An experienced veterinarian and the owner of a Ragdoll cattery, Dr. Jennifer Creed maintains a particular interest in feline medicine. Dr. Jennifer Creed has published articles on a number of conditions common in Ragdoll cats, including polycystic kidney disease.
Polycystic kidney disease is a congenital condition that causes small cysts to develop in the kidney tissue. They tend to grow in size and proliferate as the disease advances, often to the degree that they cause the kidney to swell and become palpable against the cat’s back. Internally, meanwhile, the growth of the cysts begins to overwhelm healthy tissue and cause kidney failure.
The cystic growths are present in kittenhood, although they often do not grow large enough to present a problem until the cat is 7 years of age or older. The symptoms, similar to those of other kidney diseases, can include increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and loss of energy. There is no treatment for the disease itself, although interventions such as fluid therapy and special diets may address the symptoms of kidney failure.