Calcitriol Stories from Pet Owners

From: jenni ritchie
Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2010 10:36 PM
Subject: FW: Calcitriol success story


Dear David, 
I found your Calcitriol info page via the site.  I have a calcitriol story to share.
I have a Norwegian Forest Cat, Kjersti,  who was diagnosed with CRF when she was about 16 years old.  I have been through feline CRF with another cat (sans calcitriol) and dealt with the daily fluids, various problems, and inevitable decline that is so sad to see.  I began giving Kjersti fluids for her dehydration, and after 6 months was having to give her 200 ml of fluids daily to keep her hydrated.  I heard about calcitriol and began giving her this in early 2008, in liquid form compounded by a pharmacy in a tantalizing (to her) fish flavor.  
After a few months, I saw a dramatic difference. Her dependence on fluids lessened to every other day, and her "kidney values" on blood tests improved.  Her weight stabilized.  As time went on, I cut back the fluids further as she did not seem to need them to stay hydrated. Her blood tests showed more improvement. It is now 2 years since we started calcitriol and for the past 6 months she has gotten fluids only once per week.  Kjersti is nearly 19 years old now and has other senior kitty problems such as arthritis and deafness, but she has been holding her own against the CRF!  I credit calcitriol with extending her life by 18 months so far.  I don't think her kidneys would have lasted through mid-2008 without it; she was dehydrated every day at the time and the indicators on her blood tests were getting worse instead of better.  I never expected I would be able to cut back the fluids so significantly.  The medication is easy to give and I encourage owners of CRF kitties to look into it.
Thanks for spreading the word about calcitriol.
Jenni Ritchie
Houston, TX

From: Delores J Pierce 
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: Calcitriol Story

I adopted an older cat about 3 years ago and after having her for about a month she was diagnosed with CRF.  I was familiar with CRF, having just had to put my 17-year-old kitty down due to this condition.  My vet here in Louisville, KY, advised me to try my new cat on calcitriol.  So I assume that sometime between my first cat being diagnosed and my acquiring Kitty #2, my vet was made aware of the medication.  Tabby had tests prior to starting calcitriol and now has her regular crf blood panels every 3 to 4 months.  Tabby is a light eater and I leave her food out all the time.  No real "fasting",  But most of the time she takes her calcitriol around 7 p.m. (daily) and seems to eat the most during the overnight hours.  She also takes 1/2 a pepcid daily.  I usually give her this just before bedtime.  I am able to get my calcitriol from a compounding pharmacy here in Louisville.  At first I gave the calcitriol to Tabby with a syringe.  But as soon as her appetite improved I began mixing it with about 3/4 tsp of meat only baby food.  This works well and doesn't stress her.  What I had noticed right after adopting Tabby was that she ate very little.  I saw improvement shortly after beginning the calcitriol and this improvement has continued right on thru the present time.  She eats well, is playful and seems happy.  I do believe the calcitriol has improved her life greatly and probably has extended it too.

Dee Pierce

From: lee ann cohen
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 1:27 PM
Subject: calcitriol


Smokey was diagnosed with kidney "insuffienciency" in march of 2007.  Exactly 1 year ago and i believe that the calcitriol is why i still have him. When first diagnosed he had lost some weight so i took him for bloodwork figuring thyroid.  Wrong.  His kidney values were very high.  When i went to take him for fluids the next night the vet handed me the bottle of calcitriol and said he must be on this for the rest of his life.  He had iv fluids done for 4 days and at his last bloodwork in september, i haven't taken him since because he can't handle the stress..his values were pretty good...creat 3.4  he had been 8.9 bun 46 he had been in the 90s.   I use 4.0 on the dropper every night to give him the calcitriol.  The only controversy we have is that my vet said it MUST be refrigerated and the crf site totally disagrees but obviously things are working so i'm not changing it. 

Lee Ann

From: Linda Vansag and David Jacobson
Sent: Sun Mar 2, 2008 11:27 am
Subject: Calcitriol

We learned about calcitriol from Yahoo cat chat groups and contacted Dr. Larry Nagode, the nation's expert on treating CRF cats and dogs with microcompounded doses of calcitriol, for more information. Our own vet had never used calcitriol and was opposed to it because she believed it would lead to hypercalcemia. Fortunately, she was a former student of Dr. Nagode's and was persuaded by a phone call and lots of literature from him to give it a try. Scooter had a PTH/iCA test prior to starting calcitriol to help decide on the dosage (PTH levels) and assess whether there was a calcium concern (iCA). Both values were low and he was started on the minimal calcitriol dosage of 2.5 ng/kg. Follow-up testing was his regular blood panels for CRF every three months. Scooter's liquid suspension Calcitriol came from Island Pharmacy in Wisconsin and was administered every 3.5 days via an oral syringe. At Dr. Nagode's recommendation, we fasted Scooter four hours before each dose and 20 minutes after. Scooter became more social and playful within days of starting calcitriol and maintained that behavior for the next two years until the very last two weeks of his life. My vet now routinely recommends calcitriol to her patients diagnosed with CRF. We are glad that we chose to pursue calcitriol for Scooter -- we don't know if the drug extended his life but we firmly believe that it made him a happier, more social, more energetic, and more playful cat.

Linda Vansag and David Jacobson


This web site is a product of me, David Jacobson, and is maintained for the benefit of members of the Feline Calcitriol User Group, veterinarians, cat and dogs owners, and others interested in the use of compounded calcitriol to treat cats and dogs with chronic renal disease (CRD).  My thanks to Drs. Larry Nagode and Dennis Chew for allowing me to post their professional work here and to Dr. Nagode for his assistance in creating this site.   If you are now using or have used calcitriol to treat your own CRF pet, please email me your personal story for posting here!  Your comments, suggestions and criticisms about this site are welcome and appreciated.   David Jacobson, Arlington, VA