How is Cajun doing? I have had some recent experience with kidney stones, and unfortunately the outcome was not a good one.
My little buddy Milo recently had kidney surgery, and unfortunately the little guy did not make it through afterwards. We noticed he was losing weight a few months ago, took him to a vet who said it's probably nothing, just give him weight gainer. So we didn't think much of it, but he continued to lose weight so we took him to another vet, who did blood tests and x-rays, which revealed that his left kidney was blocked and had ballooned to about 3-4 times its normal size. After that we took him to get an ultrasound, which revealed that the blockage had caused the kidney structure to deteriorate, and that the kidney was no longer functional. In addition, there were stones in the other kidney and ureter, which made things even more difficult.
The specialist told us that his best chance to live for as long as possible was to have surgery to remove the bad kidney, and hope that the other one could pick up the slack, even though it was compromised as well. They were not sure how well it would do, but they were adamant about removing the left kidney, as it could have continued to balloon, eventually burst, and cause serious infection.
So after much contemplation, we decided to give the little guy a shot and go ahead with the surgery. The surgeon removed the left kidney, and tried to massage the stones in the ureter either into the bladder or back into the right kidney. Unfortunately, the stones were lodged in the ureter wall and could not be moved either way. Therefore, he had to open the ureter, which isn't that big to begin with, and remove them directly from the ureter. When I visited him the day after, he seemed fine, his belly was shaved and stapled closed, but he still wanted to jump around and seemed like his old self. I was very hopeful that he would come out of it okay. When I called to check on him later that day, the doctors watching him said that he had eaten fine, but that he had not yet urinated, which was a cause for concern. It meant that either the kidney was not functioning properly (ie producing urine), or that the ureter was blocked, either from other stones which they did not remove, or possibly scarring or inflammation as a result of the surgery. That night they gave him an aggressive treatment to "jumpstart" the kidney, in hopes that it would start producing urine. The next morning, he still had not gone to the bathroom, and when I went to visit him he was pretty much out of it, as his little body had no way of removing the toxins from his blood. I had to put him down, as I did not want him to suffer any longer, and the doctor said he would most likely continue to get worse, rather than better. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and we miss him tremendously. He had a personality like no other, and we will never forget him and all the joy that he brought to us.
I am left with a couple of questions, however. The surgeon was originally going to just remove the left kidney, and not touch the right one. However, he said that the stones in the ureter are what caused the left one to originally back up and eventually fail, and if that he hadn't tried that the same thing would have happened, and Milo would not have felt good in the meantime. I am still not sure if the right kidney just could not handle the entire load, or if the ureter was blocked as a result of the surgery. I know that if we had not attempted to do the surgery, that he would have gotten progressively worse, and both of the specialists said that his levels were very high and were causing him to not feel good. So although we gave it the best shot that we could, it is very frustrating and maddening, considering that his life was cut short, as he was not even 6 years old.
Please let me know how your kitty is doing, and any questions you have please let me know and I will try to answer whatever I can.
Charlie and Milo's Papa