The Edmond Sun


August 6, 2012

Early detection adds years

EDMOND — Q: My oldest cat of six is 12 years old and she suddenly started vomiting and hiding under bed, and stopped eating. I took her to my vet and she says she has gone into kidney failure. She recommended several days in the hospital on IV fluids and treatment. We gave her some fluids under her skin and I brought her home. What quality of life can we expect if we treat her and could we have prevented this?

A: Unfortunately kidney disease is very common in cats beginning at 8-9 years of age and older. It is very high on the list of causes of death in older cats. This is one of the reasons we recommend at least annual blood work on all cats beginning at about 7-8 years of age. The earlier kidney compromise can be detected, the sooner we can make adjustments in their diet, add medications and plan for a longer, healthier life.

We look at blood work to determine the level of blood urinary nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine among other things and do a urinalysis of the urine to look at other parameters, most especially the specific gravity (SG) of the urine. Specific gravity measures the solutes, or things that are in the urine as a function of the water content of the urine. It tells us whether or not the kidneys are able to concentrate or dilute the urine, which is a very important physiologic function for the body. It helps us to balance our water intake vs. usage as we perform our daily functions.

All the proteins we eat in our diets contain nitrogen which must be removed from the protein and taken out of the body to waste because it is toxic if retained. If the kidneys are not working well, they cannot rid the body of the nitrogen. The molecule BUN that is supposed to carry nitrogen out of the body begins to back up in the blood. This is toxic to the body and causes vomiting among other things.

By the time your kitty begins to show signs of kidney disease we know she has already lost 65 percent to 75 percent of her kidney function. We now have 25 percent to 35 percent function left to work with. Thus it is urgent that we essentially do a “dialysis” of her blood to remove the BUN as quickly as possible. This is the reason your veterinarian wanted to place an IV and keep her in the hospital. Once the overload of toxins are removed from her body you can begin to see whether or nor her kidneys can maintain her.

She will need to be fed a special diet, Hill’s prescription diet k/d is ideal. It is formulated specifically for this purpose, having much lower protein and salt levels, and lower phosphorous, which helps to slow the progression of the disease. It also has a dietary buffering capacity to counteract metabolic acidosis and decrease muscle washing. K/d also has added antioxidants, non-protein calories for energy.

Several research groups are working to develop a test that can detect kidney disease very early on, so animals, both cats and dogs, that are known to have a tendency to develop kidney disease can begin early treatments. The earlier we can begin to treat kidney disease, the better we can protect our pets and add many quality years to their lives.

Your kitty will also likely be given a prescription for a blood pressure medicine after her blood pressure is checked to help with efficient blood flow through her kidneys and further protect them. Several other products are being marketed to help support kidney function such as Epikatin and Azodyl to help support kidney function.

As with most diseases, early detection is key to early treatment and a longer survival time of a quality life. Only time will tell you how she responds to treatment and whether or not she is a good candidate for long-term care.

As your other cats reach 7-8 years of age, get them checked at least annually so if needed, early treatment can begin. Annual blood work at any age can be worth everything when it comes to lengthening our cats’ survival times. Try to get your kitty on treatment as soon as possible and you and she may have several good years left.  There are several stages of kidney disease and each one may require more attention on your part to testing and medicating, but you can reap the blessings in having her feel good as she ages. Your veterinarian can also show you how to give her sub-cutaneous (under the skin) fluids at home so she can maybe have yet another year with just a little help.

DR. M. MARGARET KING, a longtime Edmond veterinarian, is a guest columnist. If you have any questions for her, email them to

Text Only
  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It’s a shame furry friends can’t pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won’t stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

    July 28, 2014

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo