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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1204
Experience:  Board Certified Equine Surgeon, Lameness and Sports Medicine Specialist DVM, BSc
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My name is ***** *****, my horse had blood work done and

Customer Question

Customer: Hi my name is ***** *****, my horse had blood work done and they are saying that the creatinine level was 3.0. Second level take three days later is 3.9. Is this considered high? They are advising that he probably has kidney disease and want to start IV treatments? What do you think?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: My horse had a bout of colic and was acting down and depressed. He looked a little sucked up in the hind so I had the vet out. They thought that he may have ulcers and hind gut issues. Meanwhile they drew blood and came back with the results I supplied. My horse was administered Banamine for the colic. He also is going through a grain change for the last 2 weeks.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Equine Vet replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm sorry to hear your horse is not feeling well. Creatinine is an enzyme that becomes elevated due to kidney damage, or sometimes from dehydration or muscle injury/extreme exertion. It can also rise in horses that have received a large amount of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Banamine, that can cause kidney damage. In normal horses the level should generally be less than 1.8 mg/dL, so your horse's is indeed concerning, especially as the level is rising. The veterinarian in charge of the case will also evaluate other aspects of the bloodwork in combination with the creatinine to determine if kidney disease is likely. There are additional tests that can be performed on urine to determine how well the kidneys are functioning, they show the pH, concentration and composition of the urine, and ultrasound examination can help view the kidneys more in-depth. It definitely sounds like the best course of action would be to refer this horse to a hospital for a more comprehensive examination and further diagnostics, in addition to IV fluid therapy if it seems indicated by the rest of the results. I cannot diagnose your horse via the Internet and without an exam, but the high creatinine level would prompt me to pursue further investigation and treatment. There are many causes of kidney disease, and kidney disease can also cause colic signs, but the sooner proper treatment is instituted, the better chance of a revovery. Please let me know if you have further questions or need clarification. I hope that this has helped guide your decision-making process, and that your horse is able to recover fully.