Kidney failure in cats is a serious disease condition. It causes the inability of the kidneys to remove waste products from the blood. The kidney helps to manage blood pressure and make hormones. They also stimulate the bone marrow to produce red blood cells as well as remove waste from the blood. On the other hand, it can be very dangerous if not treated immediately. There are two types of kidney failure acute kidney failure and chronic kidney failure. For more information regarding kidney failure in cats, keep reading here at PetVet.
What do you mean by kidney failure in cats?
Kidney failure in cats is the inability of the kidneys to remove waste products from the blood. Although, it does not indicate the inability of kidneys to produce urine. While most of the cats in kidney failure are producing large quantities of urine. But the kidneys are unable to eliminate the waste from the body.
Types of kidney failure
There are two types of kidney failure in cats such as acute kidney failure and chronic kidney failure.
1. Acute kidney failure
Acute kidney failure is the sudden failure of kidneys to perform normal filtration process. It leads to an accumulation of toxins and metabolic waste in the bloodstream. Furthermore, it can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and imbalance in the acid-base balance of the blood. This condition is potentially reversible but treatable if diagnosed early. Older cats are at higher risk of developing acute renal failure.
“Acute renal failure is a reversible condition but treatable if diagnosed early.”
2.Chronic kidney failure
Chronic kidney failure in cats is a very dangerous condition. Although, it is more common than acute kidney failure. But, it can be hard to treat and it develops over months and even years. While the real cause of chronic kidney failure is not understood yet.
Chronic kidney failure occurs due to the injuries to the nephrons. These injuries probably due to a history of acute kidney failure. Other causes include genetic disease, infection or long term, poorly understood the inflammatory process. Although, the kidney can compensate for a good amount of injury, kidney failure becomes evident once two-thirds of the nephrons have been damaged.
Function of kidney
The function of the kidney is the filtration of blood. It also helps to remove toxins from the bloodstream. Due to aging filtration process becomes inefficient. As a result, the blood flow to the kidney increased in order to increase filtration. Consequently, the production of urine increased. If the loss of urine increased this resulted in dehydration. The thirst center also activated due to which water consumption also increased.
The clinical signs of kidney failure include loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and bad breath. Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.
Treatment for Kidney Failure in Cats
Although there is no definitive cure for chronic kidney failure in cats. Treatment can prolong the lives of cats. Treatment is focussed on minimizing the buildup of toxic waste products in the bloodstream. It also helps to maintain adequate hydration, addressing disturbances in electrolyte concentration, supporting appropriate nutrition, controlling blood pressure. Consequently, slowing the progression of kidney disease.
Dietary Modification is an integral part of CKD treatment. Diets that are restricted in protein, phosphorus, and sodium content and high in water-soluble vitamins are recommended. All these prolongs life and improves the quality of life in cats with CKD. Cats with CKD that go without food for relatively short periods of time may develop significant health problems.
Controlling hypertension, decreasing urinary protein loss are important therapeutic goals. Hypertension is usually controlled with oral medication. The urinary protein loss may be treated with ACE inhibitors.
Anemic cat with chronic kidney failure may be treated by replacement therapy with erythropoietin. Cats with CKD may produce less erythropoietin. There is some evidence that replacement therapy can increase red blood cell counts. In some cases, blood transfusions, which may be used to restore normal red blood cell concentrations using blood obtained from a donor cat, may be necessary.
Although a number of other therapies, including phosphate binders, potassium supplementation, antioxidant supplementation, alkalinization therapy, and administration of fluids either intravenously or subcutaneously, have the potential to help cats with CKD. The same is true of hemodialysis and kidney transplantation.