Kidney Failure (Uremia) Symptoms in Cats
Signs of uremia include apathy and sluggishness, loss of appetite and
weight, dry haircoat, a brownish discoloration to the surface of the tongue,
and ulcers on the gums and tongue. The breath may have an ammonialike odor. Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and episodes of
gastrointestinal bleeding can occur. Eventually, the cat falls into a coma and
Diagnosing kidney failure may require a number of techniques. X-rays, with
or without dye studies, along with ultrasound evaluations, can be important.
Blood work, especially blood chemistry panels that look for toxic waste levels
in the blood, should be done. Many cats will show increased levels of BUN
(blood urea nitrogen), creatinine, and phosphorus. Anemia will show up in cats
with chronic renal failure.
A urinalysis will show if the kidneys can still filter and concentrate the
urine. Looking at urine sediment may suggest a cause for the kidney failure.
ERD-HealthScreen is an early detection test that looks for the protein albumin
in the urine (microalbuminuria). It is hoped that with early detection and
treatment, the progression of kidney failure can be slowed. However, many
inflammatory conditions, such as gingivitis, may also cause