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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30036
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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a 9 yr old cat, who had one kidney removed years ago due to

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a 9 yr old cat, who had one kidney removed years ago due to hydronephrosis, had a health scan yesterday and several values were low or high. MCV was 50.4. MCH was 16.5.HCT and HGB were low normal. WBC was 4.30. monos were 0.16. eosinophils were 0.05. PLT was very low normal. BUN and creat. elevated. potassium was 3.1. neu and LYM were low normal.
he is somewhat lethargic but is eating and drinking well. the fur on his tail (he is long haired) has thinned a lot.

i know that kidney failure is one possibility. but i would like to know what all of this looks like to a seasoned veterinarian. he is scheduled for a re-test in two weeks and is on Renal+ K, and a vitamin for his red blood cells.

does it appear that he has something that is going to kill him eventually? how fast?


Well, despite the MCH and MCV, your magic number is XXXXX Hct (hematocrit). If that number is XXXXX within range, then he is not anemic (low blood count). With advancing kidney disease, and less production of erythropoietein from the kidneys, that Hct will drop.


The WBC is okay.

Platelets can be a bit lower when their is "clumping" in the blood. That can be a very normal artifact, if it is there. Otherwise, a platelet count around the normal range is okay.


The hair thinning is difficult to assess. What you really need to find out is if the blood test included a thyroid level. Next to kidney disease, the most common condition we run into is hyperthyroid (elevated thyroid hormone), and it definitely could cause that change.


The elevation in the kidney disease is important. If the BUN is already over 80-100 or the creatinine is 2-3x above it's normal range, that would be indicative of more serious kidney disease.

Additional therapy that can be given to help the kidneys is regular fluid administration underneath the skin at home. However, your vet will know when that is and is not needed.


Great that he is eating and drinking well. So, nothing I can evaluate with only a blood test that would indicate he is dying right this moment. However, I can't attest to the degree of kidney disease. That is up to your vet.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
his HCT is 39.1. low normal. his HGB is 12.8. his ALT is 28. Baso is 0.03. which abbreviations represent thyroid function on this print out i have?

he was about to be adopted by a sweet little old lady but i cannot give her a cat that would slowly die.

thyroid would be T4, T3, TSH.....


Everything else looks stable. ALT is fine.


Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy and 4 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
no they did not test thyroid then - she was a young vet just out of school. i will ask my seasoned vet to test thyroid function.

if this is a kidney issue, is it possible that he might live a few years with proper treatment? the reason i ask is that i just got a call from the lady who wanted to adopt him, and she is will to take him even if he is sick. (he's a charmer) we will wait 3 weeks or so to see how he does, of course. (she is a cat loving saint)

i know you will say this is a hard question to answer but maybe you could just talk to me a bit about what you have seen when treating other cats with these blood values. could stress play a role?

thank you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
not sure that this got through to you so i am repeating it.

based on what you have seen in other cats with blood results like this, could my cat recover completely? or is it likely that this is chronic?

what role might stress play in his illness?

i may have pressed "accept" by mistake. i certainly want to add a bonus and a rating!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
can you please answer my last question? or do i have to go through the whole process and payment again because i clicked "accept" before i was done?


Unfortunately, without my own examination to evaluate overall health, there is no way for me to predict. In general, in older cats that have elevated kidney values it is an indication of a chronic problem, and there would not be a 100% recovery.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy and 4 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
sorry to bother you yet again!

his ALT, ALKP, GGT, TBIL are all low normal. the GGT, TBIL are right on the line towards low.

just wonder if this means anything.

what food should i be feeding him if it is a kidney problem? something low phosphorus but not necessarily low protein?

Liver enzymes are okay.

With a kidney problem, you should feed a prescription diet with "restricted" protein and lower phosphorous like Science Diet K/D or Royal Canin Renal LP


Dr. Andy