Priscilla the Cat

 
 
Priscilla is a beautiful tortoiseshell cat that was rescued as a kitten.  She was always brought in for an annual health check and her vaccinations with the vet.
When she was 11 years old the vet noticed that she had lost weight and suggested she had a blood test to see if there was a cause.  This was booked in for a nurse’s clinic as she had to be fasted for 12 hours.  On the day of the blood test 2 nurses took her to the nurse’s room which is a quiet environment with all the equipment necessary.  A towel sprayed with ‘Feliway’ was prepared 15 minutes before to help keep her as relaxed as possible.  Her neck was clipped and blood taken from her jugular vein.  The nurse then prepared the blood tubes and paperwork for the sample to be sent to an external laboratory for analysis.
The results came back 2 days later and showed that she had azotaemia (an increase in the kidney enzymes).  The vet advised changing her diet to a prescription kidney diet and to obtain a urine sample.  The kidneys can’t regenerate and once damaged the best way to help them is to give them less work to do by providing a diet low in sodium, protein and phosphorous.
Kidney/renal diets are made by different manufacturers and come in both wet and dry forms.  These are the most effective way of providing a suitable diet.  A nurse provided a sample of ea ch for the owner to try.  It is always advisable to swap the diet over gradually to avoid upsetting the digestive system.  Luckily Priscilla liked both wet and dry kidney food.  A urine collection pack was also given to the owner to collect a sample.  These packs consist of non-absorbable beads that are put in a clean, dry litter tray.  Once the sample is obtained it is pipetted in to a sample tube and handed into the practice where a nurse will test its concentration and content using a refractometer and a dip-stick.  Urine and blood test results give the most accurate picture as to how  the kidneys are performing.
In Priscilla’s case, the vet wanted to re-check Priscilla’s blood and urine 3 months later and also suggested having her blood pressure monitored.  This was again booked in with a nurse.  The nurse measured the blood pressure first while Priscilla was relatively calm and then took the blood sample.
The results this time showed that her kidney enzymes were within the normal range.  Since then she is a regular visitor having 6 monthly blood pressure, blood and urine tests to make sure her kidneys continue to function effectively.