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Kidney Disease Caused by Multiple Cysts in Cats



Elimination of renal cysts is not possible at this time, thus treatment is often limited to minimizing the consequences of cyst formation, such as infection in the kidneys. Periodic removal of fluid from large renal cysts with a needle (a process known as aspiration) can be used to minimize pain and reduce cyst volume, and a number of medications may be prescribed to deal with symptoms and secondary complications, such as bacterial infection.


Living and Management


Cats with polycystic kidney disease should be monitored every two to six months for associated diseases, such as kidney infection, kidney failure, and increased pain. If bacterial infection and associated sepsis (the presence of pus-forming and toxic organisms in the blood) does not occur, the short-term prognosis is favorable -- even without treatment.


The long-term prognosis for cats with polycystic kidney diseases usually depends on the severity of the condition, and any subsequent progression to kidney failure.




Because the exact cause of polycystic kidney disease is unknown, there is no specific preventative measure that can be taken. It is all but impossible to eradicate the disease through selective breeding of unaffected cats, since almost 40 percent of Persians are affected. Additionally, selective breeding may reduce genetic diversity, thereby increasing the frequency of other unwanted inherited traits in these breeds.


Owners of Persians and Persian-related breeds should be familiar with the symptoms of polycystic kidney disease so that a proactive approach can be taken.

Image: Goodluz via Shutterstock


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