My cat has stopped eating food but still drinks water and a bit of milk. He also has kidney failure.

by Lilly
(united kingdom)

My cat is 16 and a half and in the last few weeks, he lost a lot of weight. We took him to the veterinarian.

They told us that my cat's kidney had stopped working and that he couldn't pass urine. They unblocked his bladder and he was relatively ok. We have found out now, though, that both of my cat's kidneys are not working. Last time we went to the vet, he had a steroid, vitamin B and pain killer injection. He seemed a lot better and ate normally. That was about a week and a half ago.

Now he has stopped eating food all together. He will only drink water and a bit of milk, his pupils have been large all day and I'm really worried. The vets were closed today and I will take him in tomorrow. I would really like some advice please. How long is his life expectancy??

Dear Lilly,

I believe that somewhere there is some confusion about your cat's condition, either in the way your veterinarian explained the situation or the way you understood it. A urinary obstruction is very different from a cat's kidneys not working, and it is very unclear to me which of these conditions affected your cat. It could be both - he could have had a urethral obstruction and not been able to urinate which led to the destruction of his kidneys.

However, if your cat's kidneys were not working at all a week and a half ago, he would not be alive today.

I have no way of giving you a prognosis regarding your cat's condition or estimating the amount of time he may have left without examining your cat and having current bloodwork from today. I do know this for certain, however. Your kitty needs to be seen right away. If you have any way of finding another veterinarian, even an emergency vet, your cat needs to be seen and examined as soon as possible. There is a possibility that your cat could be saved and may get well, depending on his blood values and organ function, but doing so would require immediate veterinary care. His large pupils may very well indicate that his eyes have been affected by high blood pressure, a result of kidney disease. That can sometimes be reversed if caught quickly enough.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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