Early last year I wrote about my two 18-year-old cats, Princess and Monaco. We found that Princess had Stage 3 (out of 4) kidney disease and we were treating her with a change in diet, supplements, subcutaneous fluid therapy a couple of times a week, and Vitamin B12 injections. Monaco’s blood work was spectacular.
Princess did very well for a few months. Her follow-up blood work a month after her diagnosis displayed some improvement. She was eating, walking comfortably, and tolerated the treatments. Then one day, she didn’t eat. Didn’t move. Couldn’t get up. It was time to say goodbye. I thought I would have had more time with her, but the disease and time had caught up to her.
It’s been over a year now, and Monaco is still doing pretty well for a 19-year-old (the equivalent of a 92year old person). Since Princess passed away, Monaco is not as scared as she once was, is more vocal, and is getting all the attention that otherwise was given to Princess (Princess was the alpha after all). It’s nice to see her out of her shell. Her most recent bloodwork shows some minor changes in her kidney health, so we started the vitamin B12 injections with her, as well as subcutaneous fluids on a regular basis. We also changed her diet, and she began to get certain supplementation as well. We caught her changes very early, and so far, so good. She will be due to get her blood work, and urine checked soon.
This is only one example of the fast changes that can occur in a senior pet’s life. We recommend checking their blood work every six months because the changes can happen so quickly. After a diagnosis is made, and medical treatments are implemented, we typically recheck blood work after a month of treatments to see how things are fairing and make any adjustments accordingly. With management of the disease or condition – be it kidney, diabetes, thyroid, arthritis, etc. – senior pets can live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Written by Josie Mediati, RVT