Kidney Disease
Kidney Disease in pets

Kidney disease may have many different causes, including inherited defects, infections, toxic substance exposure and nutritional factors. Old age is also a common factor in kidney disease and is the primary cause of death in pets that live a long life. Often the exact cause of a pet's kidney problem cannot be determined, but with careful examination and testing, the severity of the disease can be evaluated and the best method of management prescribed. Some of these tests might include:

  1. Urine analysis
  2. Urine cultures - to identify the type of infection
  3. Blood tests
  4. X-rays of the abdomen - to measure the size of the kidneys
  5. Special x-ray dye injection - to evaluate the filtering ability of the kidneys
  6. Ultrasound (ECHO) test to visualize the inside of the kidneys
  7. Biopsy of the kidney itself - to enable microscopic determination of the tissue

Normal kidneys filter and remove from the blood stream waste materials that are the by-products of normal body processes. They also regulate the amount of fluid retained by the body and also play a role in maintaining the overall strength of the blood (anemia is a side effect of kidney disease).


When the kidneys cease to function correctly waste material builds up the bloodstream.

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Increased water drinking
  3. Increase frequency of urinations (the kidneys cannot control the water retention)
  4. Depression
  5. Vomiting


In the early stages of the problem successful management is possible by feeding a special diet.  This prescription food will help control the salt loss and reduce the amount of toxic waste products that normal foods would burden the weakened kidneys with. Select Care MODIFIED is recommended for the control of moderate kidney disease.  Hill's U/D is often used for those pets with more severe problems. Treats are alright but do not give protein snacks. This means no meat, eggs, cheese, bones, or rawhide chew strips. Use bread, fruit, or vegetables. You should also provide your pet with a constant source of fresh water and do not restrict the intake in any way. Give all medications provided.  More frequent visits to the hospital are often necessary.


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