A four-year-old castrated male domestic shorthair cat with recent onset of lethargy and depression was found to have hypokalaemia, low plasma bicarbonate concentration and a urine pH of 7. Subsequent findings of hyperchloraemic metabolic acidosis with failure to produce acid urine led to a diagnosis of distal renal tubular acidosis. Pyelonephritis associated with Escherichia coli infection of the urinary tract was also diagnosed. The urinary tract infection was eliminated by antibiotic treatment. For two years subsequently, the clinical effects of distal renal tubular acidosis have been controlled by oral administration of potassium bicarbonate, although some biochemical abnormalities have persisted.
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