For Cats in Kidney Failure – Understanding the Tests For Cats in Kidney Failure

March 17, 2017

in Cat Care

Are you worrying that your cat has a urinary or kidney problem? After you finish this article you’ll understand what tests are run for cats in kidney failure. The key to lengthening your cat’s life is to contact your vet as soon as possible to have a a series of diagnostic tests run. Your veterinarian will perform blood and urine tests to check for key symptoms for a cat experiencing chronic kidney failure.

First lets review some of the vocabulary used to convey the state of the condition for cats in kidney failure. Acute kidney (or renal) failure in your cat is characterized by complete organ failure where the kidneys stop working altogether. Acute renal failure in cats happens suddenly. It can affect both young and old cats.This type of kidney disease is almost always fatal but if treated immediately and aggressively, the kidneys may regain normal functions and your cat may live a relatively normal life.

Chronic kidney failure is the more common disease. This type of kidney disease is usually experienced by aging cats when many of their major organs have diminished function. Unfortunately, by the time you notice the symptoms for cats in kidney failure, about 70% of your cat’s kidney 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 relative good health for months, if not years.

The most dependable diagnosis comes from the blood and urine tests taken from your cat. Your vet may also palpitate the kidney area and check for small, shriveled kidneys. He may take x-rays or an ultrasound too.

Blood Tests

When your vet tests for the BUN level, he is testing for the Blood Urea Nitrogen level in your cat’s blood. The 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 in kidney failure. The test also is a marker for dehydration in your cat or even bladder stones.

Blood tests also show the level of creatinine in your cat’s blood. Creatinine is the breakdown product of muscle and normally is excreted by the kidneys. If your cat’s creatinine level is abnormal it helps confirm that your cat’s elevated BUN level was caused by kidney failure.

Urine Tests

Your veterinarian will check for signs of infection by evaluating your cat’s urine. He will also evaluate the concentration of proteins. When a healthy cat is dehydrated the proteins show at a concentrated level. For cats in kidney failure, this protein concentration is not there which is key to determining if your cat’s kidneys are functioning properly or not.

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