Petersen Pet Hospital - October 2022

SUBWAY’S Advice Alley

Meowlo, newsletter friends. It’s Subway, and I’m here to give you some more cat advice. With this being Pet Wellness Month, I wanted to talk to you about a disease that cats, mainly older ones, can get: kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the persistent loss of kidney function over time. The kidneys are responsible for filtering blood and urine. So, if your feline has kidney problems, other health issues could occur. What are the signs of CKD? Early signs of the disease are weight loss, poor coat quality, frequent urination, vomiting, and secluding themselves. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to diagnose CKD early on because at least 60%–70% of the kidneys must be dysfunctional before it can be seen on a blood test. However, a new blood test has recently been developed to measure symmetric dimethyl arginine (SDMA), which will provide veterinarians with an insight into your cat’s health, and they can begin providing treatment in the early stages of the disease. How is CKD diagnosed? CKD is diagnosed by examining blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and urine. Vets can also take X-rays to see if the kidneys are big or small and Mummy Bones Dog Treats Let’s Talk About Kidney Disease

Buffy is a beautiful and sweet 9-year-old domestic short-haired cat. One afternoon in early December 2021, her owner became very concerned and called Petersen Pet Hospital to have her seen right away. Buffy had acutely lost the ability to stand on and use her front legs. Buffy presented to the hospital on emergency to be examined by Dr. McGinty. On examination, Buffy was unable to support herself on her front legs and had very minimal strength in those legs as well. Both of her front paws were cool to the touch and her normally gray toes were slightly pale to bluish in color. She was also lacking any response to pinch or touching her front paws. She was otherwise quiet but alert with no pain in her back or hind legs. Her heart rhythm and sounds were also very normal. Based on her acute loss of front leg function and her otherwise normal exam findings, Dr. McGinty was concerned for development of a “thromboembolism” or blood clot that had migrated and blocked proper blood flow to her front legs, resulting in weakened and cold extremities. Dr. McGinty and Buffy’s owner discussed exam findings and best test and treatment options for Buffy. Ultimately, they decided to transfer her to Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for support care and further workup. Buffy was given a pain relief injection to help her be comfortable, and her mom took her to ISU. At ISU, she was evaluated by their Cardiology Service. After further tests, including heart X-rays and an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), Dr. McGinty’s concerns were confirmed. Buffy had developed blood clots in the blood vessels supplying blood and oxygen to her front legs, resulting in her symptoms. It was also confirmed that the underlying cause was an unknown heart disease that resulted in her body not properly moving blood forward to her organs and extremities. Buffy was started on a heart medication cocktail that included diuretics, a drug to help her heart pump more efficiently, and one to help lower her blood pressure. After 24 hours of treatment, she had already begun to regain function of her front legs and was discharged to her owners after several days in the hospital. Buffy was doing fantastic at her three-week recheck appointment with Dr. McGinty and was being a very good girl for her mom, taking her medications well. Recheck X-rays were taken (see photo at the top) and showed stable mild heart enlargement secondary to her heart disease. We will continue to recheck her heart function, blood pressure, and bloodwork every six months for a return of any symptoms or worsening heart disease. Her last visit with Dr. McGinty was this July, and we are very happy to report she is still thriving and beautiful as always! Buffy Recovers From Blood Clot Emergency Leads to Heart Diagnosis

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