Oral Dialysis As A Treatment Option
Dialysis removes toxins from the blood. By not creating these toxins in the first place during oral dialysis, the blood is preserved from these uraemic toxins. Uraemic toxins that have already accumulated in the cats body can then pass from the organs into the blood and be excreted via the kidneys, albeit at a significantly reduced level. This improves the clinical signs and thus the quality of life of the cat. Cats start eating again and become more active.
Symptoms Of Kidney Failure In Cats
If your cats kidneys arent removing waste from his or her body, you may notice that your cat is drinking more water and attempting to urinate more. Because the toxins build up in the cat’s body, they may feel nauseous and stop eating their food. In general, your cat will appear to be lethargic and not very happy.
General symptoms of kidney failure in cats can include:
- Bad breath
If your cat is suffering from acute kidney failure you may also notice an arched back or stiff-legged gait, symptoms that your cats kidneys are causing pain.
Chronic kidney failure gradually progresses over years, and the signs may not be noticeable. By the time you do see symptoms, the disease may already be leading to total kidney failure.
While there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, if its detected and treated early your cats longevity and quality of life can be improved.
Symptoms of End Stage Kidney Failure in Cats
Symptoms of end stage kidney failure in cats include dull sunken eyes, inability to walk, body odour, incontinence in bladder or bowels, refusal to eat or drink, seizures, confusion, pacing and restlessness, withdrawing, hiding and running away.
Though more than one of these symptoms will be present, you may not see all of them in your cat. With kidney failure, there are no easy answers, as different symptoms may be present at different times.
Causes Of Chronic Renal Failure In Cats
The term chronic, as in chronic renal failure, means that the process has been ongoing and progressive, and cannot be reversed.
For some cats, the disease could have occurred after a serious kidney injury or from a severe infection . It can also occur due to ingestion of a toxic substance like antifreeze or lilies, or certain medications.
For others, CRF could be inherited, as with polycystic kidney disease and amyloidosis , seen in breeds like Persians and Abyssinians.
CRF could also be attributed to underlying immune-mediated diseases, stroke-like events, clotting disorders, and cancer like lymphoma.
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What You Need To Know About Cats And Kidney Disease
Kidney disease, kidney failure or chronic kidney disease is a renal disease in which a cats kidneys progressively shut down. Just as in the case of humans, cats often develop CKD as part of the aging process. Compared to us, however, cats are much more likely to get the disease. CKD will develop in 10% of cats older than ten and 30% of cats older than 15. Younger cats can also get CKD, but in those cases, the illness generally is caused by exposure to toxins.
CKD can be a very difficult disease to treat because it is usually diagnosed only after it has progressed significantly. It cannot even be detected until a cat has lost more than 65% of their kidney function. It is hard to know when this happens, because the cat will often not even display any symptoms until the diseases later stages. Moreover, the symptoms of CKD, if displayed, may also indicate a completely separate infection.
If you suspect that your cat may have CKD, ask your vet to run a a blood chemistry panel and a urine test. The latter measures the concentration of the urine, which usually decreases as kidney functions are lost. It is important to conduct additional tests to rule out the aforementioned infections.
After their cat has been diagnosed, people usually want to know how bad it is and how the disease can be treated. The answer to both depends on the stage the disease in.
For more comprehensive information, please visit: www.felinecrf.org.
Signs To Watch Out For
While cats with chronic kidney disease can live for years while undergoing treatment, there may come a point where their kidneys have become too damaged to keep them stable. When this happens, you might observe a few symptoms that are different from the minor ones your cat was displaying before.
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Supplements For Cats With Kidney Disease
Along with a new, healthier diet, your vet may recommend supplements.
Phosphorus binders are one common supplement for cats suffering renal failure.
Vitamin D supplements are another favorite.
Its important to avoid any home remedies or herbal supplements.
Your sweet kitty is depending on you to make good decisions regarding her care now that she is suffering from kidney disease.
Some herbal supplements will do much more harm than good. Its just not worth the risk.
Be sure to follow your vets dietary and supplement advice carefully.
How Veterinarians Diagnose Kidney Disease In Cats
Kidney disease is often diagnosed based on routine blood work and a urinalysis, looking specifically at such kidney markers as:
Blood urea nitrogen : is a by-product of protein metabolism. Higher values can often indicate kidney failure.
Creatinine : measures how well kidneys are filtering waste from blood.
Phosphorous: elevated phosphorous levels typically indicate kidney damage.
Electrolytes are often affected by the primary diseasebut also by secondary factors such as vomiting and a lack of appetite.
Calcium: elevated levels, though not as common, are often seen with kidney damage.
Red blood cell count: if low, it may indicate kidney failure.
White blood cell count: if high, it may indicate infection or inflammation.
Symmetric dimethylarginine : an additional test to help determine if kidney disease is present. It can be used for early detection of kidney disease.
Urine specific gravity: a marker of how diluted or concentrated the urine is. Usually, the higher the number, the more concentrated the urine and the greater the ability of the kidneys to conserve water.
Urine sediment: indicates the presence of protein, bacteria, white/red blood cells, kidney cells and casts. It is an indication of infection and/or kidney damage.
Your veterinarian will most likely recommend additional diagnostic testing, including:
Once diagnosed, kidney disease is then classified into four stages based on the severity of clinical signs and laboratory values:
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How Does Crf Affect My Cat
Because the kidneys perform a variety of different functions, the clinical signs of renal failure can be somewhat variable. The most common changes seen are weight loss, poor hair quality, halitosis , variable appetite which may be associated with mouth ulcers, lethargy, and depression. Less common signs include increased drinking or urinating, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.
How Do You Confirm A Diagnosis Of Kidney Disease In Cats
Diagnosing kidney disease always incorporates a cats history to determine possible exposure to various toxins, to determine what signs your cat is showing, and to figure out the duration of illness.
A diagnosis also relies on the cats age, breed, and gender, all part of signalment. Signalment will tell a medical person how likely a disease or its variations may be. A couple of examples follow.
Chronic renal disease is not likely in a two-month-old kitten, and a urethral obstruction is possible but not nearly as likely in a female cat as in a tom.
Once the history and signalment produce a reasonable suspicion of renal disease, your veterinarian will perform a blood test and urinalysis. Blood chemistry will detect kidney compromise rapidly.
Elevated urea nitrogen combined with increased creatinine blood levels leads to a presumptive diagnosis of kidney disease. The specific gravity of the urine may be low, indicating a failure to concentrate urine.
Then, the only thing left is to figure out the cause and severity of the kidney dysfunction and whether it is a primary disease or secondary to other issues such as dehydration.
When your veterinarian has all of his or her questions answered, the implementation of a treatment plan will commence.
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How To Deal With The Loss Of Your Cat
I remember waking up the day after I said goodbye to my precious feline companion Garrus.
It felt like my whole world had ended.
I missed his good morning meow, his strangely loud purr, and his sweet little trilling when I poured my cereal.
That morning, I stared at my bowl, my spoon perched on the edge, and I just cried. He was gone and I was lost.
Dealing with the loss of a cat is never easy, but there are many things you can do to help you make it through the toughest days.
One thing that helped me was talking with friends and family who knew Garrus. We shared stories and laughed at my silly little boys antics.
We cried together and hugged.
If youre not feeling social or like you can face other humans right now, thats okay, too.
You can reach out to other pet parents on message boards and social media.
Theyll listen to your story and offer support and kindness from afar.
Look at pictures and videos of your angel kitty.
It may be hard at first, but simply seeing them as they were in life can heal a broken heart.
Did you know that the other pets in your household are grieving too?
Spending some quality time with your other pets can soothe you both.
Journaling or simply writing out your feelings is an incredibly therapeutic way to handle the loss of your cat.
You can keep the writing or throw it out, but just getting it out on paper can help a lot.
Did you have a ceremony for your cat?
This is one of my familys ways of saying goodbye.
Treatment Of Chronic Renal Failure In Cats
Kidney removal is not an option since cats need their kidneys to survive. Dialysis in cats is an extremely uncommon treatment option. However, with early intervention, including routine lab work and annual exams, treatment of chronic renal failure is possible.
CRF can be managed with a combination of medications and proper diet. Your vet will be able to determine which treatment plan is most beneficial, depending on the stage of the disease. Its important to note for all stages of kidney disease, water should always be available.
Since CRF affects a cats hydration, if any additional disease or illness hinders the cats hydration, its important to treat it promptly with IV fluids.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Kidney Failure
Excessive thirst and urination are among the most recognizable symptoms of kidney failure in cats.
Even when the kidneys are failing enough to cause clinical signs, kidney failure may not be the obvious diagnosis. Kidney failures clinical signs are non-specific, meaning that they dont indicate a particular disease.
The clinical signs gradually worsen as kidney failure progresses.
Kidney Disease: Stage 3 Of 4
Cats who have advanced to or are diagnosed with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease may or may not be showing symptoms including nausea, vomiting, weight loss, decreased appetite. Our goal is to alleviate these symptoms and manage kidney disease progression to improve and extend quality of life for your cat.
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End Stage Of Kidney Disease
At the end of your pet’s bout with kidney disease, he’ll likely have lost a great deal of his kidney function. His body will no longer be able to adequately process the toxins that it typically would have been able to. Unfortunately, the prognosis at the end stage of kidney function is very poor it is typically only a matter of stabilizing yourcat’s system to allow him to die in a peaceful and comfortable manner.
End stage kidney disease is represented with a few distinctive symptoms. In addition to the various other symptoms that will accompany decreased kidney function throughout the earlier stages of the disease , watch out for these end stage kidney disease symptoms:
What Is The Kidney Disease Solution Program Work
The cookbook, ebook, and audio materials guide people through the process step-by-step. The book contains tips on altering your lifestyle to improve your kidney health. At the same time the cookbook offers special recipes for supporting kidney health and function. The book also contains several natural remedies that could aid in the treatment of your problem.
The audio material provides guided meditation along with Morning yoga flows. The audio for guided meditation helps in reducing anxiety and improves sleep quality. Yoga flow exercises in the morning, led by renowned yogini Antonella Milo, are designed to energize you throughout the day and support kidney health.
Overall, the collection of resources offers a complete and natural method of treating kidney disease. By incorporating simple lifestyle changes as well as releasing stress through meditation, and incorporating yoga exercises, you will be able to be rid of the discomfort and pain caused by kidney disease.
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Risk Factors Predictive Diagnostics
A Feb. 1, 2014, JAVMA scientific article examined Risk factors associated with the development of chronic kidney disease in cats evaluated at primary care veterinary hospitals. The retrospective case-control study looked at feline patients examined at Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2010.
According to the abstract: Risk factors for CKD in cats included thin body condition, prior periodontal disease or cystitis, anesthesia or documented dehydration in the preceding year, being a neutered male , and living anywhere in the United States other than the northeast. The probability of CKD decreased with increasing body weight in nondehydrated cats, domestic shorthair breed, and prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and increased when vomiting, polyuria or polydipsia, appetite or energy loss, or halitosis was present at the time of diagnosis or control group inclusion but not when those signs were reported 6 to 12 months earlier. Median weight loss during the preceding 6 to 12 months was 10.8% and 2.1% in cats with and without CKD, respectively.
Dr. Jennifer Ogeer, Antech vice president of medical affairs and commercial marketing, spoke at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 on Taking the Surprise out of Chronic Kidney Disease With Artificial Intelligence.
RenalTech provides actionable information that enables veterinarians to formulate targeted, personalized care plans for their feline patients, Dr. Ogeer said.
A Mosaic Of Treatment
Dr. Vaden said about 2%-20% of all cats and 30% of cats over the age of 10 have chronic kidney disease. The recent advances in diagnostics and medical management mean veterinarians can now be treating some cats for extended periods.
When we look at that and were talking about treating some of these cats for three years or more, we really need to be very thoughtful in what we do and use an evidence-based approach to our treatment and diagnostics, she said.
Chronic kidney disease is usually diagnosed via imaging or by finding persistent azotemia or an increase in serum symmetric dimethylarginine concentration. The next step is staging according to the system from the International Renal Interest Society.
The IRIS stages, from 1-4, are based on serum creatinine and SDMA concentrations, the latter added recently. The staging system also offers substaging on the basis of severity of proteinuria and hypertension.
The staging becomes important because its a way to communicate where we are diagnostically, where we are therapeutically, where the animal is in regards to expected progression and symptomatology, Dr. Vaden said.
Dr. Vaden offered recommendations for controlling aspects of nutrition, proteinuria, hypertension, anemia, metabolic acidosis, renal secondary mineral disorders, hypokalemia, and gastrointestinal signs .
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What Are The Different Types Of Kidney Failure In Cats
There are two types of kidney failure in cats. Each type has different causes, treatment options and prognosis.
Acute Renal Failure
If your cat experiences acute kidney failure, their kidneys will be suddenly unable to function correctly. This type of kidney failure happens suddenly within days or weeks. If diagnosed quickly, acute renal failure can often be reversed.
The condition can occur in cats of any age and usually results from infection, organ failure, trauma, poisons, dehydration, urethral blockages and other causes. Poisons such as pesticides, toxic plants, human medications and cleaning fluids are the most common cause of acute renal failure.
Chronic Kidney Failure
This type of kidney failure is more gradual. It typically develops over many months or even years. Chronic kidney failure is usually caused by cysts in the kidneys, genetics and autoimmune diseases.
The condition is a progressive illness that can result in total kidney failure, where the kidneys gradually stop functioning as they lose the ability to filter toxins from the blood.
What Are The Causes Of Kidney Disease In Cats
In most cases, the exact cause of CKD is unknown and research is ongoing. Chronic kidney disease in cats is sometimes known to be caused by:
- Ongoing inflammation of the glomeruli
- Damage to the kidneys following a kidney infection
- Toxin damage
- Weakness due to muscle wastage, anaemia and low blood potassium
- Dehydration due to excess water loss into the urine
- Bad breath Due to toxin build-up and oral and gastric ulceration
In the latter stages of kidney disease in cats, the animal will start to feel very unwell, feeling constantly sick, dehydrated and weak. They will also be in significant pain from ulceration of the mouth and stomach lining and toxin build-up leading to headaches, blindness and eventually collapse.
In acute kidney failure, the cat will show signs in a matter of hours or days. They can include:
- Sudden anorexia
- Some cats may urinate more than usual, while others may produce no urine at all.
Cats with acute renal failure will feel very unwell in a short space of time. They often seem to be in significant pain due to swelling of the kidneys and may collapse or cry constantly.
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