Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dinky's Check-Up

Well, it's been a month since we started treating Dinky's kidney condition. I took her in to the vet clinic yesterday for a check up and follow-up blood work. The good news is that she has gained 5.6 ounces back and her hemocrit--a measure of anemia--was up from 28.5 last month to 32 this month, which puts it into the very low end of normal.

Her urine specific gravity was 1.015. (We hadn't tested that last month) It's a measure of how well her kidneys are concentrating her urine, and the normal range is 1.025 to 1.060, though one source listed 1.015 as the low end of the normal range. Typical CRF cats run 1.010 or less.

The rest of her numbers showed a slight movement down but nothing dramatic. Her phosphorus had been in the normal range (high) and now is right smack dab in the middle of normal. Her BUN was still high, down from 78 to 76. The same story with the creatinine, down to 5.3 from 7.4. Dots said that Dinky's bleeding gums could be contributing to the high numbers, so for now, we are going to concentrate on the fluids and an antibiotic to treat her gum infection and see if we can get her fit enough to get some dental work done in about a month.

It's easy to get caught up in chasing numbers but I keep reminding myself that each cat is different and that we really don't know what is "normal" for Dinky. That she is feeling good, gaining weight and eating are all good signs. I can hope that treating her mouth infection will buy her some better quality time. We have sweet interactions now, a sort of long good-bye, as I adjust to the idea of her mortality and the realization that she isn't going to be here forever, that each day is one less precious day of our shared life.

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