Kidney Failure in Cats
Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Cats
- Excessive urination
- Increased thirst
- Nausea and gagging
- Licking lips
- Grinding or cracking sound in jaw
- Vomiting (both clear/foamy liquid and food)
- Hunching over the water bowl
- Stomach irritation (uremic gastritis)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Muscle wasting
- Poor hair coat
- Halitosis (ammonia smell)
- Sensitivity to sound
- Eating litter
- Oral ulcers
- Detached retinae
- Convulsion, low temperature, coma (end-stage)
Treatment of Kidney Failure in Cats
There is no cure for kidney failure in cats, but the condition may be
managed for a time. The management of kidney failure in cats is to control
the amount of waste products that are sent through the kidneys. Since the
remaining nephrons are limited in their ability to process waste, the idea
is to reduce the amount of waste to a level that the nephrons can
accommodate. This is done through a combination of diet, medication, and
hydration therapy (diuresis).
There are current research projects targeted at slowing the progression of
kidney failure in cats with ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.
These medications dilate the blood vessels thereby decreasing blood pressure
while facilitating a non-damaging increase in blood flow that doesn't tax
the kidneys. The results so far have been encouraging, but the studies are
not yet complete. Kidney transplantation and dialysis are also now possible.
A kidney transplant should be viewed not as a cure, but as an option for the
treatment of kidney failure in cats.
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