Stage II Kidney Disease & High Blood Pressure in Cats
My cat has been diagnosed with stage II kidney disease and high blood pressure.
Recently my cat Lloyd was diagnosed high blood pressure and the beginning stages of kidney disease. It was not the diagnoses I expected when taking him to the vet for a checkup.
I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that most likely at 17 years of age my cat’s bloodwork wouldn’t show something. But from previous experiences, I was expecting a diagnosis more along the lines of thyroid disease or diabetes. Turns out, that was not the case.
Changes In My Senior Cat
I discussed my concerns with the vet about changes my cat had been exhibiting. Over the past year there have been subtle changes. At first it was his hearing, or lack of it. In the beginning we noticed he was only acknowledging certain sounds. We had to use a higher pitch when calling him or to get his attention. Then, he no longer reacted to those high pitch sounds. I knew for sure his hearing was completely gone when the sound of the vacuum didn’t terrify him or send him scurrying to another room. Now, he is oblivious to the sounds of the vacuum.
Reduced Night Vision
Then came the night howls. I’ve dealt with this before with our other cat. The moment the house gets quiet and all the lights are off, my cat starts crying out, but it’s a different sound than his “normal” meow. It’s a deep, throaty meow. Once he has me in his sight, the meow returns to a “normal” meow.
So what was causing my cat to howl? Was he wondering where everyone had gone once the lights went out, was my cat frightened, could it be his vision at night was reduced causing confusion, more importantly, was he in pain?
The most difficult part of this – for me – is now that my cat was completely deaf, he could no longer hear me calling out to reassure him. I placed nightlights throughout the house and used pheromone plug-ins hoping to give him some comfort.
When You Know Something’s Not Right With Your Pet
Along with the obvious signs of aging, there was something else going on that I couldn’t put my finger on. As a pet parents we just “know” when something is not right with our pet’s health.
Physically my cat looks good. He does not look the seventeen years that he is. But you have to look at more than just the cover, you have to look inside the book to get answers.
So a vet checkup that included a physical, bloodwork and urine testing was a place to start.
Kidney Disease and High Blood Pressure in Cats
Thankfully, there were no issues with his thyroid or signs of diabetes as I thought might be the case. But what did appear was early signs of kidney disease.
His blood pressure also needed to be checked. To be honest, until now, I had not heard of high blood pressure in a pet. But now I have, and in addition to early stages of kidney disease, my cat also has high blood pressure.
Daily Blood Pressure Medication
So now what? To be honest, I am still learning. But the first step was to get my cat’s blood pressure under control and to address his kidney disease.
How is this done?
A daily dose of blood pressure medication and switching to a prescription diet that addresses kidney disease in cats.
I’ve never been more thankful my cat Lloyd is food motivated! This food motivation allows me to easily administer a daily dosing of blood pressure medication into his wet food. Let’s just say, he is king of the clean plate club when it comes to wet food 🙂
As for the diagnosis of early stage kidney disease. We switched Lloyd’s food to Royal Canin’s Prescription Feline Multifunction Renal Support + Hydrolyzed Protein. Why the Hydrolyzed protein? Because on top of everything else, my cat has an allergy to chicken protein that causes upset stomach and vomiting. I’m just thankful there was an option that addressed all his needs, both nutritionally, and medically.
Two Weeks Post High Blood Pressure Diagnosis
Two weeks after my cat received a diagnosis of high blood pressure, and two weeks of daily medication, I took him back to the vet for another blood pressure reading.
For those of you, like myself, who have never experienced a pet having their blood pressure taken, it’s just as you imagine, right down to a kitty sized blood pressure cuff that goes around their paw.
But just like humans, pets can also experience “white coat syndrome” leading to an increase in blood pressure due to stress and nervousness. Unable to stay with Lloyd the first time his pressure was taken, I was able to stay the second time around. I hoped my presence this time would comfort and keep him calm and relaxed. Thankfully, the daily blood pressure medication he had been on over the past two weeks brought his pressure down to normal readings.
Listening To Our Pets
As for those nightly howls we had been experiencing? They have decreased immensely. Lloyd is more content and sleeping more soundly. Could it have been that my cat had been trying to tell me he was not well, that something was not right? I can’t say for sure, but I believe our pets tell us more than we realize, we just have to listen.