Feline Kidney Disease
Although it can affect younger cats, feline kidney disease is normally a problem with older cats. This condition can occur suddenly known as acute, or develop over time and be classified as chronic. Since the kidneys are responsible for eliminating toxins from the body, damage to them is very serious.
There are many different things that can cause kidney disease in cats. Your cat’s kidney function will naturally decrease with age. Also, felines that don’t have enough potassium in their diet are at risk.
There are also different types of drugs that can lead to feline kidney disease. They include blood pressure medication, anti-parasitic drugs, anesthetics, and antibiotics. Chemicals such as pesticides and antifreeze can also cause the condition.
Your cat’s kidneys have a large reserve capacity. This means that symptoms won’t be noticeable until up to 75% of the organ is damaged. Common signs include increased urination and drinking. Your cat will also lose the ability to concentrate his urine.
As feline kidney disease progresses, toxins will start to build up in the body. This leads to oral ulcers, depression, loss of appetite, and vomiting. You may also notice that your cat’s breath has a foul odor. In the later stages of the disease, seizures may develop.
There are other diseases that cause symptoms similar to those of kidney disease in cats. Two of the most common include hyperthyroidism and diabetes. In order to diagnose this condition, your veterinarian will need to perform urine and blood tests.
A urinalysis will show the inability to concentrate urine. An x-ray may also show that the kidneys are irregular or shrunken. The veterinarian may also perform an ultrasound or palpate the kidneys.
As the kidneys become damaged, uremic toxins will buildup instead of being secreted. Therefore, your cat will need a special diet and plenty of fluids. Cats are normally given fluids intravenously on a regular basis over time.
Since certain medications can cause feline kidney disease, they will need to be stopped. Cats with this condition will need a low protein diet. They can also develop anemia and require blood transfusions.