Friday, March 4, 2016

New guidelines for treating chronic kidney disease in cats

chronic renal disease cat
Michael has chronic kidney disease, and one of her key symptoms is polydipsia or drinking a lot.

Did you know there have been some new developments in treatment of feline chronic kidney disease? This week the International Society for Feline Medicine released its new Consensus Guidelines on the Diagnosis andManagement of Feline Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). 

Unfortunately this is directly relevant to our household as Michael is suffering from CKD.

Living with a cat with CKD can be challenging. Symptoms include increased drinking (polydipsia) – most cats don’t make a big deal out of drinking. These days if I pour a glass of water, Mike comes chasing me and paws at me to let her drink from it. I caught her drinking tea the other day. Other signs are increased urination (yep), reduced appetite (aha), vomiting (check) and weight loss (this has been significant).

I’ve been very proactive in managing her but it’s nice to see these new guidelines which you can download for free. The great thing about these are that they stress the variation in individual patients which can sometimes be really puzzling. They also discuss new parameters like symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) and how these fit into a work-up, the aims of which are to confirm a diagnosis of CKD, identify specific causes that can be treated (e.g. pyelonephritis), identify complications and diagnose concurrent disease. The main aim of treatment is of course to improve the patient's quality of life.

For those of you to whom this does not apply (i.e. those who don’t live with or treat cats with CKD), you might enjoy this series ofphotos that have been digitally altered so that the dog looks gigantic. By someone with a bit of time on his hands!).

Sparkes AH, Caney S, Chalhoub S, Elliot J, Finch N, Gajanayake I, Langston C, Lefebvre H, White J and Quimby J (2016) ISFM Consensus Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Management of Feline Chronic Kidney Disease. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Clinical Practice 18:219-239.