June 21, 2017

White Dog pressed closer against the side of my face so that she could hear BOTH sides of the conversation that I was having with Dr. England. Stormer has been in to see her last Saturday for a routine check and she was calling with results from his lab work.

Stormer, on the other hand, confidently snored under the swamp cooler breezes.

"Basically, Stormer, is a regular older fellow," Dr. England began. White Dog mouthed, "Duh!" and I gave her a warning look. "So a lot of things are slightly skewed from the perfect numbers but I think that they are things we need to watch not necessarily jump into treating." I liked her approach that we can expect slight variations from the "targets" of many issues and that we would compare in six months where those deviations stood then.

For example at 37 RBC, Stormer is technically anemic but the lowest end of the acceptable range begins at 38 so his situation does not mirror YoYoMa's. His platelet count was slightly elevated but she saw no other signs that indicated we should be concerned about Cushings...but we will now watch for other symptoms.

The pancreas indicators were about 3% higher than normal...again, not cause for concern but something to keep in mind should CA suddenly begin showing digestive troubles.

Saturday's xrays showed that Stormer has some inflammation in the soft tissue along his spine and is suffering from hip dysplasia. We waited for blood results before settling on course of pain management. Turns out his liver is a bit enlarged and the enzyme numbers are tending toward the higher end of normal. So we have decided to avoid NSAIDS which are hard on the liver. We don't think that we yet need the heavy relief of Tramadol so will use gabapenten as needed. Additionally, our Stormer will do a cycle of Adequan shots to not just manage pain but hopefully to help rebuild some of the cartilage damage. In many cases the four week cycle lasts for many months.

Dr. England finally talked about Stormer's kidney values. "This news is right up your alley," she said. "The extended CBC now includes a SMDA value. SMDA is another renal biomarker, like creatinine and the BUN EXCEPT that it indicates kidney issues at a MUCH early stage. The other markers do not see kidney disease until it is well underway, but this new indicator sends up warnings almost 50% sooner so we are aware almost at a pre-KD stage. And the part you will love is that IDEXX is working to translate this component of their CBC into the HUMAN realm."

Turns out that Stormer's Creatinine and BUN numbers are both fine but this new indicator shows we need to be treating his kidneys gently. He will join Benson on our special kidney diet in hopes of slowing the aging process.

I looked over at our CA Stormer who lifted his head and blinked at me. "Well, you are in pretty good shape for being an old man," I told him. "Nothing we can't handle. Hell, nothing momma doesn't have to consider for herself. And the good news is that you finally can stop trying to steal Ben's dinner. You are going to be getting the exact same thing."