“How On Earth Did This Happen?”
This is the first question EVERYBODY asks when faced with a CKD diagnosis for their kitty. And sadly, the answer isn’t so simple. In fact, it can vary for each individual cat.
But look, before we dive deep into the causes of CKD… it’s helpful to understand what this condition is and how it can affect your little fur monster!
CKD, also known as kidney failure, is when the kidneys no long function correctly to keep up the bodies requirements. Cats like most living beings, require healthy, functioning kidneys. Why? Because kidneys:
1) Excrete waste from the body
2) Regulate the bodies water content
3) Regulate the bodies blood salts levels
4) Regulate the bodies acidity levels
5) Regulate the production of a variety of hormones and other substances found in the body
As you can see, apart from there being a massive overuse of the word 'Regulate', them there ol’ kidneys are pretty darn important! And that is why CKD is so dangerous if left untreated.
Anywho… Back to the topic at hand! To help you understand the main causes of CKD a bit better, we’ve outlined the 2 key factors that you need to watch out for to either keep your kitty safe OR understand what caused CKD in your furball in the first place!
Ready? Awesome! Lets go:
Cause 1: Pre Existing Medical conditions
The most common cause of CKD is actually something you, the loving cat owner, can’t prevent.
Pre-existing medical conditions, just liked they’re named are pre-existing. This often means your precious kitty has been born with some form of kidney insufficiency already. This over time, with age, will get worse.
Pre-existing conditions could include but are not limited to:
1) Birth defects
4) Kidney tumours
5) Bacterial infections
6) Inflammation of the kidneys (Glomerulonephritis)
As pre-existing conditions are impossible to 'prevent' we suggest scheduling regular vet checkups, and keeping an eye on your cats behaviour in case of any changes.
But the truth is, it's tough to notice the existence of these issues until your kitty becomes unwell. And, as a loving cat parent, you have to be kind to yourself and realise you can't solve every problem before it happens.
To help however, we've created a free in-depth guide of the daily, and weekly things you need to keep an eye on, to catch CKD and any pre-existing condition early in your kitty. Click here to take a look.
Cause 2: Poisoning
This is a little rarer, but equally as important to keep an eye out for. CKD can sometimes result from toxic poisoning of the kidneys.
And this is where you have to be vigilant. Because kidney damage can occur if your cat has been exposed to any of the following toxins:
In the case of grapes and raisins, we suggest keeping them in the fridge. For lilies, its best to not keep them in the house at all.
If feel your cat has ingested one of the above, get in contact with your vet immediately. They will advise you on what to do next.
For your cat’s vet to gain an understanding of the causes that may have led to your cats CKD, they will need to carry out tests of your cat’s blood and urine.
They will also carry out tests to help you understand if any of the underlying causes mentioned above may have contributed to the progression of this condition.
Following these tests you will have a better understanding as to whether your cats CKD was caused by a Congenital condition (one that has been present since birth) or an acquired condition (one that has developed in later life).
One of the most important things to remember is that it is no longer about the causes but how you are going to care for your cat going forward, whether that be with medication or via therapy, including for example a prescription diet.
Remember, a diagnosis of CKD is by no means a death sentence. Research has shown that cats who receive the correct but simple care and treatment can double their life expectancy. Giving you the opportunity to enjoy many more happy years with your beloved pet, whilst they enjoy the best quality of life.
Hopefully you found our article useful and now have a better idea of the causes of CKD!
Our purpose at Scruffy Paws is to provide cat owners with the best tools to help their cats. This includes articles, videos and world class supplements. Why do we do this?
Because a healthy pet means a happy home.
We would love to hear your thoughts and comments below!