Dialysis for Cats

Dialysis is a procedure that may be used in felines that have a kidney dysfunction or renal failure. There are several types of cat dialysis, but most commonly cats will get peritoneal dialysis PD. The dialysis will remove the toxins from the cat’s system and will take some pressure off the kidneys.

Kidney Function and Kidney Disease

In felines, the kidneys have the task of removing toxins from the blood and filtering these toxins. If the kidneys are not functioning properly, the toxins remain in the cat’s system and this may be fatal.

The function of the kidneys can be compromised by poisonous substances or a poor diet. However, in some cases, the causes of kidney disease are not known; kidney disease may also be due to old age.

When the kidneys don’t function properly, the disease may advance and when more than 70% of the kidneys are not functional the cat will suffer from renal failure.

Cat dialysis can be used in cats with renal failure to prevent death.

Dialysis for Kidney Failure

Cats affected by kidney disease and kidney failure may benefit of dialysis. Most commonly, cats will be treated with peritoneal dialysis (PD). Even if this procedure may take several days, it is safer in pets.

Over 75% of cats treated with peritoneal dialysis have shown signs of improvement.

The PD is performed by introducing a solution in the peritoneal cavity of the cat. The solution is known as the dialysate contains glucose and it is sterile. This solution should be left in the cat’s system for several hours, so that the toxins and the other waste materials are properly absorbed. After this happens, the solution is extracted through the tube; the peritoneal membrane will be filtering the solution.

This procedure may be applied several times during one treatment; the treatment may take a few hours to a few days, depending on the amount of toxins that are present in the cat’s system.

The dialysis should be performed at the vet’s clinic; however, it may also be applied at home, but you need to make sure the cat has a sterile environment and he stays still during the procedure, so that the liquid can be eliminated safely.

The dialysis should give improved kidney function.

Types of Cat Dialysis

There are 2 main types of dialysis that may be used in felines:

  • Peritoneal dialysis PD, which is a longer procedure, but it has fewer risks
  • Hemodialysis HD, which is the procedure that will be filtering the cat’s blood through an external filter that has a few small pores that will allow the blood to be filtered but will stop the toxins and other waste materials; the blood is extracted, filtered and reintroduced in the cat’s body

Cat Dialysis Side Effects

The dialysis may present a few risks such as edemas, fluid retention or high magnesium levels.

The cat should be monitored after a dialysis and you should consult the vet if you notice anything unusual.