WELLNESS PLAN AND SUPPORT FOR IMPROVED KIDNEY FUNCTION - for cats
|Step 1: Nutritional Supplements that Support Kidney Function|
Clinical studies indicate a number of natural supplements that improve kidney function and promote overall kidney health. In step 1 of our plan we include selected essential supplements.
In one study involving pets with chronic renal failure (CRF), patients showed marked improvement on a diet high in fish oil. The conclusion was that a diet high in omega-3 long chain fatty acids improves kidney filtration while reducing renal scarring. Similar results are mirrored in human studies and show that omega-3 supplementation slows the progression of kidney disease.
Whether you are focused on keeping your cat's kidneys healthy or trying to slow the progress of renal failure, adding a high quality fish oil to their diet may help your cat's kidneys function better and give them the extra advantage they need. Nutri-Vet salmon oil comes from 100% wild salmon, not farmed sources. Wild salmon has higher levels of beneficial omega-3 and lower levels of saturated fats. To learn more about the benefits of Nutri-Vet Salmon Oil, click here.
Antioxidants are also thought to improve kidney filtration by reducing oxidative stress and possibly assisting the cells in regenerative repair. Antioxidants, particularly bioflavonoids, play an important roll in aiding cats with compromised kidney function as well as in the prevention of kidney disease.
The active ingredient in GSE10 for cats is grape seed extract, standardized to yield 95 percent proanthocyanidins per capsule. Proanthocyanidins are a highly specialized group of bioflavonoids. They are one of the most potent free radical scavengers known. In some comparative tests, proanthocyanidins were found to be 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than vitamin C.
New research is showing that supplementing with prebiotic and proboitic bacteria is effective in decreasing BUN and serum creatinine levels, the key markers used to evaluate kidney function. It is believed this is accomplished by supporting the intestines ability to eliminate toxins, putting less burden on the kidneys and resulting in less toxic build up. Adding these beneficial bacteria to your cat's dietary regimen could provide the crucial advantage your pet needs if he already has reduced kidney function. It can also provide protective benefits to keep a healthy cat's kidneys functioning properly.
Gentle Digest provides human grade lactobacillus sporogenes that promotes growth of friendly bacteria to your cat's digestive tract. Unlike other products, Gentle Digest uses live microencapsulated spores with chicory, a recognized prebiotic, which are resistant to gastric acids and therefore insures delivery to the intestines. In addition, it is shelf stable and no refrigeration is required.
As cats age they lose the ability to produce adequate digestive enzymes and today's processed commercial pet diets lack the natural enzymes for proper digestion. In addition, cats with compromised kidneys have particular difficulty with proteins. Specifically, the enzyme protease is helpful in breaking down proteins for more efficient digestion and a reduced load on the kidneys. Dr Goodpet's Feline Digestive Enzymes are formulated with increased amounts of protease especially for a cat's high protein diet.
Get all these supplements and more in
the Essential Kidney Function Kit.
|Step 2: Adequate Hydration - through water consumption or SubQ Fluids|
Cats with reduced kidney function lack the ability to concentrate their urine, resulting in more frequent urination. Their water intake must be increased in order to flush waste products from the kidneys. If their water consumption is not adequate they risk dehydration and a build up of toxicity. In the later stages of kidney failure, subcutaneous fluids (fluids given under the skin) are often prescribed to supplement the water the cat drinks in order to avoid dehydration. The procedure usually needs to be done several times a week and most cats learn to tolerate it.
Cats don't have a well-defined thirst mechanism, so getting your cat to drink enough water to stay properly hydrated can be a challenge. To encourage your cat to drink, the following considerations are important:
The water source must be pure - Spring water is considered the best. It is naturally free of additives like chlorine and fluoride, which can tax the kidneys. If you must give your cat tap water, make sure it has been filtered.
The water must be kept clean - Cats have exceptionally high levels of bacteria in their mouths and the very act of drinking quickly contaminates static sources of water, making it unpalatable. Remember, unmoving water is an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria, so water bowls should be cleaned daily and the water replenished.
|Step 3: Proper Diet - increased hydration needs means dry foods are out|
Dry vs. wet: Some of the top feline veterinarians believe you should not feed your cat an all-dry diet. And it makes sense. When our cats are fed dry food only, it eliminates an essential source of hydration (the moisture normally found in their prey). Complications include bladder infections, urine crystallization and possible kidney damage. Most people feed a dry diet either out of convenience or because they believe a dry diet combats dental plaque. According to holistic feline veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve, "dry food does not clean your cat's teeth! In fact, dry food really has no benefit for the cat. It is merely a convenience for the guardian."
In addition, she adds, "The high heat used in processing dry food damages (denatures) the proteins in the food. The resulting unnatural proteins may trigger an immune response that can lead to food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease." So starting your cat on a wet diet is a good idea. Remember, if your cat is accustomed to an all-dry diet; add canned food gradually to avoid stomach upset.
The low protein diet: For years the standard diet for cats with CRF was one of restricted protein. New evidence has shown that high protein diets do not make renal failure worse and that the amount of protein may be secondary to the quality of the protein source. For cats with early stage CRF many veterinarians do not recommend low protein diets due to evidence that protein restriction could inhibit the body's ability to repair itself. However, restricting protein in late stages of CRF may be helpful because it reduces nitrogenous wastes, making it easier for the kidney to do its job and relieving some late stage symptoms.
Although ranks are still divided on whether to restrict protein the experts agree that phosphorous should be limited. Foods that are high in phosphorus include egg yolks, bones of any kind (including fish bones), organ meats and dairy products. If your cat's kidneys are compromised, these foods should be a limited part of their diet.
To better control the sources of protein that make up their cats' diets, some guardians opt to give their cats homemade meals. Preparation of these diets can be time consuming, but many find it worth it. Remember, a homemade diet requires adding supplementations, including taurine, to make sure your cat is getting the proper nutritional requirements.
|Step 4: Lifestyle considerations|
In an attempt to deal with stress the body produces a variety of chemicals, one of the most important being a type of natural cortisone. This is actually a calming substance that is effective in helping the body deal with short-term stresses. However during prolonged periods of stress the perpetual production of such chemicals can overload the system and create other problems such as decreased immune efficiency. This can have negative ramifications for a healthy cat, but it can be disastrous for a sick pet.
There is a great deal you can do to reduce the stress in your cat's environment like maintaining a consistent routine, regular exercise, creating a safe retreat, etc.
With excitable, nervous cats or in certain unavoidable situations you may need a little extra support. A calming mist diffuser can help. Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Natural Calming Mist for Cats provides a natural calming scent that offers relief during times of high stress or even day-to-day living. It contains essential oils - not extracts - of herbs that serve as calming agents, mood elevators and personality modulators. The calming mist diffuser offers a natural solution that is non-toxic and non-addicting.
Adequate exercise is important for your cat in all stages of life. It promotes good health and reduces behavioral issues. For a cat with kidney disease, exercise should continue to be a part of an overall lifestyle that supports improved health and longevity.
As it relates to kidney function, exercise is helpful in the following ways:
When your cat doesn't feel well, getting enough exercise might be a challenge and will probably require more interaction from you. A healthy cat needs about 20 minutes of exercise once or twice a day. You can shoot for this but you may find your pet tires easily. If this is the case, try for several short play times throughout the day.
- Improves metabolism and increases elimination efficiency.
- Combats muscle wasting, a common side effect of kidney disease.
- Improves physical functioning and stamina while enhancing emotional well being.
- Boosts liver function and digestive performance.
- Improves circulation.
Addressing all of the issues that affect your cat's kidney function is vital for their longevity and quality of life. By implementing the 4-step plan to kidney health today you give your cat an added advantage for the future.
Get the essential supplements plus 2 special
reports on diet and lifestyle considerations
for cats with kidney disease.