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What You Need to Know First

Alphabetical Index


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What Happens in CKD

Causes of CKD

How Bad is It?

Is There Any Hope?

Acute Kidney Injury



Nausea, Vomiting, Appetite Loss and Excess Stomach Acid

Maintaining Hydration

The Importance of Phosphorus Control

All About Hypertension

All About Anaemia

All About Constipation

Potassium Imbalances

Metabolic Acidosis

Kidney Stones



Coping with CKD

Tanya's Support Group

Success Stories



Alphabetical List of Symptoms and Treatments

Fluid and Urinary  Imbalances (Dehydration, Overhydration and Urinary Issues)

Waste Product Regulation Imbalances (Vomiting, Appetite Loss, Excess Stomach Acid, Gastro-intestinal Problems, Mouth Ulcers Etc.)

Phosphorus and Calcium Imbalances

Miscellaneous Symptoms (Pain, Hiding Etc.)



Blood Chemistry: Kidney Function, Potassium, Other Tests (ALT, Amylase, (Cholesterol, Etc.)

Calcium, Phosphorus, Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism

Complete Blood Count (CBC): Red and White Blood Cells: Anaemia and Infection

Urinalysis (Urine Tests)

Other Tests: Ultrasound, Biopsy, X-rays etc.

Renomegaly (Enlarged Kidneys)

Which Tests to Have and Frequency of Testing

Factors that Affect Test Results

Normal Ranges

International and US Measuring Systems



Which Treatments are Essential

Fluid and Urinary Issues (Fluid Retention, Infections, Incontinence, Proteinuria)

Waste Product Regulation (Mouth Ulcers, GI Bleeding, Antioxidants, Adsorbents, Azodyl, Astro's CRF Oil)

Phosphorus, Calcium and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (Calcitriol)

Miscellaneous Treatments: Stem Cell Transplants, ACE Inhibitors - Fortekor, Steroids, Kidney Transplants)

Antibiotics and Painkillers

Holistic Treatments (Including Slippery Elm Bark)

ESAs (Aranesp, Epogen etc.) for Severe Anaemia

General Health Issues in a CKD Cat: Fleas, Arthritis, Dementia, Vaccinations

Tips on Medicating Your Cat

Obtaining Supplies Cheaply in the UK, USA and Canada

Working with Your Vet and Recordkeeping



Nutritional Requirements of CKD Cats

The B Vitamins (Including Methylcobalamin)

What to Feed (and What to Avoid)

Persuading Your Cat to Eat

Food Data Tables

USA Canned Food Data

USA Dry Food Data

USA Cat Food Manufacturers

UK Canned Food Data

UK Dry Food Data

UK Cat Food Manufacturers

2007 Food Recall USA



Intravenous Fluids

Subcutaneous Fluids

Tips on Giving Subcutaneous Fluids

How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids with a Giving Set

How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids with a Syringe

Subcutaneous Fluids - Winning Your Vet's Support




Heart Problems



Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)


Dental Problems









The Final Hours

Other People's Losses

Coping with Your Loss



Early Detection



Canine Kidney Disease

Other Illnesses (Cancer, Liver) and Behavioural Problems

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My Three CKD Cats: Tanya, Thomas and Ollie

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Home > Treatments



  • The purpose of treatment is twofold. Firstly, you want to help your cat feel better. Secondly, if at all possible you want to slow down the progression of the CKD.

  • There are a lot of treatments available for CKD, and when you first start out you may not know where to start. You may have been given treatments by your vet, but you're not sure what they are for or why you have been given them.

  • This section explains more about the treatments I know of for CKD in cats. It also discusses which are the most important, how to find a good vet, and how to obtain supplies at reasonable prices.

  • If you can't find what you're looking for in this section - for example, you may have been given clindamycin, but you don't know what it is (an antibiotic), so you don't know which page to check - check out the Alphabetical Index [under construction].

Which Treatments are Essential                                                                                  Go to page

This page explains the purposes of treatment, the importance of record keeping, and which treatments are essential.


Many people get confused about which treatments are important and which are a waste of time, money and effort, so this page explains more about the treatments that make the biggest difference. Please be sure to read it, particularly if you're desperately scouring the internet for that non-existent miracle cure, and are vulnerable to all those fabulous-sounding testimonials.


Remember, I'm not trying to sell you anything - I have no financial interest in anything mentioned on this site. I do, however, get feedback from the thousands of people who have been members of my support group over the years, who tell me what works for them and their cats.


Fluid and Urinary Issues:                                                                                                                     Go to page

Fluid Retention, Infections, Incontinence, Proteinuria                                                        

This section discusses treatments relating to fluid issues, such as dehydration and overhydration, constipation and diarrhoea.


It also covers treatments for urinary issues, including incontinence, inappropriate elimination (peeing outside the litter box), urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and proteinuria (protein loss in the urine).


Waste Product Regulation:                                                                                                                  Go to page

Mouth Ulcers, GI Bleeding, Antioxidants, Adsorbents, Azodyl, Astro's CRF Oil                      

The toxins that arise in CKD can cause a variety of problems. This page discusses how to deal with some of those problems, such as mouth ulcers, body odour, gastro-intestinal bleeding.


In addition, it talks about some general treatments that may be of use, such as antioxidants (including CoQ10), a probiotic called Azodyl, Astro's CRF Oil, and oral adsorbents such as Epakitin (known as Ipakitine outside the USA) and Kremezin.


Phosphorus, Calcium and PTH (Calcitriol)                                                                Go to page

Phosphorus and calcium imbalances are common in CKD cats, and may cause elevated levels of a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH). This can eventually lead to a condition called secondary hyperparathyroidism. Controlling phosphorus levels is the primary method of controlling PTH levels, but some people also use a treatment called calcitriol, a hormone which helps to balance PTH levels. Read more here.


Miscellaneous Treatments                                                                                          Go to page

Fortekor, Stem Cell Transplants, Kidney Transplants   

This page covers treatments that don't belong in any other category. It includes stem cell transplants, which some members of Tanya's CKD Support Group are finding helpful, but which are not widely available at the moment.


It also discusses benazepril (Fortekor), a heart medication approved for the treatment of CKD in Europe, Canada and Australasia, and kidney transplants (which are really expensive, and a treatment, not a cure).


Antibiotics and Painkillers                                                                                           Go to page

CKD is not painful, but cats sometimes need painkillers for other reasons, such as for arthritis or after dental surgery.


CKD cats are prone to infections, so may need antibiotics on occasion. This page covers the treatments in these categories that are most commonly used in CKD cats.


Holistic Treatments                                                                                                        Go to page

This page covers a number of holistic treatments, including the herbal remedy, slippery elm bark, which is a gentle, soothing remedy which helps many cats with vomiting and nausea.


It also discusses treatments which are not appropriate for CKD cats, such as cranberries.


Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs) for Severe Anaemia:                         Go to page

Darbepoetin (Aranesp), Epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit, Eprex),  Epoetin beta (NeoRecormon)

Anaemia is common in CKD cats, and if it is severe, you will need to consider using a treatment known as Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents or ESAs. This page discusses this treatment in detail, including the pros and cons, commonly used dosages and sources of supplies usually a lot cheaper than those your vet can find.


General Health Issues in a CKD Cat: Fleas, Arthritis, Vaccinations, Dementia Go to page

CKD cats can of course have other health issues, such as fleas. This page discusses appropriate treatments for these problems in CKD cats.


Tips on Medicating Your Cat                                                                                        Go to page

If you have a cat who is a terror to pill, this page has tips on methods which may make it easier and less stressful for both of you, such as Pill Pockets and compounded medications. It also explains why it is important to follow any oral medications with water.


This page also has information on possible drug interactions.


Working with Your Vet                                                                                                                            Go to page

In order to give your cat the best possible care, ideally you and your vet need to work as a partnership. This page gives tips on how best to do that.


It also covers how to find a good vet, and getting a second opinion.


Obtaining Supplies Cheaply in the UK, USA and Canada                                      Go to page

Some vets charge a fortune for supplies. The record is held by a vet who charged US$52 for one 1000ml bag of lactated ringers sub-Q fluid (the needles and administration set were extra).


If you have to spend all your money on supplies, you have none left for testing. So use this page to find reasonably priced sources for sub-Q supplies and prescription food in the UK, USA and Canada. Supplies for other items, such as Azodyl or Epogen, can be found on the relevant page.


One Final Treatment...


is TLC (tender loving care). Don't under-estimate it! It can work wonders, as anybody who has seen a cat pull through against the odds can testify. In the midst of caring for your cat, don't forget the cuddles and the loving words. And don't forget to take care of yourself too.



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This page last updated: 27 October 2013