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?