Cat Kidney Problems & Feline Kidney Disease. Your cat’s kidneys filter and remove toxic waste products from the cat’s blood via the urine. They also regulate calcium and vitamin D levels, maintain the cat’s level of hydration and secrete the hormone responsible for red blood cell production.
Acute cat kidney disease occurs suddenly and is rare in cats but, with prompt recognition and treatment, it is generally reversible. Chronic feline kidney disease occurs as the kidneys deteriorate slowly over a cat’s lifetime. This is the most common situation and is called chronic renal (or kidney) disease (CRD). CRD is not reversible and signs generally don’t occur until 80 percent of kidney function is lost.
CAUSES OF CAT KIDNEY PROBLEMS
Cat Chronic Kidney Failure– A variety of chronic conditions causing exaggerated abnormal allergic type and/or immune reactions can result in Chronic Kidney Disease in cats.
- Chronic Dental Disease
- Chronic bacterial and viral infections
- Chronic skin allergies
- IBD and hormonal disorders like Diabetes
- Blood pressure too high or too low
- Improper diet, excess phosphorus and protein
TIP: Long term excessive urination and excessive drinking are the most common initial signs of chronic kidney failure.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
Routine lab tests (blood, urine) don’t reveal CRD until 75 to 80 percent of your cats kidney function is lost. X-rays and ultrasound allow visualization of the kidneys. A biopsy confirms the exact diagnosis. Local anesthesia and ultrasound are used to aid removal of a tiny piece of kidney tissue and/or cells which are examined under the microscope.
Fluid therapy to correct dehydration is the single most important factor in treatment. Without normal kidney function toxins, like Ammonia, normally eliminated in the urine build up in the blood and cause serious damage like vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, anemia, heart problems, and dementia. Fluids may be given under the skin or through a catheter (tube) inserted into a vein. Some owners learn to give fluids under the skin at home as seen in the photo on the left.
- Dialysis machines that filter toxins from the blood and kidney transplants are available in extreme cases.
- Special diets with restricted levels of protein and phosphorus reduce the toxic waste load on the kidneys.
- Calcitrol is a form of activated Vitamin D, (a hormone) that helps prevent progression of kidney disease. It is given by mouth daily and is excellent.
- Ambodipine (Norvasc R) safely reduces blood pressure when necessary to prevent Hypertension.
- Tumil-K is a potassium source which is often low in these cats due to lack of appetite. Appetite stimulants may be needed.
COMPLEMENTARY CAT KIDNEY THERAPY
- B Vitamins and Iron help combat Feline Anemia which is often present with CRD because the kidneys normally makes hormone that stimulates red blood cell production.
- Vitamin B Complex – 5 milligrams daily
- Vitamin C powder – 250 mg 3 times per day
- Vitamin E – 400 Iu (international units) once a week
- Vitamin A – 10,000 Iu (international units) once a week
- Glandular – beef kidney – available at grocery stores – cats enjoy this
- Paaws Cat Vitamins are comprehensive and very helpful for kidnet disorders
CAT KIDNEY HERBAL REMEDIES
- Kombu broth – seaweed rich in minerals and low in sodium
- Parsley tea – 1 Tsp herb taken internally is high in minerals, Vitamins A, B, C and Potassium.
- Horsetail Grass infusion
- Hornbeam is a Bach Flower Remedy used for cold, weak cats – 3 drops daily