Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited disease primarily found in Persian cats, related breeds, and cats with Persian ancestry. Other forms of PKD occur in other animals, and in humans. Feline polycystic kidney disease has been reported occasionally in the scientific literature since 1967, but actual study into this disease did not begin until 1990. In 2004, the mutation responsible for PKD in Persians and cats with Persian ancestry was identified. Multiple cysts develop in both kidneys, sometimes leading to chronic kidney insufficiency or failure. Rarely, cysts are also seen in other organs such as the liver and uterus. Problems occur when these cysts start to grow and progressively enlarge the kidney, reducing the kidney's ability to function properly. Some of the signs of kidney insufficiency are increased thirst, increased urination, decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. Cats affected by kidney insufficiency due to PKD are usually identified when they are between three and ten years of age. They are treated as for any other cause of chronic kidney disease as no specific treatment for PKD is available. PKD can be diagnosed by ultrasound of the kidneys. There is also a genetic test for PKD in Persian cats and cats with Persian ancestry.
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Polycystic Kidney Disease in Cats