Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs

Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs

Your pet could be suffering from kidney disease and you may not know it. Kidney disease affects both cats and dogs, mostly in their senior years. However, young pets may have congenital deformities that can affect their kidney health at an early age, too.

Kidney disease can be insidious and "suddenly" appear even though your pet may have seemed perfectly healthy the day before. On the other hand, the symptoms can be so subtle, such as not wanting to eat in the morning, that pet owners just attribute it to old age.

Your pet could be suffering from kidney disease and you may not know it. Kidney disease affects both cats and dogs, mostly in their senior years. However, young pets may have congenital deformities that can affect their kidney health at an early age, too.

Kidney disease can be insidious and "suddenly" appear even though your pet may have seemed perfectly healthy the day before. On the other hand, the symptoms can be so subtle, such as not wanting to eat in the morning, that pet owners just attribute it to old age.

Warning Signs of Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs

Since kidney disease can often be a fatal condition, annual laboratory testing (blood and urine) is critical, along with watching out for the warning signs and notifying your veterinarian if you see them. The warning signs include:

  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite, especially in the morning
  • Weight loss
  • Increased water drinking
  • Increased urination
  • Pain, discomfort in the back
  • Strong, (ammonia-like) breath odor

While many of the above signs are also seen in pets that do not have renal insufficiency, they are still signs your pet has some type of health condition and a visit to your veterinarian may be warranted.

How to Help a Pet With Kidney Disease

We understand that having your pet diagnosed with kidney disease can be devastating and we are here to help. Using both conventional and holistic veterinary medicine can greatly enhance your pet’s prognosis. Early detection is key, as well as maintaining proper hygiene for your pet (e.g., regular teeth cleanings can help your pet’s kidneys).

Treatment with Conventional Medicine

The goal of treatment is to help the pet live as close to a normal life as possible, given the kidney disease diagnoses. Intravenous and subcutaneous fluids can provide much needed relief for pets. Intravenous fluids are administered by a veterinarian at a veterinary hospital, while subcutaneous fluids can be administered by you at home under the direction of your veterinarian. Fluids help to flush out the toxins and control acid-based imbalances. Pets with kidney disease also need a phosphorous-controlled diet. While commercial options are available, using a combination of homemade with some commercial food can work best.

Holistic Treatments

We offer holistic pet health consultations and can help you construct a raw diet for your pet that will mirror the nutritional requirements prescribed to you by your veterinarian. Call us at (248) 548-3448 to schedule an appointment.

There are also several supplements that can help your pet with kidney disease. These supplements are available in different forms for your convenience. Many treatments depend on overall nutrition, type of cat or dog and the exact symptoms your animal is exhibiting.

We hope that by following these guidelines, as well as getting regular laboratory testing, you and your pet can enjoy a long and healthy life together.

Source: Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist

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