As it can't be cured, having a cat diagnosed with kidney disease can be excruciating for pet parents. While it's possible for kitties with kidney disease to live fairly long and comfortable lives, it's important for pet parents to remain aware of potential complications of this illness. Keeping your cat on a regular schedule of veterinary visits and monitoring them for signs of additional problems will help to maintain your cat's quality of life. Here are three of the biggest complications of feline kidney disease.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very common in cats with kidney disease. While high blood pressure can be caused by problems like narrowing arteries, in this case, it's due to the kidneys themselves.
When a kidney becomes damaged, it develops scar tissue. This scar tissue makes it harder for blood to pump in and out of the kidneys. Since the kidneys are responsible for filtering a cat's entire blood supply, this makes the heart work harder to push the blood through to the rest of the body. As a result, a cat's blood pressure increases.
High blood pressure in cats can be reduced with medications, which is why it's so important to keep seeing your vet for regular check-ups.
With kidney disease, blood toxicity can rise because the kidneys aren't as effective at filtering blood as they once were. When toxic substances increase in the blood, it can cause an overall feeling of malaise for the cat.
Cats who have rising blood toxicity often lose interest in eating. To put it simply, they feel nauseated, and the idea of eating isn't appealing. In other cases, a cat will eat but throws up due to the same nausea. As a result, cats with kidney disease often lose weight.
Excessive weight loss can potentially trigger fatty liver disease in cats, so it's important to do your best to maintain their weight. Your vet can help with this by suggesting more appetizing, high-calorie foods.
Lastly, one side effect of your cat having high blood pressure due to kidney disease is the potential for blindness.
High blood pressure increases the pressure in the eyes, as well as reducing the amount of oxygenated blood flow throughout the body. As a result, the eyes can be damaged and lose some or all of their ability to see.
The good news is that not all cats with kidney disease are doomed to go blind. If your vet detects high blood pressure and medicates your cat to control it, you can most likely avoid this side effect entirely.
Feline kidney disease is terribly upsetting for pet owners, especially with the knowledge of the side effects it can bring. If you suspect that your cat may be developing any of these problems, get to an emergency vet immediately. The sooner your cat gets medical help, the easier it will be to treat and control these side effects.