I managed to do Tabs’ subcut singlehandedly this morning. She just struggled a little bit during the poking, but she settled down quickly. What a good girl.
I’m still very puzzled, and of course, very worried about Tabs’ sudden onset of CKD. As I reflected over her case and checked her previous kidney readings, yes, the readings have been slowly creeping up through the last four years.
These are her creatinine levels in the last four years:
Mar 2019 – 126
Dec 2020 – 87
Jun 2021 – 82
Sep 2022 – 134
Sep 2023 – 163 (SDMA was 8)
Dec 2023 – 285 (different machine, but considered very high in this scale)
I really need to take Tabs back to our regular clinic for a check-up and perhaps, even repeat the blood test. I had not expected her to have any kidney issues at all and thought I’d get her a new baseline at the new clinic, but looks like that is not an option now. We definitely need an ultrasound of her kidneys.
And the puzzling thing is that her SDMA was just a comfortable reading of 8 in Sept 2023, that’s just three months ago. The SDMA is supposed to detect early signs of kidney degeneration before any other test can detect it.
SDMA is also used as a biomarker to reflect the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in people, and more recently in dogs and cats,1 now that a veterinary assay has been developed. An increase in SDMA indicates an impaired glomerular filtration rate, and therefore decreased renal function.
SDMA increases when there is on average 40% loss of kidney function and as early as 25% loss of kidney function. Whereas urine concentrating ability decreases when approximately 66% of kidney function is lost, and creatinine increases above normal when up to 75% of kidney function has been lost.
Normal blood test kidney readings of the creatinine will only show itself when about 70% of the kidney function has been lost, but the SDMA can detect it as early as 25%. So it is for the early detection of CKD.
Tabs’ SDMA was 8 three months ago. Makes little sense that CKD could just happen so fast.
So, this makes it even more worrying. What if it is acute kidney disease or worse, cancer?
I really need Tabs to get a more thorough check-up.
Demeanour-wise, Tabs has been fine and normal. But yes, her appetite has decreased over the last few months. So maybe that was the symptom.
We will only know more after a more thorough check-up. I’ve got an appointment for Tuesday along with Indy’s follow-up but hopefully I can get one earlier.
Meanwhile, Tabs is on kidney supplements and on her own, she was already eating renal kibble. She loves it, but in the last few days, wasn’t so keen. Maybe some incentive on top of the kibble would help. Fussie Cat! But vets will normally say it should be “only renal diet and nothing else”. It’s hard to do this, isn’t it? They need some variety and incentives too. And we want them to eat.