1. Part of the kidneys' function is to remove waste from the body.
2. Kidney failure is also called renal failure.
3. Kidney failure is either acute or chronic. Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys suddenly stop performing their filtering function allowing waste products to build up in the kitty's system. Chronic kidney failure occurs when the kidneys gradually reduce their filtering functions over time.
4. ARF is typically caused by urinary obstructions, infectious diseases, trauma, and the ingestion of toxins.
5. In addition to the bad food, ingestion of items commonly found in homes can cause kidney problems for cats. For instance, antifreeze, lillies (yes the flower that many of us may have in our gardens), acetominophen and ibuprofen, and turpentine are just some of the things that can cause kidney problems.
6. Signs of kidney failure usually don't appear until 70% of the kidneys have stopped functioning.
7. Some of the symptoms of ARF are drinking more water, vomiting, depression, reduction in appetite, lethargy, and increased/decreated urination.
8. If you see symptoms of ARF, you should take your cat to the vet immediately. This cannot be treated at home.
9. Blood tests that are used to diagnosis ARF include measurements of the blood urea nitrogen (BUN), phosphorus and creatinine.
10. ARF is treated by providing fluids (such as through a subcutaneous IV) and through certain medications (a nasty pill I didn't like).
11. Cats with ARF also usually are prescribed a kidney-friendly diet that is low in sodium and encouraged to continue that diet even if their kidney functions return to normal ranges.
12. If ARF is caused by the ingestion of a specific toxin, the vet may try to empty the cat's stomach or use charcoal to try to stop more absorption of the toxin.
13. ARF is often fatal. Early treatment is critical to improve your pet's chance of survival.
Some of the websites that we visited are:
Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Feline CRF Information Center
Lexington Cat Clinic (content appears to be from Lifelearn)
Love to Know
Balgownie Veterinary Hospital
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