Kidney Disease in Cats & Dogs
ANIMAL HOSPITAL OF HAVASU ~ Dr. Cary Buckman
KIDNEY DISEASE IN CATS & DOGS
WHAT IS KIDNEY DISEASE?
Kidney disease is one of the most common medical problems of older pets. The kidney filters and removes waste materials from the blood and help regulate body fluids. Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys fail to perform these functions properly and waste materials accumulate in the blood.
SIGNS OF KIDNEY DISEASE
Signs of kidney disease do not appear until more that two-thirds of kidney function has been lost. Pets over age 6 should be screened for kidney disease before signs of illness appear.
- Loss of appetite
- Poor hair coat
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination or no urination
CAUSES OF KIDNEY DISEASE
Acute (sudden) kidney disease is a rapid decline in kidney function, often the result of poisoning, shock, blood loss or other diseases.
Chronic (long-term) kidney disease can result from the causes listed above as well as:
- Nutritional factors
- Breed or hereditary tendencies
SLOWING THE PROGRESSION
Acute kidney failure may be stopped, and many pets may recover completely once the underlying problem is corrected. On the other hand, once chronic kidney disease develops, it cannot be reversed, but there are ways to slow its progression and help the pet live longer.
With careful examination and testing, the severity of kidney disease can be evaluated and the best method of support prescribed.
Give your pet special attention and care. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully. Feed your pet only the recommended food every day and speak to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s medication or feeding regimen. Monitor your pet’s weight, activity, thirst and general condition regularly. Inform your veterinarian of any unexpected changes. Provide free access to fresh, clean water.
Proper nutrition is one tool clinically shown to be effective against chronic kidney disease. Your veterinarian will recommend a well-balanced food with a reduced amount of phosphorus, salt, high-quality protein and higher amounts of fiber to reduce kidney workload. A food with increased fatty acids also improves blood flow to the kidneys. Prescription Diet g/d and k/d from Hill’s Science Diet are specifically formulated as nutritional aids for pets with kidney disease. The following characteristics are especially important for your pet: Reduced protein, higher amounts of fiber and low levels of phosphorus reduce kidney workload. Low salt and enhanced fatty acids slow the progression of kidney disease.
Ask your doctor if your pet should be tested for Kidney Disease.