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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32871
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat has been diagnosed with kidney failure 36 hours ago.

Customer Question

My cat has been diagnosed with kidney failure 36 hours ago. He saw his vet on Friday and they sent him home, he got worse and we saw an emergency vet on Sunday and has been kept in ever since. He is not eating, very dehydrated, constipated and in a bad way. We have managed to get no proper information about his long term prognosis. Yesterday they gave him an enema, which helped relive him and he started to eat and drink and he has been on a drip constantly. Today we had to take him from emergency vets to his usual vet and he is very bad again. His levels for his bloods, are 1020 for creatinine and is now 1009 today. His Urea has gone down from 64 to 46. We have had to take him back to the emergency vets again this evening, and they are giving him another enema and they have told us that this is the human equivalent of kidney dialysis. Is this normal ? And how long will they do this ? He is 16 years old, diabetic, but apart from, that he's a healthy boy. Tomorrow will be a repeat of today.


*edit* just heard from emergency vets, he's had the new enema and passed a very large and very hard stool, but is still showing no interest at all in food and they've now said they're very worried about him.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Strider. I'm afraid that his prognosis is grave. A creatinine of 1009 umol/L (11.4 mg/dl) and BUN of 46 mmol/l (129 mg/dl) is not compatible with life. His age tells me that this is a chronic renal failure which would be confirmed by noting that the specific gravity of his urine is quite dilute. I would also expect a higher than normal phosphorus level in his blood. I would be pleased to check these values for you if you could post them in our conversation.

Most important is that an owner such as you should have been apprised of the severity of Strider's renal failure prior to initiating IV fluid diuresis. While fluids will be helpful, there's no reason to believe that such a patient has enough functioning nephrons in his kidneys to be able to benefit from IV diuresis - at least not for any meaningful length of time as you've already seen.

I'm sorry to sound so discouraging but I'm quite concerned for Strider and how you've been treated. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.