The Pet Directory Cat Articles - Kidney Transplants in Cats

As published in The Pet Directory NSW & ACT Edition
By Marcus Gunew

Kidney 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.

More information can be found on the Internet at www.catvets.com.au




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