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Feline chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common, irreversible and progressive disease. Currently, feline CKD is often diagnosed late in the course of the disease limiting the therapeutic options. Detection of mild kidney dysfunction is difficult because the clinical signs, azotaemia and impaired urine concentrating ability may be absent. However, early detection of CKD is important, so early appropriate therapy can be initiated, the aim of which is to slow down declining kidney function and to postpone disease complications. Therefore, veterinarians are encouraged to screen at-risk populations. Research in feline nephrology currently focuses on the search for convenient and cost-effective methods to identify cats with early kidney dysfunction.

Key words: feline chronic kidney disease, recognition, geriatric cats, diagnosis

At-risk populations


Cat populations to consider screening for chronic kidney disease.

Diagnostic flow chart


The minimum laboratory database for CKD screening consists of measuring serum creatinine, USG and proteinuria.


Renal scans


Especially in cats with unilateral or bilateral renomegaly or obvious asymmetry in kidney size, medical imaging studies should be performed as they may reveal an underlying cause for the CKD. Causes that may be detected are PKD, nephrocalcinosis, urinary obstructive disease and renal neoplasia. ...

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False positives


Veterinarians must be aware that ultrasonographic renal abnormalities often occur in healthy cats and are not always clinically relevant. In a recent study, ...

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Creatinine values


The daily production rate of creatinine depends on the muscle mass, so muscle wasting due to ...

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by Dominique Paepe

Early recognition of feline

chronic kidney disease

Volume 25(3), Autumn 2015

Commissioned paper