Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Feline Chronic Renal Failure

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) should not be confused with acute renal failure, which caused so many deaths in the 2007 tainted pet food recall tragedy.

Extremely common in older cats, CRF is a serious condition evidenced by gradual, irreversible deterioration of kidney function over a period of months or years. The kidney consists of tiny funnel-shaped tubes called nephrons, which filter and reabsorb the fluids that balance the body. When an individual nephron is damaged by any cause, (aging, poison, infection, etc.) it stops functioning.

Fortunately the kidney can still function with as few as twenty-five percent of its original nephrons, as other nephrons can grow larger to "fill in the blanks." Kidney failure occurs when the remaining functioning nephrons drop below 25%. Kidney failure creates several body disfunctions: Toxins, such as urea and creatinine which normally are secreted as waste, build up in the blood.

What are the Symptoms of CRF?

All but one (difficulty urinating) of the symptoms listed below can also be indicative of other disease, e.g., hyperthyroidism. In fact, hyperthyroidism may mask CRF, which points out the need for an accurate diagnosis.

* Weight loss
* Excessive thirst and urination
* Loss of appetite
* Vomiting
* Obvious difficulty in urinating
* Dull or ill-kept coat

Read the entire article.

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