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What is Kidney Inflammation?

The kidneys are a very important organ in cats for regulating multiple key systems in the body. They help to regulate blood pressure and production of hormones and enzymes, maintain a balance of electrolytes, and remove waste from the bloodstream. 

Most kidney inflammation develops because of an undetected bladder or urinary tract infection, which then travels up the ureter to the kidneys where it results in inflammation, damage, and severe pain. When the kidneys are inflamed, they usually become abnormally enlarged. Many cats make a full recovery after receiving a lengthy protocol of antibiotics and fluid treatment.

Cats are highly prone to kidney disease and related inflammation. Although it affects all ages and breeds of cats, older cats and Persian or Himalayan cats are more likely than other cats to develop a kidney condition. Most affected cats experience either pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney), acute kidney disease (AKD), or chronic kidney disease (CKD). As with many diseases in cats, it can be difficult to diagnose the exact cause of kidney inflammation.

Kidney Inflammation Average Cost

From 434 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$600

Symptoms of Kidney Inflammation in Cats

Unfortunately, there are no early warning signs of kidney inflammation, which is what makes diagnosis challenging. Sometimes there are no signs until the cat is experiencing actual kidney failure. Common symptoms include:

  • Dehydration
  • Increased thirst
  • Discolored urine 
  • Increased urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • One or both kidneys are palpably larger than normal
  • Abdominal mass
  • Abdominal pain
  • Malaise
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
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Causes of Kidney Inflammation in Cats

There are several potential causes of kidney inflammation:

Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis, or infection of the kidney, is usually due to an underlying bacterial infection of the urinary tract. Pyelonephritis often gives rise to acute kidney disease (AKD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). 

Kidney Disease

Acute kidney disease is often caused by ingestion of toxins such as harmful plants, antifreeze, pesticides, cleaning products or ibuprofen, but is also caused by pyelonephritis. The kidney becomes severely injured and enlarged. The exact cause of progressive, chronic kidney disease is unknown, however,it can be triggered by dental disease and urinary tract infection. 

Other Causes

Other common causes are stones in the kidney or urinary tract, malformation of the kidneys at birth, immune-mediated disease, high blood pressure, and chronic bacterial infection of the kidneys.

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Diagnosis of Kidney Inflammation in Cats

A preliminary diagnosis is made by taking a complete blood profile and a urinalysis. The cat will receive a palpation exam and X-rays to assist the veterinarian in finding kidney stones and assessing the shape and size of the kidneys. 

A blood panel will shed light on the buildup of compounds in the blood, while the urinalysis will provide your vet with helpful information about the extent of the damage to the kidneys. If the kidneys are enlarged, most vets will also request an ultrasound, a urine culture, or a kidney tissue biopsy.

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Treatment of Kidney Inflammation in Cats

Most cats will be treated on an outpatient basis unless the cat is in crisis due to dehydration or renal failure. If your cat needs to be hospitalized, it will be given fluids, minerals and electrolytes intravenously to correct imbalances in the blood. If the causes of the kidney inflammation is a urinary tract blockage, the obstructions must be removed immediately. 

Treatment of kidney inflammation is long-term. Most cats receive a high dosage of antibiotics for four to six weeks. In some cases, intravenous fluids will be administered. In rare cases only, surgery to remove the inflamed kidney will be recommended. 

Dietary changes are also very helpful. Most cats respond well to a therapeutic diet of high-quality protein and supplements of vitamins B, D, and omega-3 fatty acids. All dietary protocols address the negative consequences of the disease affecting the kidneys, and help with weight gain, reducing acid build-up, reduction of nitrogen waste buildup, and maintenance of healthy B-vitamin and potassium levels. 

Depending on the amount of damage and injury that occurred to the kidney due to inflammation, cats may be able to recover full kidney function. All of the treatment protocols will help to keep your cat comfortable and in stable condition. 

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Recovery of Kidney Inflammation in Cats

In most cases, cats benefit tremendously from treatment and can live a long and healthy life. Your cat will go to the veterinarian for regular checkups, every three to six months, to be evaluated and monitored. A physical exam will be performed during each visit, and if necessary, a blood and urine test performed to provide more detailed information about the state of your cat's kidneys. 

At home, make sure your cat has 24 hour access to fresh, clean, chlorine and fluoride-free water. Keep an eye on the amount of food and water your cat consumes each day so that you can easily notice any sudden changes in weight and hydration.

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Kidney Inflammation Average Cost

From 434 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$600

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Kidney Inflammation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Whiskey

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Siamese

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8 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Appetite

My cat is 8 yrs old, vet told us that his kidneys are bady damage they gave him ib fluids but he didn’t eat just few bites today thay gave him oral steriods. May be they works for him better.

Sept. 6, 2018

Whiskey's Owner

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Zelda

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Short

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating

I and my mom took my cat Zelda to the She is at the Animal hospital yesterday because she was skinny and she only Eat a couple bits of food the last couple weeks and then last week she eat a little bits of food and drink a little water. My cat Zelda as Kidney inflammation and another guy that was their as the same thing going on with is cat. I hope my cat Zelda gets better soon. They have ivy’s in her to get her Kidney inflammation down. I hope she gets better soon and that I don’t need to but her down at all. I didn’t give her anything or another to make her Kidney inflammation. I hope she gets better soon because I love 💗 her a lot. I don't know how she got like that because I didn't give her anything and she didn't get at anything. When I went to visit her today at the Animal hospital their was a guy their get is cat checked out because he don't know what's going on with his cat and then when I was living the guy told me he found out that his cat as Kidney inflammation and his cat is skinny to because his cat lost weight from being to dehydrated from Kidney inflammation. So they have is cat on ivy's to.

May 22, 2018

Zelda's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

IV fluids are the best treatment for kidney disease, so Zelda is in the right place. I hope that she responds to therapy and gets better too.

May 22, 2018

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Leo

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Street Rescue

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14 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Cry,S Painfully At Night,

MY cat is approx 14 yrs old. over the last 16 plus months he has lost a lot of weight,w/ a balding spot right before his hind quarters. Lately last 6-8 months he has been very , very thirsty. At times we have left the water sink open and he sumerges his head under the faucet with it running and drinks copiously this is in addition to the water from the water fountain we have, His defecation is pudding like and very foul smelling, i mean very bad. I think i can feel his kidney alongside the top of back right where his ribs end, a limpr is defeintly there.

May 17, 2018

Leo's Owner


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0 Recommendations

There are many different factors which may contribute to these symptoms especially in an older cat, without examining Leo I cannot put my finger on any particular cause; infections, parasites, liver disease, kidney disease among many other causes may present like this. If you are feeling a mass, you should have it checked out to determine what it is; also a blood test would determine whether there is any issue with kidney or liver function. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 18, 2018

I and my mom took my cat Zelda to the She is at the Animal hospital yesterday because she was skinny and she only Eat a couple bits of food the last couple weeks and then last week she eat a little bits of food and drink a little water. My cat Zelda as Kidney inflammation and another guy that was their as the same thing going on with is cat. I hope my cat Zelda gets better soon. They have ivy’s in her to get her Kidney inflammation down. I hope she gets better soon and that I don’t need to but her down at all. I didn’t give her anything or another to make her Kidney inflammation. I hope she gets better soon because I love 💗 her a lot. I don't know how she got like that because I didn't give her anything and she didn't get at anything. When I went to visit her today at the Animal hospital their was a guy their get is cat checked out because he don't know what's going on with his cat and then when I was living the guy told me he found out that his cat as Kidney inflammation and his cat is skinny to because his cat lost weight from being to dehydrated from Kidney inflammation. So they have is cat on ivy's to.

May 22, 2018

Jessica W.

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Dude

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

24 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Swollen Kidneys
Drinking Large Amounts

Dude was in a terrible fight a couple of weeks ago, and got the snot beat out of him. He was muddy and soaking wet and severely freaked for a day. We bathed him and loved him back to his normal, sweet temperament. A couple days later he developed abscess on his neck (another, he had one in October from a fight, also). We got it drained and cleaned and it has been healing well. Gave him some penicillin to help the infection. All of that may or may not have any bearing on what's been going on for the past couple of days. Dude is sleeping a lot. More than normal for a cat. He still loves petting and purrs and cuddles a lot. Eats normally and is defecating and urinating. His kidneys are swollen. We can easily feel them with gentle palpitation. Maybe 1.5 cm each. He is drinking enormous amounts of water, and urinating huge amounts out.

May 3, 2018

Dude's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Dude needs to be seen by a veterinarian, and have an examination and lab work run to evaluate his systemic function. It is possible that the infection became septic, or that he has another underlying problem, but he does need medical attention. I hope that he is okay.

May 4, 2018

That's about what we figured. Dude is going in this afternoon. I'll update the thread after his appt. Thank you!

May 4, 2018

Dude's Owner

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Jackson

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Indoor mixed breed cat.

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6 Years

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss

I have a six year old cat who was recently diagnosed with kidney inflammation. Blood tests showed an increase in WBC along with a slight increase in CREA and BUN. No urine analysis or culture was done . His symptoms were weight loss, diarrhea and lethargy. He is currently receiving injectable Oroflox for 7 days, 50 ml of fluids. I have added B Complex. His current food is RC Recovery. My question is can anything more be given or done to make him out of the woods and prolonge his life?

April 13, 2018

Jackson's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Without knowing more about his specific lab work, I cannot comment on any treatments that may help him. Depending on the degree of kidney disease, there are medications that can help keep him comfortable, and diet can play a large role in early kidney dysfunction. It definitely would be worth having a urinalysis performed to rule out other causes for his signs. I hope that he does well.

April 13, 2018

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Baby Andrian Lutfi

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Ragamuffin

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4 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

My cat Baby is 4 years old. 2 weeks ago, i brought him to our usual vet to get his BT done and urine culture. They said his creatinine level is slightly elevated so vet recommended stop kibbles and only wet food. I did so and a week later we found vomit all over the house. He stopped eating and was drinking alot. We tried giving him. Antacid by Vet, but it didn't work. We brought him to the emergency and he was admitted right away. The specialist did ultrasounds but didnt show us the reports only tell us the creatinine level is at 14. It has been 4 days now, and they are still putting pain killers on him, he can eat and pee now. He even recognized me and slept soundly in my arms when I visited him just now. They said his kidney are still inflammated but not sure when was the last blood test done. I am planning to change his diet to Raw Food diet to support his kidney function naturally and stop kibbles except for freeze dried raw food. Please advise how do Vet measure if the cat is good to be discharged? Till now, they have not shown me any report since he was admitted.

Kidney Inflammation Average Cost

From 434 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$600

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