chronic kidney disease in cats
After many years together, finding out that your cat has chronic kidney disease can be very distressing. However, it is reassuring to know that our understanding of chronic kidney disease is growing all the time and veterinary science has made important advances in treatment in recent years.
The information below will help you understand chronic kidney disease, what will happen in the future, and what you can do to help your cat.
WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF
As with humans, cats’ kidneys filter the blood and remove waste products; in doing so they produce urine.
WHAT IS CHRONIC
KIDNEY DISEASE (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease is one of the most common conditions found in older cats, occurring typically in cats aged 7 and over. CKD affects about 10% of the general cat population and up to 35% of older cats.
The disease is the result of damage to the kidneys. Kidneys are responsible for filtering and removing waste products from the blood. The damage is often just the result of ageing, though at times a specific cause is identified. As a result, the kidneys can no longer filter the blood properly, resulting in a range of signs.
In most cases, the underlying cause of the damage is never known. Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is irreversible and can only be managed.
WHAT DOES THIS
MEAN FOR MY CAT?
Chronic kidney disease is a progressive condition, but the rate of progression can vary greatly between individual cats. Some cats live many years with chronic kidney disease but there is usually a gradual worsening of the cat’s health with time. The sooner a diagnosis has been made and appropriate treatment started, the better your vet will be able to help your cat. More so, starting treatment early helps ensure that your cat enjoys the full benefits of treatment and enjoy a better quality of life.