Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs & Cats

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By Dr Bing Yun Zhu

Dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease have kidney failure that is not reversible and generally will progress (get worse) with time. Once chronic kidney disease is detectable on bloodwork, the pet’s kidneys are less than 25% functional. As the disease progresses, with continued reduction in kidney function, the level of toxins building up in blood will rise at a higher rate. This then makes patients feel unwell enough to stop eating, start vomiting and eventually be put to sleep due to poor quality of life. Some animals with chronic kidney disease will progress rapidly over a few months while others can live for many years without their kidney disease ever affecting how they feel. Some of this difference is due to the underlying disease process, but other times the difference in survival is due to how well their disease is managed by owners and veterinarians.

There are many things we can do for patients with chronic kidney disease including:

  • Evaluating diet (a commercial kidney diet is not always the best diet for your pet, depending on other concurrent medical conditions)
  • Fluid therapy
  • Blood pressure management
  • Proteinuria management
  • Anaemia management
  • Symptomatic management
  • Calcium management

Our SASH Internal Medicine Veterinarians can help assess your pet’s chronic kidney disease and develop a plan for long term management. For very stable patients, we can often work with your local vet for some recheck appointments after an initial consult. Please ask your local vet for a referral to see one of our Internal Medicine Veterinarians if you would like to pursue this option. Please help us by making sure that your pet’s entire medical history and blood tests are sent through prior to your appointment.

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