First lets review some basic information about kidney disease in cats. Kidneys in both people and animals act as the bodies filter to cleanse the blood of waste products.
The kidney takes in the blood filters it and then produces urine for excretion. This organ also helps regulate blood pressure and calcium levels.
When kidney failure in cats occurs toxins are released into the body and if untreated death is the most common result.
Kidney disease in cats may arise from a wide variety of causes, including hereditary congenital abnormalities, and bacterial infections.
Also inflammation of the internal structure of the kidneys, (cysts) within the kidney and cat urine issues stemming from urinary tract blockages such as kidney stones.
Thanks to the University of Penn school of veterinary medicine there is now hope for cats experiencing kidney failure.
Acute or Chronic kidney failure
There are two kinds of kidney failure in cats, acute renal failure, which is usually triggered by a certain event.
An example would be ingestion of anti-freeze or other liquid chemical that harms the organ.
This type of kidney failure in cats is known as ARF (acute renal failure) and is commonly treated by intro-venous medications to assure quick diffusion into the bloodstream.
If the animal survives the initial onset and treatment of the problem much or all of its kidney function can be regained and a normal healthy life resumed. The second type of kidney disease in cats is chronic renal failure (CRF).
This type of disease is irreversible, unlike the acute form where the cat may recover and regain normal urinary tract functions.
With chronic renal failure the goal is to keep the remaining functions as long as possible.
This urinary tract problem is seen mostly in older cats that may show signs of urine issues at around ages 10 through 14. In most cases of renal failure, treatments are aimed at alleviating the symptoms.
No cure exists for chronic renal failure. But for a time it can be managed. If the treatment for kidney failure in your cat is ineffective there is now hope to save your pet’s life.
Kidney transplants for cats
Since 1998 Penn veterinary Hospital has been creating the feline renal transplant program. Penn veterinary Hospital is the only Eastern teaching hospital that performs kidney transplants on felines.
Dr. Aronson who runs the program emphasizes that all of this is possible through the efforts of many specialists from many areas of expertise.
Once an assessment of the cats kidney disease is completed as well as the owner’s willingness to bear the burden of frequent visits expensive bills and years of administering daily medicine. The process may begin for the kidney transplant procedure.
The Hospital will find a suitable donor for the kidney transplant procedure.
The catch is that the owner must agree to adopt the donor cat. This is sometimes a deal breaker, as in the client or owner does not desire to bring home two cats.
The donor is selected from various places or supplied by the hospital itself. Others are rescued from the pound. If this procedure is successful, then two lives are saved.
This is a wonderful program, and anyone interested should contact Penn Vet hospital for more details and information or even consider donating to the hospital to help continue in their groundbreaking research for kidney disease in cats.
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