Tigger is a 11 year old male cat.
12/01/2012: Tigger first visited the clinic to have a routine health check after recently moving into the Andover area. Tigger had a long term history of kidney and bladder problems including cystitis which occurred frequently. Tigger was also known to become stressed and anxious quite easily.
As this was the first time Tigger had been seen a blood test was advised in order to monitor his current kidney condition. Blood testing was also advisable due to Tigger’s senior age as it allowed the vet to make an assessment of Tigger’s current health.
Recent blood tests performed at Tigger’s previous practice showed slightly increased levels of urea and creatinine.
14/01/2012: Tigger’s bloods came back from the laboratory indicating that he still had high Urea and Creatinine levels.
Urea is a by product which is produced in the liver as a result of amino acid break down. Urea is excreted by the kidneys through glomerulus filtration. When kidney damage occurs the body’s ability to process and excrete urea is reduced which can lead to a build up of urea in the body. High levels of urea in an animal’s blood can therefore be a sign of kidney disease.
Creatinine is a by product created when phosphocreatine is broken down in the muscles. Creatinine is excreted by the kidney through glomerulus filtration. When kidney damage occurs the body’s ability to excrete creatinine is reduced. This leads to an increase quantity of creatinine in the blood. An increase of creatinine often indicates that at least 75% of the nephrons in the kidney are not functioning.
19/01/2012: Due to these high levels the vet recommended for additional tests to be performed. This included urinalysis which showed that his urine was more dilute than normal, confirming that kidney disease was present. It also allowed further staging of the kidney disease by checking how much, if any, protein was being accidentally excreted by the kidneys.
Tigger’s bloods and urine results suggested that he was showing early signs of kidney disease. He was losing some protein into his urine, so further medication was required for this.
Chronic kidney disease is the most common kidney disease in cats.
Chronic kidney disease occurs as results of long standing, irreversible structural damage to the kidneys. This impairs the kidneys ability to filter and remove waste products from the blood. This causes a poisonous build up of toxins in the blood stream which can be fatal.
Clinical signs that would indicate the presence of chronic renal failure include:
• Poor appetite
• Weight loss
• Increased thirst
• Increased urination
• Poor coat
• Bad breath
Chronic renal failure unfortunately can never be cured however the vet recommended a number of treatments which would provide successful management to provide a good quality of life.
Tigger was very fussy when it came to his eating habits which had led to his owner feeding him fresh cooked meat instead of commercial pet food. However this type of food was high in protein which caused the risk of kidney disease to be increased. It was therefore recommended for Tigger to start a special kidney diet which would regulate protein levels while also providing easily digestible good quality protein.
Tigger was also placed onto medication to improve kidney function by altering the blood pressure gradient within his kidneys. This increased the effectiveness of excretion by increasing blood movement.
23/02/2012: Tigger had a repeat blood test performed to monitor his kidney function. The tests revealed a slight decrease in the urea and creatinine levels. It also showed that his level of phosphate was normal – reduction of phosphate is another important role that the prescription diet has, as with kidney disease phosphate levels can become dangerously high.
A repeat urine test showed that the amount of protein being lost into his urine had returned to normal, which means that the progression of his kidney disease has been slowed down by the medication.
All of these results showed that the treatment Tigger was receiving was assisting in stabilising his kidney function. Tigger was also showing excellent progress and seemed much happier.
Today: Tigger’s kidney condition is being managed well with the use of medication and kidney diet. Although Tigger has had a few problems with his diet and appetite his continues to remain happy and stable. Tigger comes into the clinic for regular blood tests to ensure that his condition is stable.