Metabolic acidosis is a disturbance of the acidity level of the blood. It is commonly encountered in patients with CRF and may contribute to a number of important features of CRF including vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, hypokalaemia (low blood potassium) and skeletal muscle demineralisation.
Treatment helps to prevent/resolve these clinical signs. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for a GP veterinarian to assess acid-base status, as expensive specialist equipment is needed for this test.
Feeding a prescription renal diet helps to prevent acidosis from developing in cats with renal disease. If the cat remains acidotic in spite of this then therapy with sodium bicarbonate, given orally, may be recommended. If the cat is receiving a urinary acidifying diet, this should be stopped and, ideally, a low-protein diet instituted. In cats with low levels of blood potassium that are also acidotic, the alkalinising agent potassium citrate may be recommended.