Cats, especially the elderly, are predisposed to kidney disease. How can we notice this before we have a veterinary emergency and it’s too late?
Kidney failure is a pathology that can evolve acutely or chronically and consists in the accumulation of toxic products in the blood, which would normally be eliminated through the urine.
Acute form evolves rapidly and generally results from a urinary blockage or an infection of the parenchyma (kidney tissue). If the cause is discovered and eliminated, it remains a reversible process, and if not, it becomes a potentially deadly disease that progresses over time.
Chronic form develops following the compromise of the functional unit of the kidney, namely nephron. It can no longer exert its absorption and excretion function, leaving toxic compounds in the blood. It is a progressive process that begins to manifest itself symptomatically only when the kidney is compromised in a proportion of 70-80%.
Causes can be varied, genetic or acquired. There is also a race predisposition:
-Siameze, Oriental: Amyloidosis
-Persane, the long-haired domestic cat: polycystic kidney
-Persane: kidney dysplasia
– Short-haired domestic cat: unilateral renal agenesis.
A balanced diet is a very important factor to avoid this pathology.
Possible Causes Of Kidney Failure:
– Infectious, viral, bacterial diseases
-Secondary infections (glomerulonephritis)
-Neoplastic pathogens (lymphoma)
-Nephrotoxic drugs: anti-inflammatory for human use (ibuprofen, aspirin), antimycotics, –Chemotherapy
-Urinary blockage (obstructive urethral)
Simptomatology: cats generally do not show symptoms unless the disease is at an advanced stage. Initially, an important water consumption (polydipsia) and consequently an increase in the amount of urine (polyuria), as well as in diabetes, can be observed.
With the evolution of the disease occur:
– pale mucosa
– increased blood pressure.
The cat starts to stay in isolated places, eating less and death occurs because of uremic intoxication.
Depending on the results of blood, urine and abdominal ultrasound analysis, the disease can be staged and therapy is instituted. Unfortunately, kidney function in the case of chronic renal failure is not recoverable.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease, and diet is a fundamental factor. There is a wide range of products for this disease that contain high quality protein and not protein derivatives. At the same time careful monitoring of renal and haematological parameters is essential and allows adjustment of therapy so that the chances of survival increase considerably.
Another fundamental step is to carry out regular checks at the veterinary surgeon, which consist of blood, urine and ultrasound analysis. Remember that it is always better to prevent than to treat, and in case of renal insufficiency in cats the duration and quality of life are greatly improved in the case of early diagnosis.
To talk more about this disease, our veterinarians are always available!