Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

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Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby tiva » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:13 am

Hi-
I'd love a little feedback from those of you who are familiar with chronic kidney disease.

Background: Tiva is almost 16, a pit bull or Am Staff mix. For her arthritis, we had her on glucosamine and tramadol for pain. In June, I asked the vet to switch her to rimadyl, because the tramadol was no longer controlling her arthritis pain, and it was making her very lethargic. She has been on low-dose daily rimadyl since June, and the difference was immediately enormous. On rimadyl, she's energetic, lively, alert; she runs around the farm, plays a bit with our younger pit bull, and generally seems to enjoy life again.

On Thursday, we had her 3 month checkup (she's had mast cell cancer twice, so she gets a lot of checkups from our wonderful vet who comes to the farm).

Alas, while most of her blood tests were fine, her BUN and creatine have increased since her last test (February), and they're both now slightly out of normal range. The vet said she is in early stages of chronic renal disease, most likely, and there's a good chance its connected with the rimadyl.

Other symptoms are pretty minimal: she is probably drinking and peeing a bit more than she used to, but not by a lot.
She has been gaining weight, not losing it yet, which is great.
On physical examination, she doesn't show signs of dehydration, anemia, etc.
She is lively, alert, etc.
(She eats Taste of the Wild salmon, which has 25% protein and 0.025% sodium. The vet wants us to continue this for now).

Treatment for now: the vet wants to retest in 2 months, and do a urinalysis and fasting blood test at that time. For now, she wants us to try every-other-day rimadyl, to see if that continues to control Tiva's arthritis pain. Otherwise, no changes, except making absolutely certain she always has water available, and checking on her levels of hydration frequently. Our goals are for Tiva to have as much fun and happiness as possible, not to extend her life as long as possible. I don't want to take her completely off rimadyl (or another NSAID), because the arthritis then makes her miserable.

My question for those of you who are familiar with chronic kidney disease: does this seem reasonable? Or should we ask the vet to pursue this more aggressively and do other tests right away? Are there other treatments that make sense for a 16 year old dog? Just how worried should I be?

Thanks!
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby tiva » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:33 am

I meant to add her blood panel numbers:

BUN 24 (normal range 7-25) Her BUN has increased since Feb, but it's still just within normal range
CRE 1.8 (normal 0.3-1.4). In Feb. this was 1.2
TP 7.2 (normal 5.4 to 8.2)
ALP 31 (normal 20 to 150)
ALT 51 (normal 10 to 118)
GLU 97 (normal 60 to 110)

I'm reading the May thread on CRF now.

When I wrote that it's great that she's gaining weight, that's not because she's ever been thin and needed to gain weight. Normally, we really have to work to make certain that she doesn't get fat, and the first thing Dr Chris said when she got to the farm was "Tiva's been getting too many treats!" since Tiva was a little plumper than ideal. But then when she took the bloodwork, Dr Chris said the fact that Tiva hasn't started to lose weight is a great sign, and we don't need to worry about getting those 3 extra lbs off her right now.
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:22 am

Given those numbers, your vets advice sounds completely reasonable to mr. I think, given her age, those are excellent results!
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby pblove » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:00 pm

check out www.dogaware.com
look under kindey issues or helaht, once you get there they have two yahoo listss listed at bottom of page. you can join those and get in tocuh with many, awsome, knowledgable people, (the one from yahoo is excellent)
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby pblove » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:03 pm

check out

http://www.dogaware.com/health/kidney.html

at bottom of kindey page there are two email lists you might want to check out too
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby tiva » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:22 am

Thanks--I have started reading that information, and it doesn't sound as if we need to worry too much yet about Tiva. But a lower phosphorus kibble might be helpful.

MissKiwi (or any of the other vets)--do you have any comments, by any chance?
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:09 am

I'm on my phone so I can't post a link, but you should google the IRIS recommendations.

I would NOT wait two months to do a urinalysis as it is common for senior dogs to have asymptomatic urinary tract infections and you need to check the specific gravity and protein as well...
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby Jazzy » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:14 am

My Basset Fran was diagnosed w/ chronic kidney disease when she was 8. She lived to be almost 14 and when she passed it was from cancer...she was still managing well with her kidneys.

As I recall we put her on a homemade diet; which worked out well because she always hated kibble and was a picky eater; and her eating problems disappeared with the homemade diet.

When she was older she drank ALLOT and tinkled ALLOT, but she also developed cushing's disease (I think from all the pred. she had gotten over the years to manage her skin problems; and she had immune system - perianal fistulas - problems as well and was on cyclosporin.)

So in retrospct...the kidney issue was the least of her problems.
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:17 am

Also, I completely agree with trying every other day Rimadyl. That's reasonable and hopefully will still work, if it doesn't then I would do daily Rimadyl again. At 16, it's unknown if the Rimadyl is really contributing to the disease, kidneys eventually just wear out.

If you want to push the fluids, you can make "canned food soup" by mixing canned food with water. I wouldn't start this until after her urine is checked.
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby BrokenAquarian » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:42 am

We had a dog who had severe kidney problems and had to be put down because of it. He had bad skin problems that would flare up, he was skinny as a rail(when it got bad) and would pee for a really long time.

The vet said it was either from contaminated canned food or it was from him drinking something like anti-freeze as a pup (we adopted him from the shelter at the age of about 4-5 months)

We could tell that there was always something "not right" with him and it just got worse as he got older. He was off and on sick, his whole life. We had to put him down at the age of 6.

But that doesn't sound much like what you're going through.
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UPDATE on Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby tiva » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:19 pm

Hi-
We have lovely news on Tiva's kidneys. At her two month checkup, the blood tests showed that her CRE levels had dropped back down to normal, and her urine tests showed everything normal. We had decreased her rimadyl to every other day dosing, and she's doing very well with that. At 16, she's playing every day with Vanya, our young pit bull, and happily going on long walks in the wildlife land. She's full of energy, great coat, lively, and enjoying the beginning of winter. On the advice of the vet back in the fall, we kept her on Taste of the Wild, but added wet food mixed with water for her evening meal, and we've been giving her fish oil and CoQ10 as well. So she's not in kidney failure, and her arthritis pain seems controlled well by the lower dose of rimadyl. Yah!
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby Enigma » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:23 pm

YAY :nana: That's great news! After so many bad news about seniors we've been having lately, i'm really glad your girl is still going strong at her age! :bowdown:
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby pblove » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:21 pm

that is wonderful news :yipee:
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby PitBull-Lady » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:55 pm

awesome! :thumbsup:
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Re: Chronic kidney disease developing in Tiva

Postby HappyPuppy » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:13 am

That's great to hear!
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