Chronic Renal Failure in Cats
Renal (kidney) failure is the most common disease of older cats. In older cats, up to 15% are thought to suffer from this disease. It is not fully understood why this is the case, but is generally believed to occur from a gradual loss of functioning tissue. In certain breeds of cat (Persians and Abyssinians) it is caused by an inherited genetic abnormality.
Kidney failure cannot be cured, but can be treated quite successfully if it is diagnosed at an early stage. If it is diagnosed at a later stage then the response to treatment may be much poorer.
Chronic renal failure should be differentiated from acute renal failure. Acute renal failure can be caused by sudden severe disease but is completely curable if the underlying cause is promptly treated. Chronic renal failure is a longstanding condition which cannot be cured.
Signs of Renal Failure
In the early stages, the signs of renal failure can be very subtle. You may notice a very slight increase in the amount of water your cat drinks, or you may notice a slight loss of appetite or slight weight loss.
Later in the condition the weight loss becomes more pronounced, and your cat will become lethargic, start to lose appetite and may start to vomit quite regularly.
In older cats it is very important that you keep a close watch for these signs, and contact us if you have any worries at all. Regular health checks (once every 6 months) are recommended for any cat that is older than 10 years of age.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Renal failure is normally diagnosed by a combination of blood and urine tests. Further tests may be carried out depending on the individual case.
Treatment of renal failure is all aimed at reducing the workload of the kidneys and preventing complications. The exact treatment very much depends on the stage at which we start to treat, but is a combination of:
1) Special diet
2) Dietary supplements to prevent the body from absorbing phosphorus, which causes complications.
3) Daily medication to reduce renal blood pressure
4) Treatment of complications such as vomiting and poor appetite
5) Intravenous fluid therapy for severe cases
The outlook for cats with renal failure in the long term is not good, but depends very much on how advanced it is when it is diagnosed. If it is diagnosed in the early stages then it can sometimes be very well controlled for up to many years. The main take home message in relation to renal failure is: regular check-ups for older cats, and book an appointment as soon as you notice any change in appetite or drinking. Don't wait for your cat to lose weight and become ill!
- Zoe on the Booze! News Read 1147 times Read more...
- Is Your Pet Anxious - Try Kalm Aid News Read 1993 times Read more...
CHEQUES NO LONGER ACCEPTED
- The Dangers of Paracetamol & Permethrin News Read 3107 times Read more...
- Pet Insurance, try 4 weeks Free! News Read 2159 times Read more...
Latest Pet Care
- Instructions for Giving a Cat a Pill - Joke!!! Pet Care Read 866 times
Repeat Prescription Changes
- Rabbit Vaccination Information Pet Care Read 3484 times Read more...
- Moving Home With Your Cat Pet Care Read 3859 times Read more...
- Guinea Pigs Pet Care Read 4343 times Read more...