Polycystic Kidney Disease in Cats

Polycystic Kidney Disease pic

Polycystic Kidney Disease
Image: petmd.com

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.


PKD Explained

PKD pic

Image: petmd.com

A skilled veterinarian, Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Creed treating small animals in different situations, from routine checkups to emergencies. Dr. Jennifer Creed takes a special interest in purebred cats particularly Ragdolls, and is very familiar with diagnosing and treating diseases that affects this breed.

One particular ailment that mainly affects Persian cats and Ragdolls is polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetically transmitted disorder that results in liquid-filled sacs (cysts) to develop inside a feline’s kidney. Over time the cysts grow and/or increase in number affecting the kidney’s function, and can cause renal failure and death.

There is no cure for PKD, although through medication, fluid therapy, and diet, the kidney’s function can be prolonged. As the cysts start out small, they are not easily detected until they grow, and by that time, the cat may be already seven to eight years old, although there are instances the disease progresses at a much faster rate. Symptoms include increased urination, loss of appetite, and increased drinking.

One common method for detecting this disease is genetic testing of breeds that are known for the disorder. Ultrasound may also be used, especially in older cats. Those identified with PKD should not be allowed to breed, in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

Cat Health – Polycystic Kidney Disease

polycystic kidney disease in cats

polycystic kidney disease in cats


A veterinarian experienced in caring for a range of cat breeds, Dr. Jennifer Creed supports DePaw University Canine Campus as consulting veterinarian. Dr. Jennifer Creed’s professional background also includes time as emergency veterinarian at a clinic in Lisle, Illinois.

An illness that interrupts renal function in cats, polycystic kidney disease occurs when cysts begin to grow in the parts of the kidney responsible for filtering toxins out of the body. The disease can manifest in any cat, though certain breeds are at higher risk. For example, Persian breeds or those related to Persians tend to develop the condition more often than other varieties.

Often, polycystic kidney disease does not cause painful symptoms until the cysts have grown to the point that they begin to interrupt kidney function. At the later stages of the illness cats may experience nausea, vomiting, and reduced appetite.

In many cases, cats have too many cysts for veterinarians to effectively drain them, meaning that providers may opt for a treatment regimen focused on managing symptoms through diet and with the aid of drugs.