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Renal Failure in Dogs & Cats

Kidney failure is one of the most common serious disease seen in pets. The kidneys play a very important role filtering and removing waste products from the blood. When your pet’s kidneys are not functioning effectively, waste products in the body start to accumulate, causing your pet to become unwell.

Kidney disease has two main forms:

Acute renal disease occurs suddenly and is often caused by toxins and infections. Chronic renal failure occurs over a longer period of time and is often seen in older pets.

Signs and Symptoms of Renal Failure

Pets with kidney disease show a variety of physical signs. In acute cases signs of renal failure will occur suddenly and can be very severe. Whilst in chronic cases the onset of the disease is slow and signs develop gradually. Symptoms of renal failure include increased drinking and urination, decreased appetite, bad breath, anaemia, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, diarrhoea and a poor unkempt coat. In the late stages of the disease, seizures may occur.

Diagnosis of Renal Failure

Combined with your pet’s history and a physical examination, blood and urine tests will be recommended to check your pet’s kidney function.

Treatment of Renal Disease

Combined with medications, dietary therapy is often effective in managing kidney failure. Feeding a prescription diet that is restricted in proteins, phosphorous and sodium is recommended to reduce the workload on the kidneys. These diets have been shown to prolong survival times effectively in renal failure patients. Access to fresh drinking water is essential. More severe cases may require stabilisation in hospital. We will also recommend regular blood testing to monitor your pet’s condition.

It’s very important that treatment is started sooner rather than later in animals suffering from kidney disease as animals receiving early treatment are more likely to recover from the disease.

For further information about kidney disease or to book an appointment, contact the clinic.

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