Socks update: The numbers are in

. . .and the numbers are Not Good.

Socks is in acute kidney failure*.  This obviously means that our plan of treatment has been radically changed.

We’re going to be concentrating on keeping him comfortable, hydrated, and fed.  I’ll be taking a tutorial on how to administer subcutaneous liquids to cats, so we don’t have to distress Socks with a ride to the vet every couple days.  The vet did say that she has never seen a cat with such high numbers who was still eating and drinking and enjoying life, which is a testament to Socks’ good nature and can-do attitude.


The ultrasound image is. . .inconclusive.  There was some concern about were or weren’t the kidneys polycystic — to my mind, that’s a technical detail.  The vet wants to diagnose correctly, and to that end, she’s seeking guidance from her colleagues.  The best she could tell me when we spoke this morning is that the kidneys are “not normal.”  Apparently in normal kidneys, the ultrasound will show the structure of the organ in perfect clarity.  If the kidneys are polycystic, the cysts are very visible and impossible to miss.  In Sock’s case, the kidney structure is. . .not what it should be, but if there’s a cyst tell, it isn’t obvious.

. . .as I said, for us, and for Socks — a side issue.

The other question — how long will we have him with us?  We don’t know.  We’ll treasure each day that we do have him with us.

Steve and I want to thank everyone who donated to defray Socks’ medical expenses, and everyone who were Standing Ready.  At this point, there’s really no sense in accumulating a Socks Defense Fund; this isn’t something that money — or anything else — can fix.

We’ll continue updates as seems reasonable.

Here’s a picture of Socks this morning, as Steve and I were eating breakfast.  He was full of smiles and purrs.  His position on the bench (on newspapers!  Socks loves him some newspapers!) is strategic:  the cat water fountain is directly to his left, where he can keep a close eye on it.

Socks at home, March 21, 2013
Socks at home, March 21, 2013


*Kidney function is measured in units of BUN/UREA and CREA.  The normal range for BUN/UREA is between 15 – 34 mg/dl; 0.8 – 2.3 mg/dl for CREA.  Socks’ numbers are BUN/UREA: 180 mg/dl; CREA 8.3 mg/dl.

8 thoughts on “Socks update: The numbers are in”

  1. I’m so sorry. Hugs to you all and very best wishes for the outcome easiest on Socks. And you, but mostly Socks.

  2. My sisters cat was diagnosed with kidney failure and lived 2 more years…but I don’t know what the numbers looked like. The only good news was that it wasn’t painful for the cat. I am sorry for your news.

  3. I am so sorry that you and Socks have to take this journey. My sister’s cat also went into kidney failure. She gave her subcutaneous fluids for about a year. Paisley was not as good natured as Socks, and it was a battle of wills from the get go. I’m sure Socks will be a better patient.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that.

    I can tell you that cats, at least, are easy to give fluid to; we gave subcut insulin to our Drake-cat for over a year, twice a day.

  5. If the cat tolerates it, it can help for a while. I kept Fergal alive a great while longer than the vet thought because of SubQ fluids, and he liked to ride in the car as much as any dog I know. So the every-so-often vet trips to see how he was doing were something he looked forward to (as well as the lady vet who he freaking adored…).

    Hugs across the e-ways and wishes for all the best if possible.

  6. I’m so sorry for you all and for Socks. Did the doctor talk about starting with hospitalization and IV fluids for diuresis at all? Cause those numbers are awfully high. I too am shocked that he is still eating and doing as well as he is but am glad that he is. When is Socks having recheck bloodwork?

  7. Socks, be well. I sense a likeness and kinship to my beloved MuffinCat, the bestest girl a boy ever was. Tears flow. Memories sustain.

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