About one-third of cats over the age of 10 have chronic kidney disease, or CKD, which is a progressive loss of kidney function that often leads to other health problems. But over the past decade, significant advances have been made in the diagnosis and management of this syndrome.
Veterinarians can now pinpoint risk factors and diseases associated with CKD. This, in conjunction with results of certain routine lab tests, enables them to identify cats likely to develop CKD within a couple of years.
CKD is incurable, so treatment focuses on improving quality of life. To that end, kidney care diets are crucial. In addition, anti-nausea medications and appetite stimulants can help with some of the more onerous symptoms.
Routine veterinary checkups are also a key part of managing other problems that develop secondary to CKD.