Yesterday morning. J and I took both Lars and Dorene into Dr. B for blood work and urinalyses and for Lars' yearly exam and vaccines. It started off as quite the adventure. We've got several carriers, including three soft-side collapsible carriers. We decided to use my cutesy and questionably functional Laurel Birch carrier (I got it on clearance at PetSmart (go figure) and it's cute as hell...that's about all it's worth, as you'll find out soon), and a Martha Stewart carrier we got for free from the cat coordinator at the shelter. Lars got the Laurel Birch carrier and Dorene got the the Martha carrier. Dorene was fine in her carrier, but Lars managed to escape the not-so-surly bonds of his carrier in less than 2 minutes, LOL. So much for my cutesy carrier, LOL. We've decided to donate it to a charity we frequently use (AmVets); perhaps somebody with smaller and less frisky cats can use it for awhile...

Anyway, get Lars in a hard shell carrier, drive out to Aurora Cat Clinic, and start our appointment. Dr. B sees each cat in turn, palpates both of their bladders, and finds that neither of them has any urine in their bladders! :( In order to get the proper samples, we left them with Dr. B for fluids and observation for a few hours. Lars got his vaxxes and his exam, the fecal sample got processed, and bloods got drawn and started in the lab...

Fast forward to early afternoon when we pick them up. The results are back. Despite the fluids, there wasn't quite enough for a full urinalysis, meaning Dr. B wasn't able to test either cat for crystals (which we want to do for Lars, who's been squatting but peeing small amounts frequently lately), but he was able to get enough to determine there wasn't glucose in the urine or any white or red blood cells for either of them.

Blood work: Dorene's was fine. No surprises there. She's four years old, eats well, seemingly healthy as a horse--everything *better* be fine...

Lars' was not quite alright...

His BUN is high normal and his creatinine is .1 above normal. Both mean there is something amiss with his kidneys. And he's only 6 1/2 years old...

What does this mean? Dr. B didn't say specifically, and we didn't ask, but we know enough about renal failure in cats from our past experience to know this means that Lars is in the very, very earliest of the first stage of chronic renal failure. It's enough that Dr. B prescribed renal care food for Lars to get things under control, and we're to bring Lars back in two months for follow-up. We're to watch his food and water intake, and his urine output as well as his energy level for any changes with the new diet. He also wants another crack at getting a full urinalysis on Lars--we're planning on bringing Lars back in on Tuesday to spend the day with Dr. B and his staff for that, which Dr. B has offered to do for free, I might add.

I was gobsmacked. I thought renal failure was something that cats in their double digits had to worry about, not some half way to seven year old kitteh! But Dr. B explained he's seen this before in long-haired kittehs especially. He said something about the bits and bobs of purebred genetics found in most long-haired kittehs (who knows what it could be with Lars--we've tried guessing what his pedigree could be and gave up, LOL) cause some weaknesses/predispositions to renal issues. Something, something read some studies about same, yadda yadda. Still didn't make *us* feel any better, especially me, the former Mom of two CRF kittehs. I am a bit beyond sad and overwhelmed by this... :(

Sigh. So now, on top of digestive/downloading issues, we've got to worry about his kidneys. My poor, sweet, broken boy. :(
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