The job of the kidneys is to filter out toxins so they can be removed from the body in urine. When the kidneys fail, toxins build up quickly, and death soon follows. Nashville Cat Clinic in Nashville, TN, takes a closer look at kidney failure in cats.
Types of Kidney Failure in Cats
Kidney failure, also called renal failure, is basically divided into two types: acute and chronic. Acute means that the kidneys begin failing all of a sudden. Chronic means that the kidneys have been on their way out for some time. Cats can have chronic kidney failure for years before their symptoms become noticeable.
Causes of Kidney Failure in Cats
The causes of acute renal failure in cats include:
- Snake bites
- Inability to urinate, usually due to a urinary obstruction
- Low blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Feline infectious peritonitis
- Bacterial infection in the kidneys
The causes of chronic kidney failure in cats include:
- Another kind of bacterial infection in the kidneys
- Stones in the urinary tract
- Birth defects of the kidneys
- Some kinds of viral infections, such as the feline leukemia virus
- Kidney tumors
- A kidney ailment called glomerulonephritis
- Another kidney ailment called amyloidosis
Signs of Kidney Failure in Cats
If your cat shows these signs, get him to a veterinarian or animal hospital for treatment:
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Breath that smells like ammonia
- Cat becomes listless
- Loss of appetite, which lead to weight loss
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Urinates far more than usual
- Drinks far more than usual
- Mouth ulcers
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine
- The tongue starts turning brown
Treatment of Kidney Failure in Cats
Acute kidney failure is usually treated with a combination of medications and IV fluids. In the case of stones in the urinary tract, surgery is needed to remove the stones. Chronic kidney failure is treated with a change in diet, including adding nutritional supplements. Cats are often placed on oral medication.
Detecting Chronic Kidney Failure
There is now a way to detect if a cat is in the early stages of kidney failure, long before the cat starts showing any symptoms. This is a blood test from your veterinarian.
A Warning about Grapes
Contrary to popular belief, cats do not instinctively know what foods are bad for them. They will eat grapes and raisins and drink wine. Unfortunately, grapes are poisonous to cats and cause cats' kidneys to fail. Kittens are far more prone to grape toxicity than adult cats, since kittens are so much smaller.
Your Cat Care Clinic in Nashville, TN
If you have further questions about kidney failure in cats and live in the Nashville, TN, area, contact Nashville Cat Clinic at (615) 361-1844 to make an appointment today.