Fluid Therapy for Cats with Kidney Disease

Because urinary tract infections frequently have the same symptoms as kidney disease, cats are often misdiagnosed. Properly identifying the cause of your cat's symptoms allows you to treat your feline accordingly. Fluid therapy is one of the most commonly administered treatments for feline renal diseases.

Fluid Therapy for Cat Kidney Disease

Fluid therapy is administered for three purposes during treatment for renal disease. First, IV fluids are used for emergency, then for replacing nutrients, and finally, subcutaneous fluids are used for maintaining hydration. Fluid treatments in general are used to flush toxins from your cat's system.

Intravenous Fluids to Correct Dehydration

IV fluids are generally administered to cats suffering from dehydration, because the fluid contains electrolytes that correct your cat's pH balance. IV fluid goes directly into a vein with a drip feed, and training is necessary to insert the needle properly. If the fluid is injected to quickly, you may damage the function of your cat's heart, and if not quickly enough, your cat will not be adequately hydrated.

IV fluid is a form of diuresis, which flushes fluid through the kidneys in order to balance electrolytes and prevent uremia by removing toxins like urea from the blood. IV fluid is not for everyday usage, however, because it overworks the already damaged kidneys.

Cat renal disease in its acute stages can be treated by a few days on an IV, but you should otherwise avoid unnecessary treatment. Drastic forms of fluid treatment should only be used in order to stabilize your pet.

Subcutaneous Fluids

Subcutaneous fluids are also made of electrolytes. Subcutaneous fluids are used for maintenance of hydration, and are administered by needle under the skin. This can be used during home care, as it requires only short training in order to be done correctly.

The hydrating fluid, which replaces the liquid lost as a result of frequent urination, will move slowly through the cat's body after being administered. This helps maintain the balance between water intake and water lost.

Even during the maintenance stage of fluid therapy, it's possible for your cat to become severely dehydrated again. If you notice a drastic change in your feline renal health, visit a doctor for more drastic treatment options.

Support for Cat During Fluid Therapy

Fluid therapy can be difficult for a cat's system, when it is already overtaxed by disease. Additionally, most IV treatments require overnight stays at the vet without any staff. If your cat is undergoing treatment in the IV stage, he is not likely to eat correctly because of upset stomach, which can even further imbalance his hydration levels.

If you can, visit your pet in the hospital, in order to provide familiarity and comfort. Encourage him to eat, and soothe him during this difficult and painful process. This can make the transition to home for subcutaneous treatments much easier, as your cat will be less stressed at the end.