We discussed Astro’s prognosis and treatment. It seemed that treatment options were limited and his prognosis poor. The vet prescribed some potassium pills and we agreed that I would continue hydrating Astro at home by a process called subcutaneous hydration, also known as sub-Q’s. He was put on a renal diet designed to limit his intake of protein and phosphorus in the hope of decreasing the waste products his kidneys would have to filter out.
Astro condition stabilized. Hydrating him seemed to help but nausea continued to plague him. He gained a little weight, had some good days, some bad. Over all, however, it was clear that his condition would not improve significantly. Though we tried not to dwell on it, we were aware that it was just a matter of time before this fine balancing act would fail him.
Three month after first being diagnosed with crf, Astro’s condition took a dramatic turn for the worse. Subcutaneous hydration was no longer effective in helping flush the toxins out of his system. His nausea grew worse and he had trouble keeping anything down. His already thin frame began to show signs of emaciation, and he became so weak that at times it was difficult for him to keep his head up.
We struggled with the question of how much we were willing to put Astro through to keep him alive. Taking him to the vet and leaving him overnight or longer for treatment stressed him out so much that we decided it would no longer be an option.
When Astro, who hated to be alone, found himself a secluded niche away from everyone and refused to leave, we knew he was preparing himself for the end. We began to consider euthanasia.
Astro soon after being diagnosed with crf. The depigmentation (inside the red dotted line) is clearly visible on his flank.