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Sarah Pollard

Was it my fault? Causes of kidney disease in cats

How did this happen?

Was it something I did?

Why didn’t I pick up on things sooner?

This is all my fault.

Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD, is a heartbreaking diagnosis for a pet parent. You’ve been there for your fur baby since Day 1, and the ups and downs of life have brought you two closer together in ways you never imagined. Now? It just feels like everything is so uncertain, like your days together are truly numbered.

Before you read any further, please remember that you are a good pet parent, CKD is not a death sentence, and this is not your fault

CKD Definition

Chronic Kidney Disease is the official name given when cats gradually lose function in their kidneys. Part of the renal system, kidneys are responsible for:

1) Getting rid of waste from the body

2) Regulate the body’s water content (make urine)

3) Balance the body’s blood salt levels

4) Manage acidity levels

5) Producing a variety of hormones and other substances found in the body

CKD is a serious disease for cats because the loss of kidney function leads to a buildup of waste in their bodies, which sets off other conditions that affect other important systems for their eyes, heart, and brain. 

Causes of CKD

Causes of CKD can be traced to a pre-existing medical condition, or poisoning as a result of getting exposed to food or chemicals that are dangerous to cats

Pre-existing medical conditions
If kitty was born with extra special needs around their kidneys, chances are they have already been coping with not so healthy kidney function, which unfortunately, will get worse as they get older. Pre-existing conditions can also include:

1) Birth defects

2) Trauma

3) Hypercalcemia

4) Kidney tumours

5) Bacterial infections

6) Inflammation of the kidneys (Glomerulonephritis)

Since a condition they’ve always had is impossible to prevent, the best you can do is get regular check-ups with your vet and keep a super-close eye on changes in behavior in order to manage problems before they get worse. 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. 

The next possibility for causes of CKD is rarer, but just as important and one you can be vigilant about: your cat may have been exposed to toxins that can damage the kidneys.

Those toxins include:

1) Lilies

2) Antifreeze

3) Grapes

4) Raisins

Grapes and raisins can suddenly cause developing kidney failure, if they’re your go-to snacks, keep them in the fridge - the farther aways they are from kitty the better. As for lilies? 
The entire flower - even the water in the vase they’ve been in - is toxic for cats. Get rid of them, 
you AND your cat will be happy you did. If you think your cat has eaten or been around any of the above, call your vet immediately and get the next steps from there. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to confirm that your cat has CKD, and if the cause was a pre-existing medical condition or a result of poisoning, your vet will most likely use a blood or urine test to make a formal diagnosis. 

Changes in diet is the most effective way to manage CKD, usually including foods that lower the amount of waste in the bloodstream, and higher amounts of Vitamin B and Vitamin C.

Despite what the cause of CKD is for your cat, the most important thing to concentrate on is how you’re both going to move forward, whether with medication, therapy,or a prescription diet.
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 improve their life expectancy. Which means the opportunity to enjoy many more happy years with your beloved pet, while they live their best life.

One more thing...

Have you heard of the Kidney Vitalize Chews?

If you're looking to take control of your kitties kidney health, they're definitely worth checking out.

The active ingredients inside them (Astragalus extract & Rhemannia extract) have been scientifically backed to help reduce proteinuria. Not only that, each chew comes in a delicious chicken flavour and contains all natural ingredients.

  •  Provides kidney support for all cats (whether they have CKD or not)

  • Science backed active ingredients (that have been studied and shown to support kidney health)

  • Delicious chicken flavour, made with natural ingredients (no artificial colours, flavours or nasties)

  •  Made in the USA (only the best for your best friend!)
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The Kidney Vitalize Support Chews are the first in its class of 'Transitional Top-Up Supplements' that support kidney health whether your cat is affected by CKD or is CKD free.

- The combination of extracts of Astragalus & Rehmannia root , both potent 'super herbs' have been extensively studied, and have scientific backed to be effective in alleviating symptoms of CKD or supporting kidney health (read scientific backing section below!)

- Active ingredients are perfect for younger cats, and help maintain kidney function to prevent the onset of CKD, and good for older cats who are showing the signs of kidney function decline, to revitalize their organs.

- Perfect for finicky cats who are having trouble switching to kidney diets, designed to provide some kidney support even when diet does the opposite! Also can provide organ support for cats who are already on prescription diets.

- The active ingredients in Kidney Vitalize Support Chews have been scientifically proven to help reduce proteinuria. Which in turn may help reduce weight loss, and organ damage.

FIGHTS INFLAMMATION - Fights the painful inflammation which stops your fur-baby's body healing itself

- From 100% high quality ingredients in GMP compliant factory under FDA standards

How it works

Step 1

Feed your cat 1-3 soft chews daily (depending on their body weight)

Step 2

Enjoy the natural (and science backed) kidney supporting benefits

Step 3

Feel good knowing your helping improve the quality and longevity of your fur kiddos life

Further Information

Scientific Studies on Active Ingredients

Grab a jar for your cat today!
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