It's been a year, and with happy news, I am ready to share my story. My 11yr old cat Arthur was diagnosed with a pulled muscle in his hind leg in April 2009. My vet did blood work to see signs of inflammation, and also checked his kidney levels (which came back normal). My vet gave him Metacam Oral Suspension. Over the next week, he started vomitting, became severly lethargic, and anorexic. I brought him back to the vet, where they put him in the ICU where he stayed for 4 excrutiating days on IV's diagnosed with renal failure. They released him to me and told me to make a decision if I wanted him to be put down or home on IV's for the rest of his life. I thought if there were a fighting chance, then I would go for it. He was on subcutaneous IV at home every other day 200ml, another medication for his phosphorus levels, twice daily "force feeding" (licking Gerber chicken baby food from my hand), and 5mg of Pepcid for his excess stomach acid. He would only eat treats and not his normal food still. He also stopped drinking out of a bowl and would only drink from the running tub on a trickle. He returned to the vet every 3 weeks for blood work, which continued to show renal failure, and the vet continued to tell me that he would not make it, and it was up to me if I wanted to continue to have his bloods drawn or make him comfortable at home. I held out hope, he wasn't showing me the signs that "he was ready to go" (and believe me, I've seen the look in my pet's eyes, I'd do the humane thing if necessary, but it wasn't my inclination, and there was a teeny bit of hope with the home IV).
After about 8 1/2 months I started to stretch out how often he was getting the IV, and he seemed to be drinking and eating really well on his own. I cut down to once a week on the IV's, cut down the baby food, and decreased the Pepcid. He started to show significant improvement. I made an appointment at the vet for bloodwork as I was confident that he was better. His leg injury was healed, he was running around with his toys, and I could feel that he had gained back the 30% weight loss which happened at the start of this.
After 9 grueling months of IV's, force feedings, Pepcid, $3000+ in vet bills, and many tears shed, I had his bloods drawn one final time. To the vet's shock, Arthur's blood work came back completely normal. He'd said he hadn't had "many" cats have kidney failure as severe as Arthur and pull out of it. He also still denies it was the Metacam that caused this. It was the best Christmas present ever to hear the news.
It has now been 14 months, Arthur is completely IV free and healthy. Quirky, finicky, and snuggly as ever, my baby is back to being himself. I understand that Arthur's case is extremely rare.
I'm devastated that new kitties names are being added to your website. I'm devastated for the families of these kitties. I understand the heartache. To those of you who have kitties recently diagnosed, you will know when it's your kitties time to wait at the Rainbow Bridge. If you choose to do the home IV, I recommend warming the bag under warm water, so the IV is tempered (NOT HOT), as they tend to tolerate it better. Talk to your vet about Pepcid before using it. Have faith, and like myself, you know your cat better than anyone.
My thoughts and prayers are with all who have had to suffer with the effects of this horrible medication..