Dr. Will Falconer - Helping Cats with Kidney Disease

Dr. Will Falconer - Helping Cats with Kidney Disease

What’s known about kidney disease

First, let’s get some abbreviations out the way, so we’re all on the same page. CRF = chronic renal failure, CKD = chronic kidney disease. Both mean the same disease. Kidneys in trouble.

See that first word in both? “Chronic” simply means long lasting, and in this case, it means life long, once it’s diagnosed. The unfortunate anatomy of the kidney means, unlike the liver or many other organs, it doesn’t regenerate. The net result is that the extent of damage present when this disease is diagnosed in your cat (or dog) is permanent. It won’t be repaired or replaced with new kidney tissue.

Causation? Oh oh.

Cats with failing kidneys are, unfortunately, quite common. There’s good evidence from researchers that this is caused by vaccines. Cat vaccines are causing autoimmune attack on your cat’s own kidneys. All the more reason to be very well informed about vaccine safety and even efficacy. We know also that repeating vaccinations throughout an animals life doesn’t work to increase their immunity. The “old timers” in veterinary medicine knew this well. They recognized a “once and done” approach was all it took with virus vaccines. Repetition has no basis in immunology (but it sure is profitable...).

If it’s incurable, then what?

The name of the game for these cats is disease management. Another word for that is palliation, and while that’s less desirable than cure, it’s our best shot with these cats. There are three things that help these cats live longer, more comfortable lives.

1. Balanced raw food diets.

I know, I know, your version of Dr. WhiteCoat may have told you K/D is the only way to feed these cats. The common misunderstanding in conventional medicine is that every kidney challenged animal needs a low protein diet, and K/D is the Hill’s commercial food version often “prescribed” by vets. Some even think “senior” cats should be put on low protein diets “preventatively.” Here’s something amazing we’ve learned, though, from real life experience: Owners of multiple cats observed their CKD cats being very interested in the other cats’ raw food. Finally, a few gave in, with the logic, “Well, they’re going to die of their renal failure anyway, let them enjoy their last years!” ...and they’d give these afflicted cats the raw food. They not only LOVED it, those cats actually flourished! Less symptoms, more shine to their coats, more pep in their step, more grooming, and they just acted more normal! Like they were freed of a serious burden.

2. Detox on a regular basis

As the kidneys are a major organ of detoxification (in every species) when they are impaired, toxins build up. The commonest way we see that at home and in vet practice is vomiting. The second is scruffy, unkempt coats, probably due to a lack of grooming. When you’re intoxicated, you lose energy for even the basic things of life, like caring for your appearance. So there are two ways we know to help this failing system to keep up with the toxins produced from day to day living in the world.

A. Periodic flushes of fluids.

A vet can give these intravenously or can equip and train you to give subcutaneous fluids at home. This is quite easy and when you see signs like more vomiting, less energy, or a more scruffy coats, you’ll see these symptoms disappear after fluids are given. Your cat’s countenance immediately brightens. It rapidly becomes obvious you’ve just helped them get free of toxins that were dragging them down.

B. The one that excites me the most of these two is called VENZEO.

VENZEO is a natural detoxifier made by my sister company Venjenz that can be given on a daily basis to cats (or ANY species) suffering kidney failure. It’s easy to give, virtually tasteless, and could even be mixed into food if you wish. VENZEO is a purified source of zeolite, a naturally occurring compound that, in its crude form, is even used to clean up toxic waste spills! In its purified form, it’s very safe and gentle yet still powerful in its action of removing offending toxins. What’s more, Venjenz has taken an additional beneficial step in producing this product by micronizing it. That means it’s 100% absorbed and absorbed nearly immediately on reaching the mouth. Micronization means you get everything you paid for into your cat and your cat need not depend on the energy of digestion to get the benefit of detoxification.

I wish this product had been available when I was in practice! I’d have surely sent it home with every patient of mine in chronic kidney failure. I’m guessing it would lessen the need for repeated fluids, but you’ll have to be the judge of this. (I’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve seen this to be true).

Incurable but clearly you can help!

I hope this helps you see that kidney disease, so common in cats but occurring in dogs, humans, and probably other species, is something you can manage. In careful management with these suggestions, you’ll see your animal improve and enjoy life, even with an “incurable” malady.