Our Pearl’s Kidney Failure Update

We are happy to report that our Pearl’s latest laboratory report is improved.

We first diagnosed her in kidney failure in February, 2010. On that chemistry profile she had elevated kidney numbers, as well as one number relating to the liver. The occasion of that set of tests was brought on by weight loss and a diminishing appetite. One factor that must be taken into account in comparing the two sets of values is that then she was sick, and, thus, possibly dehydrated.

Pearl and Dr. Randolph's family remained parasite-free on this trip to Kentucky
Pearl remains very spry despite kidney failure and health challenges

Dehydration affects some blood test values by the simple concept of concentration. Consider this analogy. You make a glass of Kool Aid as the directions recommend. Something comes up that causes you to abandon your drink and the water evaporates. As more and more water leaves the glass the relative amount of Kool Aid increases, or becomes more concentrated. You haven’t added any more Kool Aid, but when half of the water has evaporated the drink tastes stronger.

Similarly, as given amounts of waste products exist in the bloodstream, when a patient is dehydrated the relative concentration of those waste products increases. If we had given Pearl IV fluid therapy, then taken our blood and urine samples, we would have expected the results to look better. The standard, however, is to evaluate tests prior to fluid administration.

Therefore, as Pearl was feeling good and fully hydrated for these most recent tests, her actual kidney function may not be any better, but at least it is no worse.

We are confident that her diet change to Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d has also been a factor in improving her lab test results.

At age 16 ½ we are grateful for any glimmer of hope for her future. She continues to be happy, she eats well and she wags that little stump of a Poodle tail just like she did when she was six weeks old.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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