Kidney disease in cats is a common disorder, especially in cats that are over ten years of age. In fact, one out of three cats will develop kidney disease and it is the leading cause of death in cats.
Did you know that 75% of your cat’s kidney function is gone before you see signs of serious illness? That means, the only way to tell how your cat’s kidneys are functioning is blood work and a urine test. Dr. Anna Coffin will discuss kidney disease in cats and the latest test for early detection.
Kidney Disease in Cats:
The kidneys help remove toxins from your pet’s blood stream and remove them by urination. Kidney disease in cats occurs once the kidneys are unable to filter these toxins effectively. When toxins get too high in the bloodstream, cats begin to show symptoms of kidney disease. Dr. Anna Coffin says that it is impossible to repair the damage once it has occurred so early detection and slowing down the progression of the disease is important.
In an attempt to remove the excessive toxins, the kidneys kick in to overdrive and start to produce more urine. Early signs of kidney disease are drinking and urinating more than normal. Dr. Anna Coffin says it’s important to do bloodwork as soon, if not before, these signs appear. End stage kidney disease in cats causes anorexia, vomiting and weight loss.
A revolutionary new test, developed by IDEXX, is now available that helps detect kidney disease in cats and dogs months to years early than traditional blood work. Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) is a protein that is produced by every living cell and released into the circulation. Since SDMA is excreted exclusively by the kidneys, a rise in SDMA is now being used to determine kidney function.
Dr. Anna Coffin recommends a prescription diet specifically designed to protect the kidneys from further damange to help slow the progression of kidney disease in cats. There are multiple companies that make these special kidney diets, which are low in protein and high in fat. Fluid therapy under the skin may also be necessary to help your cat stay normally hydrated.
The best way to keep your pet’s kidneys healthy is through preventative medicine. Call Guthrie Pet Hospital to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today.