Written by Dr. Michael Dattner
- Weight Loss
- Increased Thirst
- Increased Urination
- Dilute Urine
- General poor body condition
About Kidney Disease in Cats
Chronic kidney disease is one of the most common health issues in older cats. Kidneys have many functions including water conservation, toxin removal, blood pressure regulation, and regulation of red blood cell production. It’s easy to see from the above list that if the the kidneys are not functioning correctly, a lot of serious things can go wrong in a cat’s body.
Kidneys are made up of millions of small filtration units called nephrons. Over time, the nephrons can deteriorate and no longer function properly causing a cascade of failures within the organ and the body. Possible reasons for the deterioration of the nephrons include toxins, infections, and lesions within the kidney, but not all reasons are known.
Early Detection is Critical
Unfortunately kidney failure can progress for years without being detected. Typically patients do not begin showing signs of organ failure until more than 2/3rds of the organ’s function are permanently lost. That’s why the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the International Cat Care Society and the American Animal Hospital Association all recommend semi-annual blood screens and health checks for all cats over 7 years of age.
Renal disease in cats can be mitigated with improved hydration, appetite stimulants, and special diets. If your cat has recently been diagnosed with renal disease, your Brookfield veterinarian will draft a treatment plan specifically for your cat and the stage of renal disease it is experiencing.
Not a Death Sentence
It’s important to know that cats with renal disease can have a high quality of life for years after their diagnosis provided that they receive routine, focused veterinary care. The best treatment is early detection. If we know that your cat is experiencing a condition that can lead to renal disease or is at the beginning stages of the disease, we can intervene at a time when our treatment success rate will be much higher and less expensive. Brookfield Animal Hospital has blood screens that detect renal disease at much earlier stages than it could be detected before. If you have a cat that is 7 years or older, do not wait until he or she appears to be sick before you decide on a vet visit. Cats are extremely good at hiding symptoms of renal and other diseases. If we see your pet early, we can help.