It is estimated that 30% of cats over fifteen years of age will be affected by kidney disease. Kidney disease is not necessarily a death sentence. With early detection, appropriate care and owner commitment, many cats can maintain a good quality of life. Kidney diseases will inevitably advance, meaning our goal is to delay the progression of what begins as kidney insufficiency, into full blown kidney failure.
Routine bloodwork and urinalyses enable early detection of kidney disease. Although there is no specific treatment for kidney disease in cats, there are various things that we can do to manage the condition. If a mild elevation in the kidney enzymes is identified, then a prescription kidney “friendly” diet is often recommended. These prescription foods are available for purchase at Town and Country Animal Hospital in Naples, but if you reside in Estero or Marco Island, for example, and are unable to make the trip, they can be ordered and delivered through our website at www.mynaplesvet.com or our online pharmacy at https://mynaplesvet.vetsfirstchoice.com.Rechecking your cat’s kidney values periodically will allow ongoing monitoring of the kidney function.
A urinalysis is also a useful tool in monitoring and managing kidney disease in cats. It is always important to rule out an underlying urinary tract infection which could be contributing to the kidney disease. If a bacterial infection is identified, treatment will include a course of antibiotics. The urinalysis also allows us to assess how well the cat is concentrating their urine. With kidney insufficiency, the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate the urine, indicated by a low urine specific gravity. The presence of protein in the urine can be secondary to high blood pressure.
Periodic monitoring of blood pressure can also be a useful tool in managing kidney disease in cats. Checking a cat’s blood pressure is similar to that of a person: a cuff is placed around one of the cat’s extremities and a machine records a series of readings. If the cat is identified as having high blood pressure, treatment with anti-hypertensive medication may be prescribed.
At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of options to detect and manage cat kidney disease, as well as care and treatment for many other diseases and issues, including cat dental disease and dog kidney disease.