Is this the same as CRF?
- I always seem to be asking questions these days! My question today about Missi is - when they get raised creatinine/renal values is this the same as normal CRF? As in do you have to watch phos and give supportive treatments like Pepcid AC for nausea....
Or is this kind of renal failure/damage different? The watching for potassium levels is similar and I know that the whole giving SubQs is a LOT more tricky - I assume that is because of the CHF?
The reason I am asking is that my vet only tests creatinine/BUN and the sodium/potassium -nothing else! So I am wondering - now that Missi's creatinine is a little raised should I be asking him to do a full blood panel next time and in future?
Kim and the assorted fur-kids (UK)
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- Hi Kim,
I've had 3 CRF kitties in the past and five of my kitties now have
CRF of some degree or another, Snowball being the worst right now,
and she's also a heart kitty.
Anytime there is elevated BUN and creatinine, that's some level of
renal failure. Whether it's chronic renal failure or acute renal
failure is hard to say. If it's a sudden onset, it's probably ARF.
If it's slow elevation over time, it's CRF. It's said that by the
time the BUN and Creatinine actually show up being elevated on a
blood panel, they kidneys have already lost as much as 75% of their
function. Because of the nature of the kidneys, how they function,
they can continue to function on as little 25% before you actually
see signs of the disease. That's why it's hard to notice that they
have kidney problems in the very early stages, because the kidneys
make up for the lost function and keep on going until there's so
little left that the symptoms finally are noticed.
If your kitty is nauseated and vomiting, then you could give some
Pepcid AC. The usual dose is 1/4 of a tablet once or twice a day. I
use injectible Pepcid for Snowball, because she has such terrible
vomiting problems. The injectible dose is .2 of 1cc once or twice a
day (that's what Snowball gets).
If you're vet is running kidney values in-house, not sending it out
to a lab, the numbers may be a little different than what the lab
does, and even different labs can have different results in their
testing of the same animal. If it was my kitty, I would definitely
get a complete chemistry panel (that's what shows the BUN,
Creatinine, Phos, Potassium, liver values, etc.) and CBC (complete
blood count which shows the condition of the blood - red blood
count, white cells, etc.). You want to find out what the HCT/PCV
(hematocrit/packed cell volume) is. That value shows if they're
anemic or not. You should find out what the Phosphorus, Potassium
and Calcium are. Those values are the ones that go askew with kidney
failure. You also should check the liver values (Alk. Phos. and
ALT), since the liver and kidneys are so closely intertwined in
You don't want to wait to treat CRF, especially in a heart kitty.
Depending on what the kidney values are will determine if they need
subQ fluids or not. Balancing subQ fluids for the kidneys and not
wanting too much fluids introduced for the heart is difficult, but
it's not impossible. You just have to watch them closely and monitor
their heart rate and respiration more often.
There are some supplements that can help strengthen the kidneys,
things like the Chinese herb combinatin Rehmannia 6 and kidney
glandulars. A lot of folks on a couple of my CRF groups give their
kitties both of those. Snowball gets them too. Acupuncture can help
strengthen the kidneys too.
The important thing to remember is that if you have a heart kitty
with CRF, you need to learn how to balance the needs of both
problems...giving the kidneys what they need in the way of
fluids/moisture, but not so much that the heart suffers and they go
into congestive heart failure. With my angel Sweetie who was HCM/CHF
and CRF, we had to balance fluids with Lasix all the time, changing
the dosages of both as each organ needed attention.
I hope this helps.
Carol & angel Chris 9/06
Puddy Boo Punkie MeanMama Misty Snowball and Chelsea
(angels Fritzy 2/02 Sweetie 10/03 Ducky 11/05 Bouncer 4/06 & Muffy
"I know you're there...a breath away's not far to where you are."