Ragdoll cats are a popular breed of cat. They are known for their friendly personality and playful nature. However, like all other breeds of cats, ragdolls are also prone to certain health problems. One such problem is kidney disease.
What is Kidney Disease?
There are a variety of diseases that can affect the kidneys in cats such as Chronic Tubulointerstitial Nephritis, Amyloidosis, Nephrosis, Glomerulonephritis, Pyelonephritis, Hydronephrosis and Polycystic Kidney Disease. These illnesses can cause serious complications and even death. Chronic renal failure is the second most common cat illness, and it’s especially common in senior cats.
There is no cure for treating a diseased kidney in cats, but there are several things you can do to help slow the progress of chronic renal failure. When you notice symptoms of a sick kidney in your cat early on, you can do things to extend its life.
What is the difference between Acute Kidney Failure and Chronic Kidney Failure?
The main difference between chronic and acute kidney failure in cats is that acute renal failure is a very severe situation that occurs relatively suddenly – over a week or a month, while chronic renal failure creeps up on your cat over a longer time, years even.
Acute Kidney Failure
Your cat may experience Acute Kidney Failure (renal failure) if its kidneys stop working altogether. This condition can happen suddenly and affect both young and old cats. If the kidneys don’t work properly, your cat will likely die from the disease. However, with treatment early on and aggressive care, your cat may be able to live a relatively normal life with reduced function of its kidneys.
Chronic Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney failure is the most common disease. This type of kidney disease is usually experienced by cats as they age and many of their major organs have diminished function. Unfortunately, by the time you notice symptoms for cats with chronic kidney failure, about 70% of their renal functions are already compromised. This is a progressive disease and will eventually result in the death of your cat. However, early diagnosis and aggressive management can keep your cat in comfort and relatively good health for months or even years.
The most common cause of chronic kidney failure in cats is when they ingest a harmful substance like antifreeze, pesticides, cleaning fluids, or human medications. Acute renal failure can be caused by blockages that prevent a good flow of blood to the kidneys or stones and inflammations blocking the flow of urine from the kidneys into the bladder.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Cats?
There is no one answer to this question as the symptoms of kidney disease in cats can vary quite a bit from cat to cat. However, some general signs that your cat may be suffering from kidney disease include increased thirst (Polydipsia), increase in urination (Polyuria) decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.
In some cases, your cat may also experience blood in their urine or blood in their stool. If you notice any of these signs in your cat, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for further diagnosis and treatment.
How will your Vet Test for Kidney Disease?
There are a few ways that your veterinarian may test for kidney disease in a Ragdoll cat:
Your vet will test for the Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) level in your cat’s blood. BUN is a chemical that the liver makes from ammonia. After production, BUN is excreted into the kidneys, which increases in some diseases, especially for cats with kidney failure. The test also can be a marker for dehydration in your cat or even bladder stones.
A blood test also determines the levels of creatinine, which is a waste product created by the body as it breaks down muscle. If creatinine levels are high, this may be an indicator of kidney damage.
Your veterinarian will check for signs of infection by evaluating your cat’s urine and concentration of proteins. If your cat is dehydrated, the protein concentration in their urine will be lower which can help to determine if their kidneys are functioning properly or not.
Another way to test for kidney disease in a Ragdoll cat is to perform an ultrasound exam to see if there is any evidence of renal tubular dilatation or obstruction. If either of these conditions is present, your veterinarian may recommend further testing, such as a biopsy or surgery.
How is Kidney Disease Treated?
Treatment depends on the type of kidney disease and may include medication, surgery, or a combination of both. If acute kidney failure is caused by a urinary tract blockage, then the stone must be removed immediately.
Chronic renal failure may be treated with a more conservative approach, which may include intravenous fluid therapy and changes to diet.
Kidney disease can lead to complications such as increased blood pressure, heart problems, and even death. It is important to get checked for kidney disease regularly and to seek treatment if symptoms develop.
Are Ragdoll Cats Prone to Kidney Disease?
Ragdoll cats are prone to developing kidney disease. In particular, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) which is a hereditary condition, and chronic interstitial nephritis (CIN), which can be caused by infections and allergies. If you have a Ragdoll cat, it is important to keep it on a balanced diet and make sure that its water supply is plentiful. You should also have your cat checked by a veterinarian regularly in order to monitor its health and ensure that it does not develop renal disease.
How Can I Protect My Ragdoll Cat from Kidney Disease?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent your cat from developing kidney disease:
1) Make sure your cat gets regular vet check-ups. This will help catch any problems early and can save them from developing into serious kidney disease.
2) Feed your cat a diet that consists mostly of healthy foods. Avoid feeding them high calorie foods, as this can contribute to obesity and other health problems.
3) Make sure their water supply is plenty. Providing your cat with plenty of fresh water can help prevent urinary tract infections and promote a healthy renal system.
Ragdoll cats are susceptible to kidney disease. If you suspect your cat has kidney disease, please consult your veterinarian. There are many things you can do to prevent your cat from getting sick, and early diagnosis is crucial for their health.