Kidney Failure in Older Cats
We are looking at the chronic kidney failure in older cats that occurs with aging.
As the kidneys age they go from a nice robust round kidney to slowly shrinking up and scaring. This is why senior blood work is recommended. As we detect these changes we can make changes with diet and medications that can improve there quality of life.
Stage 1 Kidney failure - the cat may appear normal and seem fine but we see changes in blood work. At this stage we have found that dietary changes make a huge difference. We use the K/D line very effectually.
One of things we are monitoring for on the senior blood work is the BUN and Creatine. These 2 indicators are the byproducts for protein metabolism. BUN is blood urea nitrogen so the lower protein foods lower the amount of BUN and Creatine in the system. It is not just these values we monitor urinalysis and other indicators within the chemistry profile give us a good idea of where the kidney is.
In the first stages we also are to monitor blood pressure. Blood pressure changes can occur very early in kidney failure. This can even trigger kidney failure. If there is any sign of hypertension we will start therapy with aceinhibitors drugs such as enalapril or benazepril there are also othere medications that can be used.
Stage 2 kidney failure - Blood work changes will be more obvious. Pets may begin to show signs of the disease with increase water intake, increase urination, cat may vomit more often that usual, may have weight loss. With the weight loss it is loss of muscle mass, the metabolism changes that occur with kidney failure cause them to lose muscle we try to correct this with diet by keeping the calories up and the protein levels down. We also add products like epakitin, rubenol and azodyl. These nutrient supplements help adjust the metabolic effects that are going on. Epakitin will help clear phosphorous from the system. Rubenol will help reduce inflammation of the kidney. Azodyl will help remove BUN and Creatine through the digestive system.
Stage 3 kidney failure - We may start to see potassium levels going down. We add products like Renal-K that will supplement potassium. We will continue with the other products. We will continue with blood work and blood pressure monitoring. Nutrient support is very important. Vitamin mineral supplement as well as K/D. Fluids become very important, in stage 3 pets are losing weight. Pets become thin but yet are still active and alert. They can enjoy a good quality of life with these products. Fluid supplements done at home or in the hospital can flush out waste products/toxins BUN and creatine and improve pets quality of life.
Stage 4 kidney failure - That is when we are getting a very scared kidney, there is very little function left. Nutrient support and fluids therapy is going to be our main stay and adding any product that we can to continue to improve the quality of life. We do want to start early because we can not stop the process but we can slow it down and we can improve the ride. We do want to start early in checking these kidneys.