Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crimson's Battle With A Devasting Kidney Disease

Meet Crimson.  Crimson is one of our senior cougars living at In-Sync Exotics for about 4 ½ years.  When she first arrived at our sanctuary, it took several days for her to adjust to the new environment, as she quietly hid in her den coming out only for dinner.

The years at In-Sync Exotics brought out the playful side of Crimson as she loves playing with her toys, observing others from her lofty perch, or snuggling with Keenan inside their den. 

Sadly, Crimson recently took ill, refusing to come out of her den once again.

So November 10, 2011, Crimson was taken to the vet’s office to determine why she was not eating her evening meals and refusing to come out of the den.  After examining Crimson, the vet’s initial thoughts were Crimson may be suffering from acute renal failure or chronic renal failure.

Chronic vs. Acute Renal Failure

Acute Renal Failure (ARF) is characterized by an abrupt shutdown of kidney function, most often accompanied by reduced urine production. The primary causes of ARF in cats are: urinary obstructions, infectious diseases, trauma, and the ingestion of toxins. Our vet can treat Crimson if she has ARF. 

By comparison, Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) is a progressive, irreversible deterioration of kidney function. Because cats hide their illnesses and the very early signs of CRF are subtle, this disease may only be recognized once the cat reaches the 70% deterioration level and more dramatic symptoms are observable. CRF is one of the leading causes of illness and death in older cats today.  Sadly Raja, our beloved tiger, recently passed away from CRF.


The only way to know for certain whether or not Crimson was having problems with her kidneys was to take her to our vet’s office so certain clinical tests could be performed.  Blood was drawn from Crimson so the levels of creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) as well as other components of her blood could be examined. An elevated creatinine level is the most certain sign of loss of kidney function, and sadly the first two blood tests revealed the creatinine and BUN levels increased each time the clinical tests were performed.

Yesterday a third blood draw was taken and her BUN level was significantly higher while the creatinine level decreased by one point.  Based on the latest blood test and given her age of about 17 years, the vet believes Crimson has CRF.

Crimson is at home and will continue to have her blood drawn so our vet can keep track of her creatinine and BUN levels.  She is on an antibiotic regiment that will continue for three more days, just in case she also has a bacterial infection.

Our cougar continues to refuse dinner, choosing instead to eat healthy treats and bones in her den. Keeping her hydrated is also a concern for us, so we are giving her subcutaneous fluids every other day, so as to flush possible toxins from her kidneys.  We are able to administer fluids without having to sedate Crimson; she receives her fluids in the comfort of her den!

Progress!  Yesterday Crimson came out of her den to lounge on her ramp, watching all the activities going on around her and she ate an evening meal.  All we can do at this point is make life as comfortable as possible for our girl.
Please keep Crimson in your prayers as we continue to monitor and treat her for CRF.  Thank you.


  1. Sweet little baby! Thats great news. I hope she continue to feel better and improve.

    Karen S.

  2. I've lost two companion kitties to kidney failure, so I'm sorry that I know how difficult it is for these babies. We will absolutely keep Crimson in our prayers; that God would bless her life with much joy and many happy days! We also pray that Crimson's caretakers would be blessed with courage and encouragement as they walk through this disease with her.