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Kidney Failure in Cats: Symptoms & Treatment

2021-11-24  PetsCareTip

Contributions from Jennifer Sellers

The kidneys of a healthy cat are part of an efficient, essential system that filters waste from his bloodstream and sends it out of his body through urine.

When kidneys fail - sometimes referred to as renal failure - there is nothing in your cat’s body to take over this important job. Because of this, waste and toxins begin to build up in his blood. I hope you found everything you were looking for about kidney failure in cats in this article.


Types of Kidney Failure

There are two types of kidney failure in cats: chronic (ongoing) and acute (urgent). With chronic kidney failure, a cat’s kidneys fail progressively over time. An acute fall shorture, on the other hand, presents an emergency that must be treated immediately. This doesn’t mean that chronic kidney failure isn’t serious. On the contrary, it’s the leading cause of death in pet cats.

Is Your Cat at Risk?

Chronic and acute kidney failure have different sets of risk factors. Things that can increase a cat’s risk of developing chronic kidney failure include:

  • Lifelong diet of dry food only
  • Dental disease
  • Poor diet
  • High blood pressure
  • Genetics
  • Old age
  • Low potassium levels

Any breed of cat can have chronic kidney failure, but it’s believed that Abyssinians and Persians develop the disease at a slightly higher rate.

Acute kidney failure can be caused by urinary tract blockages, abdominal trauma, infection, or poison. Therefore, a major risk factor for this type of kidney failure in cats is living outdoors. These two items are the top causes of poisoning-induced acute kidney failure in cats. Also, be sure to keep antifreeze and Easter lilies away from your cat’s living area. To reduce your cat’s odds of developing this usually deadly condition, keep her indoors where you can monitor her diet and safety.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Cats

While the risk factors for acute and chronic kidney failure are different, their symptoms are similar. Primarily, you should take note of any changes in your cat’s water intake and urination schedule.

An increase or decrease in either drinking or urinating can be cause for concern. An increase in urination usually occurs during the early stages of chronic kidney failure, whereas a reduction in urination is typically a sign of acute or late-stage chronic kidney failure.

Uremia is what happens during kidney failure once the waste and toxins begin building up in your cat’s blood. Its symptoms include the following:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dry coat
  • Coma
  • Weight loss and reduction of appetite
  • Bad breath (often with an ammonia-like odor)
  • Discoloration and ulcers on the tongue or gums
  • Anemia (iron loss from gastrointestinal bleeding)

Once a coma occurs, death is imminent. Therefore, it’s critical that you take your cat to the veterinarian when she first starts exhibiting any of these symptoms.

Treatment and Prognosis for Kidney Failure in Cats

Chronic kidney failure is very dangerous for cats, but if treated it does tend to offer better survival rates than acute kidney failure. On the other hand, if acute kidney failure is addressed immediately and successfully, a cat may be able to regain full functioning of his usually kidneys - an option unlikely with chronic kidney failure. Emergency veterinary treatment of acute kidney failure can include:

  • Medications that increase urination
  • Inducing vomiting to eliminate ingested poisons
  • Intravenous fluids to combat dehydration
  • Peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis to purify the blood
  • Management of secondary symptoms, such as anemia and electrolyte imbalances

Medical care for chronic kidney failure is usually aimed at controlling symptoms and preventing the condition from worsening, usually by treating anemia, controlling vomiting, and targeting specific electrolyte imbalances. Your veterinarian might also recommend a long-term change in your cat diet. Be aware that this type of kidney failure usually requires a lifetime of monitoring and special care.

By PetsCareTip.Com

2021-11-24  PetsCareTip