If you are a cat owner, the last thing you probably want to think about is your cat suffering from a health issue like chronic kidney disease. However, many cats develop this condition every year. Chronic kidney disease is a fairly common problem in cats. As such, it is important that you get to know some of the basic facts about chronic kidney disease in cats as well as the treatment options available if your cat does develop this condition. Then, you can be sure that even if your cat does develop chronic kidney disease, that you are taking the best care of your cat possible.
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats?
Chronic kidney disease is the progressive and chronic (continual) loss of kidney function. The kidneys are organs in the cat's body that filter out toxins and process waste, specifically in the urine. Because they are so pivotal in getting rid of toxins and impurities in the body, failing or improperly functioning kidneys can have numerous negative effects on a cat's body and their overall health.
What Are the Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats?
Cats with chronic kidney disease often feel ill as a result of toxins building up in the blood and body. As such, they often act ill. This can include your cat becoming more lethargic than normal. They may also lose their appetite and begin to lose weight (often quite quickly and noticeably). Their coats may become matted or otherwise less clean because they do not have the energy to keep up with it.
Excessive thirst and increased urine production are also signs of chronic kidney disease in cats. If you notice a lot more urine in their box or they begin having accidents outside of the box, they could be having issues with their kidneys.
Cats with chronic kidney disease sometimes develop high blood pressure as well. High blood pressure can affect many systems in the body. One of the common symptoms of high blood pressure in cats is sudden blindness, for example. Cats can also have strokes or seizures because of high blood pressure.
What Can Be Done for Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats?
If your cat shows signs of chronic kidney disease, you should take them to the vet clinic right away. The veterinarian will run tests on your cat (blood work) as well as perform a physical exam. Should your cat be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, there are several ways to manage the condition.
Oftentimes, changing the diet to a kidney-friendly prescription food is one of the first steps to help manage chronic kidney disease. Daily medications are also often necessary to help support kidney function and treat symptoms like high blood pressure. Hemodialysis (dialysis) is also an option that some vet clinics offer.
Now that you better understand chronic kidney disease in cats, you can be sure to head to a local vet clinic like Clevengers Corner if you notice signs in your cat.