<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d10582443\x26blogName\x3dPink+Lemon+Twist\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://pinklemontwist.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://pinklemontwist.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-8358867803839361769', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some Good News and Some Not So Good News About Ramius

First of all, I didn't mean to panic anyone by the blog title and the picture you see above I did just take this morning. I've been trying to figure out for a couple of weeks what, if anything I was going to tell the blog about Ramius' health and I've come to the conclusion that with the way you guys comment and ask after him him and Finn that I should share what's going on. (After all, I've been babbling about Finn's allergies for several weeks now.)

As I mentioned in June, Ramius had his teeth cleaned. He is currently 14-1/2 years old. He's actually more active, pouncy and social since he had them done, which is a good thing. The day they cleaned his teeth they did a blood sample first to make sure he'd do OK with the anesthesia and when they did the sample, they found that his creatinine levels were higher than normal. Creatinine (not to be confused with creatine) at elevated levels can indicate kidney disease.

I brought him back 3 weeks after the tooth cleaning to redo his blood tests and so they could get a urine sample to see if his kidneys were doing their job. (Creatinine can also be elevated from dehydration and stress.) His creatinine levels were down from the first test, but still above the normal range. His kidneys were concentrating his urine properly (still functioning right) and the two other markers for kidney disease in his urine that they checked for were within the normal range, although at the high end.

This led the vet to the conclusion that Ramius has kidney disease, but we think we caught it at the very start. Usually when kidney disease is discovered because the cat has symptoms, the kidneys are mostly gone and the disease doesn't give the cat very much time. Catching it when we did with Ramius, before symptoms even showed up, and when it's just getting started means we could get him on a special low protein diet to make his kidneys' job easier. There's no cure for cat kidney disease, but it can be managed when you catch in when we did. He will have to eat this food for the rest of his life (he likes it - yeah!) and he will have to get blood work done every 6 months for the rest of his life to keep an eye on what's going on inside him, but if I didn't know what was going on, I would never guess that he was getting sick. He still pounces on wiggly toes under the covers, still jumps on counters he's not really supposed to be on, still lets us know when we've displeased him, still looks down his nose at Finn, and still begs for ice cream (now officially off the menu for him).

I don't tell you all this to make you feel sorry for us, but Ramius always gets comments, both on the blog and from his pattern modeling. When I went to see the Yarn Harlot speak, I was as likely to get asked about Finn and Ramius as I was about Flamenco (which I was wearing). I don't let our personal life appear on the blog, but I felt like I should mention this now, rather than just letting you know at the end. I don't have any kind of potential timeline and honestly, I haven't asked either. They made it sound like we could manage this for several more years before things really start to go downhill. So this is what's going on. He seems to be feeling better than he was before June so that's a good thing, and we'll follow the vet's directions to help his body as much as possible from here on out.

Thanks for listening. I'll have fibery stuff back tomorrow.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good sign that Ramius is still concentrating his urine. My cat who is currently 10 years old was diagnosed with kidney disease 5 years ago. With a low protein diet and subcutaneous fluids there has been no further increase in his creatinine and BUN levels and on average a slight improvement. We have discontinued the subcutaneous fluids on the advice of an internal medicine specialist at our local veterinary teaching hospital because recent urinalysis tests have indicated that my cat is concentrating his urine better than previous tests had indicated.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Joyce said...

I had an outdoor cat that lived to be 18 (which is really old for a cat that stays outside all the time). He had kidney problems the last couple of years too. My father couldn't stand to put him down, so he learned to administer IV's to him at home. It actually kept him going for at least an extra year. Hopefully, catching this early with Ramius will let him enjoy several more years of knitting posing!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

I'm glad to 'hear' that Ramius is doing well. My vet daughter tells me that filtering the water will help prevent kidney disease in cats. My kitty's water is filtered at the faucet and again in a water filtering pitcher. Perhaps this would help Ramius.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I think Ramius is lucky to have such a great and attentive mom. Sunds like you caught the problem early and are managing with special food. Please give him snuggles from me. May he have a long life and continued good, manageable health.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Sharon T said...

It's a good thing that you were able to catch this early. And that he likes the food. May Ramius live a long life with no further complications!

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Barbara-Kay said...

Older gents get prostate problems; older cats get kidney problems. It's wonderful that you found it so early. Ramius clearly has a glorious quality of life.

Oh, yes, and your knitting projects are lovely, too. (Priorities in place. Heh!)

1:01 PM  
Blogger ~S said...

I think most cats end up with some form of CRF before they die, although mine have started showing signs in their blood work at least 5 years out. So you should have plenty more time with Ramius. I've inlcuded a link to a site to peruse on CRF. It should give you an idea of what you might come across in the future. My vet had pointed it out and said it was well balanced but in the end you and your vet will have to make the final decisions on what you want to do and having some info on the disease was helpful to me and DH. http://www.felinecrf.com/

1:22 PM  
Blogger GoldenTracks said...

Thanks for filling us in on Ramius. Although most of us are here for fibery things, lots of us are animal lovers. Hearing about Ramius and Finn keep your blog down to earth and more personal; the kind of things I prefer to read and can relate to.
Wishing Ramius a long and fulfilling life. Glad he likes his food. that can be a real challenge. Dealing with aging pets is a very difficult part of life.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Joni O said...

I'm always glad to see and hear about Ramius, because my Siamese female could be his twin! She's 16 and still going strong, so here's hoping Ramius has lots more years!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

I'm glad you got this early - our cat was diagnosed with kidney disease, and though it was slightly more advanced than Ramius', she is hanging in, being her usual self, three years later.

Please give Ramius a pat from me.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Tan said...

Glad you caught the kidney problem right away. And glad that your house is the kind where a special diet will be honored.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Robby said...

I'm sorry for this development for you and kitty. We went through this with one of our kitties. With the right food and supervision, she lived several years in her usual pesky form. The end was sad, but relatively quick, and we were so glad we hung in there and enjoyed all that other time before then. Hug kitty every day just like the rest of your loved ones and then enjoy the day.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Edith said...

Thanks for shsring. Best wishes for Ramius. Give him a big hug.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Madeline said...

I'm sorry to hear about Ramius's kidney problems. But since you caught this early and he's being treated and monitored, he should be jumping on counters and pouncing on toes for years to come. We recently lost our cat to kidney disease, which she had for years. She was 22!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Sorry to hear that the handsome and regal Ramius has developed a health problem, but how wonderful that it was discovered before he began to feel unwell. Hopefully with early management he'll continue living a healthy and long life.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a black persian male who developed kidney disease. It is very common in male cats. Ask your Vet about Science Diet U/D food. It does require a prescription but will eliminate much of the sodium found in commercial foods and prolong his life. Good luck!

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Beverly said...

Hi Melanie--

What food are you feeding Ramius? I ask because I have 10 cans of Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d that I could send you. My cat had kidney disease the progressed really quickly and she passed away not long after I bought a case of the food. Contact me if you're interested (bmlindeen AT gmail DOT com).


6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No apologies necessary for posting about your gorgeous baby! One thing I would suggest is to also have him tested for hyperthyroidism. The two problems tend to go hand-in-hand.

Otherwise, congratulations for finding the problem so early. I've heard of cats living several years after being diagnosed with an advanced case, so I'm very optimistic that he'll be able to live out all of his kitty years. :)

10:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home