My cat is a unregulated diabetic with numerous problems

Our 15 y/o DSH NM diabetic recently had a bout of severe pancreatitis and hepatic lipidosis. Hospitilazed for 5 days, feeding tube inserted. Home with clavamox, baytril, prednisone, pepcid, carafate. Seemed to be doing much better. Today blood work BUN 67. Seems like renal failure? My question is this something we can overcome or are we fighting a losing battle? He's been a difficult to regulate cat for almost 3 years

  • Vetinfo

    By: Julie Ann El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    Your cat unfortunately has had almost the perfect storm of cat problems. 

    If the pancreatitis has resolved and your cat is recovering from the hepatic lipidosis the elevated BUN may be manageable.  If two other important tests in kidney disease, creatinine and phosphorus are normal the moderately elevated BUN may be from mild dehydration which can be treated.  If the creatinine and phosphorus are only mildly elevated early renal failure may be present but can usually be managed for a period of time by feeding diets designed for renal disease patients.  Thankfully they are available in both canned and dry versions and by several manufacturers so if your cat doesn't like one try another brand.  Renal failure is a progressive disease and will worsen over time.  Many owners can also be taught how to administer SQ fluids which are fluids given under the skin by injection which help the kidneys flush the waste products out of the body.  Depending on the cat and the degree of renal disease this can be done from 1 to 2 times weekly up to daily.  The average survival time for a kidney failure patient is 3 to 12 months depending on the stage of the disease, their willingness to eat the special diets and SQ fluids if needed. 

    Discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.  Some cats just reach a point where we either can not make them feel well enough to enjoy their days or they are just so tired of having medical treatments that pushing further may not be in their best interests.  You can also take the approach of attempting to treat the renal disease and if the patient does not do well you can elect euthanasia at that point.

    You have gone a very long way with your cat, further than most owners would have been willing to try.  If you feel you have reached your personal limits euthanasia would not be inappropriate.

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