Message Number: YG3969 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Mahri Shelton
Date: 2001-05-25 01:32:00 UTC
Subject: Chicken Baby Food and Renal Failure

Hello! My ferret Ginger has recently been diagnosed
with the beginning stages of renal failure. We had an
ultra sound done and the "dark" areas on her kidneys
are not dark enough and the kidneys seemed a little
small. They also found that the right side of her
heart is mildly enlarged, however her heart is
functioning very well right now (she is on heart worm
prevention medication and they didn't see any heart
worms). Blood tests showed elevated kidney levels (I
don't have the lab results with me right now), and my
vet told me that they were not that bad yet. Ginger
is around seven years old (no one knew her exact age
when I adopted her, but I have had her for five years
and she was full grown when I adopted her).

In addition to this new found problem, she had her
left adrenal gland removed a year and a half ago, as
well as a growth on her pancreas. Both growths came
back from the pathologist as benign. She had been
suffering from low blood sugar (60 - 20) before
surgery, however she was also having severe diarrhea
and some vomiting at the time (I had to hand feed her
chicken baby food and soft ferret food every three
hours 24 hours a day for a month). We think she
probably caught either ECE or some other
gastrointestinal virus from a new kit we brought home
(they were separated for weeks before we introduced
them- he had no symptoms of any illness).

My vet decided to do an exploratory surgery after
Ginger continued to have the diarrhea for an extended
period of time, plus a history of low blood sugar.
Her intestines were found to be fine during surgery.
After the surgery, she was diagnosed with possible
inflammatory bowel disease (the diarrhea improved with
.15 ml of Prednisolone every third day), adrenal
disease (the gland was removed) and insulinomas (even
though the pathology for the growth on her pancreas
came back as benign) .

Now, with the new kidney findings, my new vet (we
moved) recommends that we put Ginger on a low protein
diet (a feline maintenance diet). Ginger is currently
on .15 ml of Prednisolone every third day for her
inflammatory bowel condition and has been doing very
well for over a year now. My vet also wants to wean
her off of the Prednisolone to help her heart and
kidneys. However, when she had her blood glucose
checked last week, it was only 60 (my vet suspects
possible insulinomas).

With so many things going on at the same time, it has
been very difficult for me (and my vet) to determine
what to feed her. If she does have insulinomas, than
lowering the protein in her diet and taking her off
the Prednisolone may give her hypoglycemia. However,
if I continue her on a high protein diet, her kidneys
may get worse at a faster rate. Can anyone give me
any diet advice?

Ginger has been eating a meal of warm chicken baby
food, warm lactose free milk and a side order of
Eukanuba Kitten each morning for breakfast. She then
free feeds on the Eukanuba all day (my vet recommended
the Eukanuba after she had her surgery a year and a
half ago). Should I stop giving her the meal of
chicken baby food and milk in the morning (she really
looks forward to it)? My vet wasn't sure how much
protein (percentage wise) the baby food contains. I
have switched her over to a lower protein premium cat
food instead of the kitten chow to help her kidneys.
However, I still want to make sure she is getting
enough fat in her diet.

I'm sorry this post is so long, however I really
wasn't sure what to do for her. It really is going to
be a balancing act. She is very energetic right now,
however I don't know if things are going to change
with the reduction of her Prednisolone (I just started
giving her .1 ml every third day). Any advice would
be much appreciated. I want to make her remaining
time as pleasant as possible.

Best wishes and much thanks,

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