Cats are creatures different from humans in function and features but stand equivalent on the grounds of feeling and obligations.
Domesticated and farm cats, also, are treated as a salient member of the family. These members, in fact, owe special qualities of listening and investigating high frequency notes, hunting rodents and rats, retracing the path of its imprinted claws and also have resilient responsive reflexes.
However, the life of the cats is short and slowly fades away.
Death causes can be:
i) Natural which involves ageing and short life inheritance.
ii) Illness driven which involves fatal diseases like pancreatitis, kidney failure, liver damage, gastrointestinal problem, etc.
Further, kidney disease can be acute or chronic depending upon the potency and seriousness of the illness.
It is better to evaluate the degree of downfall of cats hit by kidney failure/disease.
Even in the acute stage, the family must go for regular and instant check-up.
If, however, the damage is beyond repair then it would be a wiser notion to euthanize the cat so that it does not suffer highly.
Euthanization would help cats achieve peaceful liberation without much pain and hindrance.
Symptoms of the final stages of kidney failure in cats
Kidney is the waste-clearing system of the body.
It has complex neurological connections.
The main structures of the kidney are the U-shaped bowman’s capsule and glomerulus, together forming a nephron.
After absorption and assimilation, the waste soluble which, still, holds pure solute content passes through glomerulus which, then, is re-absorbed and piped back to the cells of body through renal vein and leftover waste portion excretes off the body through urethra in urine form.
Any complication, differentiation of inverse-neural transmission turns down the operating capacity of the kidney, ultimately leading to kidney failure.
Symptoms of kidney failure can be occasional, abnormal or even fatal if not rightly determined and detected:
The chain reaction of symptoms is
Intake of excess water→ incapability of cells to absorb, assimilate or excrete→ inflexibility of muscular tissue of urinary bladder→ inability to hold urine→ incessant urination.
- Lethargy, Weight loss and low appetite.
- Dilution and discolouration of urine as a result of improper scrap of waste material.
Final stage symptoms of renal failure are more threatening and disturbing for both cats and family:
Extremity of toxication in the body of cats leads to vomiting and weakness.
● The loss of water from the body is abnormally high because of the lack of reabsorption tendency of the kidney leading to dehydration.
Cells are unable to respire and release ATP molecules ( power reserve), thus resulting in protein loss.
● Other cells of the body like RBC and WBC suffer leading to anemia and diminishing immunity of the body.
●Hormones are unable to reach and act at the target sites, causing hypertension ( high blood pressure), hyperthyroidism and lower hormonal stimulation.
The length of life due to the final stage of kidney failure cannot be maximised but its quality can be lifted by regular treatment, time-to-time therapy, check-up, proper medication and nursing care.
Complications of feline kidney disease
An amalgamation of danger, threat and abnormality, kidney failure in cats especially in felines is the root to numerous complications and extremities.
The range of these problems vary from the density of solemnity.
- Felines have enlarged uterus and can give birth to 4-5 kittens at a time. Complication in the kidney can disbalance the other functions of the body and disturb the gestation and delivery period.
- Renal vein (adjoined to kidney) and Pulmonary vein (adjoined to heart) share indirect links. As a consequence, any degree of disturbance in any one has a direct impact on the other and thus, the cardiovascular complication falls into place leading to heart strikes and peripheral gangrene.
- Life expectancy of a cat is challenged and its mortality is intimidated.
- Hypertension is the result of acid-base disbalance in the body. The body of cats (especially felines) is stricken by osteoporosis (hollow and weak bones), volume disorder and soft tissue calcification.
- Anorexia (distorted body) , Cachexia (weight loss), problem in mating and nausea are diverse complications of chronic kidney disease.
- Shot up of phosphate level, deficiency of Vitamin D and proximity to rickets are complications due to gland-hormone malfunction.
As a result of renal failure, Volume of acid retained in the body supersedes the volume excreted. Alkali therapy, in such cases, has its own limitations and muscle catabolism reflexes.
Feline are sensitive to unfavourable conditions and too delicate to handle stretched complications.
Fine-move and good-health of felines should be one of the prime responsibilities of the family!
Feline kidney disease stages
Every kidney disease is a ladder of start, intermediary and last stage.
Kidney disease, a rare occurrence in around 1-3% of cats only, can be deadly in nature.
In the early stages, the body is sucked by penetrating toxins.
The nephron is lined by inflammatory cells, swelling of which is also visible externally.
The water balance of the body is wholly diverted. This causes skin tenting, shoulder shrugging and dulling of face.
If the cat is flexible and fleshy, it can easily rule over and recover from the first stage itself, provided veterinary intercession, family care, tests and medicines.
The next or intermediary stage of kidney disease in feline shoots up to drastic ailments causing elevation in phosphate and calcium level in the body.
Standard ratio of calcium and phosphate in the body is 2:1 which becomes abnormal due to disorder of glands.
In the course of Nephron damage, many cells die resulting in non-waste removal.
Diarrhoea is a general consequence of the same.
“End” stage does not exactly forecast the end of the feline.
The symptoms, although, are terrifying yet, there are chances of life and longingness.
Felines in the end or final stage of renal disease become very weak, sullen and start avoiding food and water.
Cat’s body is deteriorated by parasites and tumours and this also causes infections in the internal parts of the body like the bladder, kidney and genitals.
Almost 75% of kidney function comes to halt.
⅔rd of kidney tissues stop functioning and toxic levels in the bloodstream rises.
Uremia is a condition wherein the body balance of electrolyte and fluid is not in standard proportion and the body accumulates poisonous substances.
Its symptoms are obnoxious breath, muscle twitching and mouth ulcers.
How your cat feels in end stage kidney failure?
The behaviour and attitude of the pet is bound to change due to heavy and painful suffering (in 1st and 2nd stage).
Cats, however, try to elate with their present state to appease themselves and their master. They unintentionally purr, play and plunge.
But the clutched pain overshadows their smiling figure soon.
Inevitable actions of cat involve:
i) Volumenous urine clotting and urinating outside the box. This saddens the cat themselves.
ii) Increment of nauseating chemicals in plasma. This discomforts the cat internally.
iii) Weakening of calcium-rich bones, making them brittle and prone to fracture.
iv) Weakness of body causing arthritis and in some cases, dementia. This makes the body undernourished and deprived of physical strength.
Cats feel low and by the last stage they start neglecting the presence of people, disconnecting themselves from surroundings, hiding under the table or bed, stop grooming and eventually, feel abandoned by the viscosity of their broken conscience.
Treating your cat’s End Stage Renal Failure:
The kidney disease encompass ranges and stages right from
Stage 1 whose symptoms are sluggishness and lethargy in cats.
Stage 2 whose symptoms are dysfunction of kidney due to nephron damage.
Stage 3 where the previous stage symptoms exacerbate damaging 50% of the kidney and its operation drastically lessens.
Stage 4 where the excretory system almost disables, and the last
Stage 5 where kidney completely fails.
On the onset, strict and subtle evaluation and analysis of cats become mandatory.
- Urinalysis- Kidney processing, functioning and the blood & protein level is analysed.
- Serum Creatinine test- Creatinine is a must excreted waste product from the body and its build-up & excretion analysis is important to detect kidney failure.
Highly recommended treatment for end-stage kidney failure in cats is dialysis or kidney transplantation.
The kidney of a cat is replaced by an artificial kidney. This(artificial kidney) is then linked with a semi-permeable pipe. The urine and excretory matter travel out of the body via pipe inserted in veins, gets treated, purified and then the clean fluid is sent back in the body.
This is called hemodialysis.
Veterinarians also suggest peritoneal dialysis wherein the blood does not reach the kidney but the lining of the abdomen is used to filter the blood.
Kidney transplantation, again, involves replacing the old kidney with the donated organ ( kidney) permanently. This can lead to normal kidney functioning again.
With advancement in technology and variation in medication, doctors have also developed drug therapy like angiotensin and vaccines like hepatitis B and Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (PPSV23).
Tests have proved that they lend positive output and can be easily relied upon.
As a part of the family, a cat’s life must also be insured under life insurance policy.
In the opening stage or prior, double insurance or reinsurance policy can be assured to meet the expected losses at the time of treatment and save the life of the pet cat.
When to Euthanize cats with end stage kidney disease?
A time to wave goodbye and no corner i.e time to euthanize the cat unfolds when cat’s treatment no longer supplant and support its health and its important to put the cat to death humanely.
Decision to euthanize the cat itself is difficult and painful but better than long-term suffering.
Last-day symptoms of weight loss, restlessness, inability in movement, mental confusion and many more signal cat’s condition.
Despite numerous treatments, cats may stay mute to recovery, showing signs of blindness, energy loss and less consumption of food and water.
Cats are treated with intravenous or subcutaneous fluid, vitamin B injections, appetite stimulant tablets, antacid medication and phosphate binders.
These repellant have lasting and recovering impacts such as appetite stimulation, lower blood phosphate level, reduced inflammation, fading nausea and energy vitality.
But, there is a possibility that the cat itself desires to leave for heavenly abode and thus, not be responsive and enthusiastic towards the treatment.
All the more, the syringe and therapies may be for cats and this may kill them hundred times by fear and pain before the actual death.
In such cases, it is better to euthanize a cat.
The attitude of the cat must be thoroughly assessed.
As the last stage of renal failure is much difficult to survive, cats can also be euthanized before natural death to reduce their painful days.
Veterinary decision and consultation is a much needed requirement at this time as he/she can detect best whether to euthanize the cat and the time and hour to do the same.
However, studies prove that a very less proportion of cats fall under the category of renal failure and acute diseases can be easily overcome by pet cats.
Yet, it is important for the family to engage in the regular check-up and intake proper treatment if required as small, periodic symptoms may become a massive cause for the bad-health of cats and put them in the vicious cycle of disease and final death.
Also chronic diseases like kidney failure are difficult to spot so there are chances of misinterpretation by the family.
Regular meeting with a veterinarian is very necessary to clear the dilemma and doubts to avoid risking the life of the tamed cat.
Cats, being an integral part of family or even a family for those who live very close to their pets, must be understood and respected.
After all, they contribute to completion of the family!