Some Good News and Some Not So Good News About Ramius
As I mentioned in June, Ramius had his teeth cleaned. He is currently 14-1/2 years old. He's actually more active, pouncy and social since he had them done, which is a good thing. The day they cleaned his teeth they did a blood sample first to make sure he'd do OK with the anesthesia and when they did the sample, they found that his creatinine levels were higher than normal. Creatinine (not to be confused with creatine) at elevated levels can indicate kidney disease.
I brought him back 3 weeks after the tooth cleaning to redo his blood tests and so they could get a urine sample to see if his kidneys were doing their job. (Creatinine can also be elevated from dehydration and stress.) His creatinine levels were down from the first test, but still above the normal range. His kidneys were concentrating his urine properly (still functioning right) and the two other markers for kidney disease in his urine that they checked for were within the normal range, although at the high end.
This led the vet to the conclusion that Ramius has kidney disease, but we think we caught it at the very start. Usually when kidney disease is discovered because the cat has symptoms, the kidneys are mostly gone and the disease doesn't give the cat very much time. Catching it when we did with Ramius, before symptoms even showed up, and when it's just getting started means we could get him on a special low protein diet to make his kidneys' job easier. There's no cure for cat kidney disease, but it can be managed when you catch in when we did. He will have to eat this food for the rest of his life (he likes it - yeah!) and he will have to get blood work done every 6 months for the rest of his life to keep an eye on what's going on inside him, but if I didn't know what was going on, I would never guess that he was getting sick. He still pounces on wiggly toes under the covers, still jumps on counters he's not really supposed to be on, still lets us know when we've displeased him, still looks down his nose at Finn, and still begs for ice cream (now officially off the menu for him).
I don't tell you all this to make you feel sorry for us, but Ramius always gets comments, both on the blog and from his pattern modeling. When I went to see the Yarn Harlot speak, I was as likely to get asked about Finn and Ramius as I was about Flamenco (which I was wearing). I don't let our personal life appear on the blog, but I felt like I should mention this now, rather than just letting you know at the end. I don't have any kind of potential timeline and honestly, I haven't asked either. They made it sound like we could manage this for several more years before things really start to go downhill. So this is what's going on. He seems to be feeling better than he was before June so that's a good thing, and we'll follow the vet's directions to help his body as much as possible from here on out.
Thanks for listening. I'll have fibery stuff back tomorrow.