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Kidney Disease Symptoms in Cats

Nephritis and Nephrosis continued...

Nephrosis refers to kidney diseases accompanied by destruction of the nephrons and loss of functioning kidney cells. In a cat with nephrotic syndrome, protein leaks through the kidney filtering system in large amounts and is lost in the urine. This results in abnormally low serum proteins. Protein in the serum maintains osmotic pressure that keeps fluid from passing out of the bloodstream into the cat’s tissues. Because of the low serum protein, fluid accumulates beneath the skin of the legs (edema) and inside the abdomen (ascites). The signs are like those of right-sided heart failure. Laboratory studies will distinguish between these conditions. Hydronephrosis is caused by an obstruction in the ureter (such as a urolith), which causes urine to back up into the kidney, destroying its architecture.

Treatment: Nephritis and nephrosis are not usually recognized until a cat develops signs of kidney failure. Steroids and special diets may be of temporary help.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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