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Discussion Starter #1
Since March Hamish has been eating Royal Canin Sensitivity RC following a couple of bouts of vomiting / diarrhea caused by BB Longevity. Over that period he's lost quite a bit of weight, which I think is down to the stomach upsets and the low calorific value of the RC food. I'm just starting to introduce Fromm Gold but I'm doing it very very gradually.

In the last week I've increased the quantity of the RC and he's gained about 1lb, however the vet expressed concern over his weight loss and suggested that he could have kidney problems.

She said other symptoms were drinking lots of water and he does seem to be drinking more than normal (however it's been very hot and he's eating more dry kibble) and loss of appetite which is definitely not the case (but he's very food oriented!).

She suggested we give it a few weeks to see if he gains weight, but since she planted the idea I've been worrying and wondering if I should get the tests done sooner? I'd appreciate your advice. I'd also be interested in understanding what the tests involve.

p.s. Hamish will be 15 next month so I don't want to stress him with lots of vet stuff if I don't have to.
 

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This is an excellent site ... just put "kidney function tests" in the search bar ..... I love all the info on this site and use it regularly. May be of a bit of help?

www.peteducation.com
 

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The test is simple and not that expensive. If you are worried and your vet in concerned, I'd get it done. It's my understanding that the bloodwork only shows a problem when the kidneys are down below 25%. The urine test is supposed to catch problems earlier.
 

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Most vets can do an in-house snap test which provides kidney and liver values. They do this routinely for pets over 6 or 7 years of age prior to surgical procedures. If Hamish has not had a senior panel done in the last year, I would recommend that you bypass the snap test and do the senior panel. This would include a blood chemistry, complete blood count and urine analysis. Make sure the vet does a urine culture because the dip stick method is not very reliable in detecting white blood cells, especially in a dog with dilute urine. Weight loss and frequent drinking and urination are symptoms of diabetes and glucose on the blood chemistry can rule this out or in. Cushing's is another disease with these symptoms. Most cushingoid dogs have huge appetites and gain weight; however, weight loss is a rare symptom. Your vet should be able to identify the usual blood abnormalities found with cushing's. FYI, it is the liver values, primarily elevated alkaline phosphatase, that is usually the red flag that cushing's may be involved. Kidney values are usually normal in cushingoid dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the information. I'm planning to call the vet and get an appointment for next week as I want to see if he gains any weight with the better food.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, we are off to the vets tomorrow and I'm told that they don't do a urine test, only blood work - they say this is the normal process. Should I insist they do the urine test?
 

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If it were me, I would insist that a urine test be done. I am surprised that your vet doesn't think a urinalysis should be part of a senior panel, especially since he's concerned about kidney disease due to Hamish's weight loss and apparent increase in drinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just back from the vets - they did the bloods and the urine test, so now we're just waiting for the results and keeping our fingers crossed.
The good news was that his weight was exactly the same as 2 weeks ago.
 

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Keeping my fingers crossed and good thoughts ......... and keeping all in my prayers for a good outcome. :) The best thing would be if it were anything ... that it could be controlled by medication and he still live a normal and happy long life.
 

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I too am keeping fingers (and paws) crossed that the results are favorable. Your precious Hamish has already lived a good long life, thanks to your tender, loving care, and I hope you both have many more years together. I'll be checking in to hear about the test results.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes - it's really really appreciated.

Well, we got a voicemail from the vets (they said if we hadn't heard from them by 8:30pm then we'd not hear until tomorrow, so we took Hamish for a quick walk at 8:45pm and the voicemail was 8:50pm - guessing if we'd stayed in all evening they wouldn't have phoned!!!) - they said they will phone again tomorrow but that we shouldn't worry as there was no change from the previous test results, which would be reassuring except for the fact that they've never done any blood tests on him before :confused:

However it sounded positive so we're hopeful and continuing to keep everything crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We just talked to the vet who said that his kidneys are OK but they found the following:
- a small amount of blood and protein in the urine
- a low red blood cell count
She said the low red blood cell count could be caused by ulcers but thought the infection / bacteria from the stomach upsets may have travelled back to his liver, so she has prescribed strong antibiotics plus 2 x vitamins for his liver, then another blood test in 2 weeks time.

So I'm now off to learn more from that great site you recommended Abbylynn.

p.s. Thank you lulusmom for the urinalysis information - if I hadn't asked they wouldn't have done it, yet it provided some useful information.
 
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