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Kidney Disease In Cats

Kidney Disease In Cats

Kidney disease in cats can be tricky to diagnose. When finding it in the earliest stage, one can drastically improve their cat’s overall prognosis and quality of life.

As much as other organs in the body, a cat’s kidneys are vital to good health and longevity. After all, they have many important functions.

What Do The Kidneys Do

The kidneys filter waste from your cat’s blood and maintain blood pressure, aid in the production of red blood cells, and even produce hormones. Additionally, unlike the liver, the kidneys do not regenerate themselves.

Types and Causes of Kidney Disease in Cats

When considering the causes of kidney disease in cats, you should be aware that causes are often dependent upon the type of kidney failure that your cat has. There are two types of kidney failure, acute and chronic.

Acute Kidney Disease in Cats

Acute renal failure in cats often comes with little or no warning. Acute renal failure is characterized by sudden onset. Not only can this be particularly scary, what must be remembered is that there’s a high likelihood that acute renal failure can be reversed.

Many things can cause acute renal failure in cats. However, the most common cause of acute cases of kidney disease is poisoning. Cats are exposed daily to many toxins such as antifreeze, cleaning agents, medications, plants, and flowers.

While other causes include heart failure, infections of the kidneys, blunt force trauma, dehydration, rapid blood loss, and even fluid loss due to vomiting and diarrhea.

Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats

Unlike acute cases, chronic kidney disease in cats develops over time. In fact, it can take years to develop. Sadly there is no reversal in chronic cases of the disease. Therefore it can be difficult to manage.

Unlike the cause of acute cases, the cause of chronic kidney disease is not always clear-cut. Infections and blockages found in acute cases can sneakily be attributed to chronic cases as they can be responsible for wearing down the kidneys over time. Of course, there are other notable causes of chronic kidney disease in cats that can be linked to high blood pressure, multiple cancers, and even thyroid problems.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Cats

Making yourself aware of kidney disease symptoms in cats will lead to the best possible prognosis and treatment plan. Specifically, don’t delay taking your cat to the vet if any of the following symptoms become apparent.

  • Nausea
  • Changes in Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Weight Loss
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Producing more urine
  • Not making it to the litter box in time.
  • Drinking more water
  • Sores
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dull coat
  • Any signs of discomfort
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Withdrawal
  • Seizures
  • Decreased Mobility
  • Weakness
  • Bad breath

Again, the best prognosis for your cat’s treatment and quality of life can directly be linked to the earliest possible diagnosis. Your vet will run numerous tests and possibly request a biopsy to diagnose kidney disease in your cat.

A diagnosis will be followed by the best course of treatment as determined by your veterinary professional. This may include a change in diet, medications and IV fluids, and in some cases, surgery. As always, be the voice for your cat’s health and well-being, and should you see any changes in your cat’s health or behavior, we’d suggest having your veterinarian see them.


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