Did you know kidney failure is one of the top four causes of death in domestic cats? In fact, one in three cats will develop kidney disease. It’s particularly common in geriatric cats—more than half of cats over age 15 are afflicted.
The kidneys are critical organs in the body. Normally, healthy happy kidneys are adept at eliminating protein wastes, balancing body water, salts, and acids, and providing certain hormones for calcium, phosphorus and red blood cell maintenance by producing high quality urine. However, as cats age, kidney disease can strike and compromise these important activities. Catching kidney disease early can enable cat owners and veterinarians to treat the disease and allow cats to live years longer than they otherwise would.
There’s good news, though. A new test, SDMA, is now available, which is capable of detecting kidney disease much earlier. It’s the only test available that can detect kidney function loss earlier than the blood creatinine test. Once kidney disease is identified, vets and pet owners can manage the disease through feeding kidney-friendly diets, increasing water intake, and administering medications and even fluids under the skin (cat owners can even do this themselves at home once properly trained!) Veterinary offices can have the test automatically added to all chemistry panels they order so every cat can be easily tested. Ask your vet if they have the SDMA test available to screen your cat’s kidney function. With this new test, kidney function can now be tested as early on in your cat’s life as you’d like!