The Web site is outstanding!

It's informative and also enjoyably written. My question is about how concerned I should be about my cat's recent creatinine numbers.

She is seven, active and rowdy, and has always tended to be in the high normal range. Last week she tested at 3.1 with BUN just a little higher than usual but still high normal.

The vet tells us that stress would not be a factor with creatinine, but I wonder because the cat has extremely high glucose during vet visits (no diabetes, just stress) and is kept at that level for well over an hour before a blood draw. Her blood pressure must be astronomical at the time.

We also have reason to believe she was a bit sick at the time of the blood draw; she'd done some sneezing and had a bit of eye discharge. Her platelets were down, just below low normal, monocytes up, as they always are when her platelets drop.

Her phosphorus has gone from 3.1 to 2.9 to 2.8 over the last year and a half. So, that's a pile of numbers for you, about a cat that acts like she's ready to romp at any time. The vet has her on prescription food, and we're scheduled for another test in a month. Thank you for your patience.

Paul in Idaho

Hello Paul!

OK, here is what I would do, if I wanted to know how to feel about the creatinine numbers.

If we are bouncing around and super happy, then I'm going to treat those numbers as a:

At this point I would go for the gold.  That is, get a pee sample. The things I find below the surface within the pee will tell me if there is anything else I gotta do, or if I can ignore that light for the time being.

In the urine, ideally I want to know (in order of importance)

  • Specific gravity (how concentrated the pee is - are my kidneys really really affected or not).
  • Protein : Creatinine ratio (I look fine and bouncy on the outside - but are my kidneys stressed on the inside)
  • Culture and sensitivity (and subclinical infection haunting my kidney function).

The results of the pee will tell you how to interpret the bloodwork.

If all those things are normal, and their blood pressure is OK (I know - they can get white coat syndrome just like people can), then I'm gonna monitor his body weight for the rest of the year, and the absolute creatinine numbers become less important in a bouncy cat.

'Cause now the check engine light did it’s job - I checked the other things that become actionable steps towards health.

If any of those 3 aspects of the pee are off (especially 2 and 3), then i have actionable steps to improve kidney health.

Thanks Paul!

Dr. Kris