When your cat’s kidneys are healthy they work to remove toxins, manage blood pressure, maintain a normal electrolyte balance, regulate hydration and calcium, and produce hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells.
Poisons, such as toxic plants, pesticides, cleaning fluids and human medications, are the most common cause of acute renal failure. While there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, if its detected and treated early your cats longevity and quality of life can be improved.
Symptoms of End Stage Kidney Failure in Cats Symptoms of end stage kidney failure in cats include dull sunken eyes, inability to walk, body odour, incontinence in bladder or bowels, refusal to eat or drink, seizures, confusion, pacing and restlessness, withdrawing, hiding and running away. These symptoms can also be signs of other illnesses, which is why early diagnosis, disease management and communication with your vet is critical. Your vet will do a comprehensive examination of your cat, including blood and urine tests, X-rays, and possibly an ultrasound.
If kidney disease is found, treatments could include intravenous fluids to correct dehydration, vitamin injections, supplements, medications, and possibly surgery to remove blockages. 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.
This will include keeping them warm and comfortable, with food, water and a litter box nearby, as well as lots of loving human companionship.
Are cats in pain when they have kidney failure?
Cats with acute renal failure will feel very unwell in a short space of time. They often seem to be in significant pain due to swelling of the kidneys and may collapse or cry constantly.
How do I know when my cat is dying of kidney failure?
Your cat may vomit or have diarrhea and often shows a loss of appetite with corresponding weight loss. The buildup of toxins in the blood can lead to a depressed cat or even more severe neurologic signs such as seizures, circling, or head pressing.
What does end stage kidney failure look like in cats?
Symptoms of end stage kidney failure in cats include dull sunken eyes, inability to walk, body odour, incontinence in bladder or bowels, refusal to eat or drink, seizures, confusion, pacing and restlessness, withdrawing, hiding and running away.
Pet Wellbeing’s own Dr. Jan has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years. Since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, she’s founded two veterinary clinics and lectured extensively on pet herbal therapy, nutraceuticals, acupuncture, rehabilitation and pain management.
Kidney disease is the number one killer of cats over 14 years of age. Unless they develop another life-threatening disease first, all cats will eventually die from kidney failure. In heart disease in humans, the plaque build-up in the arteries starts many years before a heart attack occurs. Similarly, kidney disease in cats starts years before illness occurs. The kidneys begin to deteriorate from day one, just as your brand new car starts to age and depreciate as soon as you drive it off the lot.
This is stage 1 of CKD and is ideally when medication is begun that will slow the deterioration of the kidneys and lengthen lifespan the most effectively. When this two thirds level is reached, the kidneys can no longer conserve water and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride etc.)
It is often not possible for your veterinarian to determine the exact cause of cat’s kidney problems, especially if the disease has been present for a number of years. If the kidney failure is not severe, the pet can compensate by drinking extra water and producing more urine. Signs of uremia include: Increased thirst, apathy, depression, listlessness, reddened eyes, skin problems, excessive or no urine production (depending on the stage of the disease), dehydration, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, emaciation, bad breath, mouth ulcers, discolored tongue, muscle twitching, coma, and eventually death.
Extra fatty acids and fat in the diet helps to reduce inflammation and maintain body weight. At the present time, we dont have a higher protein prescription diet made specifically for kidney disease. Chicken feathers and shoe leather both contain a lot of protein but it is completely indigestible, which means it does the pet no good while placing increased workload on the kidneys.
With chronic kidney disease, starting calcitriol early gains you about three years of increased life expectancy. The owner who accomplishes these goals can keep a treasured pet alive and happy, with minimal expense and inconvenience, for many years. It has been proven that large quantities of protein in the urine are associated with faster progression of chronic renal failure.High blood pressure (hypertension) is also associated with progression of chronic renal failure.Therefore, when we see either or both of these problems in a pet, we start benazepril, an ACE inhibitor drug.These drugs are commonly used in both people and animals to control hypertension.Some patients will need amlodipine as well to keep their blood pressure down or to minimize protein loss into the urine.
Recheck blood pressure readings or UPC tests are needed to ensure we have the right medications and the right dosages for an individual patient. Stage 1 : The pet has a large amount of protein in the urine, high blood pressure, SDMA is >14 or Creatinine is greater than 1.5. Dental care as needed, with IV fluid support (you can prolong life expectancy 2-3 years if your cat is never allowed to develop periodontal disease)
Control side effects of uremia if needed (including nausea, vomiting, and GI ulcers), with medication. In the later stages a significant commitment is needed on the part of the owner, as well as the veterinary team, to work together to support the health and happiness of the pet as long as possible.