Kidney Toxicity Average Cost

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What is Kidney Toxicity?

Kidney toxicity is so serious because it causes dehydration, electrolyte disturbance, pH imbalance, and a buildup of metabolic waste in the blood. If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic substance, it is important to seek help from a veterinarian immediately to reverse the damage.

The kidneys are your cat's blood filtration system. They maintain fluid balance and the appropriate balances of nutrients in the blood. When your cat ingests nephrotoxins (substances that are toxic to the kidneys of cats), the toxins can cause acute renal failure, a very serious situation that can be fatal without early veterinary intervention.

Symptoms of Kidney Toxicity in Cats

Symptoms of acute renal failure caused by kidney toxicity are common to many forms of kidney disease. Symptoms may onset suddenly and progress quickly. Contact a veterinarian immediately if your cat is exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms of acute renal failure:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Listlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Fruity breath odor
  • Less frequent or more frequent urination
  • Increased or decreased urine volume
  • Seizures

If you see your cat ingest a toxic substance, do not wait until she begins to manifest the symptoms of acute renal failure. The condition progresses rapidly and early intervention is the key to an improved prognosis.

Causes of Kidney Toxicity in Cats

The cause of acute renal failure in cats is the ingestion of a substance that is toxic to the kidneys. The most common substances that lead to kidney toxicity in cats include

  • Acetaminophen-containing medications such as Tylenol, Dayquil, Excedrin, Robitussin Cold, Cough and Flu, Sudafed PE, Theraflu Sore Throat
  • Ethylene glycol, such as that found in antifreeze or de-icing agents for windows
  • Plants, especially lilies
  • Permethrin, a substance used for flea and tick control
  • Amphetamines
  • NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Insecticides, herbicides, rat poison
  • Poisonous mushrooms
  • Citrus oils, such as those found in household cleaning products

There are also certain foods with toxic effects on cats that may manifest as acute renal failure, including: 

  • Alcohol
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Caffeine-containing beverages
  • Xylitol-containing substances, such as candy, gum or certain medication tablets

Diagnosis of Kidney Toxicity in Cats

In order to confirm a diagnosis of acute renal failure due to kidney toxicity, your veterinarian will begin with a thorough physical exam and collect a comprehensive history of your cat's diet, medication management and whereabouts. Your veterinarian will palpate your cat's abdomen and limbs for edema, or fluid accumulation. He may also search your cat's mouth for ulceration and pinch skin for signs of dehydration. Obviously, history of ingestion of a toxic substance should be reported to your veterinarian along with any changes in urine output, eating habits, disposition, or other pertinent medical history regarding the heart and vascular system, liver and kidneys. 

Following the physical exam, your veterinarian will likely collect blood and urine samples to culture. Urinalysis of a cat with acute renal failure may show sloughed kidney cells, glucose molecules, kidney enzymes, myoglobin, hemoglobin or an excess of certain electrolytes. Blood samples of cats with kidney toxicity are characterized b y increased blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, phosphorus and pH imbalance.

After a diagnosis of kidney injury or failure, your veterinarian will focus on determining whether the kidney failure is the result of kidney toxicity or chronic renal failure, as those conditions require different treatment and management. Your veterinarian can perform certain tests or investigate values in the blood and urine cultures that differentiate one condition from the other.

Treatment of Kidney Toxicity in Cats

If the toxin responsible for kidney toxicity is known, your veterinarian can administer antitoxins to target that agent. Otherwise, your veterinarian will likely prescribe supportive therapies, such as rehabilitative fluids and electrolytes or intravenous fluids such as saline or lactated Ringer's solution. 

Your veterinarian may also recommend therapy to increase urine output, and thereby the release of toxic substances and metabolic waste. Diuretics, administered judiciously, are ideal for this purpose, though they are contraindicated for some cats.

Other common treatments for cats with acute renal failure due to kidney toxicity include vasodilators to treat renal hypertension and dialysis to rapidly remove toxic substances and waste products from the blood.

The survival rate for chronic renal failure is roughly fifty percent. The survival rate is much higher for cats who receive early, aggressive intervention.

Recovery of Kidney Toxicity in Cats

Your cat will require a follow-up appointment within a week or two of returning home. Electrolyte panels will be performed to ensure complete recovery. Blood and urine cultures may also be performed. 

Cats who have suffered acute renal failure from the ingestion of nephrotoxins are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease down the road. This means they require regular follow-up visits to track changes in urine output, lab values and overall health. 

It is also important to ensure your cat is hydrated and maintaining appropriate urine output. Changes in thirst and urination are often the first signs of another episode of renal toxicity.

Kidney Toxicity Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

domestic short hair
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy.Not urination. Swollen
Lethargy.Not urination

Medication Used


My cat Stanley eat Ibuprofen 200 mg. He cannot urinate and looks disoriented.He is in the vet right now with IV. He is swollen. What is his prognosis?
Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Ibuprofen is toxic to cats and may cause severe symptoms including kidney failure and death; toxicity is based on body weight so if we take an average of 10lbs (4.54kg) for a domestic shorthair cat we can see that Stanley consumed 44.05mg/kg which is enough to cause severe acute poisoning in most cats which may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. I cannot give you a specific prognosis since I haven’t examined Stanley or seen blood work, but fluid therapy and other supportive care is the best way to go. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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short hair
1 Year
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Renal failure,

Our cat is in full renal failure. He also started having seizures. Now the vet says they can’t do anything else for him. When they took him off the sedatives he ate by himself and looked better and then they said he looked like he was going to have another seizure so they sedated him again. Could they be giving him too many medications?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Without examining Wally I cannot determine the severity of his symptoms and without seeing the blood test report I cannot determine the overall severity of the kidney failure; if you have concerns about the treatment, ask your Veterinarian to explain the what is happening and why treatment ‘x’ is being given. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Domestic shorthair
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


Medication Used


My cat has just been diagnosed with FIP after a sudden change in behavior between the night and next day. Vomiting, listlessness and panting prompted us to take him in, where the DR. discoveredda bloated belly and high amounts of protein, creatinine, and HIGH white blood cells. They treated him over the entire weekend with IV and released him to us today. He is now home and is sleeping, and ate a tiny bit of the prescribed food we brought home from the vet.

My question is how/what can we do to make him as comfortable as possible so he doesn't suffer? What if he relapses due to toxin buildup once more? How long does relapse normally take?I understand that there is no fix or treatment for this, but I want to be as proactive as possible and not let him suffer unncessarily....thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Each case is different and it is a case of taking each day as it comes, it is important to feed a prescription cat food from your Veterinarian and to ensure that Clint stays hydrated; any other treatment would be unrewarding overall. You should monitor for changes and check in with your Veterinarian regularly. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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13 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pollen on nose
Vomitted once

Came home from vacation today (Tuesday) and had my cat sitter inform me that my cat had eaten part of a Lily on Sunday. Or at least that what they thought. She apparently had discoloration from pollen on her nose, and there were Lily stamens and a few petals on the ground, but they never actually saw anything ingested. She threw up the same day after eating food, but there was no sign of any floral remains. I'm home with her now roughly 48 hours later and she seems absolutely fine - eating well, has puked since the first incident, no excess urinating as far as I can tell. She even played with me. I know it can take up to 72 hours for renal failure to occur - should I be panicking? Does she need to be rushed to the vet?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1608 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If there is a chance that she ate the lily, it would be best to have her seen quickly, and started on aggressive IV fluid therapy to protect her kidneys. Once you start to see signs, it may be too late to do anything about it. Your veterinarian can check bloodwork, start her IV monitor her. If she didn't eat the lily, it will be overkill, but is seems that the possibility exists, and better to be safe than sorry.

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16 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

varied appetite
poor body condition and varied appe

Medication Used

Vidalta 10mg

I have a 16 year old cat who is on Vldalta for Thyroid problems. He has been on these tablets for about 2 months now. 10mg once a day. 10mg once daily. He is now rather thin and poor body condition, and varied appetite. Some days not wanting food some days eating about two 85g sachets or trays. Now the vet wants more blood test to check toxicity in his kidneys. He has had a urine test done and that came back ok no protein in urine.What is the prognosis for my cat if kidneys show signs of toxins will it be time to say goodbye

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Any cat on Vidalta (carbimazole) should have liver and kidney function tests performed to ensure that there are no negative effects from treatment. If parameters are outside of physiological range it would depend on how far outside normal they are and whether any other management options are available (diet etc…). You should have a blood test done and your Veterinarian will walk you through the rest. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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