Kidney disease can be a serious problem, especially older cats, but it can be difficult to catch. Your cat must lose up to 75 percent of her kidney function before changes become evident on standard screening bloodwork. A routine urinalysis, however, may give your veterinarian a heads up that a blood renal panel should be run to specifically evaluate kidney function
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in older cats. Decreased appetite, vomiting, and presumed nausea are commonly seen in cats with CKD, and its been assumed this is due to hypergastrinemia (excess of the gastrin hormone that releases gastric acid), with subsequent increased gastric acid production and mineralization/damage to the mucosal lining of the stomach. To address this presumption, gastric acid suppressants are often administered, despite the fact that there is no evidence that cats with CKD have reduced gastric pH nor that cats diagnosed with CKD derive any benefits from gastric acid suppressant therapy.
Your veterinarian might want to examine your cats urine for a variety of reasons, such as to evaluate kidney function or monitor diabetes. But how to get that urine? Its not as difficult as you might think.
Since about 30 percent of elderly cats will develop some degree of kidney disease, its important to look at therapies that help cats stay healthy for longer periods of time, and a recent study focused on phosphate binders may be helpful in this regard.
Kidney failure is a leading cause of death in domestic cats.
Amyloidosis is found in Oriental shorthair, domestic shorthair, Siamese, Burmese and Abyssinian breeds. The disease develops when the abnormal protein amyloid, a fibrous substance, collects for unknown reasons in tissues and organs. The disease can become fatal if amyloid is deposited in the tissue of critical organs, such as the kidneys, liver or heart. The disease also affects humans.
The kidneys accomplish many crucial tasks, even when one or both are failing:
A clinical trial under way at Colorado State University is using stem cells to treat cats with late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD). “There’s a lot of hype around stem cells right now,” says lead researcher Stephen Dow, DVM, Ph.D. “Unfortunately, a lot of the claims are unsubstantiated. We hope to show whether the cells make a difference in cats with CKD.” The researchers want to determine if the injection of stem cells in 20 cats will improve kidney function, reduce side effects such as inflammation and fibrosis, and delay the disease’s progression.
When a kitten or elderly cat shows little interest in food, loses weight, develops a persistent fever and succumbs to an untimely death, too many heartbroken owners are left to wonder: What was the cause of death?
Researchers at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine are testing a new treatment for a common problem in aging cats. They’re using stem cells in an effort to better manage chronic kidney disease. “In our clinical trial, we are seeing if stem cells can improve renal function, decrease inflammation and scarring in the kidney, and improve levels of excess protein in the urine,” says Jessica Quimby, DVM, who’s working with a team of team of veterinarians and researchers at the school.
Owners often bring their cats to the veterinarian due to a bout of constipation, which can have a variety of causes. Veterinary treatment includes determining and eliminating the cause, if possible, along with medical and sometimes surgical management. Medical therapy often includes the use of laxatives, enemas and prokinetic agents (like cisapride). Psyllium is a soluble fiber that produces a mucilaginous gel that helps to increase fecal bulk. It also adds to stool bulk by other water-holding properties. Psyllium has been found to increase stool frequency and consistency in humans with idiopathic constipation.
Cytauxzoonosis — often a fatal infection in domestic cats — is a disease caused by the parasite Cytauxzoon felis, which is transmitted by the bite of a tick. Most affected cats are young adults with exposure to the outdoors and vague clinical signs of lethargy and anorexia. Treatment for cytauxzoonosis is usually imidocarb diproprionate, but a combination of atovaquone and azithromycin (A&A) has also been utilized as a treatment. (neither form of therapy has been prospectively evaluated for efficacy, however). Eighty acutely ill cats with Cytauxzoon felis infection were treated at various veterinary clinics. Of 53 cats treated with A&A, 32 (60 percent) survived to discharge.
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