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 Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney

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PostSubject: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:38 pm

Who: Biscuit, male at least 3 years old (age unknown, as he was found outside)
What: Non-functioning Kidney
When: Started about a year ago
Where: Right kidney
Why: Unknown cause, could be a genetic issue or a stone that has become lodged and had scar tissue build up around it
How: It presents as a lumpy spot on his belly
Biscuit came to me on October1st 2007, he was found in someone's back yard. He was dehydrated, but otherwise in good health. He went to the vet at some point during the first month I had him, and checked out fine. He has always drank much more water than any other glider I have. He, alone, is drinking close to a full cup of water every week. Other than the first day he arrived, he has never been dehydrated.
To understand how I noticed this, you need to know Biscuit’s personality. The day I got him, he climbed into my bra and stayed for hours. He does this always, and loves his momma. He is very loving to everyone, but especially to me. He never crabs, bites or otherwise acts upset with me at all, unless I am clipping his nails.
Starting at the beginning of this year (2009) I noticed a hard lump on his belly. And, he would hiss and attack me if I touched it. This tells me, when full, this is painful. So, we went to the vet. I was convinced he was impacted, and told the vet this. Luckily my vet doesn’t rely on me for diagnosis. He said it felt like liquid, and took him to the ultrasound machine. There was a liquid pocket there. Dr Lusk determined that this was from Biscuits kidney, by the ultrasound and location. My vet (Dr Lusk, at Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital, in Austin) then drew the fluid out. There was about 3 cc’s of clear fluid. Testing determined that the fluid was sterile urine, with no blood, bacteria or cancer cells.
This same set of symptoms/tests/treatment has repeated 3 more times, the last time was on December 22nd. This is painful to Biscuit, only when it's full. The rest of the time, Bo doesn't have any issues with me touching his belly. 7 cc’s of fluid were drawn. We attempted at this time to do a blood draw, and were unable to get any blood (we tried another time, and were unsuccessful, then, too). Biscuit goes back to the vet on January 8th, for an attempted blood draw and lab tests. When he goes in, Dr Lusk will also check to see if more fluid has accumulated in his kidney, and how much. This will help us determine how fast the fluid accumulates, and if his kidney stops accepting more fluid at a certain point, of if there is a threat of rupture.
We are still trying to determine if surgery to remove the damaged kidney is an option. I am against it, until we have no choice, as abdominal surgery so rarely successful in gliders.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:34 pm

Today they were able to do a blood draw on Biscuit. He LOOKS remarkably smaller. They said that 7 ccs of fluid were removed. This was a different Dr that pulled the fluid. So, I wonder if it's possible that our regular Dr didn't get all of it before??? I don't know why/how, but I have no other explanation for why he looks so much smaller today.

I will speak to Dr Lusk on the phone tomorrow, and get his thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:59 pm

So, Biscuit went in to have a blood draw a week ago, Friday. Dr Lusk says his blood is normal, except he is somewhat anemic, and his white cell count is low. Those two things are not indicitive of kidney issues, but are an issue in the case of surgery.
They also drew another 7 cc's of fluid from Biscuits kidney. So, I don't know if he just holds that much and thats it, or if he's going to explode. Dr wants to do surgery to remove the kidney. I'm scared to death to do this, I feel like it's a death sentence.
I'm interested in any opinion or thoughts y'all have.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:11 pm

Shawna have they shared the possibilities of life for Biscuit after the removal & without the removal.

What is the outcome if you don't do the surgery? Does Biscuit live with other difficulties right now or is he just retaining the fluid? Is there any harm to just continually remove the fluid for him?

Remember I was in that tough spot of the surgery or not with Zero. But in Zero's case it was either try and he have a chance at life or he live out his last days the way he was. Zero only had days left when it came to deciding. I had no choice but to try and extend Zero's life. Me personally if Biscuit is only retaining the fluid and he's happy & healthy otherwise- I would wait on the surgery till it's the time that all you can do is try.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:18 pm

We're in a "We're not sure" place. His last draw was May, then one right around New Years. May was 5 cc's, New Years 7 cc's. A week ago 7 more cc's. So, I don't know if there is actual danger to him or not. Sometimes he acts like it hurts him, but only when I touch, press or grab him there. Not in his daily life. So, we are definately in a holding pattern, it's not life or death right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:11 pm

So is it like with people who require dialysis as the urine can back up so to speak and poison the body /bloodstream???? Or is the one functioning kidney good enough. If there was risk of the poisons going into the body then I would have to get rid of the kidney.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:55 pm

They didn't find anything in his blood, Cora, so I don't know. That possibility hasn't been brought up, and we've discussed it at length over several different conversations, so I just don't know.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:55 pm

USMom wrote:
it's not life or death right now.
I know we had the conversation and I had no advice, only support for you and Biscuit.

But, after seeing this...... well, my first thought was "it will be life or death if you have the surgery." I guess I feel that you are scared to death for a reason, and if it is not critical right now, I would at least give it more time - a few more fluid draws, maybe some more tests. I would do this before I consent to surgery.

That is what *I* would do. Of course, you have to make your own decision for your own baby. No matter what, I'll still be here supporting you and praying the very, very best for Biscuit.

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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:13 pm

How many times has that type of surgery been succesful with gliders?? I thought their torsos were too complicated to operate on. Sorry Shawna I did not see til now that you already talked about the bloodwork. I would do like Val said but thats just me. Have you called Dr. Antinoff? She may have some thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:38 pm

I do not know of a single glider that has survived abdominal surgery. Not one. I've even had one here, 3 years ago, Tuck lived for 2 miserable pain filled days, and that broke my heart and still makes me cry. I am almost of the opinion that if we HAVE to have surgery, I would rather put him down. I'd rather he die quickly and relatively painlessly, than live in agony and not know why his momma did that to him, and he die anyway.

So, I'm waiting, kind of avoiding the issue right now. It hurts my heart so much.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuit--Non Functioning Kidney   Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:26 pm

Shawna, whatever you decide to do, we all know will be what you feel is best for Biscuit. If there is one thing I know for sure its that Biscuits quality of life will be the number one thing of importance in any thinking you do for him. Know that I am here for you if you want to talk about it, yell about it, cry about it or just talk about something else to get your mind off it for even a few minutes.

The decision you need to make is a hard one, but you were there for me to listen to all my thoughts and choices with Dasher, and I want you to know I am here to do the same for you with Biscuit.
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