Sunday, June 14, 2015

Iron Supplements for CKD Cats and Cats with HCM

It turns out that I've developed anemia for some reason and need to take iron supplements.  I'll take what Myrna takes I guess. I've been giving her Nature Made Iron 65mg which is 365mg ferrous iron (I have no idea why the label says that or what it means: is it 65 or 365mg?)  Now, Myrna has been getting iron since April so about 10 weeks or a bit less by now.  I was giving her two tabs a day (cut into half meant four servings a day of 170mg total) and then one and a half tabs and have just cut back to one tab total a day.  I was giving it because CKD cats need iron to produce red blood cells that help the kidneys function and damaged kidneys lose red blood cells more easily than normally functioning kidneys.  Her kidney values were going up, kidney function declining so I thought aside from more potassium which she also needed, and aside from the kidney support vitamin/sweet potato mixture I give, that I would also give extra iron.  Initially, that led to thick, black stool which is normal but a sign that the body has too much iron.  I cut back the dose and immediately the stool returned to brown.  I then began to increase the dose and ended up at 3 halves a day of iron for 100mg a day.  While she has diarrhea possibly from the added iron, she also had diarrhea prior to taking iron, and it hasn't been severe or frequent but it may aid in decreasing her congestion (as extra fluid in the body is going to the colon to create loose stool.)  I read that cats that are anemic should only get 35mg a day.  Iron toxicity is a concern when giving extra iron supplements.  Even humans, when we need to add supplements to  meet a need, usually need to take a lot at the beginning until normal blood levels are met and then cut back to a maintenance dose.  So, that is why I've decreased Myrna's iron dose to one tab a day.  I want to avoid any toxic or added health problems while creating enough red blood cells with the added iron for her kidneys to improve their function and to then be able to handle the diuretic meds and diuresis process, which is keeping her from needing to be tapped of extra fluid in the lungs. I'll increase it again as needed.

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