Kidney or Thyroid
 

Kidney or Thyroid  

Christopher Iuliano
Originally Answered: Kidney or Thyroid

Kitty is 12-13 years old. She has thyroid and kidney issues. She is on thyroid meds. she was on a kidney diet for a couple months but for the past 3 weeks or so, she has refused to eat any k/d food (royal canin or hill). What I found was that fancy feast has the loweat amount of phosphorus in its food, so thats what ive been giving her as she will actually eat it.
She is eating like 3 cans a day, but still seems too skinny. 
I will be bringing her back to the vet for more tests, but I have to wait a few more weeks. So in the mean time, im just trying to figure out if its a kidney issue or maybe her thyroid meds need to be adjusted? she seems to pee like 5-6x per 24 hours.
Still plays, purrs, jumps around. 
I feel like the thyroid issue is more managable than the kidney one. So im kinda hoping its just a matter of upping or lowering her thyroid meds.


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Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS
Originally Answered: Kidney or Thyroid

Hi Christopher,

I'm sorry it's taken so long to respond - we're working on this to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Poor you having a kitty with both! It certainly can be hard to manage. Firstly, yes it's definitely worth getting her thyroid levels checked - a medication adjustment may make a huge difference. Depending what medication she's on, you might find it's better to switch the type of medication if there's any chance she's not getting her full dose.

If she continues to refuse to eat the kidney food, you could talk to your vet about phosphate binders, which can be added to diets to reduce the amount of phosphate available to digest. This might help adapt a diet to suit her. Kidney diets also contain a very specific amount of a high-quality protein source, so it might be easier to find a diet that matches her protein needs, then add the phosphate binders. RC and Hills will both offer free advice to your vet as to other options, or you may find talking to a board-certified nutritionist helps you to get on top of the kidney diet. 

Best wishes,

Dr Woodnutt


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Christopher Iuliano
Originally Answered: Kidney or Thyroid

@joanna-woodnutt Thank you for your response. Since I made the post, Kitty started getting worse. I was giving her some (i think) aluminum powder in her food. Maybe that is the binder you mentioned?
But she started getting bad again. losing weight and drinking lots and lots of water. So I found a food company, Weruva. high quality protein with low phosphorus. And Kitty has been eating that the past 3 weeks and seems to be doing better.
I literally had her at the vet 2 days ago and just got her results. They are not good. her thyroid was at 8.5. and her kidney levels were very high too (i dont rememeber the exact number). My vet was actually surprised that Kitty isnt acting sickly. Which led me to think that maybe this Weruva food is helping, but she hasnt been eating it long enough to reflect in tests?
Kitty gets methimazole for her thyroids. she wont take pills, so i put cream on her ears twice a day. I apparantly did not do a good enough job of keeping Kitty's ears clear in between doses, So my vet thinks that not enough medicine was being absorbed, hence the high test result. So she gave me some moist gauze type things to clean her ears with. and hopefully this will allow for better absorption of the meds.

I asked my vet about the whole new food not being eaten long enough to reflect in tests. But she wasn't sure. Do you happen to have a thought on this?
I mean, yes, Kitty is too thin (7.14lbs). But she eats 2-3 3oz cans of food every day. She doesnt seem to have any issues going to the bathroom. She plays. She wants to be pet and cuddle. The only odd thing, is that she has been somewhat more whiny than normal the last few weeks. But my vet thinks that is due to the thyroid meds not absorbing enough (same thing with weight loss).


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Ellen Marcinkiewicz
Originally Answered: Kidney or Thyroid

@christopheriuliano 

Hi Christopher, 

I'm very sorry to hear that Kitty has gotten worse. It can be really difficult to make sure the correct amount of medication is absorbed when applying it to the skin, and it sounds like you're doing your best to follow your vet's instructions carefully. Fingers crossed that this helps with the absorption of her thyroid medication, and you see an improvement at her next appointment. I also agree with your vet that this is likely to be causing the changes in behavior, such as being more whiny, and affecting her weight. 

If Kitty is doing well on her new food, I would recommend having a discussion with your vet about her nutrition plan going forward. The aluminum powder you mention sounds like a phosphate binder, like Dr. Woodnutt mentioned, as many of these contain aluminum salts (such as aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate). As your vet suggested, is difficult to know when the change in nutrition may be reflected in her test results, especially when thyroid hormone levels are still high.

Best wishes,

Dr. Ellen Marcinkiewicz

 


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