What Are The 4 Stages Of Kidney Disease In Cats
Kidney disease in cats can be detected by a number of tests. A blood chemistry panel and urinalysis can determine the severity of the condition. The level of creatinine in the blood is a marker of the kidneys function. If this value is below 1.6, the kidneys are still functioning normally. However, if the level is higher than 1.6, there may be an infection. A vet will recommend further testing to rule out other causes of kidney disease.
When the level of creatinine reaches 5.0, the kidneys are failing to filter the blood, resulting in a deteriorated state. This stage is marked by lethargy, poor grooming, and loss of appetite. Cats in this stage may need to be fed via a feeding tube and require frequent fluid administration.
Kidney failure in cats can occur at any age. It can be caused by an infection, trauma, or poisoning. While most cases of acute kidney failure are treatable, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Acute renal failure is often sudden, while chronic kidney failure can develop over a period of months. When left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to total kidney failure.
How To Prevent Kidney Disease In Cats
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What Do The Kidneys Do
The kidneys play a major role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. Their primary responsibilities are to excrete water-soluble waste through the urine, help with endocrine function , maintain electrolyte balance, and filter toxins out of the blood. Nephrons are made up of many parts, each playing a vital role in maintaining homeostasis . Compared with other species, cats have a high proportion of nephrons with longer loops of Henle, allowing their urine specific gravity to exceed 1.080 in some cases.1 Thus, dilute urine in a cat can be of concern, and further diagnostic testing may be needed to determine the cause.
Some patients with early kidney disease may present for a regular examination with no clinical signs, and an elevated creatinine level may be an incidental finding. Others may present with intermittent or acute vomiting, polyuria and/or polydipsia, lethargy, dehydration, weight loss, decreased appetite, or anorexia. Patients may need further workup to determine the cause of these clinical signs if serum creatinine levels are elevated, further diagnostic and laboratory tests are indicated to rule out other causes and/or stage kidney disease.
TABLE 1 Components of Nephrons
|Facilitates urea and water permeability and reabsorption of water|
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What Percentage Of Kidney Lesions Turn Out To Be Cancerous
If your doctor has defined your kidney lesion as a tumor, 2030%¹ of kidney tumors turn out benign growths. This means the remaining 7080% of lesions are considered cancerous.
The larger the tumor , the more likely the tumor is cancerous. Even so, only one-third of cancerous kidney tumors are considered to be aggressive. The remaining two-thirds are labeled as “well-behaved” or low-grade tumors. If detected early, they can be excised, which might be curative.
Is A Kidney Lesion The Same As A Cyst On Your Kidney
It can be abnormal to have one or more cysts on your kidneys as you age, but if this is a new finding or has suspicious features, it may be deemed a lesion.
A cyst on a kidney is simply one type of lesion. A kidney cyst consists of a small sac or pouch filled with a watery fluid or air. Kidney cysts generally fall into two categories.
Simple cysts, also known as individual cysts, are benign and don’t cause any damage to the kidneys. There is an inherited condition called polycystic kidney disease , which results in multiple cysts and enlargement of the kidneys. This is uncommon but may result in kidney failure.
More concerning are any cysts with suspicious material in them apart from water or air. These can become cancerous and need to be followed up.
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What To Expect At Home
Appropriate treatment for chronic kidney failure depends on the specific symptoms and biochemical abnormalities a cat has. Many patients require fluid therapy to combat dehydration. This can be achieved by increasing the water content of a pets diet and through intermittent subcutaneous fluid treatment .
Your veterinarian may also prescribe a special diet to help promote kidney function and counteract biochemical abnormalities that commonly occur in the body.
Additional recommendations are based on a pets individual needs and may include:
- Medications to lower blood pressure
- Nutritional supplements that reduce BUN and phosphorus levels
- Omega 3 fatty acids to protect the kidneys
- Medications to treat or prevent stomach ulcers
- Potassium supplements
- Medications decrease blood phosphorous levels
- Calcitriol to slow the progression of chronic renal failure
- Medications to treat anemia
- Anti-nausea medications
Kidney transplants may be an option for cats who meet specific criteria.
Creating Brighter Futures For Cats With Chronic Kidney Disease
Cats with chronic kidney disease can now live longer, better lives than ever before.
Its been a very exciting time over the last decade or so in that weve really enhanced our abilities to diagnose and detect chronic kidney disease, said Dr. Shelly L. Vaden, a professor of internal medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Weve also made many improvements in medical management.
Dr. Vaden was speaking during the New Therapeutic Approaches to Chronic Care Symposium at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 this past August. Another convention presentation focused on RenalTech, a new tool from Antech Diagnostics that uses artificial intelligence to predict which cats will develop chronic kidney disease in the next two years.
During an October 2020 webinar from Morris Animal Foundation, Dr. Jessica Quimby, an associate professor of small animal internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, spoke about trying to develop a deeper understanding of CKD in cats while still improving on practical aspects of treatment.
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Staging Canine And Feline Ckd
The IRIS Staging of CKD guidelines were developed as a guide to classifying stable canine and feline CKD in order to both improve communications surrounding CKD and link appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic efforts to patients with varying degrees of CKD.
These guidelines have been published in well-known textbooks, such as Current Veterinary Therapy and Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and have been adopted by the American and European Societies of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology .2,3
This staging system is not used to make a diagnosis of CKD but is employed following a diagnosis of CKD in order to facilitate appropriate treatment, monitoring, and further diagnostics.
Is A Kidney Lesion The Same As A Tumor
A tumor on your kidney is abnormal, so technically, the word “lesion” could be used to describe a kidney tumor. However, if your doctor tells you that you have a lesion on one or more of your kidneys, it doesn’t automatically mean you have a benign or malignant tumor on your kidney.
If your doctor finds a lesion and suspects it may be cancerous, they will perform additional testing to confirm their suspicions.
What if your doctor says you have an angiomyolipoma?
An angiomyolipoma is a form of a kidney lesion. However, it’s more commonly referred to as a kidney tumor. An AML develops when some of the cells in a kidney begin to grow abnormally, eventually forming a mass.
This abnormal cell mass is benign, meaning it’s a non-cancerous tumor. If you have a small AML, it may not produce any symptoms at all. If your AML grows larger , you may have symptoms such as kidney pain, fever, and/or anemia. The larger your AML, the more likely you’ll require treatment to reduce its size to a more manageable level.
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What Are The Sign Of A Cat Dying Of Kidney Failure
Signs of kidney failure in cats include:
- The cat begins to become fussier with its food.
- It starts to eat less and although apparently hungry will leave its food after only a few mouthfuls.
- It usually has begun to drink more water and this may go unobserved until the cat starts leaping into the sink or the bath to lick the moist surface.
- It starts to lose weight and its skin becomes dry and the coat no longer is smooth and shiny.
- As the disease progresses the cat becomes less lively, preferring to sleep in a secluded spot.
- It develops a brownish scale on its teeth and its gums bleed easily.
- The breath is unpleasant and can have a distinct smell of ammonia.
- In the advanced stage of the disease, toxic products of protein and fat metabolism accumulate in the blood and the cat refuses all food and wishes only to hang over its water bowl.
Factbox: New Treatments Hold Promise Of Slowing Kidney Damage
FRANKFURT, Oct 5 –
New breakthrough drugs that tackle obesity and kidney damage could make a dent in the $50 billion U.S. dialysis market.
The following are facts about the new treatment options and what role they play in slowing the gradual progression of chronic kidney disease that can end in renal failure.
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Two classes of drugs, originally designed as diabetes treatments, have been found to have additional benefits to treat conditions that are major factors contributing to a deterioration of kidney function:
- Drug class of SGLT2 inhibitors :
One new class of diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors, including AstraZenecas Farxiga as well as Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lillys Jardiance, have been found to slow the decline of renal function and each is expected to reach annual sales of well over $3.5 billion over the next few years.
Farxiga won approval for the treatment of chronic kidney disease last year. Jardiance is expected to gain access to the same market after a successful CKD trial in March.
- Drug class of GLP-1 analogues
Novo Nordisks Wegovy injection, a different repurposed diabetes drug with even higher sales potential, has been shown to help overweight people shed 35 pounds or more, reducing a major risk factor for kidney disease. Eli Lillys Mounjaro, a next-generation obesity drug candidate, has been billed as an even bigger blockbuster.
- Dialysis as a major financial burden
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How To Prevent Kidney Failure In Cats
To avoid bouts of acute kidney disease, the most important things you can do is take steps to keep your cat healthy, such as taking your kitty to the vet once or twice a year.
For chronic kidney disease, take these four steps to maintain the overall health of your cat’s kidneys:
- Provide plenty of water to help the kidneys flush out toxins.
When To Put A Cat Down Who Has Kidney Failure
When a cat develops kidney failure, its time to talk with your vet about euthanasia. This is a decision you should make carefully and thoughtfully, but it will help you know when its time to put your cat down.
Treatment for kidney failure can be very expensive. It can cost up to $1000 a month to care for a cat on dialysis, and thats just the beginning of the financial commitment.
Once youve made the decision to euthanize your cat, youll want to make sure there are no other treatment options available. There may be natural remedies that can help your cat live longer, like acupuncture or herbal supplements. You might also be able to find someone who does low-cost acupuncture for cats if money is an issue.
If youve ruled out any other treatment options and your cat is in pain or suffering from stress, it will be time to consider putting him or her down.
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Causes Of Acute Kidney Failure
- Toxins – These are the most common causes of AKF in cats. Pesticides and rodenticides, house cleaning products, antifreeze, grapes and raisins, toxic plants , heavy metals, and certain medications for humans are highly toxic to the kidneys of cats.
- Trauma or injury to the kidneys
- Shock brought about by too much blood loss, rapid dehydration, hyperthermia , vomiting, diarrhea, and other factors that cause a sudden and significant drop in body fluids
- Insect or snake bites
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis and other severe systemic infections
Is Kidney Disease Painful
Kidney disease does not typically cause pain, but it does cause overall discomfort. Managing symptoms is key to making sure your cat feels comfortable, so work with your vet to address any new concerns as they crop up. For example, cats with chronic kidney disease may feel nauseous and refuse to eat. You can ask your vet about ways to coax your kitty to eat her new food.
Your kitty also needs lots of water, as cats with kidney disease quickly become dehydrated. Make sure the water bowl is always full and consider placing multiple water bowls throughout your home for easy access. You can also offer a circulating water fountain, which may appeal to a cat who loves to lick from the faucet.
With a little extra effort, many cats can continue to live happy lives. “Cats can live for years with kidney disease,” Mears says. “It really depends on whether they’re in the earlier or later stages. But often they live for three to six years after diagnosis.”
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Prognosis Of Kidney Disease In Cats
The prognosis is always guarded as the kidneys have very limited capacity to regenerate. Short term survival and long term outlook is dependent on the cause, how soon treatment is given following the insult to the kidneys and whether there was already an underlying kidney condition or another disease that made your cat more susceptible.
For example, a cat with acute kidney disease due to urinary tract obstruction or infection could make a full recovery from the kidney disease when appropriate treatment is given to relieve obstruction or infection. Sadly, in contrast, most cats with antifreeze toxicity do not survive as severe, irreparable damage has been done to the kidneys by the time they show symptoms.
Therefore, the aim of treatment for chronic kidney disease is to improve the cats quality of life by controlling the symptoms and to slow down the progression of the disease.
Effects Of Iv Fluids In Dogs And Cats With Kidney Failure
- The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbus, OH, United States
Intravenous fluid therapy has long been the mainstay of treatment of kidney disease, including acute kidney injury and uremic crisis associated with chronic kidney disease. Careful management of fluid dose is critical, as animals with kidney disease may have marked derangements in their ability to regulate fluid homeostasis and acid-base status. Understanding of the physiology of renal fluid handling is necessary, along with repeated attention to parameters of fluid status, electrolytes, and acid-base balance, to achieve optimal hydration status and avoid further damage or decrease in function from dehydration or overhydration.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Failure In Cats
If your cats kidneys arent removing waste from his or her body, you may notice that your cat is drinking more water and attempting to urinate more. Because the toxins build up in the cats body, they may feel nauseous and stop eating their food. In general your cat will appear to be lethargic and not very happy.
General symptoms of kidney failure in cats can include:
Features To Consider While Buying Kidney Friendly Cat Foods
To impress your cats and also provide them with efficient food for resolving their renal issues following are some factors to consider:
Major feature that we have to look forward to when buying cat food for kidney disease is whether it is wet or dry food. In case of low phosphorus dry cat food, you have to look to buy only after trying it out on pets. One can buy this type if their kitties can munch easily with no inhibition. Also, all dry food will come with a soft texture to aid in eating easily. Digestion is another thing to consider when buying dry food. Be sure to note that on its package. Another type is wet food. Usually, wet food will arrive in cans that are ready to feed to cats. This type of food comes in gravy format, which cats will lick with meat pieces. Our experts recommend people try both dry and wet food on their cats well before deciding.
Wet and dry food comes in different packaging. Best cheap wet cat food comes in canned format. Most cans come with a self-opening style where one can pull them open with a small lever. Moreover, these canned meals are easy to store and transfer into bowls smoothly. In case of dry food, it comes in package types. Once opened, one has to transfer them into containers to maintain their freshness. This will become a problem since heavy bags might be difficult to handle and store. If you have containers that can store such a huge quantity, then go for dry food without a doubt.
Suitable For Cats Age
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