Feline Kidney Disease
Feline Kidney Disease
5 Symptoms No Cat Owner Should Ignore
It’s estimated that over 30% of cats over age 12 will eventually be diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). Unfortunately, CKD can be silent—cats can lose as much as 75% of kidney function before symptoms appear.
There is no cure for kidney failure but we can manage the condition to give cats a higher quality of life. Medications support the existing kidney function and help replace some of the work the kidneys do and allow cats to live for up to eight years with the diagnosis.
The sooner we begin to support renal function, the slower the progression of the illness. Learn these five symptoms that can help with early detection:
- Vomiting clear, foamy fluid
As renal function declines, toxins built up in the bloodstream causing increased stomach acid that is vomited as a liquid appearing "foamy" or "frothy".
- Weight loss
Increased stomach acid can make your cat nauseous and less likely to eat.
- Sitting hunched over a water or food bowl
Cats sitting hunched over a food or water dish but not eating or drinking can be a sign of nausea.
- Excessive Urination
When the kidneys can no longer hold or filter liquids correctly, it can lead to frequent urination of large amounts of fluid.
Cats with CRF can become severely dehydrated. To test for dehydration, lift up your pet's fur and skin (the neck area is a good place) and then release your hold. If the skin falls right back in to place, dehydration is less likely than if the skin remains in position and takes time to fall back into place. Other signs include gums that feel tacky feel rather than slippery.
These symptoms help identify feline CRF but they can’t compare to hard science. Cats over age 10 need annual kidney screening through a blood test. No matter what its age, if your cat exhibits two or more of these symptoms for several days, contact us promptly.
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