Is dialysis for cats ever an option? - Dr. Marty Becker


Is dialysis for cats ever an option?

Thursday, Jan 23rd, 2020 | By Dr. Marty Becker

sick tabby cat lying on a white blanket

If your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease, you might wonder if dialysis is an option. If your cat’s symptoms are caused by an infection, it might be.

The kidneys are designed to eliminate toxins from the cat’s body via the urine. When the kidneys are impaired, toxins build up. An infection can prevent the kidneys from doing their job, and if you catch the problem early enough, dialysis can give the kidneys time to recover.

Dialysis removes waste until the kidneys are online again. Very sick cats will require hospitalization for dialysis, but once the cat is stable your veterinarian can place a dialysis catheter and let her go home between dialysis sessions. These sessions usually need to be repeated around three times a week for one to four weeks.

The Animal Medical Center in New York Cit say that damage caused by infections can be successfully treated 50 to 75 percent of the time. It’s an expensive procedure, but can give your cat a chance at a long and normal life.

The American Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology has a list of facilities offering dialysis for animals here.