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Kidney problem advice?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
About 5 weeks ago, I noticed my 9 year old Tortie peeing in one of our plant pots. She would spend a lot of time in there so I took her to the Vet. The Vet squeezed a urine sample and said it was cloudy, contained blood, and a high ph (7.4). He suspected a bladder infection and put her on Baytril. After no improvement in 3 days, he ruled out bladder stones with an x-ray and put her on Clavimox and Science Diet c/d. Two weeks later, her urine was much better but still contained blood. He suspected a kidney problem but kept her on Clavimox for another 2 weeks. Today, I took her back and her urine still contains blood.

He took her off Clavimox but still on the c/d food. Now, he is recommending either an ultrasound or another test where they inject dye and see how the kidneys are functioning. He is leaving the decision up to me which one to perform (50/50 he says). I don't know how I am to decide?

She has never lost her appetite but seemed to be having problems in the litter box today which I'll confirm tonight.

Any advice? 2nd opinion? Holistic?

Thank you
post #2 of 8
I would think whichever test would tell you more is the better option - or, if money is an issue, whichever you can afford. Maybe getting a second opinion from another vet would be helpful.

Is she eating wet or dry food? Wet food is better for this type of problem, if she'll eat it. Does she drink enough water? If not, have you tried getting a fountain for her, or offering water flavored with broth?
post #3 of 8
Has she had bloodwork done? Was the urinalysis done at a lab, or one done "in house?"

I'd think those would be a first step to test kidney function, and less expensive than an ultrasound or the other test.
post #4 of 8
I would, if not done yet, request basic blood work first - kidney function can be checked this way easily. The important tests are the BUN, Creatinine level, calcium and potassium and phosphorous levels. The urine specific gravity (degree of concentration...kitties with kidney failure no longer concentrate their urine well and it will be quite dilute).

An u/s (ultrasound) would pick up any tumors or if PKD is present (polycystic kidney disease).

Here is the best site I know of on crf (chronic renal failure), what it is, how it is tested for, how to treat, related issues (such as nausea, vomitting, lack of appetite and more): www.felinecrf.org

If your vet did not do any bloodwork, and wants to diagnose kidney function solely by u/s or the other test you described, I don't understand it, and I would consider getting a second opinion frankly.

my experience so you'll know, is as an owner of 3 crf kitties to date, and 1 just diagnosed with pkd. My first lived for almost 4 years after diagnosis, there is much that can be done to make them comfortable and extend their lives.
post #5 of 8
I agree with everyone else. A CBC/Profile would be the first step to evaluate kidney function, then based on what the bloodwork shows the doctor can go from there. It will also check her RBC, WBC's, liver function, glucose, and many other parameters, and would be a good general screen for a 9 yo cat.
post #6 of 8
I'm certainly no expert, but I'd get a second opinion. I don't understand why they would have to do the dye test or x-rays to find out if it is a kidney problem. Am I just uninformed on this?
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I'm certainly no expert, but I'd get a second opinion. I don't understand why they would have to do the dye test or x-rays to find out if it is a kidney problem. Am I just uninformed on this?
No I don't think you are! To me, you do the simplest, least invasive procedure especially when blood work is exactly what is used to check blood chemistries & kidney function.
post #8 of 8
The dye test or the x-ray may be to check for a kidney stone. I too would suggest a blood test first though.
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