Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sprite Update /Creatinine Testing /More Lives than a Cat

Our senior dachshund Sprite has been experiencing a lot of ups and downs as he continues to deal with kidney failure. Sprite will be 16 1/2 in June and has had renal failure since at least January this year. In the last 2-3 weeks, he's been unable to hold his urine and has been either waking us up several times in the middle of the night or going on old towels in the house (he stays in the kitchen since his symptoms have increased).  He's very responsible and really conscientious.

  Sunday morning, he had to "go" about 7 times in 6 hours - so we knew his condition advanced. Last week, there was blood in his urine. Both of these things are signs of advancement of failure.  So, on Monday, Rob took a sample to the vet to be tested for levels of Creatinine, etc.
  RESULTS: Sprite has an infection in his kidneys, which is common for dogs dealing with kidney failure, so he's now on antibiotics. It could easily recur, and then we'd have to take other steps.
  He also seems to have more lives than a cat!  Several times over the last year we thought he wouldn't be with us much longer, and now he's used up another "life" (and of course we're so happy that he's got something that can be dealt with for now).  
  It turns out that when kidneys are failing they tend to cause infections. So, we're treating the infection with antibiotic. He hasn't had any accidents in the house in the last couple of days, so that's a good sign. We honestly don't know how long he'll be with us, given his condition and advanced age, but as long as he's not in pain, we're happy.

 If you have a dog, and you don't know what that is, now you will. The most common blood tests used to diagnose kidney disease are Creatinine and BUN (also called Urea Nitrogen). However, several other standard blood test results also provide information about kidney disease, including Phosphorus, Calcium, and the Sodium:Potassium ratio.
  WHAT IT MEANS: When creatinine is elevated above the normal range (usually around 1.6 mg/dL, or 141 µmol/L), this generally means that there is a problem with the kidneys.
  EARLY KIDNEY FAILURE LEVELS: In general, creatinine values up to around 2.0 (177 µmol/L) are  indicative of mild, or early stage, kidney disease
   MODERATE KIDNEY FAILURE LEVELS: Values from around 2.0 up to about 5.0 (177-442 µmol/L) are more significant, but it is still likely that your dog may not be showing any symptoms
  SEVERE KIDNEY FAILURE: Values above 5.0 (442 µmol/L) indicate more severe kidney failure, and are often accompanied by clinical signs such as vomiting and lack of appetite. At this stage, fluids can be very important, especially when your dog is vomiting, and your dog may even need to be hospitalized for IV fluids (I personally feel it is best to bring them home at night, even if they need to stay at the vet's during the day, if at all possible). Antacids (Pepcid, Zantac or Tagamet) and Carafate (anti-ulcer medication) should be given, along with Reglan (metoclopramide) for vomiting if needed, with your vet's approval.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next