How Can I Tell If I Have Kidney Disease
Early kidney disease usually doesnt have any symptoms. Testing is the only way to know how well your kidneys are working. Get checked for kidney disease if you have
- a family history of kidney failure
If you have diabetes, get checked every year. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or a family history of kidney failure, talk with your health care provider about how often you should get tested. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help protect your kidneys.
What Is Kidney Failure In Cats
Kidney failure can be caused by a number of conditions that affect the kidneys and related organs.
Healthy kidneys eliminate waste from the blood, maintain a normal electrolyte balance, regulate hydration and calcium, manage blood pressure and stimulate production of red blood cells. If your cat experiences kidney failure, the kidneys are no longer functioning efficiently.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms
People with kidney failure will have several symptoms of the disease. Nonetheless, these symptoms will vary depending on the stage of kidney failure. The most common symptoms are the following:
- A decrease in urine output, although sometimes urine output remains . Typically people say that they are urinating far less than they used to.
- Fluid retention causes swelling in legs, ankles, and feet. This is due to the kidneys inability to eliminate water waste.
- Shortness of breath
- Seizures or coma in severe cases
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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.
What Is Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdominal cavity as the dialysis filter to rid the body of waste and to balance electrolyte levels. A catheter is placed in the abdominal cavity through the abdominal wall by a surgeon, and it is expected to remain in place for the long term. The dialysis solution is then dripped in through the catheter and left in the abdominal cavity for a few hours after which, it is drained out. During that time, waste products leech from the blood flowing through the lining of the abdomen and attach themselves to the fluid that has been instilled by the catheters. Often, patients instill the dialysate fluid before bedtime and drain it in the morning.
There are benefits and complications for each type of dialysis. Not every patient can choose which type he or she would prefer. The treatment decision depends on the patient’s illness and their past medical history along with other issues. Usually, the nephrologist will have a long discussion with the patient and family to decide what will be the best option available.
Dialysis is lifesaving. Without it, patients whose kidneys no longer function would die relatively quickly due to electrolyte abnormalities and the buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. Patients may live many years with dialysis but other underlying and associated illnesses often are the cause of death.
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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Failure
It depends on the type of kidney failure or kidney injury. Acute renal failure has a sudden onset that happens in days. In contrast, chronic kidney failure has a progressive and slow beginning that may take months even years.
Having kidney failure means that 85% to 90% of kidney function is gone. The following are the causes for each one of the possible scenarios of kidney failure.
Acute Kidney Failure Complications
Acute kidney failure can sometimes cause complications. These include:
- Fluid buildup. Acute kidney failure can sometimes cause a buildup of fluid in your body. If fluid builds up in your lungs, this can cause shortness of breath.
- Chest pain. If the lining that covers your heart becomes inflamed, you may have chest pain.
- Acidic blood . If your blood has too much acid due to acute kidney failure, you can end up with nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and breathlessness.
- Muscle weakness. When your bodys fluids and electrolytes are out of balance, you can get muscle weakness. In serious cases, this can lead to paralysis and heart rhythm problems.
- Permanent kidney damage. Acute kidney failure can become chronic and your kidneys will stop working almost entirely or completely. This is called end-stage renal disease. If this happens, you will need to go on permanent dialysis or get a kidney transplant.
- Death. Acute kidney failure can lead to loss of kidney function that is so bad, it can cause death.
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Diabetes And Kidney Failure
Without management, high blood sugar can damage your kidneys. The damage can worsen over time.
Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, cant be reversed. Managing your blood sugar and blood pressure may help prevent or limit kidney damage. Taking medications as prescribed by your doctor is important, too.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform regular screenings to monitor for kidney failure.
Your risk for diabetic nephropathy increases the longer you live with diabetes.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. About one-third of adults with diabetes have kidney disease, according to the
Does Kidney Failure Cause Pain
Kidney failure in itself does not cause pain. However, the consequences of kidney failure may cause pain and discomfort in different parts of the body.
Normal functioning kidneys filter amyloid from the bloodstream. In kidney failure amyloid proteins in the blood rise, and can separate and clump together forming amyloid deposits into a variety of tissue and organs, including joints and tendons. This can result in symptoms of:
- Patients who are on dialysis may have discomfort when on the dialysis machine.
Underlying chronic disease pain
- Pain is often a consequence of the underlying chronic disease that led to kidney failure, for example:
- People with poorly controlled diabetes may develop diabetic neuropathy pain.
- People who have the peripheral vascular disease also may have pain in their extremities and may develop claudication .
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What Causes Kidney Failure In Cats
The filtering system in your cats kidneys consists of thousands of microscopic tubes . While a kidney will still work if some nephrons are damaged, if too many nephrons stop working too suddenly for the good nephrons to compensate, the kidneys can fail.
The most immediate symptom of kidney failure is that they stop clearing the blood of dangerous toxins. Though cats kidneys may start to fail with age, they arent the only ones at risk .
Here are some common causes of both acute and chronic kidney failure in cats:
- Acute Kidney Failure
Several Changes On The Bloodwork Suggest Kidney Failure:
- Increased blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels: BUN and creatinine are waste products that normal-functioning kidneys easily eliminate.
- Reduced potassium
- Elevated phosphorus
A relatively new blood test that measures a substance called SDMA helps to diagnose kidney failure even earlier than can be done with routine bloodwork.
On a urinalysis, dilute urine would suggest kidney failure, especially if the bloodwork shows elevated BUN and creatinine. Protein may also be present in the urine.
Because hypertension can cause kidney failure, a veterinarian may also take a cats blood pressure to help confirm a kidney failure diagnosis.
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What Is Renal Failure In Dogs
Renal failure can be caused by many conditions that negatively affect the health and functioning of the kidneys and its related organs.
A healthy dogs kidneys work to regulate hydration, release hormones required to produce red blood cells, remove toxins and maintain a normal balance of electrolytes. If a dog experiences kidney failure, the kidneys no longer perform these functions efficiently.
While kidney problems can be concerning for any pet owner, dont lose hope if your veterinarian has diagnosed your pup with a kidney issue that may lead to kidney failure. Depending on the circumstances, there may be measures you and your veterinarian can take to prolong your pets life. Heres what you should know.
There are two types of renal failure in dogs:
Acute Renal Failure
Most commonly associated with toxins or infections, acute renal failure causes kidney function to suddenly decline .
Chronic Renal Failure
This type of kidney failure involves more gradual loss of kidney function . Degeneration associated with geriatric decline is often to blame. While all kidneys have a natural lifespan, some dogs kidneys will, unfortunately, deteriorate more quickly than others.
What Can I Expect From This First Phase Of Treatment
There are three possible outcomes from the first phase of treatment:
1. The kidneys will resume functioning and continue to function for a few weeks to a few years.
2. The kidneys will resume functioning during treatment but fail again as soon as treatment stops, usually within three to fourteen days.
3. Kidney function will not return.
Unfortunately, there are no reliable tests that will predict the outcome. Each case should be treated aggressively and monitored closely. Even dogs that have severe kidney failure may respond favorably to treatment and resume a normal quality of life after treatment.
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What Are Symptoms Of Acute Kidney Failure
Dogs or cats with acute kidney failure may have a variety of problems. Symptoms of kidney failure include excessive thirst and an excessive volume of urine in the early stages. Later symptoms of acute kidney failure include lethargy, poor appetite, and vomiting. In severe kidney failure, the amount of urine may actually decrease, or the pet may stop making urine altogether. Other signs as things get worse include digested blood in the stool making the stool look black and tarry, or vomiting digested blood, which looks like coffee grounds.
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Failure
In early stages of kidney disease, many people experience few or no symptoms. Its important to note that chronic kidney disease can still cause damage even though you feel fine.
Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure can cause different symptoms for different people. If your kidneys arent working properly, you may notice one or more of the following signs:
- Poor appetite or metallic taste of food
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Why All Cat Parents Should Know About Cat Kidney Disease
Cat kidney disease, the leading cause of death in elderly cats, is a frustrating condition for pet parents and veterinarians alike. The cause of cat kidney failure has not been determined, and cat kidney disease doesnt cause cats to act sick until it is too late.
When it comes to acting healthy, cats are masters of disguise. They will look and act healthy until they are physically unable to do so because of their instinct to survive. Unlike dogs, who have been evolving alongside humans for multiple millennia, cats are not so far removed from their wild ancestors. If a cat in the wild showed that she was sick, she would be easy prey to larger predators. That instinct drives a cat to act normal even when they are sick and to hide themselves when they can no longer do so.
Kidney failure in cats is typically a slowly progressive disease. What this means is that no signs of kidney failure in cats will show other than your cat drinking lots of water and peeing more until the cat kidney disease is far advanced.
I have several feline patients that get their blood tested yearly. On their bloodwork, the BUN and creatinine, which are historically used to determine kidney function in cats, are normal, but their SDMAs are abnormal. Kidney changes was caught early in these patients because of SDMA, and would have been missed if we were just checking BUN and creatinine. Because we caught them early, we can start treatment earlier and preserve kidney function for longer.
How Is Kidney Failure In Cats Diagnosed And Treated
Your vet will do a comprehensive examination of your cat, including blood and urine tests, X-Rays, and possibly an ultrasound. A kidney biopsy might also be required to diagnose kidney failure.
If kidney disease is found, treatments could include intravenous fluids to correct dehydration, vitamin injections, supplements, medications, and possibly surgery to remove blockages. When treating kidney failure the goal is to manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.
You can support your cats treatment with a carefully managed diet and plenty of clean fresh water. Your vet will recommend that you gradually transition your cat to a kidney diet that is low in both phosphorus and protein, and is enriched with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
For cats with end-stage kidney failure, they will require palliative care in their final days will mean keeping them warm and comfortable, with food, water and a litter box nearby, as well as lots of loving human companionship.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pets condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
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Will Kidney Failure Affect My Sex Life
Kidney failure will affect your emotions, nerves, hormones, and energy levels, all of which may change your sexual relationships. Taking good care of yourself by managing your kidney disease and controlling your blood pressure and blood glucose levels can help prevent some sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction. Getting counseling may help with some emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression, which can get in the way of having satisfying sex.
You may feel shy asking questions about your sex life, but your health care team has heard the same questions from other people. Your provider is trained to help you address concerns about your sex life.
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Can Kidney Failure Be Prevented
While kidney failure from chronic kidney disease cant be reversed, you can do many things to help preserve the kidney function you have today. Healthy habits and routines may slow down how quickly kidneys lose their functional abilities.
If you have chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, youll want to:
- Monitor your kidney function, with your doctors help.
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control, if you have diabetes.
- Keep your blood pressure levels in a normal range.
- Make healthy diet choices, such as limiting foods high in protein and sodium.
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How Hospice Can Help With End
Besides providing help in recognizing the signs of end-of-life kidney failure, hospice can help the family caregiver in managing their own needs. The team at Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care includes nurses, volunteers, aides, social workers, and doctors who provide many different services, from personal care like grooming and bathing, to help with managing the patients medication.
If you would like to learn more about how Crossroads can help, we recommend you contact us now by selecting one of the Get Help options from the blue help center bar at the top of this page.
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Fatigue Being Tired All Of The Time
Why this happens:
Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin , or EPO, that tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less EPO. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain tire very quickly. This is anemia, and it can be treated.
What patients said:
I was constantly exhausted and didn’t have any pep or anything.
I would sleep a lot. I’d come home from work and get right in that bed.
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Urine Test For Albumin
If you are at risk for kidney disease, your provider may check your urine for albumin.
Albumin is a protein found in your blood. A healthy kidney doesnt let albumin pass into the urine. A damaged kidney lets some albumin pass into the urine. The less albumin in your urine, the better. Having albumin in the urine is called albuminuria.
A health care provider can check for albumin in your urine in two ways:
Dipstick test for albumin. A provider uses a urine sample to look for albumin in your urine. You collect the urine sample in a container in a health care providers office or lab. For the test, a provider places a strip of chemically treated paper, called a dipstick, into the urine. The dipstick changes color if albumin is present in the urine.
Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio . This test measures and compares the amount of albumin with the amount of creatinine in your urine sample. Providers use your UACR to estimate how much albumin would pass into your urine over 24 hours. A urine albumin result of
- 30 mg/g or less is normal
- more than 30 mg/g may be a sign of kidney disease
If you have albumin in your urine, your provider may want you to repeat the urine test one or two more times to confirm the results. Talk with your provider about what your specific numbers mean for you.
What Are Common Causes Of Kidney Failure In Dogs
Any disease that impacts the kidneys may cause the kidneys to fail, such as:
Congenital Disease: This category is comprised of hereditary conditions and underlying illnesses – everything from cysts to agenesis .
Dental Disease: Advanced dental disease can result from the buildup of bacteria on teeth and gums. The bacteria accumulates here, then enters the bloodstream to attack multiple organs, causing irreversible damage to kidneys, along with the liver and heart.
Bacterial Infections: Drinking or swimming in contaminated water is a hazard, as the system becomes susceptible to bacterial infections including leptospirosis. This can result in inflamed kidneys and renal cells being killed.
Toxicosis: If the kidneys are poisoned, this can cause cells within the kidneys to become damaged. This can happen if your dog consumes drugs or poisons .
Geriatric Degeneration: Cells within the kidneys may break down and die as your dog ages, which can lead to kidney disease.
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