An update to Maggie’s kidney disease….

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Last blood work I had done on Maggie was May 3rd.  At that time, she’d been on prednisone for 1 week, with the “maybe” she had atypical Addison’s.  Her BUN didn’t improve(got worse) but her eating improved DRAMATICALLY(I can safely say she wouldn’t still be here if not for Prednisone to help with her appetite), so we kept her on it and also on a thought that maybe with more time on the Prednisone, maybe she would prove that maybe she did have Atypical Addison’s. Well, she doesn’t.  It IS CRF – chronic renal failure – kidney disease for sure now.

My sister, Gina,  was up the past few days and one of the missions was to draw another blood sample on Maggie to retest her numbers.  The results are this: Short story, she’s “holding her own”, in Gina’s words.

The rundown:

* We can now drop her Prednisone some(based on her appetite) as her adrenals don’t need it – her appetite will tell us when enough is needed.

* The other positive, other than the great desire to eat, is that since being on Prednisone, her WBC has now gone into the normal range.  She has had LIFELONG low WBC.

* Her electrolyte ratio is normal at 28% – proving no Addison’s.

* Her HCT(anemia) number has improved from 31.9% to now 35.9%.

* Her ALB/GLOB(protein) number has improved from 1% to 3.3%.

That says that the support I’m giving her with supplements(Epakitin, Azodyl, Renafood) and a good diet(raw beef/buffalo with Urban Wolf premix adjusted for kidney disease dog), is working for these two values.

Now the bad news:

* Her PHOSPHORUS has gone from 7.2 to 8.5

So based on that, I will tweak her Urban Wolf premix diet even more, per the company that makes it, by adding more pumpkin or squash or sweet potato(doubling the amount).  I have read that by dropping the phosphorus in the dog’s diet doesn’t increase her lifespan but just makes her ‘feel better’.  So I will adjust the diet some to help that…even though she could literally eat a whole cow with her raging appetite right now, due to the Prednisone!  I read so much about kidney disease dogs having poor appetite’s and Maggie WAS one of them but not since Prednisone.  Sure wish other owners would take the plunge and do the Prednisone too…I know how stressful it is when the dog won’t eat… 🙁  Maybe it wouldn’t be a good option if you had a young dog that had CRF but at Maggie’s age, I think it’s the best thing I could of done for her.(and I’m NOT a drug fan at all).

* Her CREA has gone from 4.8 to 5.4.

From the Merck Veterinary manual, this means she has “Stage IV Kidney disease with

Creatinine Greater than 5.0 (mg/dl)”

* Her BUN is off the bloodwork’s reference range, last one was over 130 mg/dl and range is supposed to be 7-27

Gina said to continue with the daily 250 ml’s of fluids.  I had hoped I could skip a day but can’t.  Her total protein is where it needs to be at 7.2, so it proves that she is getting the correct amount of daily fluids…but don’t drop it.

So I got a break last night and Gina did Maggie’s fluids…man, is she quick and good with a needle! 🙂  Maggie never felt a thing…never even knew it hit her!  And she showed me to warm the fluids and fill the bulb on the line, which I wasn’t doing nor was I shown how to do from the vet’s office.

Maggie’s episodes of shivering at times are two different things…sometimes she shivers due to anxious for food and other times she shivers because she is cold…so I throw a blanket over her and she warms up and all is well 🙂

Gina also scaled(cleaned) Maggie’s teeth.  Maggie has always had squeaky clean sparkly teeth her whole life but wow, not now with a ‘disease’.  She has gotten really dirty the past several months.  We can’t put Maggie to sleep to do her teeth nor was it necessary!  Maggie was soooo patient and Gina did an awesome job cleaning her teeth.  Now, back to spraying her mouth with Leba III spray 2 times a day and wetting a paper towel and put some calendula mixed in water and rinsing her mouth to keep bacteria down.

Gina’s elderly JRT, Gem, came to visit as well.  Maggie & Gem(12 years) go “way back” and have done lots of traveling and competing in agility back in their prime.  Gem has always had such a “liking” for her Cousin Maggie.(the elder at 13+).  We have many fond memories of competing in agility with the two of them…them our Novice dogs and us Novice handlers….what fun we have had through their careers in agility and all the miles we ran up and down the New England states with the two of them…Gina snapped this cool photo of them this morning~


Maggie & Gem - old buddies....
Maggie & Gem – old buddies….

So, that’s our update ~ we are to keep on what we’re doing with a bit of tweaking of her diet and a bit of tweaking of the Prednisone.

Maggie’s leading the way in this path……I will continue to be “Nurse Tracy” to Miss Maggie! 🙂

’til next time, Maggie says keep on’ hoppin’, even if a tad slower these days…

Tracy & Maggie

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