Thursday, September 28, 2017

Another Ten Years

Josie went to the veterinary hospital on Tuesday for a full examination, with blood tests. I was hoping that she would have her urine tested as well, but she had evidently ‘gone before we left’, as every good traveller should. In this case, it may have been an inconvenience, except for a new test.


Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) is something new – or perhaps just a new discovery – the examination of which, I was informed, gives an earlier and more accurate indication of kidney disease than does creatinine. The interesting thing is that SDMA is tested through the blood. Some of that was taken from Josie anyway for a seniors’ blood-panel; she would also have her T4 numbers scrutinized. My local hospital does not yet have the SDMA test – that will be available in December – but my Chubs’s blood was sent up to Calgary for that purpose, and I was notified the next day.

The results are that Josie is in very good health. She is in fine shape for a thirteen year old cat. Her T4s are in the normal range, and there is no sign of anything bad or dangerous. This does leave her weight-loss as a bit of a mystery, but there are no symptoms of anything that may be causing it. Cats, I was told, do tend to lose weight as they age. I am not entirely persuaded that this is the sole reason for her diminution. And there is her vomiting to consider. But she has always had that problem, and it was very likely not a sign of anything worrisome in the past.


The final verdict is that Josie has nothing that veterinary science can find that I need be concerned about. I will of course continue to watch the Great White, weighing her every month, as I do with all the beasts and, now that she is ‘of a certain age’, taking her for regular check-ups, which I have been loathe to do in the past because of the cost/results ratio, which I have not thought advantageous. I may vary her diet’s schedule, feeding her smaller soft-food meals more often. She is eating less than she used to – when she first came to live with me, she would clean everyone else’s dish – but still sits eagerly waiting for her soft-food, and lets me know when she thinks the hard-food bowl should be made available.

Just because nothing is seen when a light is shone, doesn’t mean hazards don’t lurk in the dark, so I have told Josie that my eye is upon her, and I will be watching her health, behaviour and habits closely. I hope still to be doing it in another ten years.

23 comments:

  1. A great check-up! I hope you're watching her health for ten more year too.

    I don't know enough about the SDMA to be convinced of its effectiveness. Last summer (2016) when Derry had his annual check his SDMA (first time doing it) was 13, all other values fine. This past July his SDMA was 11, the other kidney values up very, very slightly, but still well within normal. The vet suggested I not wait a year but bring him in in December and retest plus do a urine analysis, as apparently he has some concern about Derry's slowly upwardly-climbing kidney values. Never mind the SDMA was down by 2. So is that SDMA test really worthwhile? I don't know.

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    1. That's certainly something to bear in mind. I weigh Josie monthly, so if she doesn't stop losing weight, we will go back to the doctor for more consultations, and a urine test is not something I will ignore.

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  2. Yay forJosie's clean report of health! Though their might be underlying issues, your vigilance in continuing to watch her will help.

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    1. Yes, this examination's good results doesn't mean we rest on our laurels here. To me, it means so far, so good.

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  3. Sweet Josie! Cats love to hide pain or illness, so we cat-people get really good at watching, and noticing when little things are off. But, in the end, we have to rely on veterinarians to tell us what is what. There is no joy in that! Here's hoping Josie just decided to eat less to keep her girlish figure, and there is nothing else for a long time to come.

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    1. Watching their behaviour is, I think, key to learning if something is amiss. Josie - and all the others - are always under my scrutiny.

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    1. Thank you. She and I have been together for nine years, and I intend for that to double - at least!

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  5. It's so good to hear that the vet found Josie to be in good health. But you are wise to keep an eye on her health. Cats are champions at hiding illness, as you know. Perhaps Josie's weight loss is just due to her age. Older cats lose muscle mass, so they usually do lose some weight as they age. When Jessica, my 17 year old, started losing weight, I started giving her an additional meal, and she has regained the weight she lost.

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    1. I intend to start doing that with Josie, too.

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  6. josie...YAY !!!!! N we hope dadz watchin yur health for nother 20 yeerz :) ♥♥♥

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  7. That is totally wonderful news, way to go Josie!

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    1. Thanks, Brian. I checked in to see how Sascha and everyone was doing. Good news, but I hope better news is to come.

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  8. A good check up and good health! there could be things lurking as you fear, but then modern medicine can find all sorts of nasties lurking in each of us.
    Josie is a fine senior lady.
    Holly had her annual exam and went back last week to have a tooth extracted and her teeth cleaned. She managed very well but is still on wet food.

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    1. It must be a relief to have Holly's dental finished. That's something less to worry about. She is probably feeling better already.

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  9. Good news! Here's to the next twenty healthy years. Numbers tell a story...but only so far. It is very wise of you to continue to monitor Josie. I have an old fellow who is losing lots of weight but has labs within normal limits as well.. Vet says she doesn't know why . He eats well, pretty much the same activity level..? A vet I used in one of the places I used to live always said when cats don't eat think nausea, pain or dentition. Smaller soft meals maybe. More frequent meals? You'll know what suits her best.

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    1. Fortunately, though my Chubs had a dental a year and a half ago, her mouth is still in good shape. That was one of the things the doctor checked. Josie doesn't have trouble eating, though she is undoubtedly eating less these days.

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  10. Wonderful news ! I'm so glad her results are GOOD !
    I guess you and your human are ready for lovely coming weekend =^x^=

    and thanks for sharing. It's really good to know now we got SDMA test which give more accurate indication. I hope this test is available in Thailand when Thai cats in need =^x^=

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  11. They are so close to--- or in--- our hearts really. We do all we can to ensure their comfort in every way that is revealed to us or intuited by us...or learned from their writing their blogs. Other pet parents are such a wealth of information.

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  12. That is very good news that her test results were good. Of course you will keep a check on her. That goes without saying. I also hope she is still doing well in another 10 years time.

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  13. I am glad Josie got a clean bill of health. Thank you for the kind words you left on my blog for the loss of Phoebe.

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  14. That's wonderful and I certainly echo your hope you'll be able to continue to love and care for her for the next ten years.

    Eileen

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