What is renal failure in cats? This is a slow but progressive disease, commonly seen in middle to old age cats. The life expectancy is around 2 – 6 years. The symptoms usually start showing when about 75% of the kidneys have become damaged. This is irreversible and the diseased parts of the kidneys cannot be repaired.
These worsen as the disease progresses.
The kidneys filter metabolic waste products from the blood. When the kidney function becomes compromised there is a build up of protein break down products – urea and creatinine, in the blood. The blood becomes more acidic. The kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which triggers the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Anaemia develops due to a lack of this hormone.
Electrolyte imbalances in cats with renal failure are low potassium as they are prone to losing this in their urine. Also, excess phosphate and this leads to muscle weakness, bone pain and loss of appetite. Cats with chronic renal failure are also prone to high blood pressure and blindness due to the hypertension. Diagnosis is confirmed by a blood test which shows increased protein waste products – urea and creatinine. A urine sample will show low concentration and high protein levels.
A low protein diet is recommended which limits the waste product of protein easing the work of the ailing kidneys. The diet also has restricted phosphate because cats with kidney disease have excess phosphate in the body. Levels of vitamin B and potassium are also high in this diet. There are several medications that you can use to help with the condition.
These include drugs for:
If you need any further information, please contact us today.