If you own a cat which has reached an advanced age (a cat is considered to be a senior age once it reaches the age of 11), you will need to keep an eye out for signs of kidney disease. Kidney disease is a common illness which affects cats as they age. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about kidney disease in cats.
The possible causes of kidney disease include:
- High blood pressure
- Trauma which has affected the kidneys
- Kidney stones
- Immune deficiency
Any of the things listed above can damage the tissue of your cat's kidneys. When the tissue is damaged and scarred, the kidney will no longer be able to filter out toxins from your cat's body.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to detect kidney disease until it reaches an advanced stage. This is why you should take your kitty to a vet as soon as you spot any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
When you take your cat to your local vet, they will carry out a range of diagnostic tests. This will normally involve taking a blood sample from your cat which will be tested for signs of kidney failure. One sign of kidney failure is an increased level of waste in the blood which hasn't been filtered out by the kidneys. The vet may also test your cats urine for any bacteria or blood, as this can also indicate kidney disease.
There is no cure for kidney disease and organ transplant isn't something which is offered to cats, so your vet will instead concentrate on minimising the discomfort your cat is experiencing. Possible treatments include the insertion of an IV line so that fluids can be given to your cat and the administration of medication which will help to break down any build up of toxic waste material in the blood. The vet may also recommend that you change your cat's diet to relieve some of the strain which is being placed on the kidneys. Advances in veterinary science such as stem cell therapy offer the hope that one day a treatment will be available which will allow the damaged tissue in the kidneys to repair itself.
If you would like to find out more about caring for your cat, you should contact a veterinary clinic today.