Can I use Bach Flower Remedies for cats with kidney disease and hyperthyroidism?
Original Question: I have a rescue cat that could be 13-16 years old and has kidney and thyroid problems. He eats kidney wet food with Aventi sprinkled on it (1/8 tsp), thyroid dry food and Methimazole 25 mg put in alternate ears daily. He drinks a lot of water and goes to the litter box and tries to pee or poop but nothing comes out - I do give him some fish oil to help. I wondered if there were some Bach Flower remedies that might help. - Elizabeth
Thanks for your question. We really appreciate it.
There are a few things I pick up in your question that stimulates thoughts that may be helpful for you.
You first mention that you are treating the hyperthyroidism and there may still be clinical symptoms of the disease lingering. These symptoms could also be caused by the kidney disease which is certainly more complicated to treat. The first thing I would recommend is to evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment plan by performing a diagnostic update. By performing a thyroid test, your veterinarian will be able to tell you if the condition is under control or not, and depending on the result, I would respond accordingly by modifying the treatment. Kidney disease is a more challenging disease to treat. If you are using a kidney diet and Aventi powder only, I would recommend you consider other options. You could look into blood pressure testing and if it is found to be elevated, it will contribute to further renal damage. This can be treated with medication but keep in mind that uncontrolled thyroid disease can also elevate blood pressure which will result in the same effect. It’s therefore very important that you assess thyroid function and get it regulated. There are more specific cat kidney disease treatment plans you could consider like additional Aventi powders, other supplements, fluid therapy, etc. that could help control that condition. Consider discussing these with your veterinarian to build a plan that suits your budget and philosophy of care.
I am not educated in Bach flower remedies for cats and you’ll find that most general veterinary practitioners are not. It is not part of the traditional curriculum. However, I would recommend you find a naturopathic or homeopathic veterinarian that could assist you in treating with these medicinal agents. My knowledge base is simply that they’re effectiveness is variable and the published accounts are often anecdotal in nature and not found to have significant positive results across a wide subject base, but I’m sure the research has been advancing well in this category of medicine. I also have the general understanding that these agents are not harmful and have few to no significant side effects, so initiating a trial and monitoring the response is often harmless.
Lastly, I also question the treatment of thyroid disease with the hyperthyroid cat food. There is a medical diet known to control thyroid disease in cats, however, it works because it is significantly deficient in iodine. This helps regulate the production of thyroid hormone and often controls the conditional without any need for other treatment modalities. In your question, you mention that you’re using a ‘thyroid diet’, but also the kidney friendly diet for cats. The kidney diet would have reasonable levels of iodine in it, so it would negate the usefulness and need of the thyroid diet. You could consider discussing the option of going on the ‘thyroid diet’ exclusively. You’ll want to get your veterinarian’s opinion and maybe even speak to the manufacturer yourself, but the most common ‘thyroid diet’ out there is also beneficial for kidney disease and was formulated to do so because these two conditions are often present concurrently in our older cats.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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