Cat Feeling Healthy And Behavior Is Normal
Last but not least, you need to be in constant contact with the vet and update him about your cats situation every few months.
If your cat exhibits normal behavior at home and is back to its normal self again, it does not matter if it is on medications, it does not need to be euthanized.
Enjoy and cherish the time you have with your cat!
What Happens To A Cat With Stage 3 Kidney Disease
If your cat has early stage 3 kidney disease, her life expectancy can be drastically shortened. Kidney disease is a group of diseases that affect the kidneys. Each condition is associated with one of several functions of the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease is the most common and debilitating kidney disease.
Signs Of Renal Failure
Symptoms of kidney failure in cats vary and not all cats will experience the indicators which range from blindness to depression.
Diagnosis of Feline Kidney Disease
Your vet will need to carry out a clinical examination to determine whether further testing will be required. A blood test will measure the amounts of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine a high level will point to abnormal kidney filtering. A high level of phosphorus is also an indicative mark as it accumulates in the blood.
Further examination may also show evidence of nodules or cyst on the kidney that may indicate cancer. Or kidneys may be undersized or abnormal in shape. Lymph nodes may also be enlarged.
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What Factors Should I Use To Decide When Its Time To Euthanize My Elderly Cat With Kidney Disease
I am stuck with a decision of life or euthanasia for my 18 year old cat.Should I leave her be or euthanize her now?
My cat’s kidneys are bad, but not shut down yet. My cat still drinks water and eats food. She does not eat as much as she did before. I had my cat at the vet for a 24hr IV. My cat still runs, jumps, purrs, and even rides in my car with me in the morning when I go to get coffee. My cat sits/lies on the passenger seat and if I do not take her, she gets mad .The 24hr ER vet and my cat’s primary vet wrote her off 3 months ago, saying she will pass before Thanksgiving.
My cat’s weight hovers around 5 1/2 – 6lbs, depending on how much she ate.My cat does not hide or hide to sleep. There are places in my house my cat loves to sleep, and my cat still sleeps in those same places. My cat follows me wherever I go.
What has me worried is the amount of food she is eating now, which is less than she used to.
My cat still shows signs of life, by eating on her own, drinking on her own, running, etc.
I do not want her to be in pain. I know and understand it is only a matter of time before the kidney issue takes a serious turn.
I did forget to mention, she only uses the litter box when she needs to go.My cat still comes to me when I am eating and wants some of my food and if I do not give my cat pieces of food, she will meow and pace like crazy.
Types Of Kidney Failure In Cats
There are two types of kidney failure in cats. Each type differs in causes, treatment options and prognosis.
Acute Renal Failure
If your cat is suffering from acute kidney failure, it means that their kidneys are suddenly unable to function properly. This type of kidney failure occurs suddenly, within days or weeks. If diagnosed in time, acute renal failure can often be reversed.
It can happen in cats of any age and typically results from poisons, trauma, infection, organ failure, urethral blockages, dehydration and other causes. Poisons, such as toxic plants, pesticides, cleaning fluids and human medications, are the most common cause of acute renal failure.
Chronic Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney failure in cats is a gradual condition that typically develops over several months or even years. This type of kidney failure is typically caused by autoimmune diseases, cysts in the kidneys, and genetics.
Chronic kidney failure is a progressive illness that can lead to total kidney failure, where the kidneys gradually stop working as they lose the ability to filter toxins out of the blood.
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What Causes Kidney Cancer In Cats
In older cats, the kidneys become weak. Consequently, these cats are more likely to develop renal lymphoma in cats. Two factors that cause kidney disease, such as kidney failure in cats and a weak immune system, work together and over time, cats can develop cancer in the lymphoid tissue of the kidneys.
Kidney Failure In Cats: Vet’s Guide To Symptoms And Treatment
Kidney failure due to chronic kidney disease is commonly diagnosed in older catsread on to learn more about this condition and how to spot it
Kidney failure in cats can be due to CKD, Chronic kidney disease, or acute kidney injury. CKD is a type of kidney failure, and it is one of the most common diseases seen in geriatric cats.
Having pet insurance in place when you get a cat can help offset the financial costs associated with CKD and kidney failure so that you can focus your attention on caring for your feline friend.
Keep reading to learn more about kidney failure in cats, what signs to look out for, and how its treated.
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Stages Of Kidney Failure In Cats
Chronic kidney disease is classified using the International Renal Interest Society staging system . There are four stages, 1-4, with higher stages relating to more severe kidney failure.
Staging is performed after CKD is diagnosed to determine disease severity and appropriate treatment. It is based on blood levels of creatinine and/or SDMA . The disease is then substaged based on the presence of protein in the urine and the cats blood pressure.
Symptoms Of The Final Stages Of Kidney Failure In Cats
The most common symptoms:
- Low potassium levels, high phosphorus levels, and very high urea and creatinine levels
Cats experience many of the above symptoms throughout each progressive stage of kidney failure.
As cats get closer to death the symptoms become much more severe.
Kidney disease escalates through four stages, and symptoms escalate as well.
Watching your beloved pet suffer more and more may become intolerable.
However, symptoms alone are not a direct indication your cat needs euthanasia.
A cat can appear to be moments from death, and with the right treatment, able to regain most of its health.
If you are able, exhaust all options, such as extended IVs and sub-Qs.
Your veterinarian can assess the effectiveness of the prescribed treatments by doing additional blood work.
When treatment fails to improve the blood work of your cat, it is time to start preparing for the end.
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Uncontrolled Vomiting Or Diarrhea
Vomiting is a common problem in cats, so common, in fact, that some cat guardians think that it is normal for a cat to vomit daily. Lets get one thing straight: daily vomiting means your cat feels sick, and should never be considered normal.
Inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal cancer, and hormonal conditions such as hyperthyroidism can cause chronic vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat has chronic vomiting and diarrhea that does not respond to treatment, it may be time to talk to your veterinarian about euthanasia.
Best Cat Food For Cats With Kidney Disease
If you conclude that your cat still has a good enough quality of life, it is important that you still feed him/her specific food to help them combat their kidney disease. The best food for cats with kidney disease is Hills Kidney Care Food.
If your cat is underweight, you should check out my article on how to help a cat with kidney disease gain weight.
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Take Care Of Yourself Too
After listing all these things to do and watch for when caring for your dog with kidney failure, I want to address something that all-to-often gets ignoredcaretaker fatigue in dog owners. It is real, and it is exhausting. Trying to keep up with your dogs extensive needs can feel like a full-time job. You are willing to do whatever it takes to keep your dear dog happybut when his or her joy seems to be dwindling, you may wonder if all of the time invested is truly helping.
When your canine companion is struggling, it feels like you are riding a difficult mental roller coaster. One day he or she seems to be managing ok, and the next your dog may seem close to dying. The process is emotionally taxing, and can be a struggle for you and your sweet pup. It often feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders as you try to make a very important, very difficult decision.
Stages Of Kidney Failure
There are 4 stages of cat kidney failure, generally identifiable through the number of symptoms your feline shows.
Stage 1 typically has no major symptoms. Thats why testing your cats blood is vital to find out its sickness soon.
As stages 2 and 3 come along, your pet may exhibit a few other symptoms such as dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, lack of appetite, frequent drinking, and general weakness.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is another possible symptom. People with the disease often experience headaches, and its highly likely cats feel the same, causing cat kidney disease meowing to express their discomfort.
Another specific symptom of kidney disease in cats is a stiff-legged gait or back leg weakness, which is a sign of pain or discomfort in their kidneys.
And finally, there is stage 4. This stage is also known as end stage kidney failure, and as the name suggests, your cat isnt doing too well at this point.
Aside from the listed symptoms above, your cat may develop:
- dull and sunken eyes or blindness
- lose the ability to walk
- refuse to eat or drink
- frequently hide
- lose control of their bladder and bowels
However, remember that as with all diseases, be it on humans or animals, it looks different each and every time. Each cat may present a different set or sequence of symptoms or may show less or more than the next.
These symptoms are also rather common ones, and may be signs of something other than kidney disease.
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What Are Signs Of Illnesses In Cats
General signs of the disease. Affected cats often have fever and fatigue that are not easily recognized in feral cats. If your cat seems to have lost her appetite, is losing weight, has diarrhea and is vomiting, see your vet as these symptoms can indicate anything from an underlying gastrointestinal problem to a life-threatening infestation.
How Do You Tell If A Cat Has Kidney Failure Will They Itch
Kidney Disease in Cats: What Cat Owners Need to Know Most cats don’t show any outward signs of kidney disease until the problem progresses. Even if they do, the early signs of kidney disease in cats are easy to miss, including a little weight loss, more frequent urination/peeing, and more drinking water.
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Ability To Move Without Pain
Arthritis is extremely common in older cats. Signs of pain related to arthritis can include things like such as refusing to jump up on a counter or walk up and down stairs.
Signs of arthritis in cats can also can seem unrelated to joint pain, like not grooming, increased aggression when painful areas are touched, or inappropriately urinating and/or defecating outside the litterbox because the cat is too painful to get in and out of the box.
Cats can experience pain from conditions other than arthritis. Bladder inflammation due to stress, gut pain, and dental pain are all common sources of pain in cats.
The good news is that most of these conditions can be successfully treated, and respond well to pain medication, however, if you have tried pain medication or other therapies without success, or if your cats condition is severe or terminal, then it may be time put your cat down.
The Kidneyswhat Do They Do
A dogs body has natural systems in place to remove toxins and cleanse the body. The liver and kidneys are two organs that are an integral part of doing that and keeping the body in balance . The kidneys filter the blood and excrete toxins into the urine, but thats not all they do! The kidneys also:
- Keep vital electrolytes in balance
- Manage blood pressure
- Maintain water balance in the body
- Signal the bone marrow to make new red blood cells
- Regulate calcium and phosphorus levels
As you can see, the kidneys are incredibly important to the overall function of the body. Without them, the body would quickly spiral into a state of imbalance that is not compatible with life. Luckily, the kidneys have a lot of reserve, so if they arent working at full capacity the body is still able to stay regulated for a period of time.
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Caring For An Ill Senior Cat And The Lessons I Learned Along The Way
Kidney disease affects 1 out of every 3 senior cats. 94% of cats who develop hyperthyroidism are over 10 years old. 1 in 5 cats gets diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately for senior cats, disease and chronic illnesses are very common.
My experience with my old lady cat, Lily, was similar to that of many others. What should you expect? Although every cats story is different and no cat will follow the same end-of-life path, I wanted to share my story and the lessons I learned from it so that others may catch signs early, and understand what may be coming.
WARNING: there are some photos below that may be tough to see, and details that are difficult to read about.
Checkups are Pivotal in Senior Years
My family had rescued Lily when she was just 8 weeks old from the local shelter, and she had lived a quiet, independent, indoor-cat life for those 13 years. My mother was her favorite person and though Lily didnt like my sister or me very much, we loved her unconditionally.
Bring your cats to the vet people! Like many cat owners, we fell behind on bringing her to the vet and didnt think much of it because she was always seemingly happy and healthy. But one day, she suddenly looked a little bonier and her eyes a little less bright, so it was time for a trip to her vet.
It was expensive to keep up with, but worth it for our girl.
Cherish the Time You Have
For a moment, we forgot she had any chronic illness at all and we carried on blissfully.
Hospitalization & Emergencies
How Kidney Failure In Cats Is Diagnosed & Treated
Your vet will do a comprehensive examination of your cat, including blood and urine tests, X-rays, and possibly an ultrasound. A kidney biopsy might also be required.
If kidney disease is found, treatments could include intravenous fluids to correct dehydration, vitamin injections, supplements, medications, and possibly surgery to remove blockages. When treating kidney failure the goal is to manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.
You can support your cats treatment with a carefully managed diet and plenty of clean fresh water. Your vet will recommend that you gradually transition your cat to a kidney diet that is low in both phosphorus and protein and is enriched with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Palliative care is required for cats with end stage kidney failure. In their final days this will mean keeping them warm and comfortable, with food, water and a litter box nearby, as well as lots of loving human companionship.
Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor’s advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.
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When To Put A Cat Down With Kidney Disease
Knowing when to put your cat down with kidney disease is one of the hardest decisions a cat owner will face. The quality of life of your beloved pet has been drastically diminished. You are probably at the point in your life where you have no more options, and putting her to sleep is the only way to give her a good final goodbye.
It is important to consider all of your options. Listed below are some of the most common reasons for putting a cat to sleep.
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Diagnosing and treating kidney disease is a very personal decision, but early diagnosis is essential for your pets quality of life. While you should try to keep your cat as comfortable as possible, its important to remember that the decision to put a cat to sleep is a very personal one.
Your cats health and well-being will be your top priority. The best way to choose when to put a cat to sleep with kidney disease is to discuss the options with your veterinarian. If you have made the decision to euthanize your pet, make sure that you are comfortable with this option.
If your cat is in pain, your vet may recommend euthanasia at home.
Although its not pleasant to say goodbye to your pet, its best to treat the kidney failure as soon as possible. In some cases, a veterinarian can prescribe a dietary supplement that will extend your cats life.