Chronic kidney disease in cats is the most common disease process of middle age and elderly cats. Did you know that kidney disease can be genetic? This disease runs in certain lines or families of cats and as such has a strong genetic predisposition. Although there is no cure per se , if diagnosed early, we can help slow the progression of the disease . Cats compensate for this disease very well. They will typically not show significant signs of illness in the early stages. Wondering how you can tell if your kitty has the beginning of kidney disease? You are the one that can help make a difference. Some of the signs to look for are:
- Increase in water consumption
- Increase in urination
- Decrease in appetite
Early detection is the best defense. As your pets owner it is critical role determining if your pets behavior has changed. The daily interaction that you have allows you to notice the subtle sign before they turn into a larger problem. If you notice any of the above it is a good idea to have your pet screened by the veterinarian. We recommended: a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemical profile, and a urinalysis.
Unfortunately, once we see a rise in waste products in the blood there is an indication that the filtering mechanism of the kidney has been damaged. In the urinalysis we test for pH, specific gravity, the presence of blood, protein, glucose, bilirubin, and ketones, and microscopically look for cells, bacteria, crystals, and casts. These give us an understanding what is happening within the body.
There are multiple treatment options that we can use to delay the further damage to the kidneys. The mainstay for therapy has been renal (kidney) diets. These diets are modified protein diets. If you pet has excessive protein consumption that can increase nitrogenous waste in the body, which in turn, increases the burden on the kidney to remove it.
The best plan of action would be to be alert in changes that your pet may be exhibiting. This will allow us to help you give you more quality time with your loved one.