Perinephric Pseudocysts in Cats - Page 1

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Perinephric Pseudocysts in Cats

By: Dr. Erika de Papp

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A perinephric pseudocyst is an accumulation of fluid in cyst-like masses between the kidney and its surrounding capsule. This disorder is also known as capsulogenic renal cyst, capsular cyst, pararenal pseudocyst, capsular hydronephrosis, and perirenal pseudocyst. Perinephric pseudocysts are usually seen in older, male cats and are infrequently seen in dogs. There is no sex or breed predilection.

The cause of the accumulation of fluid around the kidney is not fully understood. It may be caused by chronic leaking of urine into the tissues around the kidney due to trauma, urinary obstruction/blockage or kidney biopsy, which results in inflammation and the formation of fluid. It may also be the result of a resolution of perirenal hematoma or blood clot.

What to Watch For

Many cats have no clinical signs. However, you may notice the following:

  • Nonpainful, distended abdomen
  • Excessive drinking and urinating
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting


  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Abdominal X-rays
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Excretory urography, which is a contrast dye study of the upper urinary tract


    Perinephric pseudocysts are not immediately life-threatening, and many cats do not need therapy. Your veterinarian should monitor kidney function. Decompressing the cysts by paracentesis, or removing the fluid with a needle and syringe, may provide temporary relief to cats with tremendous abdominal distension.

    Home Care

    Because most cats are asymptomatic, there is generally very little to no care needed at home. If your pet's abdominal distension becomes excessive or uncomfortable, contact your veterinarian at once.

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