Pets and Treating ESRD (end stage renal disease)

This is a subject I personally know a lot about.  Several months ago, my husband Morton was diagnosed with the final stages of kidney disease, which requires either dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.  After seeing an article in the Miami Herald ( ) where a kidney patient complained about someone else’s dog at his condo, I was initially a little concerned about our two rescues kitties that we have had with us for over 10 years.  The complainant in the article said he was told that “avoiding fur is a medical imperative.”  Our cats, who provide a lot of emotional comfort for both of us, spend at least part of the night sleeping in bed with us.


Not wanting to have to get rid of our beloved older cats, we discussed the situation with my husband’s nephrologist (kidney specialist).  Avoiding fur is probably best, but with proper precautions, we have been able to do peritoneal dialysis at home and not have any problems with infection.  We have to make sure that when the connection to my husband’s catheter is open (to either connect or disconnect during dialysis)  – or when the opening where the catheter enters his body is uncovered –  that we keep absolute sanitary conditions.  No A/C, no fans and no cats in the room.  When the cats are in the bedroom, the catheter is covered with a clean cotton undershirt.

Bottom line:  it really is possible to keep your own animals with end stage kidney disease.  Just like the allergy excuse (see, the “kidney disease excuse” is an  attempt by people on the other side of the “pets in condos” issue to overplay a potential health risk of allowing pets.    If you live in a condo, though, you should make sure that your animals do not invade someone else’s space.  The man interviewed in the article worried about dogs coming up to sniff him in the elevator.  There is no need to let your animal go near someone who does not want contact with your dog or cat.

Stuff We Like

Poll Shows How Much People Love Their Pets:

Go to  See detailed study results at (need .pdf reader).

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Quote on our petition site ( 

It is hard enough for people who find they must downsize by renting or buying a condo. For cat or dog owners whose babies are part of their family, it is devastating to have to give up their pets. So many times, this contributes towards deep depression, which can add to deterioration of the person’s health. Please, please, allow people to bring their pets!

If you have not already signed out petition please go to the following link and sign it online.  If you have already signed, please ask more people to sign it at .

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A quote from The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them* (, by Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States (

“There are roughly 171 million dogs and cats in America’s homes – almost three times as many as in the mid-1970’s.  Then there are the millions of rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, fish, and birds.  A census that took note of animals would probably turn up more pets than people in the United States.

“Something in the human heart seems to crave their company, and a lot of pet owners will tell you that their lives and family wouldn’t seem quite the same without the nearness of a animal.”

*See more reading suggestions at


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