Risk Factors Predictive Diagnostics
A scholarly paper published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on February 1, 2014, investigated Risk factors related with the development of chronic renal disease in cats assessed at primary care veterinary facilities. The retrospective case-control research looked at feline patients who had been assessed at Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2010 and found that they were healthy.
CKD in cats was associated with several risk factors, including 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.
In his statement, Dr. Ogeer remarked, RenalTech delivers actionable information that allows veterinarians to build focused, tailored treatment regimens for their feline patients.
Phosporus Restriction And Kidney Disease
Restricting phosphorus may be even more important for cats with kidney disease than restricting protein. We know that the high phosphorus content found in higher protein diets can accelerate the decline of function when it gets trapped in the work unit of the kidney.
There are two ways that phosphorus is reported in food. Look for 0.3-0.6% on a Dry Matter Basis or 0.7-1.26 grams per 1,000 kcal. Phosphorus content is generally not available on food labels, but can be obtained by calling the foods manufacturer. For easy reference, Dr. Lisa Pierson offers both a Phosphorus in Cat Food Chart and a Protein/Fat/Carbs Chart on her site Catinfo.org.
Kidney values should be checked regularly, and the panel should include calcium and phosphorus levels. If the product of Calcium X Phosphorus is greater than 70 or Phosphorus is greater than 5 mg/dl in the blood, a phosphorus binder is needed. This binds the phosphorus from food in the gut rather than allowing it to be filtered by the kidney, which will often allow us to feed a protein replete diet that keeps cats well-muscled.
There Is No Single Diet That Is Right For All Cats With Kidney Disease
We need to stop thinking that any one diet is good for all cats with chronic progressive kidney disease. The far more important question to ask may not be how much protein, but how good the protein is.
In addition, as cats have more progression of their kidney disease sometimes appetites diminish a bit. Since cats choose food based upon three characteristics: texture or mouth feel, aroma and taste, we must live by the golden cat rule: it is more important that she eats than what she eats. Attempting to impose our ideas about good food can imperil them should they not agree. Choose the best canned food your cat will enthusiastically consume.
Cats in the wild are wary of change. They will sniff a new prey before consuming it and if that food is perceived to cause discomfort or an upset tummy, they will NEVER eat it again. Some cats experience a bit of nausea from their kidney disease. It must be treated so that they dont associate that discomfort with the food you offer. If they do, that food will end up in the garbage along with any other variety you may select in the future.
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Encourage Your Cats Water Consumption
Your cats kidneys thrive on water, which they use to flush toxins from their body. You can help keep your cats kidneys healthy by encouraging your cat to drink as much water as possible. Cats can be stubborn, however, so you may have to trick them into thinking it is their idea. Ways to make water more appealing to your cat include:
- Replacing their water bowl with a fountain, since cats love running water
- Letting your bathroom faucet drip for a few hours, if your cat likes to drink from it
- Adding tuna juice or chicken broth to your cats water
- Feeding your cat canned food instead of dry kibble
- Adding a few ice cubes, which can encourage your cat to play inand drinktheir water
- Placing water bowls throughout your house so your cat does not have to travel far to drink this is particularly important for senior cats who may have arthritis
Is Your Cat Underweight
The first step for getting your cat to gain weight is recognising that theyre underweight. This might seem obvious, but lots of people with healthy cats of an ideal weight feel that their pet is too skinny, so its important to know how to properly evaluate your cats weight rather than risk them becoming obese.
A cat is considered to be underweight if their ribs are visible through their coat.
Similarly, if the spine or hip bones are easily visible, they may need to gain a little weight. If you arent sure whether your cat needs to put some weight on, its a good idea to pop them into the veterinarian for a quick check-up.
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How Does Kidney Failure Occur
Kidney failure occurs when at least two-thirds of each kidney is damaged. With this much damage, the kidneys cannot perform their essential functions.
Kidney failure can be acute or chronic.
Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys suddenly stop working. Some of the many causes of acute kidney failure are toxin ingestion and shock.
Chronic kidney failure, also called chronic kidney disease, develops over many years. It usually begins when cats are about six years old and becomes progressively worse as the nephrons slowly die. When more nephrons die than can be replaced, kidney failure becomes apparent.
Chronic kidney failure is much more common than acute kidney failure in cats, so well focus on chronic kidney failure.
Consulting With Your Vet
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How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight And Keep It Off
A fat cat is a feline cliché, but overweight cats are no laughing matter. An obese cat can face all sorts of health issues, from diabetes to joint problems. Getting your kitty to a healthy cat weight will help her to feel great.
As a pet parent, youll have to take the lead and come up with a plan to help your cat lose the weight and keep it off.
Here are some tips on how to get your kitty started on her path to a healthier life.
Selecting Food For Your Cat
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Creating Brighter Futures For Cats With Chronic Kidney Disease
Cats suffering from chronic renal disease are now able to enjoy longer and healthier lives than they ever had before. According to Dr. Shelly L. Vaden, a professor of internal medicine at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Its been an extremely exciting time over the last decade or so in that weve significantly improved our abilities to diagnose and detect chronic kidney disease.Weve also made significant strides in in medical management. Dr. Vaden was a featured speaker at the New Therapeutic Approaches to Chronic Care Symposium, which took place at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 in August of 2018.
Natural Appetite Stimulants For Cats
When the cause of your cats lack of appetite is addressed by your veterinarian, some cat owners want to start with a natural approach to stimulating their appetite. With having natural products and tips that can entice your feline friend to eat, there is no harm in trying these options before diving into prescription medications.
So what are some natural appetite stimulants for cats? Lets dive into a few of our tips.
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The Importance Of Water For Cats With Kidney Disease
Water consumption is one key to preserving as much functioning kidney tissue as possible and thereby preserving quality of life. Though cats with kidney disease consume lots of water, it is in large part because their kidneys cannot retain it as efficiently as they used to. So the universal truth is the more moisture the better that means no or as little dry food as possible, flavored waters like tuna juice, clam juice, chicken broth, and canned food exclusively if possible. Some cats dont mind soupy food so warm broth or water can be added to it. A water fountain and/or multiple places around the house to drink may be helpful. The other rule is whatever way your beloved cat will drink. Like us, they have their preferences!
Causes Of Weight Loss In A Skinny Cat
There are two primary reasons for a slim cat: obesity and genetics. One of two things is happening: they arent eating enough or they are burning more calories than they are consuming. Some of the causes for not eating enough may include stress, dental disease, nausea, and a variety of other factors. Cats suffering from certain disorders may have weight loss, which may be the initial, and in some cases, the only, external indicator that an underlying problem is developing. Weight loss can also be caused by a deterioration in digestive function that occurs in certain geriatric cats over the age of ten, which can occur in some older cats.
- If you come across a stray cat that appears to be emaciated, you should call your local shelter or veterinarian to receive their advice on how to bring the cat back to health.
- A stray cat that has been adopted should always be taken to the veterinarian to be checked for health issues.
- In addition, weight reduction might be subtly noticeable and delayed to begin.
- Early intervention gives patients the option to begin therapy sooner rather than later.
- If your cat suddenly stops eating, it is considered a medical emergency..
If this is the case, you should take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver syndrome, can occur in cats that go for days without eating. This illness is life-threatening and can lead to death.
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Make Food More Appetizing
Elderly cats can lose weight fast because their senses decline during their golden years. A loss of smell can cause your cat to lose its appetite, but you can restore it by:
- Adding aromatic ingredients
- Heating the food to enhance the aroma
Ensure that none of the flavorings and additives are bad for cats, such as spices.
A Mosaic Of Treatment
Cats suffering from chronic renal illness are now able to enjoy longer and healthier lives than they ever had before, thanks to recent advances. According to Dr. Shelly L. Vaden, a professor of internal medicine at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the last decade or so has been a really exciting time in that weve significantly improved our capacity to identify and detect chronic renal disease. There have also been significant advancements in medical management, says the team leader.
Vaden as the featured speaker.
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Find The Right Cat Food
Dr. Kelly Stark of Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, agrees. Its important to evaluate how much youre currently feeding and work with your vet to determine a safe amount to reduce that food intake.
Dr. Stark says you and your vet may also consider changing foods, to either a weight management or metabolic dietessentially one that is higher in protein and fiberwhile maintaining other necessary nutrients to help your kitty feel full longer.
Dr. Stark says this can be a healthy alternative to simply cutting calories because you need to ensure your cat is still getting all the nutrition needed while safely losing weight.
She also reminds cat parents that both exercise and nutrition are important for achieving that initial weight loss along with the long-term maintenance of a healthy cat weight. Every cat is different, and some are more predisposed to gaining weight, she explains.
A Legacy Of Hope For Cats With Kidney Disease
Buttons and Tom Jackson were inseparable companions until Buttons succumbed to feline chronic kidney disease at the age of 14. Chronic kidney disease is a chronic, irreversible decrease of kidney function that is one of the primary causes of mortality in older cats. It is estimated that up to half of cats over the age of 15 may have renal failure, according to veterinarians. As soon as Buttons was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease , Tom immersed himself in the condition, learning everything he could to offer his companion with supportive treatment.
It may be heartbreaking to witness. They inquire as to what they may do to help them feel better and continue eating.
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Diets For Kidney Disease In Cats
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When your cat is diagnosed with kidney disease, veterinary treatment often includes medications, intravenous or subcutaneous fluids and a radical change in diet. As a cat owner, you must be able to discuss the disease with your veterinarian, learn why and how the illness progresses and why various treatments, including a proper diet, are necessary. Being informed, youll be much more likely to follow the veterinary protocols and the needed food plan, and thus improving the prognosis for your pet.
Understanding the Disease
Your cat with kidney disease will urinate more frequently and drink more water . The cat may start urinating outside of the litter box in inappropriate places on the floor, on the carpet, in bathtubs and sinks. Some cats are unwilling or unable to eat food and become anemic and dehydrated. They can begin vomiting and have diarrhea or become constipated. As the disease progresses and the kidneys become increasingly dysfunctional, your cat may develop azotemia an overabundance of nitrogen in the blood that shows in a metallic smell to the breath. Some cats will also have lesions on the lips and gums that make it more difficult to eat.
What Diet Is Most Effective?
Most traditional vets will recommend a veterinary-prescribed diet, however, holistic veterinarians can help you put together a plan using home-prepared meals that can work as well.
Can I Feed A Homemade Diet?
What Your Vet Will Tell You
Is It Common For Older Cats To Lose Weight
Elderly cats can lose weight because their metabolism slows down, so it becomes difficult to process food, resulting in reduced consumption. Also, theyre less physically active, so they start to lose muscle mass and appear to start wasting away.
Older cats can lose so much weight that they start to look skinny and bony. This is due to health complications from the aging process, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, and renal failure.
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