Guidelines approved for kidney transplantation in cats
27 February 2003
A copy of the RCVS guidance on renal transplantation in cats can be obtained from the RCVS press office.
It is worth noting that kidney transplantation is one of very few treatment options for cats with near-terminal renal failure. Renal transplantation is not a cure. It hopes to provide a good quality of life for a cat, which would not otherwise survive. The procedure does not provide a "normal" life expectancy - average at present in the US is up to 2 years. Post-operatively, cats then take a range of drugs every day and they require regular weekly check-ups.
The guidance requires for transplant centres to be set up according to strict standards. These transplant centres will normally be responsible for providing the source animal. The source animal would ideally be a sibling or cohort and its suitability is usually confirmed through tissue typing and blood testing.
It is also worth noting that the RCVS guidance requires that the members of the veterinary team have additional postgraduate qualifications over and above the normal veterinary degree, including Medicine, Soft Tissue Surgery and Anaesthesia.
The Universities of Davis and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) in the USA are leading the developments in renal transplantation in dogs as well as cats. A note for owners and referring veterinary surgeons detailing the guidelines for the transplantation procedure may also be obtained from the RCVS press office.
The guidance will be included in the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct.