Kidney disease and Kidney stones - UTI (bladder stone possible) - Looking for Help - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-14-2019, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Kidney disease and Kidney stones - UTI (bladder stone possible) - Looking for Help

Hi there,

Looking for any insight or advice to help maintain a horse with decreased kidney function and kidney stones.

I recently had bloodwork come back on a 5yo QH with high BUN and Creatine levels. The horse drank (and peed) more than the average horse but otherwise looked/acted healthy (even a vet examined him.) He was always in good spirit, happy, playful and willing to work. When he started drinking even more excessively and his behavior and weight started declining, I had the vet out again. It took about 2 weeks to discover he had a UTI / Kidney infection. By that time he was dropping weight and becoming depressed, I also noted minimal puss/blood in his urine at the end of his stream but no straining/pain while urinating.

After 10 days of antibiotics, his spirits were much better and the brightness was returning to him. 30 days after the initial bloodwork, we went to a teaching hospital and kidney specialist. His levels remained stable and weight has stabilized. An additional 30 days of antibiotic were prescribed, as the culture identified 1 bacteria remained. The vet also identified a kidney stone in the right ureter, leading to a chronic kidney disease diagnosis. At that point, he was looking pretty rough, and I was basically told that I'd be lucky to get him through the winter.

20 days later, the horse is back to being bright, playful, eating better than he ever has, and acting like the willing love bug I know him as. The dental tartar on his teeth has decreased significantly and there is no more cloudiness/blood in his urine. He has regained all of the weight he lost and then some, he looks like a happy, healthy horse again. I will have the vet out again within the next week to re-draw blood and see what his levels are at.

I've been going crazy trying to research over the last month. Other than reducing dietary calcium and protein and adding an Omega 3, I haven't found/heard much. I understand this is a chronic condition, but I am looking for any recommendations on support (supplements, therapies, etc.) I can provide that could help keep him as healthy as possible for as long as possible, and most importantly happy.

Any thoughts and insights are greatly appreciated!!!!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-14-2019, 02:08 AM
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From kidney stones thread

I have only heard of this happening once before. I think it is rather uncommon in horses. Not my horse but owner couldn't figure out why her horse excessively drank and urinated. His problems were caused by a diet of alfalfa. So lowering your horses calcium and protein as instructed by the vet makes perfect sense. A lot of people feed alfalfa without a problem, and will argue that it is the best. I have read studies that excess protein in horse diets just passes through the kidneys and is peed out. This also raises the urea content and causes a stronger ammonia odor. What I don't know is if horses' kidneys are equipped to handle the excessive output. I believe it is damaging to human kidneys when proteins pass through. This sounds like an interesting topic.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-18-2019, 12:42 PM
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What was done about the kidney stone, is it still there?

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-18-2019, 12:42 PM
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What was done about the kidney stone, is it still there?

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-18-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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The stone is currently still there (that we know of) which is another factor for the extension of antibiotics as the stone itself harbors bacteria. On physical exam and palpation he does not display any pain. The horse will return to the teaching hospital in 2 weeks for another ultrasound and exam. Hopefully the stone will pass on its own, the vet couldn't say either way if he thought it might. Surgery wasn't recommended immediately because of his BUN and creatine levels. With those, we know that there is damage/decrease function in the left kidney, so the benefits of surgery may not outweigh the toll of the procedure. If his BUN and Creatine levels remain constant (or decrease with diet adjustments), then surgery may be advised.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-18-2019, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeZee View Post
I have only heard of this happening once before. I think it is rather uncommon in horses. Not my horse but owner couldn't figure out why her horse excessively drank and urinated. His problems were caused by a diet of alfalfa. So lowering your horses calcium and protein as instructed by the vet makes perfect sense. A lot of people feed alfalfa without a problem, and will argue that it is the best. I have read studies that excess protein in horse diets just passes through the kidneys and is peed out. This also raises the urea content and causes a stronger ammonia odor. What I don't know is if horses' kidneys are equipped to handle the excessive output. I believe it is damaging to human kidneys when proteins pass through. This sounds like an interesting topic.
Yes it is very rare! Likely why the vet has taken quite an interest in the horse.

He is on a grass hay diet (no alfalfa) and (unfortunately) Purina senior feed is the only grain he will eat well. Vet says that the senior feed isn't terrible, but ideally he would be on a lower protein feed. It's a balancing act between maintaining his weight and keeping the calcium/protein low, vet said emphasis should be on keeping him eating. I've been looking into a grass hay pellet that we can add to replace some of the grain but haven't made a switch yet.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-19-2019, 12:16 PM
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It sounds like a 'wait and see' situation.
Certainly the stone isn't helping if its still there. It could be making small abrasions on the wall of the ureter, especially if its moving down and they will become sources of infection, plus anything interrupting the normal flow of urine will cause infection in the kidneys (as someone who's experienced that first hand in myself, its not good!)

Just winging it is not a plan
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