Kidney consultations for cats
What is a kidney consultation?
Your cat has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure. From that point on, we recommend kidney consultations. Chronic kidney failure is a common problem in senior cats. Unfortunately, the condition cannot be cured but slowing down the process and making it as comfortable as possible is something we can fortunately do in most cases.
Depending on the IRIS classification (this indicates the degree of kidney problems according to the guidelines of the International Renal Interest Society), a plan for your cat will be made personally. This plan means that checkups will be necessary, the higher your cat falls in the IRIS classification, the more checkups we recommend. For these regular checkups we have a kidney consultant, our nurse Lotte Gunter. She will be your contact regarding the condition. She will also perform the checkups.
How does a kidney consultation works?
During a kidney consultation, your cat will be extensively examined. We do this by:
- General anamnesis
- Blood pressure measurement
- Checking weight
- Small check-up
- Blood sampling and examination
- Urine puncture and examination
What is the process of a kidney consultation?
Blood pressure measurement
Because it has been proven that cats generally have higher blood pressure when they enter a new space, we allow your cat to calm down first. This means that for the first 15 minutes it can have a nice time in the consultation room, get used to the environment and allow its blood pressure to normalize. In this way, the measurement we take is more reliable. Therefore, measuring the blood pressure is also the first thing we will do during the consultation.
We prefer to perform the blood pressure measurement while the owner holds the cat himself, as this is less stressful than a strange person. If this is not possible, an assistant will of course come to help. The measurement should be taken several times in a row until the same value comes out 4 times. Usually the blood pressure is too high the first few times one measures. A blood pressure measurement is not painful, at most a little uncomfortable since the cat must sit still and a band is placed around his or her paw. We want to make your cat as comfortable as possible. If your cat has favorite treats, be sure to bring them with you. A blanket with the scent of home can also comfort the cat.
After measuring blood pressure, we will weigh your cat. Weight monitoring is very important in chronic renal failure. This is because cats can lose weight quickly due to decreased appetite and/or vomiting. It is important that we intercept this quickly and try to control it.
After weighing, we briefly check your cat. In particular, turgor is an important part we check. By checking the turgor (the tension on the skin) we can see if your cat has enough fluids. In fact, if the turgor is delayed, this may be an indication of dehydration. This is because a cat with kidney problems generally loses more fluids. We also take a quick look at the cat’s teeth, mucous membranes and overall appearance.
Blood and urine collection
If necessary, we will also take blood and urine samples from your cat during the kidney consultation. This involves a veterinarian and the assistant will hold the cat for a while.
The results of the blood and urine tests are discussed with you by a doctor and they will prescribe (additional) medication or adjust the plan if necessary. Our kidney consultant herself will send you a reminder when a checkup is needed again through a phone call or email.
What can you do yourself?
- Give your cat a special kidney diet and feed mainly wet food. If your cat really doesn’t want to eat wet food, you can also add extra water over the kibble.
- Offer extra water. This can be done through a water fountain, extra water bowls and/or mixing water through the food, for example. In some cases, it may also be helpful to give fluids subcutaneously. This can be done through an IV and we can teach you to do it yourself from home. Of course, you may also come to the clinic for this so we can do it for you.
- Monitor weight carefully. If necessary, you may always borrow our scales.
- Be alert for decreased appetite/vomiting/lots of urination/lots of drinking.
If more symptoms occur between checkups, we recommend contacting us. We can then see if additional medication is needed or if an additional checkup should take place.