When Should I Consider Euthanizing My Cat With Kidney Disease
This is another of those questions that no cat parent wants to be faced with.
My best suggestion is to consider your cats quality of life.
But how do you do that when your heart is breaking?
Below are the last moments we had with our Bubs:
One of the simplest ways to decide what constitutes a good quality of life for your cat is to consider her habits and behaviors before she got sick.
You know her best after all.
- Think of her favorite activities. Is she able to enjoy those now?
- Think of her favorite foods. Is she allowed to eat those, or is her diet limited?
- If shes allowed to have her favorite foods, has she been refusing them?
- Think about social time. Has your cat been avoiding you? Has she been avoiding her favorite playmates?
- Can she reach her favorite lounging spots on her own or does she require your help?
You can also consider how your cat is feeling now.
- Is he in pain?
- Does his medication cause him to vomit or feel ill most of the time?
- Is he able to use his litter box, or does he have frequent accidents?
- Is he interested in grooming himself, or has he simply stopped caring?
- Can he breathe well or is he struggling for each breath?
How Do You Know If Something Is Wrong With Your Kidneys
If you feel the need to urinate more often, especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease. When the kidneys filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate. Sometimes this can also be a sign of a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men. You see blood in your urine.
Changes In Urinary Function
Since kidneys make urine, when they are failing your urinary patterns or function may change. Some examples of this change include:
- Urine may be foamy or bubbly
- You may start getting up more in the night to urinate
- You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine
- You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark gold, dark yellow, brown, or red colored urine
- Your urine may sink to the bottom of the toilet
- You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating
- Your urine may contain bloo
Preliminary changes in urinary function are moderate signs of kidney problems, with change in color being a sign of more acute damage.
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Swelling Of The Face Eyelids And Legs
A puffy face and eyelids can be some important factors to indicate CKD. Swollen legs are also an important symptom of CKD. Damaged kidneys fail to remove excess fluid from the body, causing the fluid to build up in convenient regions. The fluid moves to the legs due to gravity and is easily spotted in the face and eyes due to the thin skin present there.
Diagnosis Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Blood and urine tests
Blood and urine tests are essential. They confirm the decline in kidney function.
When loss of kidney function reaches a certain level in chronic kidney disease, the levels of chemicals in the blood typically become abnormal.
Urea and creatinine, metabolic waste products that are normally filtered out by the kidneys, are increased.
Blood becomes moderately acidic.
Potassium in the blood is often normal or only slightly increased but can become dangerously high.
Calcium and calcitriol in the blood decrease.
Phosphate and parathyroid hormone levels increase.
Hemoglobin is usually lower .
Potassium can become dangerously high when kidney failure reaches an advanced stage or if people ingest large amounts of potassium or take a drug that prevents the kidneys from excreting the potassium.
Analysis of the urine may detect many abnormalities, including protein and abnormal cells.
Ultrasonography is often done to rule out obstruction and check the size of the kidneys. Small, scarred kidneys often indicate that loss of kidney function is chronic. Determining a precise cause becomes increasingly difficult as chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage.
Removing a sample of tissue from a kidney for examination may be the most accurate test, but it is not recommended if results of an ultrasound examination show that the kidneys are small and scarred.
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Chest Pain & Shortness Of Breath
A build-up of excess fluid in the wall of the heart or the lungs can cause shortness of breath and chest pain. This is a serious symptom of CKD and you should consider visiting your healthcare provider at the earliest in case you’re facing either of these symptoms.
It is important not to ignore any of the symptoms you might encounter. With CKD, most patients get diagnosed only when it’s too late. Be sure to visit your doctor if you notice any symptoms and are in doubt.
Common Symptoms Of Hashimotos Disease
What Is Hashimotos Disease? Hashimotos disease is a disease that affects the thyroid gland and could damage the thyroid function another name for it is Hashimotos Thyroiditis. Hashimoto disease is an autoimmune disorder, and it is a condition in which the immune system attacks a small gland at the base …
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Could The Renal Failure Have Been Diagnosed Earlier
Until recently, early diagnosis of chronic renal failure was very difficult. Neither clinical signs of renal failure nor rises in BUN and creatinine are evident until significant loss of kidney function has occurred.
A recently developed blood test to assess levels of SDMA has been used to determine if early renal failure is occurring. SDMA concentrations increase above the normal reference interval well before serum creatinine becomes elevated. This will help your veterinarian provide for treatment for your cat at a much earlier stage in the disease.
Stage : Early Kidney Insufficiency
At this early stage, your vet will often find a large amount of protein in your cats urine.
High blood pressure and a creatine level greater than 1.5 will likely be noted.
Treatment at this stage includes annual blood pressure, blood tests, and urine testing.
Dental care recommendations are common to prevent periodontal disease, which can exacerbate renal problems.
Calcitriol therapy will help replace vitamin D.
Abdominal x-rays may be ordered to rule out kidney stones.
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Here Are 10 Major Symptoms That Indicate The Presence Of Kidney Diseases:
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of kidney failure or kidney diseases. The kidney produces a hormone called erythropoietin that enhances and regulates the production of RBC. As there is less production, there are few RBC to carry oxygen to your body. Hence you might feel exhausted very often.
Anemia is nothing but less RBC in your blood. Less RBC indicates a lesser amount of hemoglobin and therefore, leads to weakness. Consult a doctor if you have been feeling weak and exhausted for a longer period of time. Anemia is one of the common symptoms of kidney diseases.
3) Feeling cold:
People who are anemic tend to feel cold and are sensitive to colder temperatures than usual.
As your brain gets less amount of oxygen, you are more likely to fall unconscious and faint. This also happens to electrolyte imbalance.
5) Memory loss:
Trouble thinking or memory loss is another common sign of kidney failure. As your brain fails to get the proper amount of oxygen, you are more likely to have trouble sleeping well.
6) Shortness of breath:
As kidneys will be unable to recycle the fluids, it is possible that the fluids begin getting accumulated at various parts of your body. These fluids can get accumulated in your chest and cause shortness of breath.
7) Swollen hands/feet:
8) Muscle pain:
9) Urine color:
10) High Blood pressure:
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How Does Crf Affect My Cat
Because the kidneys perform a variety of different functions, the clinical signs of renal failure can be somewhat variable. The most common changes seen are weight loss, poor hair quality, halitosis , variable appetite which may be associated with mouth ulcers, lethargy, and depression. Less common signs include increased drinking or urinating, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.
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Discuss These Matters With Your Physician
Hair loss associated with kidney health can be a cause of concern and self-consciousness. Because of this, it’s important that you discuss these matters with your physician or your kidney specialist. He or she can make recommendations to assist you with these matters. Your physician or kidney specialist can also provide you with some basic information about the nature of the hair loss and when you can expect hair regrowth.
How Is Chronic Kidney Disease Treated
Chronic kidney disease cannot be cured but treatments can help prevent it from getting worse.
There are 5 stages of kidney disease. The type of treatment depends on the :
Stages 1-2: Your doctor will probably take steps to prevent you from developing cardiovascular disease. This may involve lifestyle changes and medication to lower blood pressure and keep your blood sugar under control. Make sure you tell your doctor of any medications you are taking, including natural or herbal remedies, as these can affect your kidneys. Your doctor will need to see you every 12 months.
Stages 3-4: People often discover they have kidney disease when it has already progressed and they start to feel unwell. You may need treatment to lower your blood pressure, blood fats and blood sugar. Your doctor will need to see you every 3 to 6 months.
Stages 4-5 : When the kidneys can no longer function on their own, people need kidney replacement therapy. This may include:
- kidney transplant, in which a diseased kidney is replaced by a healthy one from a donor
- dialysis, which uses a machine or other parts of the body to remove waste and extra fluid from the blood
- supportive care, which means providing all health care and support possible, but not attempting to cure the kidney failure. In this case the person with kidney failure will eventually die
You can buy a book about living with kidney failure from Kidney Health Australia.
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Causes Of Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. An autoimmune condition develops when the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign substances. Normally, the immune system defends your body against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.
If you have alopecia areata, however, your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles. Hair follicles are the structures from which hairs grow. The follicles become smaller and stop producing hair, leading to hair loss.
Researchers dont know the exact cause of this condition.
However, it most often occurs in people who have a family history of other autoimmune conditions, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. This is why some scientists suspect that genetics may contribute to the development of alopecia areata.
They also believe that certain factors in the environment are needed to trigger alopecia areata in people who are genetically predisposed to it.
Stage : Early Kidney Failure
As your cat enters stage 3 of renal failure, her creatine levels will rise above 3.5.
Treatment for stage 3 kidney disease includes everything listed in stage 1 and 2.
At this point, your vet may recommend blood tests every 3 to 6 months.
Urine testing will be once a year or more.
Azodyl may be prescribed this probiotic supplement helps trap nitrogen waste products in the intestines.
Cats in stage 3 renal failure may not be able to drink enough water.
Subcutaneous fluids may be required.
If your cat is suffering from nausea, vomiting, and GI ulcers, your vet will likely prescribe medications to keep her more comfortable.
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How To Cope With Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata can be emotionally challenging, especially when hair loss affects the whole scalp. People with the condition may feel isolated or become depressed.
Its important to keep in mind that more than 5 million people in the United States have alopecia areata. You arent alone. There are lifestyle changes you can make to help cope with the condition.
If youre looking for help with wigs, eyelash extensions, or eyebrow stencils, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation maintains an online shop with hair accessories and products. Wig companies like Godivas Secret Wigs also have online videos and tutorials for help with styling and care.
Active teens and young adults with completely bald heads can attach suction cups to wigs and hair pieces so the wig wont fall off while playing sports.
New wig technologies, like the vacuum wig, which is made from silicon and a suction base, mean that people with alopecia can even swim with their wigs still in place. Vacuum wigs, however, are typically more expensive.
If hair loss affects the eyebrows, an eyebrow pencil, microblading, and eyebrow tattoos are a few options to consider.
How Will My Veterinarian Determine The Degree Kidney Failure In My Cat
Your veterinarian will use the IRIS staging system. IRIS staging is based on serum creatinine levels, with sub-staging based on the presence of protein in the urine and measuring your cats blood pressure. By using this staging, your veterinarian has a better idea on how to proceed with treatment, monitor progress, and to estimate your pets prognosis.
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What Is Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease is a result of prolonged destruction of the kidneys. The condition develops due to slow, progressive damage to the nephron, the small filtration unit in the kidney. A single kidney can contain up to a million nephrons, the most fundamental units of blood filtration. Chronic Kidney Disease causes irreparable damage to these tiny blood filters, hampering kidney function.
Your kidneys perform a slew of essential bodily functions like:
- Filtration of blood and the removal of toxins, wastes, and excess fluids.
- Maintaining a steady level of essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and phosphate.
- Excretion of any ingested medicines or drugs.
- Regulation of the heart rate by secreting specific hormones.
- Promoting the production of new red blood cells in the bone marrow.
- Maintenance of the delicate acid-base balance in the body and regulating a steady pH.
- Regulation of body temperature.
Chronic Kidney Disease can impair the kidneys’ ability to carry out these functions effectively or even cause the kidneys to fail in end-stage kidney disease.
Potatoes And Sweet Potatoes:
It is another potassium-rich vegetable that is harmful to kidneys. The good news is the potassium levels can be reduced by methods such as potassium leaching, or the double cook method.
Potassium content can be reduced by soaking, baking or boiling. Cut the vegetable into small pieces soak in water for 4 hours or boil for 10 mins, the potassium content is reduced considerably.
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