Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Noodle, 6 Days Old! Update on Silk the Cat

Darned if this isn't just a cute baby and such a great and nice mom!

We are still looking for some mom-less babies about this age to add for Noodle's sake in terms of socialization. The fosterer has fallen in love with both these wonderful animals, so I may have lost a foster (!) but the kitten, Noodle, may have a home! Foster believes she also may have a wonderful home for Ragu, the mom. Wouldn't that be swell! She still needs her vaccines and microchipping (can't given vaccines to pregnant cats), and will be spayed when Noodle is 10 weeks old, but that's a cinch! Finding a wonderful indoor only home (so much wildlife here, cats are unsafe outside) is often not so easy.

Mom and baby are healthy and happy and Ragu is now playing again when not being her supermom self. She is getting spoiled by the family including their cat-loving 8 year old.

The news on Silk is mostly great... but confounding.

Silk came to the razor's edge of life, quite literally. Scarlet, the vet's blood donor kitty, saved Silk's life. That much is certain.

And I am as certain that God heard your prayers for little Silk. Please continue to keep Silk on your prayer list.

After 50 days, we appear to have successfully kept Silk's kidneys from failing. That is remarkable in and of itself for many reasons. Her creatinine levels are now normal as are almost all levels except her BUN levels... the confounding factor:
  • creatinine: Creatinine is a waste product excreted through the kidneys. It is indicative of overall declining kidney function.
  • BUN: BUN is a waste product excreted through the kidneys. BUN is more reflective of dietary impacts than creatinine. An increase in BUN can also be due to dehydration (a symptom of CRF and many other diseases and syndromes).
Kidney disease is a major cause of death in both cats and dogs and understanding its origins can be helpful in avoiding it. Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough, PLEASE keep your cat's and dog's teeth clean. Dental disease is responsible for heart, liver, kidney and lung disease and there is literature indicating that bacteria from bad teeth can pass through the blood/brain barrier as well. Serious stuff.

If you are interested in chronic kidney failure (CRF, often found in seniors) in either dogs or cats, I refer you to the following:
Here, a basic primer.
Here, which is excellent on feline CRF and here to explain testing and results.

If you have a hyperthyroid cat (this is the thyroid disease most common in cats, while dogs generally become hypothyroid), it is important to understand the connection between the diseases and kidney problems and good to know which breeds of cats and dogs are more likely to come down with the thyroid disease. Because these autoimmune diseases can wreck havoc on organs, one must be aware of the symptoms for cats and dogs as a preventative measure.

In Silk's case, diet may have had a LOT to do with her condition. Cats are obligate (strict) carnivores and Silk and her 21 brothers and sisters were fed a largely vegetarian diet--a HUGE no-no. Cats were NOT evolved to eat such a diet, including vegetables and particularly grains. Think lion and corn on the cob. A complete mis-match.

Silk is still at the vet... day 50 today. She is only three years old, so this is not related to age. In two weeks, my vet is going to a three-day seminar with the country's experts on renal conditions in cats. She is taking Silk's case with her to run by these veterinary experts in renal disease. I cannot even tell you how many tests she has had! That Silk will have the free benefit of experts reviewing her charts is a dream come true.

My vet is fantastic with cats, as you can see, and really has done an absolutely fabulous job with Silk, who she adores. I honestly think she is considering making her one of her own cats by her statements today which is a match made in heaven!

Silk is wandering around the clinic, getting her stregnth, and hops up, now, about four feet to sit in the sun on the window sill. Her coat is shiny, her ears are still giving her a bit of trouble (but this is the least of her worries), and she has gained a bit of weight though she remains quite petite. The vet believes the rise in BUN levels MAY be due to some sort of ulceration in her stomach or intestines, a problem sometimes associated with this disease but very hard to pinpoint. Hopefully the super experts will be able to help.