How I managed my cat’s kidney disease

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Only a year after getting her feisty two-year-old rescue cat, Olive, veterinary nurse Elizabeth Garratt-Bridle discovered her pet had chronic kidney disease. Here’s how Elizabeth made sure that Olive got the right treatment, in order to live a happy, healthy life.

Against all the odds

Elizabeth met Olive as a two-year-old rescue cat in the practice where she works. ‘It wasn’t exactly love at first sight,’ Elizabeth laughs, ‘Olive is quite an individual character, but over time I developed a strong bond with her. She’s eight now, and she’s still tough and stoic. I think that feistiness is what’s helped her to survive – first as a rescue and now through her health problems.’

Olive really is something of a survivor ¬– she’s suffered from serious kidney issues and is one of only a few cats to have had state-of-the-art surgery that saved her life.

Spotting the signs

‘It all happened over the space of a year. First I noticed she hadn’t eaten all day, which was strange, as she usually has a fantastic appetite,’ Elizabeth explains. ‘She was also acting oddly, hiding under the bed and refusing to come out. I immediately took her in for a check-up, and that’s when my vet discovered it was to do with her kidneys. She put Olive on a drip, but her symptoms just seemed to get worse, and so eventually we were referred to a specialist animal hospital.’

Getting the treatment right

It was there that they found Olive had developed kidney stones as a result of chronic kidney malfunction. The stones were blocking her ureters, which are the tubes linking the kidneys to the bladder. This was preventing urine from draining and had led to a life-threatening build-up of toxins in Olive’s body.

‘It was touch-and-go,’ Elizabeth says. ‘Some cats don’t come back from something like that, but luckily I had access to state-of-the-art surgery that saved her life.’

Olive had surgery to bypass the kidney stones and, as her ureters were too badly damaged to save, surgeons used implants to connect her kidneys directly to her bladder – a new, cutting- edge technique.

‘I’m so thankful she survived,’ Elizabeth says. ‘Olive may be feisty, but the support I got from the vets helped me fight for her too.’

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