June 9, 2004

Bad news

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Basette

Basette spent the day at the vet’s for monitoring. We’d hoped that she would continue to improve Wednesday after bouncing back so thoroughly on Tuesday.

The vet called me this morning. In a long voicemail message, she said that Basette looked worse: lethargic, not interested in eating/drinking, didn’t want to walk around, and generally feeling blah. Why would Basette be worse when her glucose levels were lower and seemed to be finally under control? Just to be safe, we decided to run another blood panel to check kidney and liver functions.

The next voicemail a few hours later was very short. I had a dreadful feeling when I returned her call. The two items that show the kidney is functioning properly (BUN and creatinine) were 2-3 times the normal levels. Basette was diagnosed with renal failure.

We aren’t sure when the kidney disease came up. Basette’s last blood panel in February didn’t show any indications of kidney disease, so it must have developed within the last four months. The symptoms of kidney disease, like excessive water consumption and urination, are similar to diabetes. It’s very possible that the diabetes masked any kidney problems.

To further complicate matters, a diabetes maintenance diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugar (think low carb diet for cats); renal (kidney) failure diet requires low protein. Treatment options we might have had for diabetes are now much more complex because of the kidney problems.

Prior to the bloodwork, the vet’s outlook was guardedly optimistic, and now it’s not optimistic at all. Things aren’t looking good for Basette. The vet really isn’t sure if Basette will even return to an acceptable quality of life.

I’m going to visit Basette tomorrow. Maybe a pep talk, but right now I don’t know. Poor sweet kitten. She has been through so much.

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