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What To Do When Your Cat Has Kidney Failure

What Are The Side Effects Of Potassium Gel For Cats

Pet Tips – Kidney Failure in Older Cats

Potassium gel for cats is a medication that is used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions. The gel is applied to the skin and works by slowly releasing potassium into the bloodstream. Potassium is a essential mineral for cats and helps to regulate blood pressure and heart function.

The most common side effect of potassium gel for cats is vomiting. Other side effects may include diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If you notice any of these side effects, contact your veterinarian immediately.

My Cat Has Kidney Failure Now What

The kidneys play many vital roles in the normal functioning of the body, such as maintaining water, pH and salt balance, toxin removal from the blood, producing hormones, as well as controlling blood pressure. During these processes they also produce urine. Both urine and blood samples play vital roles in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease. Your veterinarian is able to use these to gauge the severity of the disease by measuring the amount of proteins such as creatinine and chemicals like potassium and phosphate that are present. As part of disease management at home, there are easy to use urine testing kits available that can determine how well the kidneys are functioning, without you having to take your cat to the vet too often. After all, we know how much most cats love a trip to the veterinarian! CheckUp is a home testing kit that you can use to quickly and easily monitor your cats kidney function. The test strip is capable of detecting the presence of glucose, nitrite, protein and blood in a sample of your cats urine, all within minutes. The presence of any, or all of these components in the urine, dependent on the severity of and progression of your feline companions disease, will notify you whether or not a trip to the veterinary clinic is indeed required.

Checking is caring. So CheckUp.

What Are The Causes Of Crf

CRF is the end stage of a number of different disease processes rather than a specific disease in its own right. Diseases or conditions that can eventually lead to CRF include:

1. Congenital malformations of the kidneys – such as polycystic kidney disease in long haired cats

2. Pyelonephritis – bacterial kidney infections

3. Glomerulonephritis – inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtration membrane

4. Neoplasia – various tumors of the kidney, most commonly lymphosarcoma

5. Amyloidosis – this is the build-up of an unusual protein in the kidney that prevents the kidney from functioning normally

6. Viral infections such as feline leukemia virus or feline infectious peritonitis virus

7. Kidney stones or ureteral stones

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Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Failure

Early stages of chronic kidney disease can be diagnosed with routine yearly blood work and urine tests before clinical symptoms even develop. If your vet suspects kidney failure, they will recommend basic blood work, urinalysis , and blood pressure measurements to help diagnose kidney failure, stage the kidney failure, and discuss proper treatments and supportive care.

Kidney failure is staged in 4 levels, with Stage 1 being the mildest and Stage 4 being the most severe.

When To Contact Your Vet

Kidney failure and diet in cats

If you notice any of the symptoms above, contact your vet. The earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing further damage and the longer your cat is likely to live.

Kidney disease is much more common in older cats. Have your cat checked by your vet regularly especially once they are in their senior years .

You know your cat best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned its always best to contact your vet.

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Prevention Of Kidney Disease In Cats

Some causes of kidney disease may be preventable , but unfortunately, most causes are not. Heritable conditions, for example, are not preventable, but affected cats, or cats with the genetic copies of the disease, should not be bred.

To limit your cats exposure to toxins, keep lilies out of the home and block off access to the garage, household cleaners, and medications. Limiting exposure to other catswhile keeping your cat up to date on vaccines and monthly heartworm and flea controlis recommended.

If you notice any of the signs above, take your cat to a veterinarian for examination as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and intervention are keys to maintaining quality of life.

How Is Kidney Failure Treated

While not curable, kidney failure in cats is treated using a range of therapies, with most aiming to reduce the kidneys workload, minimize waste products in the blood, replace lost nutrients, and manage clinical signs. Subcutaneous fluids are often administered to cats who have become dehydrated.

Chronic kidney failure is not curable. Treatment goals include reducing the kidneys workload, minimizing waste products from the blood, replacing lost nutrients, and managing clinical signs.

Treatments can generally be grouped into dietary changes and medications. Be aware that not every cat in kidney failure will need every available treatment.

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What Diseases Are Ragdoll Cats Prone To

Ragdoll cats, like all cats, are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies, which can be avoided with vaccination.

The Ragdoll is a fairly healthy cat breed, but it comes with some health issues that can be transmitted through genetics, as well as a higher risk of developing. Polycystic kidney disease, on the other hand, is a hereditary condition. Keep an eye on your cat, as Ragdolls are usually asymptomatic for a long time. Because ragdolls are peaceful and quiet, they enjoy lounging around in the house or in their owners lap. Before you purchase, you should have your breeder issue you with a veterinarians health certificate. If you suspect that your pet has a urinary tract infection, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. You commit to a long-term relationship with a Ragdoll kitten, and they can live for up to 15 years. Hairballs are the most common digestive problem among Ragdolls. Furminator is a great tool that allows you to give your cat a haircut while also brushing her coat, and I strongly advise you to use it.

High Phosphorus & Potassium Levels

What Are The Symptoms Of A Cat Dying Of Kidney Failure?

High phosphorus levels often accelerate the progression of chronic kidney disease. If the cat experiences rising phosphorus levels despite taking the necessary measures such as feeding low phosphorus food or giving large amounts of phosphorus binder, the end could be near. The cat will become weaker and may suffer from diarrhea.

Most cats suffering from chronic kidney disease have low potassium levels. However, the levels will rise gradually as the kidneys inability to excrete potassium increases. The risks of high potassium levels include seizures and heart attack.

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Are Ragdolls Prone To Health Problems

Ragdolls are a relatively healthy and hardy breed, but like all cats, they are prone to certain health problems. The most common health problems seen in Ragdolls are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , a heart condition that can be fatal polycystic kidney disease , a kidney condition that can also be fatal and elbow dysplasia, a condition that can cause lameness. Ragdolls are also susceptible to certain genetic conditions such as Color Dilution Alopecia , a condition that causes the coat to thin and may eventually lead to baldness.

Male ragdoll cats are larger than females, making them one of the largest breeds of domestic cats. They came to the United States from a variety of breeds, including Persian, Siamese, and Bangladeshi. A ragdoll cat is a loyal and affectionate feline that establishes close relationships with its owner. The ragdoll is known for being friendly and fond of humans. Despite the fact that they arent as active as other breeds of cats, they do need exercise and physical stimulation. Providing an environment that stimulates your cats curiosity is critical if you want him to respond to it. Dirt and dead hair must be removed from Ragdoll cats on a regular basis.

Is There A Difference Between Kidney Disease And Kidney Failure

Though the two are tied together, there is a major difference between kidney disease and kidney failure.

Kidney disease is the chronic decline of kidney function over time, while kidney failure is the actual failing of the kidneys to the point where they cannot function properly any longer.

The kidneys are an impressive set of organs, as they can continue to function until 65-70% of the kidneys have been impaired by chronic disease.

Kidney failure would be the period in time of where the cats kidneys have already experienced severe damage, and can no longer function properly.

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What Treatments Are Available

The treatment of CRF depends on the results of blood tests, and specific treatments are aimed at resolving specific abnormalities. The majority of cats are effectively managed with diet change including supplementation and one or two other treatments. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the best treatment for your cat.

“Different treatments are available and the majority of cats are effectively managed with diet change including supplementation and one or two other treatments.”

  • Special diets – feeding low protein and low phosphorus diets help lower the level of waste products in the bloodstream. These can be prepared at home or are available ready prepared from your veterinary practice.
  • Phosphate binders – despite low phosphate in the diet, blood phosphorus levels remain above normal in some cats. Reducing blood phosphorus can have a major effect on improving your cat’s well being and slowing disease progression. Oral phosphate binders such as aluminum hydroxide help to lower the amount of phosphorus absorbed through the gut wall.
  • Antibiotics – many cats seem to respond well to antibiotics though the reason for this is not always clear. Cats with CRF develop bladder infections more frequently and routine urine cultures are recommended for many patients.
  • Vitamins B and C – when the failing kidneys are unable to concentrate the urine, these water-soluble vitamins are lost and affected cats need daily supplementation.

What Causes Kidney Failure In Cats

Chronic Kidney Disease 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
  • Ingestion of toxins or harmful substances
  • Bacterial infection
  • Illnesses such as cancer
  • Specific medications

Chronic Kidney Failure

  • Autoimmune diseases

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How To Prevent Kidney Disease In Cats

  • Make it easy for your cat to pass urine. Your cats litter tray should be located somewhere they feel comfortable and safe. Clean the litter tray regularly so they are not put off using it.
  • Take your cat for regular health checks. Routine check-ups at the vets will make it more likely that any signs of disease will be picked up early before they develop into serious conditions.
  • Encourage your cat to drink plenty of water. Ideally use a water fountain as cats enjoy running water, or a large bowl of freshwater to encourage your cat to drink more.
  • Use wet food. Tins or pouches of wet food will increase your cats water intake compared with a dry diet alone.
  • Dont let your cat become overweight. Obesity can lead to multiple health problems, including diabetes, which can lead to kidney failure.
  • If you are concerned that your cat is experiencing signs of kidney disease, dont hesitate in booking a free consultation with one of our vets. If you arent already registered with us, its quick and easy to do online.

    Caring For Cats With Chronic Kidney Disease

    Of all the major diseases afflicting cats, chronic kidney disease is one of the stealthiest. It usually creeps up on cats as they get older, but it can also show up more dramatically and have devastating effects. When your cats kidneys arent able to do their job as usual, it can lead to renal failure and death.

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    How Long Does It Take For Potassium Gluconate To Work In Cats

    Its common for cat owners to wonder how long it will take for their cat to start feeling the effects of potassium gluconate. The answer depends on a few factors, but in general, you can expect the medication to take effect within 1-2 hours. However, its important to keep in mind that the effects may not be immediately noticeable, and your vet may need to run some tests to evaluate the medications effectiveness.

    Also, This medication is designed to help people with certain types of infections. It should start working within 1-2 hours, but sometimes people dont see any effects and need to get lab tests done to see if the medication is working.

    Selecting Food For Your Cat

    Jackson Helps Cat With Kidney Disease Get Healthier | My Cat From Hell
  • 1Give your cat wet food instead of dry food. Cats with kidney issues can become easily dehydrated, as their kidneys cannot retain water efficiently. They need to consume a lot of water on a regular basis to stay healthy. Giving your cat wet food will ensure it gets enough water when it eats. Dry food is too dehydrating and should be avoided.XResearch source
  • Go for canned wet food that is high quality and all natural. Look for wet food that contains tuna juice, clam juice, chicken broth, and beef broth. Just make sure that these are low in sodium. Avoid tuna in brine and opt for tuna in water instead.
  • You can also add water or warm broth to your cats wet food for added water consumption.
  • 2Make sure the food contains reduced amounts of protein. A reduced protein diet is important for cats with kidney issues, as it can be hard on your cats kidneys to process a lot of protein at once. Give your cat wet food that contains less protein and protein that is high quality. High quality protein like rabbit and chicken are usually easier to digest for cats with kidney issues.XResearch source
  • Low sodium is also important for the maintenance of your cats kidneys, especially if it has kidney issues. Go for cat food that is advertised as low sodium.
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    Diagnosing Kidney Failure In Cats

    The most accurate way to diagnose kidney failure in cats is through diagnostic blood work that measures their kidney enzymes.

    Most clinics have the ability to test these levels within their walls, or they can send the blood out to a nearby lab for in depth testing.

    The main levels that are measured in these blood tests include their blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels.

    Its important to note that your veterinarian will likely suggest performing a full panel of blood work to assess other factors such as electrolytes, phosphorus, and other elements.

    This can help your vet determine how far progressed your cats condition is, and what is needed to best stabilize them going forward.

    Your veterinarian will also suggest performing a urinalysis that not only assesses the components of the urine, but the specific gravity of the urine as well.

    The concentration of the urine can point to the evidence of kidney failure, as well as the evidence of casts within the urine.

    In the past, it was challenging to diagnose kidney disease in cats before they progressed to the point of significant kidney damage.

    Thankfully, there is now a test that searches for the evidence of early renal failure that would have previously went undetected.

    An SDMA test can be performed in your vets office that searches for an increase in SDMA levels in the bloodstream.

    Purpose Of The Kidneys

    To understand a little about kidney disease, lets discuss some of the many functions of the kidney. The kidney is one of the most amazing organs in the body and has numerous critical functions. It filters around 20 percent of the bodys blood, regulates body water and electrolyte balance, and helps regulate arterial pressure and acid base balance. It also regulates the excretion of calcium and the production of the active form of vitamin D. It plays a key role in the metabolism of some important body minerals and produces almost all of a special substance called erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. In addition to all this, the kidney is responsible for getting rid of metabolic waste products and chemicals through excretion in the urine. If this vital organ is not functioning as it should, there are lots of systemic consequences.

    The most common signs that an animal may be experiencing kidney dysfunction are increased thirst and urination. In later stages of the disease, gastrointestinal signs such as bad breath, vomiting, poor appetite and diarrhea may appear. There may also be a gradual decline in body condition with weight loss and poor hair coat. Some animals show no signs at all, and their disease is picked up, as stated above, during routine physical examination and screening tests of blood and urine.

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    Bowel And Bladder Incontinence

    Instead of experiencing reduced urination and an inability to urinate, some cats develop the opposite once the condition is advanced. The cat will urinate and/or poop wherever they are lying due to the inability to control bowel and bladder movements.

    Lack of energy also means they cannot walk to its litter box, which means they end up lying on their own urine and feces. This can be distressing to the cat due to its fastidious nature. You should have your vet examine your cat for urinary tract, kidney, and bowel infections and see if the infection will respond to treatment.


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