What is Polycystic Kidney Disease?
PKD in cats usually begins to appear through kidney-related clinical signs at around seven years of age, but can affect the cat in earlier stages of life. Common symptoms a cat owner may note at home are those associated with kidney failure including lethargy, polydipsia, polyuria, vomiting, depression and weight loss. Upon veterinary diagnostic exams, the kidneys will appear large in size and the biochemistry profile (a blood test used to detect hormones released by the body’s organs) will indicate abnormal kidney function. Most felines that are diagnosed with (PKD) are in advanced stages of kidney disease, which may likely be fatal. However, there is a (PKD) screening test available for breeders with felines at risk for the disease that will aid in the prevention of the gene abnormality from being passed to future generations. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in cats is a form of kidney disease, characterized by numerous fluid-filled cysts within the two vital organs. The cysts are present at birth, progressively growing in size and compromising the healthy kidney tissues, which leads to kidney failure. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in cats is an inherited disease found in Exotic Shorthaired cats and Persians. The actual name your veterinarian may give this hereditary kidney abnormality is autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, abbreviated AD-PKD, as it is a single pair of genes, or “autosomal dominant” genes, that will determine whether or not a kitten will possess PKD. This means that if only one of the parents, either the father or the mother, are affected by PKD, the affected gene will remain dominant and pass the kidney disease onto about half of the offspring.
The symptoms of polycystic kidney disease in cats are related to general kidney failure and disease. The progressive growth of cysts within these vital organs will slow down their function of filtration, which may lead to complications in the bladder and abdominal pain.
Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
Polyuria (excessive elimination of urine)
Poor hair coat
High blood pressure
Presence of blood in vomit or diarrhea
The PKD DNA test is available for the following cats breeds: Persians, Himalayans, Exotics and crosses of these three.