The Pet Directory Cat Articles - Kidney Transplants in Cats
As published in The Pet Directory NSW
& ACT Edition
By Marcus Gunew
failure is one of the most common diseases that cats get and in
its early stages can be treated with diets and medications.
Unfortunately in many cases these treatments can only slow the
disease down and eventually the kidneys will fail completely. It
was distressing to us that so many cats died from kidney failure
when they were in every other way healthy. Thankfully, kidney transplantation
has now become an accepted treatment for kidney failure in cats
and it is the only treatment that offers a long, high quality life.
The most common signs of kidney failure are increased thirst and
urination, weight loss, reduced appetite and bad breath. If your
cat has any of these signs then arrange for your vet to do a check
up. It is important to arrange for a kidney transplant before your
cat is critically ill.
Kidney transplants have been available for cats in the USA for
a long time, and have now been available in Australia at the Creek
Road Cat Clinic for 10 years. It takes up to five vets and six nurses
to do the procedure. Cats have two kidneys, just like people, and
in the kidney transplant operation one kidney is taken from a healthy
donor cat and given to the sick cat, which will then have three
kidneys. The donor cats do very well with only one kidney. Your
cat will need to have anti-rejection medication after the operation
to stop the body from destroying the new kidney. The cats receive
their kidney from a young healthy cat that is on death row in a
welfare shelter. The owner must also take care of this cat for the
rest of its life, after all it has given a kidney to save the life
of another cat! Transplantation is not suitable for all cats that
have kidney failure and tests are done prior to the operation to
make sure these cats are found before the operation goes ahead.
Transplantation gives hope of a long, high quality life for cats
that have kidney failure.