Chronic Renal Failure

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), sometimes referred to as kidney disease, is a deterioration of kidney function meaning that the kidneys cannot efficiently remove waste products from the blood.

About Chronic Renal Failure In Cats

Chronic Renal Failure mostly affects middle aged to older cats. In most cases, Chronic Renal Failure is progressive over time and irreversible so that there is a gradual advancement and worsening of the disease leading to death or euthanasia, although the rate of progression of the disease varies considerably between cats. It many cases it is not possible to determine the cause of Chronic Renal Failure although known causes include Polycystic Kidney Disease, kidney tumours, bacterial infections of the kidneys, kidney damage or defects and toxic poisoning.

Symptoms Of Chronic Renal Failure In Cats

The symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure often develop slowly and include poor apetite, weight loss, stomach irritation, vomiting, dehydration, increased thirst, excessive urination, drooling, depression, mouth ulcers, bad breath and general weakness and lethargy. Not all cats develop all symptoms.

Treatment Of Chronic Renal Failure In Cats

Veterinary treatment should be sought immediately if Chronic Renal Failure is suspected. Some cats may require rehydration, and if a specific cause is found (such as a bacterial infection of the kidneys), treatment may be possible that will prevent further deterioration of the kidneys.

However where it is not possible to diagnose an underlying cause, treatment consists of managing the renal failure and supporting renal function by diet management. Cats must be kept hydrated by ensuring plenty of water is available and feeding moist foods. Diets low in protein and phosphate reduce toxins in the bloodstream and so result in less work for the kidneys.

Prevention Of Chronic Renal Failure In Cats

With often no specific cause to Chronic Renal Failure there is no sure way to prevent it. However, anything that reduces the workload of the kidneys may help to prevent it such as ensuring access to fresh water at all times, allowing frequent urination, feeding moist diets with a high meat and low grain content. The risks are greater for outdoor cats where they could be exposed to toxic poisoning.

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