Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Managing Chronic Renal Failure

Now that your cat has been diagnosed with CRD I'm sure you have many questions like how to manage it effectively. We can help you with diet, fluids, medications and dosing. Visit Scottsdale Cat Clinic for more information.

1. Kidney friendly food ~ A low-protein diet is key. The protein in the food must be broken down by the body to be used for energy. One of the byproducts is blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and as it builds up in the blood stream, the cat feels nauseous. Talk to your veterinarian about a high-quality low protein diet. Here at the Scottsdale Cat Clinic we carry 3 different high quality food brands for finicky kitties: Hill's, Royal Canin and Purina.

2. Keep your cat hydrated ~ Subcutaneous fluids under the skin and access to fresh water are a must. This can help flush out toxins and prevent dehydration. Talk to your veterinarian to formulate a plan and determine how many times per week your cat will need subcutaneous fluids.

3. Restrict dietary phosphorous ~ Phosphorus levels in the blood climb with kidney failure, so it's important to make sure the food you're feeding has low levels of phosphorus. Low protein diets are low in phosphorus. You can also give your cat a phosphate binder medication - liquid, tablet or powder form - that binds to phosphorus in food and prevents it from being absorbed in the bloodstream. The binders need to be given with a meal in order to work effectively. Talk to your veterinarian about the phosphate dose your cat would need.

4. Additional therapies for anemic pets ~ It's common for a cat in kidney failure to also have anemia (low red blood cell count). The kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin that tells the bone marrow to make new red blood cells to replace older ones. When the kidneys start to fail they stop making adequate amounts of this hormone. Over time the cat could appear weak or unwilling to eat. Blood transfusions and hormone replacement shots are available for treatment.

5. Protect the stomach ~ It's common for toxins to build up in the blood and produce stomach ulcers. The ulcers can cause nausea, vomiting, and a decreased appetite. Anti-ulcer medications are available to reduce the stomach acid. Talk with your veterinarian to answer questions about the best medications and dosing schedules for your pet.

To view the full article visit DVM360.

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