Kidney disease can be tricky for pet owners. It is hard to tell whether your dog or cat has kidney problems, let alone what the underlying cause is so that it can be properly diagnosed. Fortunately we have veterinarians that can help us with the detective work as to why it occurs in the first place.
Starting from the beginning, your kidneys play a vital role in your pets health. The primary role of the kidneys is to filter the waste products that are produced by the body. These waste products accumulate in the bloodstream and are filtered from your pet’s blood as the blood passes through the kidneys.
The two types of kidney disease in dogs and cats are acute and chronic. The acute version is when the kidneys stop working correctly right away. Causes for this could include some type of injury, ingestion of toxic substances, immune disorders, infection, or even tumors and kidney stones.
Chronic kidney disease means that it has been present for some time without your pet showing any specific symptoms. Unfortunately, this disease can result in kidney failure. Whether acute or chronic, without proper filtration of the body’s toxins, illness will undoubtedly result. This is why it is so important to be diligent in taking your pet in for their routine health exams so that this might be prevented. Early detection is crucial in maintaining your pets optimal health.
Typically, after getting a thorough history of your pet, additional tests may be performed. Running a urinalysis and obtaining blood work is common in detecting any abnormalities. This allows your veterinarian to obtain more specific information about the functionality of the kidneys. Do not be afraid to ask for these tests to be run as it is your right to do all that you can to protect your pet.
Some warning signs of kidney disease may include weight loss, decreased appetite and increase in water intake, lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting, depression as well as blood in the urine.
While there is no miracle cure for kidney disease, there are ways to treat the symptoms and to slow the disease from progressing further. Your veterinarian will be able to create a plan that will work best for you and your pet.