Sometimes our feline friends seem like they could very well be superheroes. The fact that there are even rumors that they have nine lives supports how resilient they truly are. 

Unfortunately cats are not quite as immortal as many of us wish they were. Like Superman, even our feline heroes have their kryptonite. Springbrook Animal Care Center takes care of many amazing cats, and many times these incredible little beings  are affected by feline chronic kidney disease, especially as they age.

Lurking in the Shadows

The kidney is a pretty impressive organ, multitasking by diligently overseeing hydration balance in the body while simeotaneously kicking out unwanted toxic byproducts in the production of urine. 

Not to be outdone, the kidney also helps to establish balance within the electrolyte community, normalizing blood pressure, and motivating the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The kidneys are a pillar of their organ community.

Sometimes, however, misfortune befalls this amazing organ. Sometimes a sudden insult, such as the ingestion of a toxic plant, can cause acute kidney failure. 

More often, though, cats are affected by feline chronic kidney disease (CKD). This condition comes on slowly and sneakily over time, often simply brought on by chronic wear and tear. 

Our heroes who are affected by CKD may experience:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Very dilute urine
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Dull coat
  • Decreased grooming
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia

Combating Feline Chronic Kidney Disease

While many cats will face CKD in their lifetime, thankfully we are not entirely powerless against this enemy. 

As with many diseases and illnesses, CKD can be thwarted by being proactive. When we can detect feline chronic kidney disease early through routine blood and urine screening tests and changes such as weight loss or thirst and urination noted at routine preventative care visits, we stand a much better chance at defeating this enemy. 

We have other secret weapons that we can use to hold back CKD as well. These include:

  • Encouraging good hydration
  • Prescription diets designed to support good kidney function as well as minimize wear and tear
  • Supplements and vitamins to help support normal function even in the face of deteriorating renal performance
  • Medications to help control high blood pressure
  • Medications and supplements to help combat anemia
  • Medications to support appetite and manage nausea

Even CKD is able to bring one of our feline patients into its clutches, many times we can improve the patient’s well-being by utilizing intravenous fluids in-hospital or even teaching owners to administer fluids under the skin at home. 
Many conditions can appear similarly to CKD in cats, so it is important for you to make an appointment for us to evaluate things if you feel that your pet may be affected. Cats may have some pretty extraordinary powers, but even they need a trusty sidekick to beat this nemesis.