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Chronic kidney disease in cats
  1. Martha Cannon and
  2. Sarah Caney

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Martha Cannon is an RCVS Specialist in Feline Medicine and co-director of the Oxford Cat Clinic, a first-opinion and referral cat-only veterinary practice. She is a trustee-director of International Cat Care and its veterinary division, the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM). Martha is a frequent speaker at international and national meetings providing feline-focused CPD for veterinary surgeons and nurses. She is also involved in developing the ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic programme, which provides constructive advice to reduce the stress that cats suffer when visiting veterinary practices.

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Sarah Caney is an RCVS Specialist in Feline Medicine and enjoys seeing a mixture of first-opinion and referral feline patients. She has written and co-written a number of books for cat owners and veterinary professionals including ‘Caring for a Cat with Chronic Kidney Disease’. Sarah does a lot of owner-orientated feline research through online questionnaires and is especially interested in geriatric feline medicine.

CHRONIC kidney disease is a common condition in cats, particularly in middle- to old-aged cats, with studies showing that around a third of cats over 12 years old are affected by the disease. However, because of the wide range of clinical signs that can be seen, managing the disease on an individual basis can be complex.

In the first article in this In Practice Focus, Martha Cannon sets out how to diagnose chronic kidney disease and identify the different stages. She highlights the advantage to the patient of diagnosing the disease as early as possible, as once kidney damage has occurred it is irreversible. She also describes further investigations that can be done to identify concurrent disease and collect information that will be useful for a treatment plan.

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In the second article, Sarah Caney describes the management and treatment options that are available, from supportive and symptomatic treatments, and management of patients with concurrent disease, through to helping owners maintain the treatments needed. She points out that, if managed correctly, many animals can survive for several years after diagnosis with an excellent quality of life.

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