Learning more about all of the illnesses your pets can develop can be scary, but it's a necessary part of being a good pet parent. If you want to know more about one of the leading causes of illness in elderly cats, this guide will help. It explains feline kidney disease, its symptoms, and how it affects cats.
What it Does
Kidney disease is an incurable problem and one that will ultimately take the life of cats who are diagnosed with it. However, with medical help, cats with kidney disease can still live a relatively long life. With kidney disease, the nephrons responsible for filtering toxins from the blood begin to fail. This failure will continue until there are so few nephrons left that toxicity builds up in the blood and has to be reduced artificially with IV fluids and medication.
Who's at Risk
Unfortunately, all cats are susceptible to feline kidney disease. Scientists are uncertain if most cases of feline kidney disease are caused by genetics, living conditions, or both. However, your cat may suffer an increased risk if it experiences physical trauma to the kidneys, prolonged dehydration, or is exposed to harmful substances like antifreeze. Keeping your cat as healthy and protected as possible can help to keep your cat from experiencing this harmful disease.
Catching feline kidney disease as early as possible is the best way to help extend your cat's life and improve its comfort level. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact a veterinary clinic, such as Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, immediately.
Excess Thirst - Cats should drink water, but if your cat seems to be drinking more than usual, it could be due to kidney disease. Cats drink more in order to help the kidneys to flush toxins from the blood when they're not operating at peak efficiency.
Excess Urination - As with drinking, cats with kidney disease may urinate more. This is because the kidneys are using more liquid to process the blood, and it has to go somewhere afterward.
Lack of Appetite - When the kidneys are sick, levels of creatinine and BUN rise in the blood, which can cause nausea in your cat. They may lose interest in eating.
Anemia - Lastly, the kidneys are responsible for sending a chemical signal to your cat's bone marrow to produce new red blood cells. Sick kidneys don't perform this function as well, and anemia can result. Check your cat's gums and tongue - if they aren't pink or red, they may be anemic.
If your cat shows any of these symptoms, especially over a prolonged period of time, talk to a vet.
Kidney disease is a serious problem, but one that's manageable. Talk to your vet to learn more about this illness and what you can do to keep your kitty healthy.