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Acute Kidney Failure in Cats

Worwag, S. and C. E. Langston (2008). “Acute intrinsic renal failure in cats: 32 cases (1997-2004).” J Am Vet Med Assoc 232(5): 728-32.

Acute renal failure (ARF) is the sudden onset of impaired renal function with associated inability to regulate fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance. The prognosis for ARF in dogs and humans is generally poor, with mortality rates of 50-60%. Very limited data has been available on the characteristics of cats with ARF. The purpose of this study was to determine the demographics, clinicopathologic findings and outcome of cats with ARF. In a retrospective case series, the records of 32 cats with ARF were examined. Causes of ARF included nephrotoxins (e.g., drugs, lily toxicity) and ischemia, among others. Increases in serum potassium were associated with decreased chance of survival. Other negative prognostic indicators were low serum albumin or bicarbonate concentration at initial diagnosis. Of the 32 cases, 17 cats (53%) survived but 9 cats had persistent azotemia. The results of this study indicate that survival rates of cats with ARF are similar to rates in dogs and that about half of surviving cats have persistent renal damage.
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