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I tried to restrain myself from posting here because I have so little information to share, but if I'm not a hypochondriac for myself, then I am at least one on my cats' behalf, so what was supposed to be a routine check-up today has kind of made me panic just a skosh and I knew this forum would understand. :)

We took Ariel and Jasmine (our two 8 year old girls) in to the vet today for their yearly check up. We decided to get blood tests done this year since they are about the right age. The vet called about 40 minutes ago to say that Ariel was completely healthy, while Jasmine had an elevated creatinine level - hers was 242, while the reference range is 27-186. All other values including BUN were normal, although I don't have the results (I will ask for them when I go back on Saturday).

The vet said that this is indicative of chronic renal insufficiency, and she wants to test the specific gravity of the urine, so we're picking up some Nosorb on Saturday to collect a urine sample (or, after conferring with my boyfriend just now, we may also just bring Jasmine to the vet later this week so we can get the results sooner). Either way, I suppose we'll have more answers at that point.

I found Tanya's CRF bible (and I understand that CRF is not the same thing as CRI) but I'm sort of feeling overwhelmed. I also know that it's hard for anyone, and ridiculous for myself, to draw any conclusions based on one test. I definitely plan on asking a lot of questions when we go back to the vet - I wish I'd asked more on the phone, but I don't think well on my feet.

Other than this Jasmine is apparently completely healthy - the only reason we took her in was a routine checkup. She's as active as she ever was... just last night we were playing fetch with her raccoon toy down the hall. She eats normally, and drinks a lot I suppose, but no more than usual for her in the past few years.

So two things I am curious about (which I will also ask the vet), and some background info. For the past 4 months, the cats have been living with my boyfriend's parents while we were working out west since the cats don't travel well. During that period, they were being free-fed Innova dry and supplemented with a maximum of half a can each a day of wet (various brands including Wellness and Natural Balance). They each packed on nearly a kilo of weight. Since they moved back with us, I've barely fed them any dry in an effort to get them back down to their normal weight of 4.5 to 5 kilos - so they've just been eating the Wellness and NB wet. Is this an appropriate diet for Jasmine? The vet mentioned that she might have to go on Hills G/D diet (presumably canned) - I'm not a huge fan of the corn flour in it, but I also heard that a lot of the commercial cans have high phosphorus levels and are too acidic, so I'm uncertain what is the best thing to feed her.

Secondly, I assume that the more water she drinks, the better. We always keep a bowl of filtered water out for her, but she loves to drink out of the tub faucet. Since she moved back in with us two weeks ago, I've been hesitant to give her tap water since our water here is disgustingly hard, and I've been told by professors (I'm in veterinary school) that there is a local increase in kidney stones in humans due to the hard water, though this same relationship hasn't been researched in cats. Knowing how much minerals are in the water here, do you think it's better to let Jasmine drink it from the tap, increasing her water intake, or give her only the filtered water in the bowl, which she drinks but not as enthusiastically? (she's hasn't historically been interested in fountains, but I will try again).

Anyway, I know that it's hard for anyone to comment when I can provide so little information - I will definitely add to this when I have talked to the vet again. I'm just moderately freaked out from reading that "your cat may stay relatively well for months or years" if diagnosed early. Jasmine is only 8 - I planned on her sticking around for 8 more years at least! I never expected her to have any health issues this early - she's supposed to have hybrid vigour, and they've been on relatively high-quality food for 6 years and have been getting a substantial amount of wet food for 3 years and have always been energetic. This has been a bit of a shock, and I can only imagine how owners who receive worse and more acute news must feel.

I apologize for writing such a novel and I appreciate anyone who's read this far. If you have any thoughts or suggestions of things I should read or ask the vet, I'd love to hear it!
 

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If you can be patient and wait for further results, the vet should be able to give you a clearer picture. I know it's hard not to worry over our furkids. Let us know how it goes. All the best!
 
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