Jimi's kidney disease and arthritis

Jimi's owner Jodie came into the clinic very concerned about her much loved companion, Jimi. Jimi is a 15 year old male cat that has been previously diagnosed with kidney disease. This means his kidneys are not functioning as well as they used to when he was younger. He is on a prescription kidney diet which is low in very high quality protein and phosphorus that helps to reduce the on-going damage to his kidneys. Jodie's main concern at this visit was that Jimi seemed to be having a problem with his back legs, possibly his hips. He had been sitting down in a different way to normal, and while he was able to jump up on things reasonably easily, he had lost his usual grace with the descent, and sometimes not wanting to get down at all.

Another compounding factor when Jimi comes to see us is that he gets very stressed. He likes to tell our vets and nurses alike what he thinks of them in no uncertain terms so a thorough clinical examination (especially when he was sore) was difficult. A plan was formulated that a medication trial would be the first step as this would be less stressful for Jimi before giving him a general anaesthetic and getting x-rays of his spine, hips and knees.

With Jimi's kidney disease, medication can be difficult to prescribe as there is a danger of causing further damage to the kidneys, or the kidneys not being able to excrete the drug effectively enough and causing systemic problems. Luckily one of our vets had recently been to a seminar on feline medicine, and part of the discussion was on pain relief in cats with kidney disease. Jimi was started on a course of four arthritis injections, spaced a week apart, called pentosan (these coat the cartilage in the joints and increase the viscosity of the fluid), and also on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication called metacam.

Three days later a follow up call was made to Jodie to see how Jimi was responding to the medication. We were told that he had started running around, jumping over the fence and playing again, seeming to improve with every dose of the pain relief. It was fantastic to see that with up to date information and careful monitoring that Jimi was able to be comfortable again.