Ways To Manage Kidney Disease in Cats
It is believed that certain breeds of cats may be prone to developing kidney disease. These breeds include Abyssinian, Maine coon, Russian blue, Siamese and Burmese.
Elderly cats may develop kidney disease to some extent. Again, both CKD and hyperthyroidism tend to go hand-in-hand as the cat ages.
How The Disease Eats the Kidney of Your Cat
The kidney organ features numerous, tiny, microscopic funnel-shaped tubes known as nephrons. The work of nephrons is to continuously filter and re-absorb fluids.
If your cat is still young and healthy, their kidney will have so many nephrons that others are kept in reserve. As the cat grows older, or in the event that their kidney becomes troublesome, the reserved nephrons take over. In fact, at some point in their life, all the nephrons available will be actively functioning.
You see, at this point, their kidney will not have any more reserve of nephrons. So as the damage progresses, the cat begins to show signs and symptoms of chronic kidney failure. It is also important to note that damage in the kidney is never visible until when the problem is really significant.
In the end, your cat will lose 2/3 of these nephrons, so their kidney won't be able to conserve water, plus the animal will begin passing large amounts of dilute urine. That's where problems set in.
Management of Kidney Disease in Cats
One of the most effective ways of managing this condition in cats is through observing their diet. There are 3 aspects tied to their diet, namely:
(a) Water Intake
Because their kidney doesn't conserve water, expect your cat to be dehydrated. Therefore, maintaining a good level of hydration will be essential, and it will also slow the progression of their condition.
Take note that cats obtain a large percentage of water from their foods. This means you should be fed-tinned with sachet foods rather than dry foods.
(b) Protein Content
A cat with renal failure needs to be put on a diet with restricted protein amounts. The reason being, several toxic products accumulate in their blood as a result of protein breakdown. This means that giving them a restricted protein diet can minimize the impact and improve quality of life.
But again, you have to be careful with this because too little of it can be detrimental to their health.
(c) Restricting Phosphate Content
It appears that limiting the amount of phosphate they take in their diet is very beneficial. Whereas reducing the amount of protein intake will improve the quality of life in cats who suffer from kidney disease, limiting phosphate content in their diet can have dramatic effect on them, thereby prolonging their lives.
This is something that studies have approved. So if the level of phosphate in their blood is still high despite limiting the amount in their diet, you may consider using drugs such as ''phosphate binders'' to bring down the level of phosphate in their blood.
Other Dietary Aspects
You can put more emphasis on diets with antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce the level of damage in their kidney. The diet should also have essential fatty acids to encourage efficient blood flow and also reduce inflammation of the kidney organ.
More potassium can reduce the odds of developing hypokalaemia (or low blood potassium). You can also add them some bi-carbonate (or something similar) to prevent acid from building up in their body.
All these dietary elements can help keep your cat healthy for as long as possible. However, due to specific nutritional demands that different cats may have, your cat may require a specific veterinary therapeutic diet that is designed to manage their condition.
Checking their Blood Pressure
Cats suffering from kidney disease are likely to develop high blood pressure, and this can bring along a number of damaging effects, including blindness. Therefore, you should monitor their blood pressure when they suffer from this disease. When the results turn positive, you should treat the condition with drugs known as ''vasodilators''.
To be specific, in cats, there's a drug called ''amlodipine'', and this is very effective when they are suffering from hypertension as a result of kidney disease.
Kidney disease can deteriorate their lives so fast. However, if you take the measures above, you can improve the quality of their lives, and also prolong it as well. Everything you do to minimize the impact of the disease will slow its progression, and thus your cat will live longer.