Labs showed kidney issues...

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Airyn

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Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
834
Location
Pennsylvania
Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I was on here. Some of you may remember that Nixi is my problem chin. The other three never have issues... always her. She started leaving her pellets all over the floor of the cage and dropped from 470g to 421g. She bounced back up to 429g yesterday, so at least her weight is stable for now, BUT the labs came back today and showed a problem with her kidneys. The ultrasound is scheduled for Wednesday, but in the meantime, I'm wondering if anyone has personal experience with kidney issues.

Age: 8 years old
Food: Oxbow Chinchilla Essentials
Water: PUR3 Filtered
Hay: Oxbow Timothy (Alfalfa, Oat and Orchard grass post surgery a few times)
Treats: Broad Spectrum Supplement (Fuzzies Kingdom), shredded wheat and oats
Brief Medical History: Handfed as a kit because she wouldn't latch on. Broke her leg twice. The last one resulted in a bone infection and an amputation. She's been on more antibiotics and Metacam than the other 3 combined, so I don't know if that's the root cause here or not, but it's definitely a concern.

I have an awesome vet who is directly affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, so the trust is absolutely there, but I still prefer to get as much information as humanly possible. I reached out to Tanya yesterday, but haven't heard back yet.

Aside: She thinks she should have been an acrobat, is beyond headstrong, and refuses to accept "no" as an answer. Despite breaking her **** leg twice, I can assure you that I'm not at all a neglectful owner. She's just a special chin with no fear instinct who seems to enjoy having ALL of my attention every so often.

So what are your experiences? Have you experienced successful removal of kidney stones? What about kidney failure? Is it always an ultimate death sentence and just a matter of time? What's helped you to keep weight on them when kidney function is a concern? She hated Beaphar+, which I've tried in the past, so that's out. BUT, any information you can provide would be sincerely appreciated!

Thanks in advance!!!
 

Airyn

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Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
834
Location
Pennsylvania
Since no one has responded and this is evidently rare, I'm going to continue to post updates on this thread in the event that my experience may help someone else in the future.

Her weight crashed to 414 today, so I started handfeeding with EFL. Her energy is still good, she has a lot of fight in her, and I'd like her to keep eating as much as she can on her own, so I started with syringe feedings every 3 hours. I'll see how she does overnight, and will adjust the schedule accordingly tomorrow.

Tanya got back to me with recommendations for a kidney and stress supplement, both of which I ordered today and will likely have on Monday.

Please keep my headstrong little furry love in your thoughts. I know this is the beginning of an uphill battle.

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Amethyst

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May 7, 2012
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Alberta
I haven't dealt with it personally but since no one else has said anything, I can say that metacam does cause kidney damage (and ultimately kidney failure) if the chin is on it for too long or too high of a dose.

It depends on how damaged the kidneys are if it's a death sentence or not. If just mildly damaged supplemental care and proper diet can help. But if severely damaged to the point of actual kidney failure, it's only a matter of time. Supportive care can buy you time and slow it down, but that's about it.
 

Airyn

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Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
834
Location
Pennsylvania
Thank you. I've read the same, and she's been on a lot of Metacam in her short life. It was always a low dose, and never for longer than needed, but I wouldn't doubt it if that added up over time to get us to where we are now. I'm trying to maintain optimism and hope it's something treatable and not full kidney failure, but the weight loss obviously leans conclusions in the other direction.

Thank you for the feedback. It's appreciated.

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Airyn

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Aug 23, 2010
Messages
834
Location
Pennsylvania
The ultrasound was today and we had an interesting turn of events. I just found out it's an infected uterus, and the infection is severe enough that it spread to her kidneys. He wants to do TMS and a spay on Monday, which is obviously high risk, but not as high risk as doing nothing and letting the infection get into her bloodstream and ultimately her heart. So for now, I'm cautiously optimistic.

I'm off to pick her up and will research the potential horrors of spaying chinchillas later tonight.

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Airyn

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Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
834
Location
Pennsylvania
Things took another unexpected turn when I brought her home. She wouldn't eat and was dragging her hind quarters behind her, clearly in pain. I rushed her right back to the vet and ultimately make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I know I did the right thing, but it still hurts like ****.

She had poor bone density from birth, which is probably why her mom rejected her and why she broke her leg twice in her short life while the other 3 were fine. The decrease in bone density on the x-rays showed that the kidney involvement was likely worse than the ultrasound implied, and potentially cancerous since there was an apparent decrease in density between the pre-amputation x-rays two years ago and the x-rays two nights ago. Consequently, what would be normal, gentle handling for an ultrasound resulted in a broken pelvis. That would've been treatable as a standalone, but she likely wouldn't have made it through surgery on Monday anyway with the severity of the other issues. Even if she did, the risk of long term pain and discomfort wasn't something I was willing to risk with everything else she's been through in her short life, so I decided to have her put to sleep.

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Airyn

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Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
834
Location
Pennsylvania
Thank you both. I'm still in shock. I'll post a memorial in the other board when my head clears. This one hurt like ****. 💜

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