Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Cat (英語) ペーパーバック – 2018/9/25
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Written by a catlover for catlovers, Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease provides a complete guide to caring for your cat at a time when he or she needs your help the most. Helen Fitzsimons knows just what you and your cat are going through: combining sympathy with understanding, she brings a wealth of knowledge and research to bear on helping you through your chronic kidney disease journey. Most of all, she gives you hope. All the information you need is in this book which, comprehensive and detailed though it is, is easily accessible through being written in lay-person's language. The chapter on where to obtain supplies at reasonable prices in the USA, UK and Canada alone makes the book worth buying.
Helen Fitzsimons has been singlehandedly running Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease website since 2000. Helen has built up a huge following on her site thanks to her sympathetic and practical assistance to catlovers faced with this illness. Her years of expertise are here presented in book form, providing an indispensable and permanent guide to caregivers everywhere.
The author knows about this because she was just like you and me and then she had to go through CKD with more than one cat and she collected everything she could find on it. You know the state of mind you are in dealing with a sickly kitty, well, reading this helped calm me a little. At least I had some idea of what was going on and that I was not powerless to help my little one.
Yes, the author has a lot of the same info online, but I am a book kinda person and sometimes you can find new things by flipping through a book rather than clicking links. Having this by my side to read as I sat with the kitty who sometimes just needed a companion to sit next to her as she tried to sleep. (She really hated when I was on my phone as I sat with her.) There are so many different choices you can make food, medicine and health wise for your kitty at this time. And it's good to know the symptoms because your kitty will not be telling you. Mine definitely didn't. But after one vet visit she had a UTI and then suddenly she was throwing up everywhere and then I got to do subcutaneous fluids for a week or two to see if it helped. And then that turned into subcutaneous fluids for the rest of life (which ended up being another year and a half.) Just reading about the subcutaneous method and ways to streamline that led me to researching and reading more about everything. Then there was how they can have acid reflux or how setting the dishes and water bowl higher than on the floor is helpful (I ended up using a cake stand for her water it was just the right height for her) or even that there are other treatments and alternative medicines. And what foods are good. and what the BUN and Creatinine levels actually mean. It's all in there. I found it an invaluable supplement to the multitude of vet visits, because sometimes some vets don't always tell you the whole story. Based on this info, I ended up finding a new vet soon after her CKD diagnosis who was more in tune with getting her better and helping her feel the best she could at every step. The first vet didn't think people could do subcutaneous fluids at home (it sucks massively in the beginning for everyone involved, but after that it is not as horrible especially if you get the thinner needles), but you can do it. This book helped me decide to just buy the IV pole, it is worth it to be able to go where kitty is comfy to do subq. and that you can buy the subq fluids in bulk at stores nearby for WAY less than at the vet.
Thank you to Ms. FItzsimons for sharing her wealth of knowledge.
The book is large and thick, maybe about the same size as a ream of printer paper.
Helen uses numerous resources and applies a common sense approach as well. Some things that vets are taught is fairly outdated and I am amazed at how little knowledge some vets possess on the subject of CRF/CKD. A lot of them basically just run bloodwork and then sell renal food based on what they find. They may give fluid or potassium supplements as needed but that is about it. Many will send people home with DRY food which is the last thing a CRF cat needs. I have told numerous clients and friends to go against what their vet prescribed for them if it is a DRY FOOD diet (or canned rx food they barely touch) and their cats lived years longer than the vet expected. Sadly, many won't live long on what a lot of vets prescribe (again, dry food or canned food that they refuse to eat). I am not saying to discount the advice given to you by a vet - I am not saying that at ALL - but what I am saying is to do your own research and use common sense when it comes to the needs of your CRF cat, even if it goes against what is being suggested by your vet. Do not be afraid to bring up alternatives to your vet and maybe even bring a copy of this book in with you.....because about the best info you will find on the subject of chronic kidney disease in felines is between the covers of this book.
I work as a veterinary assistant and recommend this to all of my clients with cats in renal failure. You should never try a treatment without discussing it with your vet, but it gives you avenues to explore and a good vet should be willing to discuss these options with you and help you decide how to approach your cat's health. I have had three cats with CKD, one who passed away from heart failure (she had congestive heart failure as well) and two who are 18 years old, both in stages 3 and one leaning towards 4. Every time I look at this book or their website I am finding new information and new things to try to help address the issues that are going to come up (nausea, weight loss, nutrition, constipation, hydration, etc).