Polycystic Disease in Cats: Causes and Symptoms

Polycystic disease in cats is understood as a pathology characterized by the formation of many fluid-filled cavities in the kidneys. As a result of the extensive formation of cysts, part of the organ turns into a vesicular formation.

In this case, two kidneys are affected at once, which can no longer fully perform the function of filtering biological slags. This leads to the accumulation of metabolites and intoxication of the body.

Causes of the disease

The only reason that causes polycystic disease, veterinarians include a hereditary predisposition of some animals. The mechanism of pathology development is as follows: a certain gene responsible for protein synthesis is mutated. As a result, a cyst is formed that grows and affects healthy tissues.

The infected gene can be passed to the kitten by both the mother and the father. If both parents are carriers of it, then at conception two infected protein genes are combined and the offspring die in the womb.

If the kitten survives, then for a long time it gives the impression of absolutely healthy, since the disease does not manifest itself in any way. Meanwhile, the pathology has already begun its destructive effect. You can’t cure polycystic disease. The task of the veterinarian is to stop the destructive process with the help of treatment and thereby prolong the life of an animal with defective kidneys.

Which breeds are more susceptible

Polycystic disease can be diagnosed in any animal older than 7 years, regardless of gender and physiological characteristics. However, veterinarians note that representatives of such breeds as the Scottish fold, British, Himalayan, Persian, and exotic Shorthair are most susceptible to hereditary pathology.

The main symptoms

The process of tissue replacement is very long and slow, so you can suspect polycystic cat no earlier than when they reach the age of 7 years. By this time, the cysts increase in size and take over most of the kidneys, limiting their activity.

It is during this period that the first symptoms of polycystic disease are observed, which is often mistaken for kidney failure.

The owner should be alerted by such signs as:

  • lethargy, low mobility;
  • depressed state;
  • weight loss associated with food withdrawal;
  • vomiting;
  • frequent urination;
  • increased thirst.

As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced, and the pet’s condition worsens.

Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic

To make a diagnosis, the veterinarian needs to conduct a number of studies. Clinical signs are studied, in-depth palpation with an abdominal camera, urine analysis, and biopsy are performed. With the help of these studies, the nature of cysts and the degree of their danger to the animal’s life are established.

Ultrasound examination is performed to determine the tumor and the ratio of modified and intact tissues in the kidneys.

Radiography can detect polycystic disease only at the final stage.

Treatment method and prognosis

Treatment of polycystic disease is complex, including surgery. Conservative therapy does not give results.

If the disease is detected at the initial stage, there are chances to cure the animal, but, as practice shows, such cases are very rare. As mentioned above, polycystic disease for many years proceeds in a hidden form and diagnosis is carried out already at the second or third stage of the disease.

Thus, the goal of treatment is not to cure the animal, since this is no longer possible, but to ensure a satisfactory state of health and prolong life.

If the cysts occupy a large area and are large in size, the fluid from them is periodically removed using a punctate needle. To minimize the development of chronic kidney failure against the background of polycystic kidney disease, drug therapy is indicated.

In order to prevent rehydration of intoxication held detoxification, parenteral administration of oral rehydration solutions for the elimination of toxins. Stabilization of blood pressure indicators is achieved using the drug Amlodipine, as the most effective. The dosage and course are set by the veterinarian. To relieve reduce the gastric juice secretion, elimination of vomiting and preventing ulcers of the stomach used gastroprotectia.

Prevention of anemia is carried out through the use of the drug Erythropoietin. If the second microflora was detected during the diagnostic process, namely bacterial seeding, the animal is shown antibiotic therapy. Preliminary tests are carried out to determine the sensitivity of microflora to antibiotics.

As for the forecast, veterinarians are cautious about it. The life span of animals with polycystic disease varies from two months to several years. When implementing maintenance therapy at the initial stage, the prognosis is favorable, in other cases negative or doubtful.

What to do at home

The owner must follow the instructions of the veterinarian. You can not prescribe medications yourself, reduce or increase the dosage of medications!

Great importance in the treatment process is given to dietary nutrition. Veterinarians recommend special therapeutic wet food intended for animals with kidney diseases. Such foods are characterized by low protein and phosphorus content. It is these elements that provoke the development of symptoms of chronic kidney failure.

Vitamin therapy is necessary. To normalize phosphorus-calcium metabolism, the cat should be given medications containing vitamin D.

Possible complications

With polycystic disease, complications such as kidney failure, sepsis, cancer, and intoxication are possible. In advanced cases, it is fatal.

Prevention measures

For breeds that are genetically predisposed to pathology, it is recommended to use specialized food. In addition, breeders do not allow breeding individuals with polycystic diseases in the genus. These animals are sterilized.