewing on or licking things that indicates nausea, anemia, a lack of or too much of a particular electrolyte or mineral in the blood stream, or enzyme levels high enough to affect brain chemistry.
At his age senility related anxiety is possible too.

Being nauseous in cats isn't always obvious. They may not vomit, they may just lick or chew things, so it is worth trying to give him an acid reducing medication (like Pepcid or Prilosec) and seeing if it helps.

I would probably recheck his blood tests too for worsening kidney enzyme levels, electrolyte levels and anemia.
If all looks good perhaps a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication is worth trying.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with my detailed answer.
How else can I help you?
Is there something else I can answer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I'm


 


afraid you did not answer my question at all, why is my cat using his teeth to tear bedding etc. I know about his liver complaint from seeing my vet & that was not my question I just wondered if it was connected.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry I wasn't clear with my response.
The real answer is we don't know why animals suddenly exhibit this type of behavior. But we do know in animals that suddenly start to chew on, lick or eat non food items (pica) we tend to find health problems including anemia, kidney or liver disease, or we find other symptoms that point us toward primary brain diseases such as senility or a brain mass.
By addressing the primary issue the behavioral problem may be solved.
Because we know he has kidney disease, which can often lead to anemia, electrolyte and mineral imbalances, and nausea/reflux, and that high kidney enzyme levels can affect brain function that would be what I would look into and address first.
So my suggestion would be to recheck his enzymes and electrolyte levels as well as his red blood cell count. Although you know about his kidney disease and are addressing it perhaps we need to do more for him.
In the meantime in case he is experiencing reflux or nausea you can use over the counter acid reducing medication such as Pepcid or Prilosec to see if that helps. These medications are quite safe and if they do help he can stay on them long term.
I hope that this explanation is better, please feel free to ask further questions if you have them.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome.
Please let me know how things go for him, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX
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