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Kidney Disease - Update

dturm
Moderator
Moderator
This is a hard one for me to post because Sasha has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and is in stage 4 kidney failure.

The following is for information in case some of you may go through this in the future or have gone through it in the past.

Dogs and cats have kidney function and structure very similar to people. If we are normal at birth, we have about 75% excess kidney function capacity. That’s why people are able to donate a kidney and continue to have a healthy life.

The basic functioning unit of the kidney is the nephron, and we have millions of them between our two kidneys. Life provides insults that can damage the nephrons and “put them out of service.” The major insults are high blood pressure, diabetes, fever, and some infections.

We do fine until we get to the 25% left. At that point there are some medical steps that can be taken to help a little but reversing the damage can’t be done.

The problem is that diagnosing CKD is difficult because our kidney function tests appear normal until we reach that 25% level and waste products start building up in the blood. There are some new tests that show some promise in picking up CKD before that 25% level is reached and lifestyle modifications have a better chance of slowing progress.

Serial blood tests where the same tests are done annually can point to trend changes. Urine samples looking specifically for protein in the urine that shouldn’t be there are suggestive also.

Most dogs and cats don’t show problems until later in life and often other issues cause end of life issues, not kidney disease.

Getting to Sasha, she is just turning 5. CKD is extremely rare in a dog this young, but she had a serious rickettsial infection (Ehrlichiosis) in Turkey before we got her. She was also on the street for over a year and exposed to unknown toxins, infectious agents, etc.

She is gradually fading but is still a happy, albeit much less active, dog. She has no appetite and is losing weight. When she tells us she’s had enough and doesn’t want to go on, we’ll say goodbye. We've probably got days to weeks left with her.

As long as she wants to go for a walk and greets us at the door, we’re good. She’s given more love in her short 5 years than many do in a long lifetime.

Doug
Doug & Sandy
Kaylee
Winnie 6 1/2 year old golden
2008 Southwind 2009 Honda CRV
18 REPLIES 18

toedtoes
Explorer III
Explorer III
My condolences. I'm glad you were able to make her last years good ones. She gave you joy and you gave her a good life. And she was with you at the end instead of on the streets.
1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
This is always the awful part of owning a pet - sending cyber ((((HUGS)))) to you and your family
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!

Scottiemom
Nomad
Nomad
So very sorry for the loss of your Sasha. She was fortunate to have you and Sandy there to love her and help her when the time was nigh. God bless you all.

Dale
Dale Pace
Widow of Terry (Teacher's Pet)

Traveling with Brendon, my Scottish Terrier

2022 Honda Odyssey
2011 Mazda Miata MX-5

2021 Coach House Platinum III 250DT
Fulltimed for 15 years, now living in Florida

http://www.skoolzoutforever.blogspot.com/

DOTLDaddy
Nomad
Nomad
She was such a sweet, happy girl. We will miss her too.

Walter & Garland - Camp Canine caretakers
Miss Inga (aka "Shorty") - 10 y.o. old GSD.
Gen. Gretchen - Joined Rainbow Div., June 27, 2017 at age 13
Gen. Missy - Joined Rainbow Div., June 11,2006 at age 12
2018 Montana HC305RL 5th wheel
2018 Silverado HD 6.0L

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
So sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the memories.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

Pawz4me
Explorer
Explorer
I'm so sorry.
Me, DH and Yogi (Shih Tzu)
2017 Winnebago Travato 59K

delwhjr
Explorer
Explorer
Sorry for your loss. Remember the good times.
2022 Rockwood 2109S
2006 Durango HEMI

ReneeG
Explorer
Explorer
I'm so, so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Sasha.
2011 Bighorn 3055RL, 2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley TrailerSaver BD3, 1992 Jeep ZJ and 1978 Coleman Concord Pop-Up for remote camping
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica, Mabel, and Melton

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
I’m sorry for your loss; it’s hard to let them go even when it’s the best thing for them.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

dturm
Moderator
Moderator
We lost Sasha today. She was positive and happy until the end but had not eaten in days and started to show neurological symptoms, so we had to make the decision not to let her deteriorate to an unrecognizable being.

We got a lot more quality time with her than we thought we would.

A very hard day, but we'll forever have amazing memories.
Doug & Sandy
Kaylee
Winnie 6 1/2 year old golden
2008 Southwind 2009 Honda CRV

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
Wishing you happy times until the end.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

Scottiemom
Nomad
Nomad
So very sorry about Sasha. So glad you found her and rescued her when you did. She now knows what love is and knows you will help her when her final journey is here.

Dale
Dale Pace
Widow of Terry (Teacher's Pet)

Traveling with Brendon, my Scottish Terrier

2022 Honda Odyssey
2011 Mazda Miata MX-5

2021 Coach House Platinum III 250DT
Fulltimed for 15 years, now living in Florida

http://www.skoolzoutforever.blogspot.com/

LadyRVer
Explorer
Explorer
So sorry to read this. Prayers for your baby and for your family.

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
It's doubly-heartbreaking to lose a great pet so young... so sorry you have to deal with that 😞

Deb
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!