Renal (Kidney) Neoplasia in Cats

Overview of Feline Kidney Cancer

Renal neoplasia is cancer located in the kidney. Renal neoplasia can originate in the kidney (primary) or spread or metastasize to the kidney from another site (secondary).
Most renal tumors are seen in middle aged to older dogs and cats. Nephroblastomas, rapidly developing malignant tumors, are seen in younger animals. Carcinomas are thought to be more prevalent in the male dog. About 50 percent of cats with renal lymphoma are feline leukemia virus positive.

Generally, there are no specific causes of cancer identified and cancer of the kidney is rare in dogs and cats.

What to Watch For

Early in the illness, many individuals do not show any clinical signs. However, later signs include:

Diagnosis of Kidney Neoplasia in Cats

Treatment of Kidney Cancer in Cats

Home Care and Prevention

Administer medication and diet as directed by your veterinarian. Return for follow-up as directed.

Prognosis varies depending on the tumor type and ability to surgically remove the tumor. There is no known prevention of renal cancer.

In-depth Information on Renal (Kidney) Neoplasia in Cats

Primary renal neoplasia, or cancer that originates in the kidney, is rare in the dog and cat, accounting for less than 2.5 percent of all tumors. The most common tumors in dogs in descending order are renal carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma, renal adenoma, sarcoma, nephroblastoma, lymphoma and fibroma. The majority of tumors seen are malignant, and metastatic tumors that spread from another place are more common than primary tumors. There are a host of possible presentations associated with renal tumors.

Individuals may have no clinical signs early in the disease process. The classic triad of physical findings in cats and dogs with renal tumors includes abdominal mass, weight loss, and in a subset of cases, blood in the urine (hematuria), although abdominal and/or back pain is not uncommon. Anemia (low red blood cell count) and renal failure (azotemia) are not uncommonly found in these patients, especially when both kidneys are involved. Depending on the specific case, specific diagnostics and therapeutics would be recommended and tailored to the individual.

Several diseases and disorders have similar symptoms to renal neoplasia. These include:

Diagnosis In-depth

Certain diagnostic tests must be performed to make a definitive diagnosis of renal neoplasia and exclude other disease processes that may cause similar symptoms. Ultimately, microscopic examination of both cells and tissue is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of renal neoplasia, and to document the tumor type. A complete history, description of clinical signs, and thorough physical examination are all an important part of obtaining a diagnosis of renal neoplasia. In addition, the following tests are recommended:

Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests to exclude or diagnose other existing conditions. These tests are not necessary in every case, but they may be of benefit in certain individuals and are selected on a case-by-case basis. These include:

Treatment In-depth

Animals with renal tumors are best treated with surgery if the tumor has not metastasized and is unilateral. Specific therapy depends on the patient, tumor type, kidney involvement and associated clinical signs. Recommendations by your veterinarian should be followed very closely, and any questions or concerns that arise during the treatment protocol should be addressed immediately. Depending on the patient, recommended treatment options may vary.

Follow-up for Cats with Renal Neoplasia

Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.