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Cat with the Enlarged Kidney


Q: Cat with the Enlarged Kidney PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk I have a 11 year old tabby cat and over the past month I have noticed a change in his appetite. On a recent trip to the vet he was examined and had blood drawn for testing. The vet said that one of his kidneys was enlarged. The blood testing results showed normal liver and kidney function. In the past year Tiger has lost a little more than 3lbs. He is not eating right....he eats very little and drinks a lot of water. The vet would like to xray his kidney. Do you have any insight on what his problem may be? Thank You..... Lenny & Cynthia

A:Cat with the Enlarged Kidney PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk Dear Lenny and Cynthia, There are several things that could cause Tiger to have an enlarged kidney. The fact that his blood showed normal kidney function is great, that means that he is managing to clear the poisonous waste products of protein breakdown {urea and creatinine - what we measure in blood for the kidneys}. But the drinking a lot, eating less and losing weight are all signs of kidney problems, diabetes, liver problems and many other things. The fact that he has an enlarged kidney just could be nothing to do with what is going on, although if there is nothing else obvious wrong, then it is the most likely cause. A cat can manage on one healthy kidney, so he would not necessarily show any sign of problems on a blood test. The main cause of an enlarged kidney in cats is a type of cancer called Lymphosarcoma. This normally only affects one of the kidneys, but can also affect other parts of the body, including the blood and lymph nodes, so varying signs can be seen. This can often be treated nowadays with chemotherapy {often a combination of tablets} and many cats go into remission for months or years. As cats need only very low doses compared to people, they do not get the terrible side effects we associate with chemotherapy. The Feline Leukaemia virus can be an underlying cause for Lymphosarcoma in cats. There are other sorts of cancer that can affect the kidney, but are not treatable in this way. Sometimes there can be interference with the flow of urine out of the kidney, so it can back up into the kidney, causing it to enlarge with fluid. Cysts can affect the shape of the kidney, these are normally harmless. Certain inflammatory conditions and cancers can cause a material called "Amyloid" to be deposited in kidneys, which can also make them swell, although both kidneys are normally affected. Tiger certainly needs to have more tests done, including an Xray, to get to the bottom of what is going on and see what can be done to help him. Good luck, Maeve Moorcroft MVB MRCVS {PetPlanet Vet}

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