High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats

High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is High Levels of Blood Nitrogen?

Your veterinarian may refer to high levels of blood nitrogen in your cat as azotemia or uremia. Both are serious symptoms of underlying conditions only a veterinary professional is qualified to treat. If you suspect your cat has excess nitrogenous waste in her blood, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Several compounds in your cat's blood may contain nitrogen, such as creatinine, urea, and other byproducts of protein digestion. Levels of nitrogen-containing substances in the blood that are too high may indicate excessive dietary intake of protein, dehydration, or abnormal kidney function. 

High Levels of Blood Nitrogen Average Cost

From 332 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats

Since blood circulates through and delivers nutrients to all parts of your cat's body, high levels of blood nitrogen can affect many systems and lead to some seemingly unrelated symptoms. Signs your cat may be suffering from azotemia or uremia include:

  • Dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breath that smells like urine
  • Excess salivation
  • Change in volume or frequency of urine output
  • Coat that has lost luster
  • Weakness, confusion or stupor

If you suspect your cat may be suffering from azotemia or uremia, seek veterinary attention immediately. These symptoms could be indicative of acute renal failure or a serious condition such as chronic kidney disease. 

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Causes of High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats

The most common cause of high levels of blood nitrogen in cats is abnormal kidney function. If the kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the urine, waste will be resorbed back into the bloodstream. The kidneys may also fail to produce hormones necessary for nitrogen excretion, leading to the buildup of these products in the blood.

A diet that is too high in protein or the overproduction of nitrogen-containing substances can also elevate levels of blood nitrogen in cats. Dehydration can cause nitrogenous waste products to concentrate in the blood, artificially elevating blood nitrogen. Symptoms of chronic renal disease or diabetes, such as excess urination, excessive thirst, or rapid weight loss can also lead to elevated nitrogen in the blood.

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Diagnosis of High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats

Diagnosis of high levels of blood nitrogen will begin with a thorough physical examination of your cat, including the collection of all relevant medical history. Urine and blood samples will be collected by your veterinarian in order to perform relevant tests, such as a urinalysis, a complete blood count, and a chemistry profile. These tests will show whether nitrogenous waste is being excreted efficiently by the kidneys. It can also show what kind of nitrogen is present in the blood so that your veterinarian can determine the cause of the azotemia or uremia. 

In addition to confirming the presence of nitrogen in your cat's blood, your veterinarian will determine the cause of this buildup. Imaging such as x-rays and ultrasonography, urine cultures and tissue biopsies may be performed in to rule out chronic kidney disease or acute renal failure. The specific gravity, or concentration of particles, in your cat's urine may be measured to determine whether dehydration or excessive urination (polyuria) are contributing to the concentration of waste products in your cat's blood.

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Treatment of High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats

Your veterinarian will target the cause of high nitrogen levels in your cat’s blood when determining her course of treatment. For end-stage chronic kidney disease, your veterinarian may recommend dialysis or a kidney transplant. Alternatively, lifestyle modifications may be recommended to ease pain and symptoms of kidney disease, including the discomfort that results from high levels of nitrogen in the blood. 

For acute kidney disease, your veterinarian may administer rehydration fluids or place a temporary feeding tube. A catheter may be placed to promote the excretion of nitrogenous waste as urea in the urine. Prompt treatment of acute renal failure may restore some or all kidney function.

Your cat's prognosis will also vary depending on the cause of her azotemia or uremia. Cats with high levels of blood nitrogen secondary to dehydration, for example, can expect a full recovery. Cats newly diagnosed with late-stage chronic kidney disease or acute renal failure will require aggressive treatment, lifestyle management, and ongoing veterinary supervision to prevent relapse. 

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Worried about the cost of High Levels Blood Nitrogen treatment?

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Recovery of High Levels of Blood Nitrogen in Cats

Cats diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or acute renal failure will require intensive management throughout life. Your veterinarian may prescribe changes to your cat's diet, limiting fluid intake, medication, and ongoing monitoring of urine output. It is recommended cats in early stages of kidney disease follow-up with a veterinarian two or three times per year without symptoms. Cats in the late stages of kidney disease should be examined by a veterinarian every one to two months.

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High Levels of Blood Nitrogen Average Cost

From 332 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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High Levels of Blood Nitrogen Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Josie

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Short haired domestic

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9 Years

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vommiting
Dehydration
Anorexia

My cat, short-haired domestic, 9yo female, has underwent lab work after she stopped eating. Her BUN level is 218 and her creatinine level is 17.6; we have suggested euthanasia, however, the vet highly recommends we begin aggressive treatments, and suggests our cat may be able to live another three to five years if treatments are successful. What is her realistic outcome? We don't want to prolong her suffering if it is not very good.

Sept. 19, 2018

Josie's Owner

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Nano

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Black cat

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3 Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Renal Failure Creatine 3.8 ,Bun 81
Renal Failure

My cats creatinine level was 4.8 and BUN was 132 but now after 21 days of IV and Subcutaneous drips his creatinine is 3.8 and BUN is 81 ...but I am not sure what type of diet should I give him ...he only wants to eat meat and chicken organs as he is used to eat this...but today he vomits and didn't pass the urine whole day though I am giving him Subcutaneous drip as my vet prescribed ...em so much worried for him ...please suggest me some renal diet that can control his Creatinine and BUN levels...

Aug. 7, 2018

Nano's Owner

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0 Recommendations

There are many different commercially available renal diets available from different companies (Hills, Royal Canin etc…) which offer high quality but low quantity protein and are nutritionally balanced; home mixing of foods especially when there is an underlying condition isn’t recommended. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 7, 2018

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High Levels of Blood Nitrogen Average Cost

From 332 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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