The early indications of failing kidneys (chronic renal or kidney failure) include a marked increase in water consumption and in urination, weight loss, decreased appetite, and in some cases, occasional vomiting. If these signs are observed, the owner should have the cat seen by their veterinarian immediately. Typically these signs are seen in an older patient (greater than 10 years of age).
When you take your cat into the veterinarian, the doctor will perform a physical exam and a blood test to diagnose kidney disease. Depending on the results, a treatment plan will be formed. Kidneys remove toxins from the body, and when kidneys are not functioning properly, your cat will start to show the above the clinical signs.
There is no cure for kidney disease, but there are several treatments that can be done to help control clinical signs and improve the quality of life. We often treat our kidney failure cats with fluids under the skin, appetite stimulants, and a low protein diet. Sometimes gastroprotectants will be used to help with nausea caused by the increased toxins in the body. Each cat will respond differently to treatment depending on the stage of disease they are in at diagnosis and what is causing the disease.
If you think your cat is showing signs of kidney disease, please call your veterinarian today to make an appointment. The earlier treatment is started, the better your cat will feel and more can be done to suppress the disease into earlier stages. Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that both dogs and cats can develop, although the disease differs between species somewhat. The clinical signs that many pet owners report early in the disease process are weight gain, excessive thirst, increased frequency in urination, urinating outside the litter box or having accidents in the house, and increased appetite. As the disease progresses, the clinical signs are typically weight loss, lethargy, not eating, and vomiting.
Veterinarians will suspect diabetes based on a pet’s history and the clinical signs that the pet owner has seen. A urinalysis and blood test can be done to diagnose a cat or dog with diabetes. Once the blood glucose reaches a certain level, it will actually start spilling out into the urine and we sometimes see this when we are checking a cat for a urinary tract infection.
Once a diagnosis of diabetes has been made, it will be important to follow the advice of your veterinarian very closely. Treatment will vary based on species and your particular pet. Dogs more commonly have Type 1 diabetes; which is when insulin-secreting cells are destroyed, thus making the dog dependant on an outside source of insulin. Cats develop inadequate or delayed insulin secretion (Type 2), and often cats can be controlled with diet alone after the blood glucose is stabilized initially with insulin.
We teach pet owner’s how to give insulin at home, which will be given every 12 hours. Periodic blood work will be required, more frequently right after diagnosis, to ensure that the blood glucose normalizes. We recommend a special diet that will aid in weight loss and controlling the blood glucose. Cats can sometimes be taken off insulin and controlled with diet alone.
If diabetes is untreated, it can cause the pet to become very sick and can be fatal. The body will go into a state of ketoacidosis causing electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, kidney failure and obtundation. Pets will require hospitalization for several days and the prognosis is guarded.
If you think your pet is showing signs of diabetes, please contact us in Springfield at 217-529-4499 to get an appointment set up right away. Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.