September 2007 Issue

Fluid Therapy At Home

Most owners are capable of hydrating their animals with life-sustaining fluids. Here's what you need to know.

Chronic renal failure in a cat occurs when 75 percent or more of the animalís healthy kidney tissue has been destroyed and replaced by scar tissue. As a consequence, the two kidneys, each of which contains many thousands of tiny filtering units (nephrons), are unable to carry out their chief function of removing metabolic waste from the blood that is pumped through them with each heartbeat. To compensate, most afflicted cats will drink increasing amounts of water in an effort to pass additional fluids through their kidneys. Unfortunately, this water will run quickly through the animalís body; the cat will simply urinate more frequently. Meanwhile, the ultimately life-threatening metabolic waste will continue to circulate and to accumulate.

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