When your little kitty is sick, it can be heartbreaking to watch. But when your fur baby is suffering from an invisible threat, like toxemia, it can be downright torture. If not caught quickly, this mysterious condition in which toxins are present in the blood can be fatal to kittens.
In its early stages toxemia is asymptomatic, which means it doesn't have any symptoms that are exclusive to it. Because of this, if your kitten has toxemia and it is early in the condition's development, the initial diagnosis can be easily overlooked if a blood test is not performed. Eventually, as the levels of toxins in his blood increase, he will start becoming more and more lethargic and he may start suffering from bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. As the toxemia worsens, he may also start experiencing heart or kidney-related problems like frequent urination and increased water consumption.
Causes of Toxemia in Kittens
There are several potential reasons why your fur baby may be suffering from toxins in his bloodstream, but the most common include a kidney infection, feline leukemia, a reaction to medication or an infected umbilical cord. Since the kidneys are responsible for filtering the toxins out of the blood, toxemia is usually a sign that the little guy's kidneys might be failing or under-performing. The elevated toxins in his blood could also be a sign that his body is being overwhelmed by a bacterial infection or that his immune system is weakened.
If the veterinarian believes that your kitten may be suffering from toxemia, she will usually perform a full blood panel on him to check for toxins in his blood. In some cases, the vet may be able to narrow down the problem to a specific toxin and determine whether the toxemia is a result of another disease or an independent health problem. A urinalysis is usually ordered to check for kidney function, or if the vet believes that the toxemia is the result of a bacterial infection, then she will order a bacterial culture to be taken.
If your kitten's toxemia is a side effect of another health condition, then the treatment for that problem should help reduce the toxins that are being dumped in his bloodstream. For instance, if the toxemia is a result of a reaction to medication, then weaning him off of the problematic medication and changing his treatment to another drug should balance out the blood and get rid of the toxemia. Unfortunately, if your kitten's toxemia is a result of general kidney failure, then treatment options are slim, as the disease remains incurable and irreversible.
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