General information on Glomerulonephritis
Glomerulonephritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the cat’s kidneys. More specifically, glomerulonephritis affects the kidney’s ability to filter the blood. Due to the fact that the blood has not been properly filtered, the unwanted substance float through to the kidneys causing the inflammatory defenses of the body to be triggered causing damage to the filtering system and loss of excessive amounts of protein and other vital nutrients into the urine. The exact cause of glomerulonephritis is unknown, but has been associated with other diseases and conditions such as types of cancers, infections, feline leukemia, and others. Glomerulonephritis seems to primarily affect young adult cats, averaging five years of age, but can affect cats of any age, breed, or gender. Glomerulonephritis may present without any obvious symptoms at all and, left untreated, can lead to chronic kidney failure.
Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis
Some of the symptoms of glomerulonephritis may be: frequent urination, high levels of protein found in the urine, frequent thirst, weight loss, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and swelling of the abdomen, face, paws, or scrotum. In severe cases of glomerulonephritis, difficulty breathing and a sudden loss of vision may also be present. In mild cases of glomerulonephritis, symptoms may not be present at all.
Treatments for Glomerulonephritis
The treatment for glomerulonephritis is to try to identify the underlying cause of the glomerulonephritis and to treat it. Should no underlying cause of the glomerulonephritis be identified, then the treatment is to immunosuppressive medications like steroids and prednisone. A veterinarian may also prescribe a special diet for the affected cat that consists of low protein, low sodium, and low phosphorus quantities. Low aspirin dosages may also be prescribed to help prevent clotting as well as medications to help control blood pressure. In some cases, ACE inhibitors may also be prescribed to help prevent protein loss in the urine.
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