Rabbits/Elderbun kidney failure - last resort question
Expert: Dana Krempels, Ph.D. - 8/9/2016
Question Hi Dr. Krempels
My question is on palliative care for kidney failure. Our vet is an HRS vet, but he didn't have any advice for us other than subQ. Remy is our beloved 10.5 y.o. harlequin. His kidney function was compromised (long story, huge error in pharmacist cipro compounding) 1.5 years ago. His blood results then indicated kidney failure. We have been treating him with subQ fluids daily for 1.5 years and he had great quality of life. Last week he started the classic water-gulping and he stopped eating cilantro, hay and pellets. He'll now eat romaine but that's about it - and while his appetite is huge, he's lost 30% of his body weight. We're dosing him with critical care and we are now increasing his subQ to twice/day. Today he started to show extreme weakness in his legs. He's not acting as if he's in pain, he's just weak. i don't see the point in more blood work, as weak as he is. I know there's now solution to this, just wanted to find out if you had any last-resort ideas.
Answer Hi, Susan
I'm so sorry about this sad situation. Once the kidneys really fail, there's not much you can do but palliative care.
You could try dandelion root extract from a health food store. It won't hurt, and some swear it helps.
The pewter lining to this cloud is that chronic renal failure like this is supposedly one of the least painful ways to go. I have read several articles citing a poll asking medical professionals if they could choose their way to die, what would it be, and most chose chronic renal failure because it is relatively "gentle". Here is an article based on human experience:
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