When kidney disease progresses in cats, the calcium and phosphorus levels become abnormal, causing the bones to become soft and bendable, leading to bone and joint pain.  Calcitriol, which is Vitamin D, is thought to slow down the progression of kidney disease and prevent this situation.  It is a prescription medication and is given twice weekly.  It can be made into either liquid or capsule form.  At this time no formal tests have been run on cats to determine if it improved kidney function, but in dogs, it has shown to decrease the progression of kidney disease and veterinarians surveyed believe that it improved the comfort of their feline patients.  Calcitriol can be started early in kidney disease to decrease the progression.  Treating cats with Calcitriol, however, requires frequent monitoring.  We recommend that the Calcium and Phosphorus levels are checked in 1 month after starting the medication and then every 6 months.

Calcitriol must be called into a specialized pharmacy.  It can be made into both liquid and capsules and is flavorless.  Only two pharmacies in the United States are recommended for compounding the medication.  We use Triad pharmacy in California.