Kidney disease is a very common condition occurring in cats.
The chances of a cat developing a chronic kidney disease increase with age.
Some of the most common symptoms of kidney disease in cats are as follows:
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Increased or decreased urination (extremes in frequency of urination)
- Urination outside of the designated area
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Lower back pain
- Stiff postures while walking
- Drooling due to ulcers in the mouth
- High blood pressure
The above mentioned symptoms of kidney disease in cats are very general and do not hint at a specific kidney disease. So here are a few kidney diseases that afflict cats:
This is a bacterial infection caused in the kidneys and renal pelvis. It starts as a low grade fever accompanied by vomiting and lower back pain. Hunched posture and a stiff gait are the characteristic signs of this condition. Urine is bloody and urination painful. There are two forms of the disease – acute and chronic. While the former is easier to detect, the latter progresses slowly and hence difficult to detect, leading to kidney failure.
Treatment includes prescription of an antibiotic course based on the antibiotic sensitivity tests performed on the cat’s urine samples. Dietary adjustments and fluid intake are an important part of the treatment.
Nephritis is an inflammatory condition of the kidneys caused by infection or other factors such as toxins, poisons or some medication. Those affected by chronic form of nephritis suffer scarring and reduced size of the kidneys. Another form of nephritis is the glomerulonephritis. In this disease the filtration mechanism (glomeruli) of the kidneys is affected with the filter tissues getting inflamed. This condition is actually a symptom of some other underlying condition such as leukemia, peritonitis, infection, polyarthritits or cancer.
Nephrosis is the systematic destruction of the nephrons (kidney cells) causing a loss of kidney function. In this condition, the protein leaks through the filters of the kidney and passes out of the body via urine. This reduces the protein levels in the body serum causing accumulation of fluid beneath the skin and inside the abdomen.
There is no permanent cure for this condition. Temporary help in the form of steroids is the only medication available. Special diets are customized by the veterinarian for a cat diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome.