Artemis’ kidneys are not responding

Well that’s not good. With intravenous fluids reduced to 1.5x maintenance levels for two days, Artemis’ blood test results headed in the wrong direction. We now need to discover if there’s some reason for the kidneys not working other than, well, failed kidneys.

Dr Meredith Gibbs from Pet Vets phoned through the results a short time ago. Compared with the positive signs 48 hours ago, it’s “disappointing”.

Creatin levels climbed back to 690. Urea was back up to 22.7, although that’s not the worst it’s been. Red blood cell count is still low, in the mid-20s instead of the 30+ it should be in a cat — although that’s possibly just a symptom of the high fluid levels. Electrolytes are still a bit whacky.

So Artemis goes back on the 2x maintenance levels of intravenous fluids — the poor man’s dialysis — until we figure out what’s going on.

And yet, Artemis has reportedly been “even more feisty” than she was on Sunday. She’s been eating overnight, she’s interacting with staff, and she’s showing all the signs of simply being frustrated with having to be in a cage.

After consultations with a specialist at the University of Sydney, a plan has been agreed upon. Ultrasound, X-rays and attempts to culture potential infectious agents to see if there’s some treatable cause of the kidneys not working. That’ll begin tomorrow and we’ll have news of the ultrasound and X-rays around 24 hours from now.

If none of those procedures reveal anything treatable, then we’re looking at untreatable kidney failure. It may not be that. But it’s a distinct possibility, despite Artemis’ apparent external health.

As for exploring the options, there is a veterinary surgeon in Melbourne who does kidney transplants. Enquiries have been made, and we’ll see what the requirements are, but… you know… We’ll see.

7 Replies to “Artemis’ kidneys are not responding”

  1. Gah and *hugs*. I hope you see some major signs of improvement soon. I’m so heartened that you are willing to go so far to look after her. So many wouldn’t.

  2. @Kelly Yeoh: Well, I must stress again that it’s all made possible by the generosity of friends and strangers alike. I daresay even this will have its limits. Let’s hope we don’t reach them.

  3. Is it at all possible she’d been eating lilies? I lost a cat to them four years ago and still can’t bear them. Her illness seems quite different in the other symptoms, I’m just paranoid about them now as it’s not widely known they are so dangerous to felines.
    Good to hear she’s more herself.

  4. @Jojo: The lilies question has been asked before. We don’t have the answer. Short of conducting a search of the neighbourhood for lily flowers, we never will. Even if we found flowers, were they the cause? Either way, it wouldn’t change what we’re doing.

    Except, perhaps, to cause us give up now. Lily damage is permanent and untreatable. As you know. And I’m sorry to hear your story Thank you for sharing it.

    I have deliberately chosen not to fill my brain with speculation about potential causes, but to focus on the information we do know.

    @’Pong: Thank you, but I don’t know that “courage” is the right word. “Persistence”, maybe. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I think courage is about something else again.

    1. I definitely didn’t mean for you to give up. With respect to the lilies – I’m sorry i missed the previous question about that. I was simply concerned that in this cas knowing the cause might lead to different decisions. For example, in my case we figured out the cause too late to be able to consider a kidney transplant – he was simply too sick to travel or survive the operation. Artemis is in a much better condition at this stage. I originally donated as i couldn’t bear the thought to you having to euthanase her because you couldn’t afford her treatment. If, and i do hope it is not the case, something as drastic and expensive as kidney transplant is required, I’ll donate more.

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