Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis

I’ve posted on here a dozen times due to my problem TB that we thought was plagued with ulcer/gut issues and recently discovered he has kidney disease - likely chronic - and probably has had this since before I owned him (6 years!). This explains basically all of his symptoms - underweight, frequent urination, high water consumption, lethargic, on and off food, ulcers.

Current levels: Creatinine - 6.2, BUN - 88

I’m struggling with the diagnosis -

  1. I’m so glad to have an answer
  2. So frustrated this wasn’t caught earlier (seriously pull blood on your horses people)
  3. IDK how much effort/$$ to put into him at this point (vets dont seem optimistic and seem to think its only a matter of time)

We are taking him to a clinic or university (not sure which yet) for an ultrasound to see how bad kidneys look (vet noted there may be a mass or swelling that would be signs that he is unlikely to respond/improve).
If ultrasound looks okay we’ll push fluids for 24/48 hours
If his creatinine and other levels improve after fluids what can I really expect from this horse overtime?

Does anyone know of a horse that has improved and went on to be useable and happy undersaddle with chronic kidney disease?

I want this horse to be happy and healthy but I’m not really sure its worth keeping him around if he will continue to be underweight/struggle with ulcers, lethargic undersaddle, etc. etc.

Yes I’ll talk to the vet more about this but I’m struggling to even have these conversations out loud at the moment.

Poor IME. My landlord put down her 8yr old warmblood who had chronic kidney problems. He had all the same symptoms as your horse. His last episode which she thinks was triggered by the grooms withholding water (he was very messy in his stall) he went from healthy and fit to skin and bones in just a few months.

Thanks for the feedback.

Horse went to clinic where the ultrasound and ran more blood work/urine and don’t think it’s worth trying fluids at this point. Vet thought he seemed perky and was fine bring home but gave him roughly a year to live.
Plan is to take him home - hope he may improve this summer on grass and euthanize early fall unless he starts to decline before then.
Thanks to this whole community for endless support and resources in devastated but feel somewhat at peace to have a diagnosis is and conclusion.


OP I have no input but I’m sorry about your horse. I hope the rest of his days are comfortable.

I’m very, very sorry. I had one. Once we figured out what it was, he lived about two months, fairly comfortably I thought. One morning he wasn’t interested in eating anything, and the light in his eyes was dim. I let him go that day. In hindsight, given his diagnosis, I wish I had just put him down when I found out his diagnosis. He wasn’t going to improve, and I shouldn’t have waited for him to have a day when he didn’t feel well. That’s my personal takeaway from that experience, but you know your horse best. I wish you the best. Hugs to you.


The horse is perky and eating well on omperazole. The internal specialist agreed it didn’t seem like his time yet though she would have been okay to euthanize when he was at the clinic.

Horse is eating pretty well and still bossing around his pasture mate for food and I think the last of the really cold weather is behind us.

We switched his feed to low calcium, low protein and he’s off alfalfa mix hay and just grass. We’re adding flax seed oil for fat. He’s always done better in the summer so I have a little hope he may have one nice summer but I’ll let him tell me if he won’t make it that long.

I’m 100% in the ‘A day to early is better then a day too late’ camp!

The internal vet said she’d work with us to decide when and it’s a quick trailer ride. We will be pulling blood monthly to check his creatinine and keep him on omperazole until summer. But if at any point he decides he doesn’t want to eat or doesn’t seem excited to see me, I’m ready.

I’m disappointed we didn’t know sooner, I’m disappointed that the vet who diagnosed told me it wasn’t a bad outlook and would years left.