TANYA'S

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO

FELINE CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

          

 

 

B VITAMINS, INCLUDING VITAMIN B12 (METHYLCOBALAMIN)

 

ON THIS PAGE:


The Different Types of B Vitamin


Why B Vitamins Are Important for CKD Cats


Vitamin B Complex


B Vitamins with Iron


B Vitamins with Potassium


Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12)


 

 

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WHAT IS CKD?


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Is There Any Hope?


Acute Renal Failure


 

KEY ISSUES


Nausea, Vomiting, Appetite Loss and Excess Stomach Acid


Maintaining Hydration


The Importance of Phosphorus Control


All About Hypertension


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SUPPORT


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SYMPTOMS


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.)


 

DIAGNOSIS: WHAT DO ALL THE TEST RESULTS MEAN?


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


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


 

TREATMENTS


Which Treatments are Essential


Finding a Good Vet and Record Keeping


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 PTH (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


 

DIET & NUTRITION


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


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UK Cat Food Manufacturers


2007 Food Recall USA


 

FLUID THERAPY


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


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Home > Diet and Nutrition > B Vitamins

 


Overview


  • B vitamins are water-soluble, so are often lacking in CKD cats, who lose much of their Vitamin B through urination.

  • Cats who are not eating much will also probably not be taking in enough B vitamins.

  • A lack of vitamin B may cause loss of appetite, or occasionally may cause twitching or itching. Vitamin B deficiencies are also known to cause non-regenerative anaemia.

  • B vitamin supplements are safe and can often help a CKD cat feel better.

  • Vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin may be particularly helpful.


The Different Types of B Vitamin                                                                    Back to Page Index


 

Although Vitamin B is commonly referred to as if it were a single vitamin, there are actually a number of B vitamins. These are essential vitamins, which means that they cannot be manufactured in the cat's body, so must be obtained from external sources (from food or a supplement).

 

These are the main B vitamins:

  • Vitamin B1 - thiamine

  • Vitamin B2 - riboflavin

  • Vitamin B3 - niacin or nicotinamide

  • Vitamin B5 - pantothenic acid

  • Vitamin B6 - pyridoxine or pyridoxamine

  • Vitamin B7 - biotin, also known as vitamin H

  • Vitamin B9 - folic acid, also known as vitamin M

  • Vitamin B12 - cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin

Pet Education explains more about the different B vitamins.

Nutritional management of renal disease (2008) Sturgess K Presentation to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress has a table showing the recommended intake of the various B vitamins for CKD cats. Remember, this is total intake, i.e. it includes vitamin B in food.

 


The Importance of B Vitamins                                                                         Back to Page Index


 

B vitamins are water-soluble, so are often lacking in CKD cats, who lose much of their Vitamin B through the increased urination associated with CKD. Cats who are not eating much will also probably not be taking in enough B vitamins. A lack of vitamin B may cause loss of appetite, or occasionally may cause twitching or itching. Vitamin B deficiencies are also known to cause non-regenerative anaemia. A lack of Vitamin B1 may cause an inability to lift the head.

 

Your vet may therefore suggest a supplement in order to avoid these problems. I definitely recommend starting a Vitamin B supplement for any cat who is anaemic or in the low end of the lab range.

 

Many people use a vitamin B complex supplement for their CKD cats, as described below. Vitamin B12, in the form of methylcobalamin, can be particularly useful for CKD cats, but there is only a relatively small amount of vitamin B12 in most B complex supplements, so some people give a separate B12 supplement as well. There is more about vitamin B12 here.

 

Because B vitamins are water-soluble, they are generally considered to be a safe supplement because any excess will simply be urinated out, but you should still be careful not to over-supplement B6 and B9 in particular.

 


Vitamin B Complex                                                                                              Back to Page Index


 

B vitamins need to be in a certain ratio to each other, so many people buy their supplements in the form of a Vitamin B complex. These products usually contain the correct balance of B vitamins, though for some strange reason they often do not contain Vitamin B9 (folic acid).

 

B vitamins are sensitive to heat and light so are best kept in a cool dark place. Some vets add Vitamin B to the sub-Q fluids bag, but this is not a good idea because it can make the fluids sting; it can compromise the sterility of the bag; and giving vitamins in this way (i.e. added by the vet) tends to increase the cost of the fluid bags. In addition, since most people warm their fluids before using them, the B vitamins could well be rendered ineffective through the repeated warming. Injectible B complex (which is yellow) also stings when injected directly into the cat. However, injectible Vitamin B12 (pinky red) does not sting, so some people give this to their cats immediately after sub-Qs.

 

B vitamins may make urine yellow or orange, so don't panic if you see this.

 

Vitamin B Complex Dosage                                                                              


B vitamin supplements are sold for humans, and vary in how much of each B vitamin they contain. Many people do use Jarrow's B-Right without problems, but it does contain relatively high amounts of some B vitamins, so ask your vet about it first. Take a look at the Jarrow's B-Right label and try not to give any more than this amount; your vet may wish you to give less.

 

It is still necessary to reduce the amount you give to a cat-sized dose. The general rule of thumb is to give a 10 lb cat approximately 1/10th of a human dose each day. Thus, if you buy a capsule where the dose for a human is one capsule a day, you should open the capsule and divide it into ten (i.e. one capsule would provide enough to keep a cat going for ten days). Ideally, you then want to divide this daily dose further into 2-3 doses each day if you can, but in practice that is not easy, since you are talking tiny amounts.

 

Obviously it is much easier to do this if you use capsules, but if you do buy tablets, you can crush them and divide them after crushing. You can decant the amount you are giving into a gelpcap, or you can sprinkle it on food.

 

Vitamin B Complex Cautions    


Avoid products containing alpha lipoic acid, which is toxic to cats.

 

I would avoid using multi-vitamin products, particularly two products called Hi-Vites and Felovite II, as a source of B vitamins. There is nothing wrong with these products as such, but unfortunately they tend to be too high in Vitamins A and D for a CKD cat, and Felovite II also contains phosphorus. Several cats on the support group have not done well on Hi-Vites in particular.

 

Aventi Kidney Support (formerly Renal Advanced) is a product made by Candioli which is commonly offered to people in Italy and Canada. It contains vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 (folic acid), plus probiotics. However, it also contains Lespedeza capita, which is a diuretic and therefore contra-indicated in CKD cats, and prebiotics in the form of fructooligosaccharides which may increase calcium levels in some cases. Personally I would just use B vitamins, and a probiotic separately if appropriate.

 

Vitamin B Complex US Sources


Jarrow's B-Right is a popular choice because it contains all the B vitamins including B9, and some B-12 in the favoured methylcobalamin form. It does contain sugar so may not be suitable for diabetic cats. See above for how to give.

 

Amazon sells 100 capsules for US$11.46 including shipping.

Vitacost sells 100 capsules for US$8.16. Shipping is a flat rate US$4.99 per order.

iHerb sells 100 capsules for US$10.77 plus shipping.

 

 

 

Vitamin B Complex UK Sources


Provet in the UK sells a phosphorus-free feline Vitamin B supplement called Pro-VitB, which costs £8.32 for 30 tablets.

Amazon UK sells 100 Jarrows B-Right capsules (see above) for £11.98.

 


B Vitamins with Iron: Pet-tinic or NutriVed                                                      Back to Page Index


 

Some cats (typically anaemic ones) may need iron as well as B vitamins. In these cases it is usually easier to use a combined product, but you should never give iron to a cat with an infection. These are the two most popular combined products on Tanya's CKD Support Group.

NutriVed B Complex Plus Iron


NutriVed B Complex Plus Iron contains B vitamins and iron. The usual dose is 0.1ml per lb of cat, twice a day (which equates to 5mg of iron twice a day) so a 10lb (4.5kg) cat would need 1 ml twice a day, but do check with your vet in case your cat needs a different dose. It does contain sugar, so may not be suitable for diabetic cats.

 

I used NutriVed for my anaemic cat, Ollie, with no problems. I simply mixed his twice daily dose into a small amount of baby food and he gobbled it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NutriVed Sources USA


  • Thriving Pets sells NutriVed for US$9.95. Handling costs US$2, shipping charges are determined by weight. If you enter the word "tanya" (without the ") in the promotional code box, you will receive a 10% discount on orders over US$55.

  • Healthy Pets sells NutriVed at a cost of US$9.99 for 4 oz.

  • Natural Pets also sell Nutrived for US$9.99. This is essentially the same company as Healthy Pets, but I'm giving it here in case it has offers available.

NutriVed Sources UK


  • Natural Pets sell NutriVed for US$9.99 and will ship to the UK. Shipping via USPS Express Mail for one or two bottles costs around US$29.

  • Thriving Pets sells NutriVed for US$9.95. Handling costs US$2, shipping charges are determined by weight. It will ship to selected clients in selected countries. If you enter the word "tanya" (without the ") in the promotional code box, you will receive a 10% discount on orders over US$55.

Pet-tinic (Pet-Tabs Iron-Plus)


 

Pet-tinic, now also known as Pet Tabs Iron Plus, is both an iron supplement and Vitamin B supplement, though for some strange reason it does not contain folic acid. The usual dose for a 10lb (4.5kg) cat is 1 ml twice a day (which equates to 5.4mg of iron a day), but do check with your vet in case your cat needs a different dose. It does contain corn syrup, so may not be suitable for diabetic cats.

 

 

 

 

 

Pet-tinic Sources USA


  • KV Vet Supply sells Pet-tinic at US$6.85 for 4 oz, with free shipping for orders over US$50. Search for item 40168.

  • Thriving Pets sells Pet-tinic for US$12.95 for 4 oz. Handling costs US$2, shipping charges are determined by weight. If you enter the word "tanya" (without the ") in the promotional code box, you will receive a 10% discount on orders over US$55.

Pet-tinic Sources UK


  • KV Vet Supply will ship Pet-tinic to the UK or Canada. It costs US$6.85 for 4 oz, but shipping is relatively expensive, so it is usually more cost effective to order more than one bottle at a time. Search for item 40168.

  • Thriving Pets sells Pet-tinic for US$12.95 for 4 oz. Handling costs US$2, shipping charges are determined by weight. It will ship to selected clients in selected countries. If you enter the word "tanya" (without the ") in the promotional code box, you will receive a 10% discount on orders over US$55.


Vitamin B with Potassium (Kaminox or Renal K+)                                          Back to Page Index


 

If you are in the UK, you may be offered a product called Kaminox. This is a combination of B vitamins, iron and potassium.  Alfamedic provides a list of the ingredients. 

 

In the USA there are two products available containing potassium and B vitamins, Renal K+ made by Vetoquinol (precise ingredients unknown), and Amino B & K from Emerson Ecologics.

 

I would not recommend using these products unless your cat has low potassium levels, which not all CKD cats do; giving potassium when it is not needed can be very dangerous. ACE inhibitors such as benazepril (Fortekor) may make potassium levels rise; so if your vet has prescribed Fortekor, as so many British vets do, it might be wiser to use a different type of B Vitamin without the potassium.

 

You should also not use Kaminox if your cat has an infection because Kaminox contains iron, see Anaemia for more information.

 

Vitamin B with Potassium: USA


  • Thriving Pets sells 100g of Renal-K+ in powder form for US$12.95. If you enter the word "tanya" (without the ") in the promotional code box, you will receive a 10% discount on orders over US$55. Shipping is free for orders over US$55 after the discount.

  • Amazon sells 100g of Renal-K+ in powder form for US$13.25 with free shipping.

Vitamin B with Potassium: UK


  • Vet UK sells Kaminox for £19.86 for 120ml, with free UK shipping.


Vitamin B12 - Methylcobalamin                                                                       Back to Page Index


Why Methylcobalamin is Helpful


Vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin (rather than the more commonly available cyanocobalamin) is the neurologically active form of Vitamin B12, and is used by the body to correct or prevent neurological problems. A lack of Vitamin B12 may also cause cognitive dysfunction. It is also essential for red blood cell production, so too low a level of Vitamin B12 in your cat's body may cause or contribute to anaemia.

 

Cats with IBD or pancreatitis tend to have low levels of cobalamin so are often given methylcobalamin. It is also often recommended for cats with diabetic neuropathy. The prevalence of hypocobalaminaemia in cats with spontaneous hyperthyroidism (2011) Cook AK, Suchodolski JS, Steiner JM & Robertson JE Journal of Small Animal Practice 52(2) pp101–106 found that a sizeable percentage of cats with hyperthyroidism have low levels of cobalamin.

 

Plasma homocysteine, B vitamins, and amino acid concentrations in cats with cardiomyopathy and arterial thromboembolism (2000) McMichael MA, Freeman LM, Selhub J, Rozanski EA, Brown DJ, Nadeau MR, Rush JE Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 14(5) pp507-12 found that cats with heart disease who have thromboembolism (thrown a clot or saddle thrombus) have significantly lower levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and arginine, an amino acid. The study concludes "We interpret the results of this study to suggest that vitamin B12 and arginine may play a role in CM and ATE of cats." If your cat has heart disease, therefore, you may wish to discuss using methylcobalamin with your vet.

 

Vitamin B12 may be a particular concern for older cats. Vitamin B12 deficiency (2003) OH RC & Brown DL American Family Physician 67(5) pp979-86 mentions that one study found that 15% of people over the age of 65 had a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Addressing age-related changes in feline digestion (2010) Patil AR & Cupp CJ Nestlé Purina Companion Animal Nutrition Summit 2010 Focus on Gerontology states "if Vitamins E & B12 are at low levels, then processing of fat and protein are likely compromised in older cats."

 

Methylcobalamin has been found by members of Tanya's CKD Support Group to be very helpful for various CKD-related problems, including anaemia, incontinence, appetite loss and constipation. If you are using famotidine (Pepcid AC) or ranitidine (Zantac 75), it may reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 from food, so it might be worth supplementing it.

 

Oregon State University has some information about Vitamin B12.

Chronic renal failure promotes severe variant of Vitamin B12 deficiency (2006) Duning T, Nabavi DG, Dziewas R, Kugel H & Schäbitz W-R European Neurology 56 pp62–65 reports on the case of a human CKD patient with Vitamin B12 deficiency and concludes that CKD patients "may require earlier and much larger therapeutic cobalamin doses than previously considered."

PDR Health has some information about methylcobalamin in humans.

Net Doctor has some information about Vitamin B12 deficiency in humans.

 

Methylcobalamin Formulations


Vitamin B12 is available in oral or injectible forms, but the injectible form is usually cyanocobalamin rather than the preferred methylcobalamin.

 

It used to be thought that only the injectible form  was effective, but Oral vitamin B12 versus intramuscular vitamin B12 for vitamin B12 deficiency (2005) Vidal-Alaball J, Butler CC, Cannings-John R, Goringe A, Hood K, McCaddon A, McDowell I & Papaioannou A Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 20(3) found that oral vitamin B12 was as effective as intramuscular vitamin B12 for human patients with vitamin B12 deficiency.

 

The US National Library of Medicine mentions that many injectible forms of Vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin "contain aluminum that may be toxic. Aluminum may reach toxic levels with prolonged parenteral administration if kidney function is impaired."

 

If you are only using the injectible form occasionally, it is probably safe but discuss this further with your vet. To be on the safe side, I would consider using oral Vitamin B12 instead, which also has the advantage of being available in the preferred methylcobalamin form. The oral form does seem to work well for cats, though it may possibly be less effective in cats with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). It is common to give a relatively high dose though, to make sure the cat receives enough (any excess should be peed out).

 

Oral methylcobalamin is often sold in the form of fruit-flavoured lozenges which some people do use to pill their cats successfully, though plain methylcobalamin tablets and capsules are also available, though less easy to find. Injectible Vitamin B12 is only available via prescription in the USA, but is an over the counter product in the UK. See below for stockists, including a US supplier of injectible methylobalamin.

 

Some methylcobalamin products contain a sweetener called xylitol. Although this is toxic to dogs, there is currently no evidence that it is toxic to cats. However, some people prefer to avoid products containing it.

 

Methylcobalamin Dosages


A possible starting dose if you are giving methylcobalamin orally would be 500mcg (0.5mg) a day, though some people give twice as much. Although this sounds high, only a small percentage of oral B12 is absorbed. Most people using capsules simply open a 500mcg capsule and mix the contents with their cat's food.

 

Methylcobalamin Cautions


It may be wiser not to give Vitamin B12 to a cat with cancer because cancer cells rely on Vitamin B12 for growth. If you are dealing with lymphoma, however, the University of Penn School of Veterinary Medicine is researching whether cats with lymphoma have a Vitamin B12 deficiency (which is quite possible, because lymphoma may reduce Vitamin B12 absorption in the intestines), and if they do, they plan to offer supplemental treatment to address the deficiency.

 

Cats with diabetes tend to be given higher dosages. However, Effect of B-vitamin therapy on progression of diabetic nephropathy: a randomized controlled trial (2010) House AA, Eliasziw M, Cattran DC, Churchill DN, Oliver MJ, Fine A, Dresser GK & Spence JD Journal of the American Medical Association 303(16) pp1603-1609 found that humans with diabetes and kidney disease caused by the diabetes who were given three B vitamins, 25mg/d of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 2.5mg/d of vitamin B9 (folic acid) and 1mg/d of vitamin B12 had a lower GFR (a measure of kidney function) and an increased incidence of strokes. The study states "Because these vitamins are water-soluble and renally excreted, vitamin toxicity may be more of a concern in patients with impaired renal function."

 

Cats with diabetes are usually only given methylcobalamin for up to three months, until the diabetes is regulated, but the humans in this study were taking cobalamin for 36 months. It is also not known which form they were taking, but most probably it was cyanocobalamin. These patients had severe diabetes as well as advanced CKD and were receiving multiple treatments apart from B vitamins.

 

I would not give more than 1 mg a day to your CKD cat, and personally, I would feel more comfortable giving 500mcg (0.5mg) only. Be guided by your vet as to the most appropriate dose for your cat.

 

Methylcobalamin Sources - USA


Some national chains such as Vitamin Shoppe sell methylcobalamin, but it is often in lozenge form rather than capsules. Check for other ingredients too. Vitamin Shoppe sells 60 Superior Source 1000mcg methylcobalamin lozenges for US$9.99 online, and you can often find this product in store too.

 

Vitacost sells 200 plain methylcobalamin 500mcg (0.5mg) capsules for US$6.28 plus flat rate shipping of US$4.99 per order. I ordered these myself on a Sunday evening, and received them on the following Tuesday. If you are a new Vitacost customer, but know somebody who already uses them, you should be able to use this coupon to get a US$10 discount off your first order.

 

Vitacost also sells 300 of the NSI brand in 500mcg strength for US$8.49 plus flat rate shipping of US$4.99 per order.

 

Bayho sells 180 1000mcg (1mg) plain methylcobalamin tablets for US$34.10. Although the site states that it only sells to health professionals, they will normally sell to individuals if you tell them it is for veterinary use.

 

Diamondback Drugs sell injectible methylcobalamin, which can be very hard to find otherwise. It is not mentioned on their site but members of my support group have obtained it from them with no problems. It costs US$35 for a 5ml vial of 1mg/ml strength, with a three month expiration date.

 

Methylcobalamin Sources - UK and Other Countries


Vitacost sells 200 plain methylcobalamin 500mcg (0.5mg) capsules for US$6.28 plus international shipping, which is calculated by weight but which costs roughly USD6.99 for small, lightweight orders and takes 7-14 days. Vitacost have local phone numbers in UK, Australia and Hong Kong. I have not used Vitacost to ship to the UK, but I used them within the USA and they were very efficient and very fast. If you are a new Vitacost customer but know somebody who already uses them, you should be able to use this coupon to get a US$10 discount off your first order.

 

Vitacost also sells 300 of the NSI brand in 500mcg strength for US$8.49 plus international shipping, which is calculated by weight but which costs roughly USD6.99 for small, lightweight orders and takes 7-14 days. Vitacost have local phone numbers in UK, Australia and Hong Kong. I have not used Vitacost to ship to the UK, but I used them within the USA and they were very efficient and very fast.

 

Amazon UK sells 60 Superior Source Methylcobalamin tablets in 1000mcg strength for £12.99.

 

Vitamin UK sells a number of different types of methylcobalamin, click on Search, then type in methylcobalamin.

 

Pet Meds in the UK sells injectible Vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin (I do not know of any UK suppliers of injectible methylcobalamin). A possible dose is 0.5ml once or twice a week into port on fluids but check with your vet. You should buy a new one every month.

 

Natural Vitamin Direct in Canada sells 90 1000mcg methylcobalamin tablets for CAN$7.50.

 

Complementary Compounding Services in Australia sells 50 3mg capsules for AUS$65. These are stronger than usually used for CKD cats, but the capsules can be opened and divided into smaller doses.

 

Complementary Compounding Services in Australia also sell injectible methylcobalamin.

 

Methylcobalamin Resources has details of suppliers in USA, UK, and New Zealand, some of whom will ship worldwide. Please note this site is recommending methylcobalamin for cats with diabetes, so the sizes and doses may be too high for a CKD cat; ask your vet.

Back to Page Index

This page last updated: 14 October 2013

Links on this page last checked: 29 April 2012

 

   

*****

 

TREATING YOUR CAT WITHOUT VETERINARY ADVICE CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

 

I have tried very hard to ensure that the information provided in this website is accurate, but I am NOT a vet, just an ordinary person who has lived through CKD with three cats. This website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat any cat. Before trying any of the treatments described herein, you MUST consult a qualified veterinarian and obtain professional advice on the correct regimen for your cat and his or her particular requirements; and you should only use any treatments described here with the full knowledge and approval of your vet. No responsibility can be accepted.

 

If your cat appears to be in pain or distress, do not waste time on the internet, contact your vet immediately.

 

*****

Copyright © Tanya's Feline CKD Website 2000-2013. All rights reserved.

 

This site was created using Microsoft software, and therefore it is best viewed in Internet Explorer. I know it doesn't always display too well in other browsers, but I'm not an IT expert so I'm afraid I don't know how to change that. I would love it to display perfectly everywhere, but my focus is on making the information available. When I get time, I'll try to improve how it displays in other browsers.

 

You may print out one copy of each section of this site for your own information and/or one copy to give to your vet, but this site may not otherwise be reproduced or reprinted, on the internet or elsewhere, without the permission of the site owner, who can be contacted via the Contact Me page.

 

This site is a labour of love, from which I do not make a penny. Please do not steal from me by taking credit for my work.

If you wish to link to this site, please feel free to do so. Please make it clear that this is a link and not your own work. I would appreciate being informed of your link.

 

 

The group is hosted on yahoo!groups, part of yahoo. It has its own address separate from Tanya's website. You can either click here or copy and paste this link into your browser:

 

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/

 

If you are already familiar with yahoo!groups, just click on the link and apply to join (and don't forget to complete the short questionnaire you'll be sent), but if you'd like to know more about how the group works, read on.

 

I own and run the group, but I am ably assisted by two moderators, Anne V and Anne A. They help with membership queries, approve messages, and do lots of boring admin stuff behind the scenes to help the group run smoothly for the members.

 

The group has various sections, including a photos section and a realtime chat function but for most people the most important part of the group is its message section. Basically, a member who wants support, vet recommendations, or to hear how others are coping with a particular problem, sends a message to the rest of the group. Other members then respond if they can. All messages sent to the group are stored in a message archive which members can search if they wish.

 

The group is private, i.e. messages sent to it are only visible to members, so people are not posting to the internet at large. The names of group members are also private, so nobody will know you are a member unless you choose to send messages to the group.

 


Joining the Group                                                                                                                        Back to Page Index


 

There are two ways to join the group, via the group's website or via e-mail:

 

How to Join the Group via E-mail


Just send an e-mail to

tanyas-ckd-support-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

You should then receive an e-mail in response asking you to confirm that you definitely want to join the group. Just click Reply and send.

 

If you join the group via e-mail, you will be able to send and receive e-mails to the group, but you will not be able to access the group website and read the message archives or look at the photos. If you wish to do that, you will need to set up a yahoo! ID by visiting the group website.

 

How to Join the Group via the Web


You can visit the group's homepage and follow the instructions. If you do this, yahoo!groups will help you set up your yahoo! ID, which gives you access to the group message archive etc. A yahoo! ID is not the same thing as an e-mail address.

 

Here are the steps to follow. Don't worry, this all sounds far worse than it is! You should find that in practice it all works more smoothly than it sounds when you're trying to explain it in writing:

 

Existing yahoo! ID

  1. Go to the group website: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/

  2. Click on the Join this Group button and you'll be taken to a Sign In to Yahoo! page.

  3. Sign in and link Tanya's Support Group to your existing account.

  4. Choose the e-mail address you wish to use for the group (see below).

  5. There is a little box for you to tell me why you would like to join the group. You don't need to be inventive or fancy, it's not a competition, it's just an extra check by yahoo!groups to keep spammers out.

  6. Choose your message delivery options (see below).

  7. Scroll down and click on the blue Join button at the bottom right of the page.

New yahoo! ID

  1. Go to the group website: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/

  2. Click on the Join this Group button and you'll be taken to a Sign In to Yahoo! page.

  3. Scroll down a little and click on the Create New Account button.

  4. On the next page you can create your new account. Some people are somewhat inventive in their responses, but in such cases it is important to remember what responses have been given in case the information is needed later to access the account. I can't see any of this stuff, it's entirely private between you and yahoo!groups, so I cannot help in case of later queries. 

  5. Once the account is successfully set up, you'll be taken to a Congratulations! page.

  6. Before you click on the Continue button on the Congratulations! page, untick the box that makes yahoo! your homepage (unless that is what you want).

  7. Also click on the Edit Marketing Preferences link below the Continue button. This takes you to another page where they helpfully opt you in to everything, so go through and set it as you wish.

  8. Then on the same separate page click on Account Info at the top of the page. You will be asked for your password again and taken to the Account Info page. Click on Profile and opt out of the various choices as you wish. The key thing is, you do have choices here, you can make things as public or private as you wish.

  9. Now click on the Continue button on the original page. You will be taken back to the group page to choose your membership settings.

  10. Choose the e-mail address you wish to use for the group (see below).

  11. There is a little box for you to tell me why you would like to join the group. You don't need to be inventive or fancy, it's not a competition, it's just an extra check by yahoo!groups to keep spammers out.

  12. Choose your message delivery options (see below).

  13. Scroll down and click on the blue Join button at the bottom right of the page.


Membership Settings                                                                                          Back to Page Index


 

There are various choices you need to make regarding your membership of the group. The most important are which e-mail address to use, and which way you read messages sent to the group by group members.

 

Membership Settings: Your E-mail Address


You need to decide which e-mail address you wish to use for the group. If you have created a yahoo! ID, yahoo!groups will normally have also set up a free yahoo! e-mail account for you based on your new yahoo ID. You can use this e-mail address to access the group if you wish, but it's not essential, you can use any e-mail address you wish. Since yahoo! is now scanning messages for advertising purposes (similar to gmail), I would recommend not using yahoo! e-mail if possible (though it would probably be better than using your work address for private stuff).

 

If you do not want to use your free yahoo! e-mail address, click on Add e-mail address to add a different one. Be aware, if you don't add a new address here, yahoo! will use the yahoo! e-mail address as a default address. So if you don't receive the membership questionnaire, it may well be because it's gone to your new yahoo! e-mail address.

 

If you ever wish to change the e-mail address you are using for the group, you can do that here:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/join

 

Membership Settings: Message Delivery


This sets up how you will access messages that are sent to the group.

 

This is a pretty active group. If you're looking after your CKD cat, you want support but you probably don't want a full inbox all the time. To help you manage this issue, you have three options for messages, and you can switch between them all as you wish:

  1. Individual E-mails

  2. Daily Digest

  3. Web Only (No e-mail)

Individual E-mails


This is the default setting. If you apply to join the group via e-mail, you will end up with this setting. If you apply to join the group via the group's webpage, if you don't choose one of the other settings, this is the one you will end up with.

 

This setting means that as soon as somebody sends a message to the group, it is sent directly to your inbox. It's a good choice if you might want to know immediately if somebody has responded to you, or if you would like to store some of the group messages for your reference. It's also good for being able to quickly delete messages which don't interest you.

 

The downside is that this is a busy group, averaging 50-100 group messages each day, so your inbox can quickly get full. One solution is to create a folder to use for group messages. All messages sent to the group have a tag in the subject line [tanya-crf] so you can filter all messages from the group to a new folder using this tag if you wish.

 

With both individual e-mail and message digest options, you can also choose the format of messages sent to you (Display Format), either Fully Featured (html, pretty colours etc.) or Traditional (plain text).

 

Message Digest


This means that you receive e-mails from the group, but yahoo!groups waits until there are about 25 messages available and sends them to you all in one go. With this option, you would therefore only receive 2-4 e-mails a day from the group, but it means you have to wait for responses (though you can still check on the group website for messages) and it can be more difficult to find what you are looking for within each digest.

 

With both individual e-mail and message digest options, you can also choose the format of messages sent to you (Display Format), either Fully Featured (html, pretty colours etc.) or Traditional (plain text).

 

Web Only (No Mail)


This means that you receive no messages at all from the group. This is a wise choice if you are using a work e-mail address, or if you cannot cope with the group's message volume. With this system you simply go to the group's website and read the messages that interest you there. Even if this is not your usual choice, it can be helpful to use this option if you are going on holiday.

 

So make your choices, then click the Join button at the bottom right of the page.

 


Important: Membership Questionnaire                                                           Back to Page Index


OK, so you've successfully applied to join the group. However, there is one more thing you need to do in order to join. I want to protect the group members from spammers, so whichever way you apply to join the group, you will receive a short questionnaire asking:

  1. Your first name

  2. The country where you live

  3. Your CKD cat's name and age

You need to respond to this before your membership will be approved.

 

Please don't worry about saying "the right thing." This is not a test to see if you are "good enough" for the group, everybody is welcome here, whoever they are or wherever they come from, as long as they want to help their cat. This questionnaire is basically just to reassure us that you are a real person applying to join rather than somebody trying to sell stuff and spam the group, but it also enables us to tailor our responses to your group messages e.g. if we moderators know where you live, we will not suggest treatments not available there.

 

Please note, only the two Annes and I can see your responses to these questions. The group will not know anything about you unless you choose to introduce yourself.

 

Once you respond to the questionnaire, your membership application should be approved very quickly (most people are approved within two hours or less).

 

Occasionally the questionnaire goes missing. You think we haven't sent it, and we think you haven't responded! If we haven't heard from you five days after you apply to join, we will send you a reminder. Unfortunately, we can only use the address you've used to sign up for the group, so if you've accidentally used your new yahoo e-mail address without realising it (see above), you won't see either the questionnaire or our reminder. If you don't hear from us, please simply write to us at tanyas-ckd-support-owner@yahoogroups.com and let us know. Please respond to the three questions in your response and we will either approve you (if your membership is pending) or send you a personal invitation to join the group (if your membership application has disappeared into a black hole).

 


Messages                                                                                                                                          Back to Page Index


 

Message Options: Sending Messages


You don't have to post, you can just lurk if you prefer.

 

If you wish to change the name that appears on messages you send to the group, Yahoo! explains how you can do that.

 

Starting a Thread


  1. You can simply send an e-mail to ask your question by sending it to tanyas-ckd-support@yahoogroups.com.

  2. You can go to the group website, click on Post Message in the sidebar on the left, and then write your message there.

Replying to an Existing Message


Messages sent in response to another message on the group also go directly to the group, not to the individual to whom you are replying. Therefore if you wish to respond to a message somebody else has sent, you can simply click reply on your e-mail programme. If you reply via the group website, you can click on the message in the group archives, then click reply which is top left above the message.

 

If you're changing the subject, or replying to a Digest (which have the subject line of Digest No. xxx), please change the subject line appropriately to something more meaningful. And please remove everything except that to which you are replying.

 

If you wish to reply privately to somebody, you will need to press reply, then delete the group e-mail address and paste their personal e-mail address into the To: line if you are using e-mail. If you are replying via the group website, you will see a little envelope over on the right under the person's name. If you click on that, your message will go to that person.

 

Message Content


You are welcome to discuss anything relating to care of your CKD cat. We do have a few guidelines we ask people to follow though:

  1. Please do not refer to vets or vet clinics by name for legal reasons. Just say "my vet" or "Dr J".

  2. Please do not ask for money or other donations.

  3. Since this is a very busy group, we ask that condolences are sent privately to the bereaved group member. Certain other messages should also be sent privately e.g. short "me too" messages, off topic posts etc.

  4. Please trim your posts.

Moderation of Messages


When you first join the group, your messages will be moderated for a short while. This means that they will not reach the group immediately, but will first be read and approved by one of the moderators. We do this to ensure that:

  1. you are not a spammer;

  2. you are keeping to other group guidelines (e.g. not naming your vet publicly);

  3. you are trimming your messages appropriately.

If you comply with the group guidelines sent to you when you join the group, you will be taken off moderation quickly. The main reason people stay on moderation is because they do not trim their posts. So please read up on this in the group guidelines. If you get stuck, just ask for help.

 


Leaving the Group                                                                                                Back to Page Index


 

Some people decide to leave the group. Their cat may have died, or they may find the message volume is too much, or they simply decide it's not the place for them. Leaving is fine, but if you're thinking of leaving simply because you cannot cope with message volume, please consider changing your message options first, such as by going no mail. This means your inbox will not be full, but you can still reach out for support quickly when you need it.

 

If you are leaving because your cat has died, please consider joining our sister group, Tanya's Feline Loss Support:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-feline-loss/

 


Conclusion                                                                                                            Back to Page Index


I do hope you've decided to join Tanya's CKD Support Group! It can give you support, it can give you hope. It can make you smile too - where else would people share your thrill at hearing that your constipated cat has pooped? (Believe me, when you've been dealing with CKD for a while, things like this are real triumphs which can absolutely make your day).

 

I personally read every message sent to the group. I don't respond to every post (my priority is running this website) but I do keep an eye on things and post occasionally if I can add to what has already been said.

 


Group Quick Links                                                                                               Back to Page Index


Some of these only work if you are already a member of the group.

 

Weblinks


Group homepage:                                                 http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/

Managing your membership options:                  http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/join

Messages archive                                                 http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/tanyas-ckd-support/messages

 

E-mail Addresses


Sending a message to the group via e-mail:        tanyas-ckd-support@yahoogroups.com

Group owner e-mail address:                                 tanyas-ckd-support-owner@yahoogroups.com

Joining the group via e-mail:                                   tanyas-ckd-support-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Leaving the group via e-mail:                                  tanyas-ckd-support-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com