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Old 12-04-2018, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Blood test result- slightly high kidney function?

Got a call from the vet today in regards to Mikaís blood test from yesterday. She say everything looks good except for this thing (I canít remember the name but I think it was creatinine?), she said normal range is between 4-10, Mikaís result is 11.5. She say it might be due to lack of water intake or early kidney disease...

Been looking at the web, and apparently 1.0 is considered the end of normal range for creatinine, but again many factors can influence the result, eg water intake, muscle mass etc (greyhound and huskies tend to have higher normal creatinine level range).

Mika is a VERY active girl, her fav thing is running and her fav game daily is hide and seek, sheíd run all around the house none stop till she finds me. As a result she is pretty muscular, not sure if that might have influenced the result. She also didnít drink from the night before (at around 8pm) till after she got back from vet at about 11am in the morning, so lack of water intake might also be possible? Because she just isnít showing any sign of kidney problems, so I donít want to think that she has problem in her kidney...

Iím going to take a sample of her morning urine in on Friday. Argh, another two sleepless night for me.

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Old 12-04-2018, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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To add, sheís also raw fed and Iíve read that raw fed dogs normally have higher BUN and creatinine level.

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Old 12-04-2018, 06:03 AM
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There's something weird about your numbers.....a normal range of 4-10 for blood creatinine is not reported anywhere that I can find. So either you heard the numbers your vet gave you incorrectly, or maybe she was talking about the results for a different test.

Some countries do use different units to report lab results (like the different numbers you would get reporting a measurement in inches vs centimeters), so you may be comparing apples to oranges when you say the top end of normal you see online for creatinine is 1.0, and your dog's value is 11.5. Her results may not be as far above normal as those numbers look.

If you're totally worried about what is going on, you could call your vet to clear up what test she was talking about and to verify the results she gave you vs the normal values.

But it looks to me like you just don't have enough information yet to figure out what may be going on. It's hard not to panic when it comes to our dogs' health, but I'd try not to over-analyze these test results and assume the worst here.

That's easy for me to say, I know. I can appreciate that Friday seems to be a long way away; been there, done that.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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To be honest I also found the numbers weird after Iíve done some online searches. But the vet is closed so I couldnít validate with the vet, and sheís not in tomorrow or Thursday. But Iíve definitely heard 4-10, and her result being 11.5

But couldnít find anything related to that range so I just assumed that for ease of understanding she might have said it in another unit or something? Because Iíve read that BUN and creatinine are two things in blood test that are related to kidney functions.

Guess will have to wait till Friday to clarify thing up.

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Old 12-04-2018, 06:33 AM
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I hate waiting too. I'm highly skilled at running around in circles, chewing on my fingernails (figuratively) and pretty much driving myself crazy when I have to wait for test results.

Best of luck and remember to breathe. I'll be thinking of you guys.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:02 PM
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Yeah, trying to figure out what numbers on panels mean is tough enough but it's worse when you don't have all the information.

Be careful of going by what you find on line when it comes to Chem panels--you need to know what lab produced the results and specifically what their reference range is for a given result.

Here's an example--in the US one of the common big labs I IDEXX--at present we are using IDEXX for almost everything but when I started working there we used another big lab--Antech--so if I am looking back in records to compare some numbers for different dog I have to remember to check which lab was doing the testing.

Here's BUN and Creatineine for Toad when he was 6 years and 10 months--results from IDEXX

BUN Reference range 7 - 27 mg/dl Results 16
Creatinine Reference range 0.4 - 1.8 mg/dl Results 1.0

Both of these results area right about mid range for normal function. That's what a reference range is--the range where most normal values for what ever is being measured will fall.

Too soon to panic--but since you are taking in a urine sample tomorrow morning one of the tech's should be able to look at the results and either show you the paper work, make you a copy of it to take home or tell you what the numbers are both for her results and the reference range.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
Yeah, trying to figure out what numbers on panels mean is tough enough but it's worse when you don't have all the information.

Be careful of going by what you find on line when it comes to Chem panels--you need to know what lab produced the results and specifically what their reference range is for a given result.

Here's an example--in the US one of the common big labs I IDEXX--at present we are using IDEXX for almost everything but when I started working there we used another big lab--Antech--so if I am looking back in records to compare some numbers for different dog I have to remember to check which lab was doing the testing.

Here's BUN and Creatineine for Toad when he was 6 years and 10 months--results from IDEXX

BUN Reference range 7 - 27 mg/dl Results 16
Creatinine Reference range 0.4 - 1.8 mg/dl Results 1.0

Both of these results area right about mid range for normal function. That's what a reference range is--the range where most normal values for what ever is being measured will fall.

Too soon to panic--but since you are taking in a urine sample tomorrow morning one of the tech's should be able to look at the results and either show you the paper work, make you a copy of it to take home or tell you what the numbers are both for her results and the reference range.
So different lab will have different reference range? Does that mean one lab will have a wider ref range than another? Her vet is not in tomorrow but Iíll give them a call and see if the nurse can print a copy for me to pick up today to have a look!

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Old 12-04-2018, 06:25 PM
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Yes, test results can be different depending on what test method a lab is using, who the manufacturer of the test is, even things like different handling of specimens, different individual instruments...there can be all kinds of variables. Some labs or instruments or measuring methods may be able to duplicate the results of a test more consistently, meaning the range of error for that particular lab/instrument/method is smaller.

But generally labs try to match the established normals by tweaking their measuring instruments and managing other variables so their test results are statistically in line with other labs. They run controls with known values to make sure they are still producing accurate results from day to day.

But in addition to the differences which occur just in the process of testing for something, the normal range in one area may be different from that of other areas. Hemoglobin, for example, a test which helps to diagnose whether a person is anemic, can have different normal ranges depending on the altitude a patient lives at. A healthy person at a high altitude needs more hemoglobin to help their blood grab enough oxygen from the thinner air of high altitudes, so the normal range is higher too.


Back to the original question though, yes, different testing methods may have different established normals, individual labs may report a different normal range, and different labs (really more like different countries) may be reporting their results using different units.

In general, though, aside from normal values being reported in different units (labs report results in the units typically used in their area), test results from one lab to another are fairly consistent and the normal ranges are similar--the numbers being reported will match. But just in case, a lab reports their own normal range with their test results for a particular dog so there shouldn't be any confusion.
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Last edited by melbrod; 12-04-2018 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:03 PM
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Well written Mel.......impressive.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Here’s her result:
Apparently vet was talking about urea being 11.5, her creatinine is at the high end of normal range. But SDMA is good. Her RBC is also a little high






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Old 12-04-2018, 07:27 PM
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I personally don't think I would worry too much about those results....RBCs and Hemoglobin would go up and down together....and a slight elevation in both can simply indicate dehydration. High protein diets can raise the BUN value.....

But I am NOT a vet.

Anyway, you'll be checking her urine results to see if they are consistent with the blood levels. There are a couple of other tests run as part of a urinalysis which may give more insights into what may be going on too.

And then you will chat with your vet. Who knows a heck of a lot more than I do about what is normal in dogs and what different results may mean. So keep us up to date with what she says.

Last edited by melbrod; 12-04-2018 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Is BUN the same as UREA? I thought SDMA is a more accurate way to measure kidney function than BUN and creatinine.

She probably was a little dehydrated as she didnít drink after 8 the night before, and was quite anxious in the car and at the vet, panting like a motor lol, didnít give her any water until we got home at around 11am.

Guess will have to wait till Friday to finally chat with the vet.

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Old 12-04-2018, 08:30 PM
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Sorta a nomenclature thing....BUN is an abbreviation for Blood Urea Nitrogen.

In urine, you can look at protein levels as well as for signs of blood to tell you how the kidneys are doing (and for signs of infection), also check to see if the kidneys are concentrating the urine properly, and examine it microscopically for strange stuff. You can look for problems with the liver and with glucose metabolism (diabetes type things), too.

Testing for SDMA, especially in veterinary use, is later than my time as a lab person (which was many many many years ago). Apparently it hasn't been commercially available for veterinary use for long. But looking at reports, it does seem to show up as abnormal earlier than elevated creatinine and BUN levels so you can catch kidney problems earlier, and apparently is not affected as much by factors like age and condition of the pet.

Last edited by melbrod; 12-04-2018 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Good news everyone

The results of urinalysis shows her kidney is normal! So the high readings from the blood test might just be due to dehydration and her being on a raw diet

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Old 12-07-2018, 05:55 AM
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Whew ! Great news. Merry Christmas!

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