Glomerular Nephritis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment What are the Causes and Treatments of Feline Glomerular Nephritis?

Glomerular Nephritis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Photo by Cats Coming:

Glomerular nephritis is a feline kidney disease. It is identified by the inflammation of the glomeruli. This article gives insights into the causes and how to treat the disease.

Glomerular nephritis is a serious condition that affects the kidneys of cats. It is characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli, which are tiny filters in the kidneys that remove waste products and excess fluid from the bloodstream.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for glomerular nephritis in cats.

Causes of Glomerular Nephritis in Cats 

Glomerular nephritis in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Immune-mediated diseases: The immune system can mistakenly attack the glomeruli, leading to inflammation and damage.

  • Bacterial or viral infections: Certain infections can target the kidneys and cause inflammation in the glomeruli.

  • Toxins: Exposure to certain toxins, such as certain types of drugs or heavy metals, can cause damage to the glomeruli.

  • Genetic predisposition: Certain breeds of cats may have a higher risk of developing glomerular nephritis due to genetic factors.

  • Cancer: Cancers such as lymphoma may involve the kidneys and lead to Glomerular nephritis.

It's essential to note that in some cases the cause of glomerulonephritis may not be determined.



The symptoms of glomerulonephritis in cats can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but some common signs include:

  • Increased thirst and urination: As the kidneys fail to remove excess fluid from the body, cats may drink more water and urinate more frequently.

  • Weight loss: As the kidneys fail to remove waste products from the bloodstream, cats may lose weight.

  • Loss of appetite: Some cats may lose interest in food due to the buildup of waste products in the bloodstream.

  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Cats may experience stomach upset as a result of the buildup of waste products in the bloodstream.

  • Weakness and lethargy: As the body becomes overloaded with waste products, cats may feel weak and tired.

  • Pale gums: Due to anemia from kidney failure and accumulation of waste in the bloodstream, Cats may have pale gums.

  • Swelling, especially in the legs and face: fluid retention caused by the dysfunction of the kidneys.

It's important to note that the symptoms may not appear until the condition has progressed, so regular veterinary check-ups are necessary to detect it early.

It's crucial to take your cat to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis if you suspect any of these symptoms.

The diagnosis of glomerular nephritis in cats typically involves a combination of tests and evaluations, including:

  • Physical examination: Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination to assess your cat's overall health and look for any signs of kidney disease, such as weight loss, dehydration, or swelling.

  • Blood tests: Blood tests can help to measure the levels of waste products, such as blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, in the bloodstream, which can indicate kidney dysfunction. Additionally, your veterinarian may check for signs of anemia, infection, or other underlying diseases.

  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis can help to evaluate the appearance, concentration, and contents of your cat's urine, which can provide important information about the health of the kidneys.

  • Imaging: X-rays, ultrasound, or CT scans may be used to help visualize the kidneys and identify any structural abnormalities.

  • Biopsy: In some cases, a kidney biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine the underlying cause of the nephritis. This can be done via laparoscopy or ultrasound-guided.

It's important to note that some cats may have minimal or no symptoms in the early stages of glomerular nephritis so it's crucial to schedule regular vet check-ups, particularly if the cat belongs to a breed that has a higher risk of developing the condition.


Treatment for glomerular nephritis in cats will vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition and the severity of the symptoms. But some possible treatments include:

  • Steroids: The use of corticosteroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone, can help to reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of this kidney disease.

  • Immunosuppressive therapy: Drugs such as cyclosporine or azathioprine can be used to suppress the immune system.

  • Antibiotics: If an underlying bacterial or viral infection is identified, antibiotics will be prescribed to target the specific organism.

  • Fluid therapy: Administering fluids to your cat can help to flush out waste products and toxins from the kidneys and bloodstream.

  • Diet: Special kidney-supportive diet may be prescribed to help manage symptoms and maintain the cat's nutrition.

  • Dialysis: In severe cases of kidney failure that is not responding to other treatments, dialysis may be needed to filter waste products from the bloodstream.

It's important to note that treatment for glomerular nephritis in cats will be tailored to the individual animal based on the specifics of the case, and regular monitoring and follow-up care will be necessary to adjust treatment as needed.

It's crucial to work closely with your veterinarian to make sure that your cat is receiving the most appropriate treatment and care for their condition.

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