Monday, April 30, 2012

Update on Cooper and Hypercalcemia

It was time to retest Cooper's blood so last week we had a trip to the vet. To recap-last July we found out he has hypercalcemia or too much calcium in the blood stream. This is a very unhealthy condition and can lead to many complications as well as damage to the kidneys and heart. It can also be an indicator of cancer or hyperthyroid, both of which he has tested negative for so far.  The level came down by August with laxative and potassium and magnesium supplements but crept up again and is still creeping up.  Meanwhile-if you review the previous posts-the CBC/chem panel since February has shown his blood work to vary widely for bicarb and phosphorous and glucose. At first the vet thought those were due to stress or lab processing. Except, once again, his chemical blood levels are very odd.

As of 4/24/12, his glucose is up to 161 from 141 in February. Calcium is up to 12.9 from 12.1. Meanwhile, phosphorous is down to 2.4 but up from the 1.7  on 2/17/12 which itself was down from a the 4.5  on 2/11/12.  Get that? It's a roller coaster.

As I've noted before, the body is a system of interconnected processes. When one is off, it will affect something else.  His high calcium levels are to blame for the low phosphorous. Problems with your blood electrolyte levels, such as low blood magnesium (needed to absorb phosphorous), or high blood calcium (which binds to the phosphorous, making it lower than normal) will cause a drop in phosphorous. Low phosphorous can also mean too low bicarb levels which might indicate kidney damage or decrease in kidney function. Continued lower phosphorous levels might also lead to kidney damage or decreased function. And his high glucose levels might also be interfering with this phosphorous levels. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels or diabetes, might not allow the body to absorb phosphorous. 

So, where does that leave Cooper?  Well, we'd like to know, also.  In general, it means that something is affecting his blood glucose, something is causing the calcium to rise (unless it's idiopathic which can still cause damage to vital organs and play havoc with other blood chemistry levels), and his calcium/glucose levels are causing phosphorous levels to change.  Unfortunately, any change in blood chemistry might be due to cancer or kidney damage. And yet he's young, only four years old. If he were closer to ten years old, the vet said she'd think first about cancer.  As of yet, we've not had any scans or involved testing other than thyroid screenings and mineral absorption testings. 

So, then what's next?  In order to make sure his heart is functioning normally, he will see a cardiologist-Myrna's cardiologist-next week. He had an echo in '08 because he has a heart murmur which turned out to be stress induced.  So, we do have a baseline reading with which to compare.  And in June he will probably see an internist at Michigan State University Vet School. I'm not sure what else needs to be done. 

Meanwhile, for the next 2-3 weeks, the vet does not want us using vitamin or fiber/laxative supplements so that we may test his blood without anything interfering with how a "normal" blood chemistry reading for him might be. 

What about buprenex that he receives to help him relax and use the litter box (see previous posts.) Or Forta Flora? Could any of these be interfering as well? 
Cooper sleeping-yes the chair is on top of the table because the cats like the height.

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