Early Renal Failure - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Early Renal Failure

Our 13.5 year old cat had his senior panel blood work done and we have been told he is in the very early stages of renal failure. Urea Nitrogen is 40 which is a little high, Creatinine is 2.4. BUN is 17 which is right in the middle of the ref range. I know BUN is an important number. Since it is still pretty good, did we catch this super early? He gets a canned food diet and we have already ordered some that is lower in phosphorus than what he normally eats but staying away from the RX renal diets.

Thanks for any advice!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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I should have said BUN/Creatinine ratio is 17, not just BUN. Is that the same thing as BUN? Also his phosphorus levels are 4.6

Last edited by marie73; 04-15-2017 at 05:10 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:47 AM
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Hi there. I'm sorry to hear about the diagnosis. My kitty is also in early stage renal failure (she's 16.5 years old). The BUN/Creatinine ratio is not the same as the BUN (blood urea nitrogen), though I don't know how important the ratio is. So the BUN is high, though it doesn't seem terribly high. But you need to know what the "normal" range is for the lab that did the testing; every lab's reference range for normal is slightly different. If you have the actual lab results, it will show the range.

Did the vet do a urinalysis as well? My vet said that the best way to estimate the stage of CKD is to look at the test results in conjunction with the urinalysis results (looking for the specific gravity).

Are you familiar with Tanya's site? It has an incredible amount of information, and I don't know anyone with a CKD kitty who wouldn't recommend it: Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Cat

The website also has a chart comparing the phosphorus (and other) levels of a ton of different wet foods, both rx and non-rx: Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Canned Food Data USA

Another site I consult often, to learn about bloodwork results: Normal Dog and Cat Blood And Urine Chemistry Test Results

Did the bloodwork include the SDMA test? It allows for earlier detection than through regular bloodwork, but I believe it's only offered by Idexx, so the bloodwork would need to be sent out to them.

The bad news: "earlier" detection still means a significant percentage loss of kidney function. Regular bloodwork won't necessarily indicate kidney disease until about 75% loss in function, because that's when the creatinine and BUN levels change. The SDMA test is supposedly able to catch it at 40% loss. But as you see, that's still a lot of lost function, and I'm sure you know that it can't be reversed. But the early detection means you can start taking steps earlier, like switching to a low phosphorus diet as you have, and encouraging more water drinking, earlier, and that could prolong life significantly.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 12:44 PM
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My cat also has kidney disease. She was diagnosed about 6 months ago. Her CREA was 2.1 and BUN was 20 in March when we did another blood test. She is stable and hovering around 1.9-2.1 on CREA. BUN seems to vary a lot more but my vet isn't concerned by it.

I initially did not like the idea of feeding her a prescription diet but after a lot of discussion with my veterinarian and doing my own research, I decided it was the right thing for her since she would not eat wet food of any sort. When cats start feeling bad, they usually are less willing to change foods. I decided now was the best time to do it plus the studies do actually show it improves outcomes. The Purina NF did not agree with her tummy but we changed to the Royal Canin Renal Support food and she hasn't had any problems with it.

Tanya's website and group is a fantastic resource! I strongly recommend reading it and maybe even buying her book. She has a lot of information about food that is appropriate for CKD cats. It was a big part of why I decided to go with a renal diet.

The renal foods have supplements added in which is great for me because my cat isn't a fan of pills or liquid being added to her food. An Omega3 supplement is recommended for CKD cats and the capsules are huge! I tried the liquid supplement too and ended up feeding it to my dogs because she would walk away from her food with it added.

We initially put Tina on a daily dose of enalapril but after reading a study about telmisartan being more effective in the long term (it doesn't suffer from ACE-escape like enalapril and benazepril), we switched to it. The studies indicate it helps control blood pressure and has some renal protective qualities with a relatively low risk. Telmisartan can cause liver enzyme levels to increase but they go down when the medication is stopped. Tina's liver enzyme levels have not changed thankfully. We did biweekly blood tests for a while but now we're checking every 3 months as she is stable and doing well.

My veterinarian hopes that the change of diet and medication will essentially stop (or at least slow) the progression of the disease and allow her to live out her normal life expectancy. I certainly want her to live forever!

Best of luck with with your boo, I hope Tanya's website and the blabbing I did above helps or at least provides some information about possible treatments.

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