Could Your Dog Or Cat Be At Risk For Kidney Disease

Could Your Dog Or Cat Be At Risk For Kidney Disease

Just like people,​ animals are susceptible to​ illness and stress. And,​ just like people,​ there is​ a​ lot you​ can do to​ keep them healthy.

Julie noticed her dog,​ Zac,​ was drinking more water. Not just once,​ but several days in​ a​ row. She knew that excess thirst can be a​ sign of​ illness,​ so she took Zac to​ her veterinarian for tests. Blood and urine tests showed that Zac was in​ the​ early stages of​ acute kidney disease. But Zac was lucky. Because his problem was caught early,​ Julie’s veterinarian was able to​ treat the​ disease successfully and Zac made a​ complete recovery.

What is​ Kidney Disease?

Briefly,​ kidneys filter and remove waste material from the​ blood stream. They also regulate the​ volume and composition of​ your pet’s body fluids.

There are two types of​ kidney disease:

Acute – a​ sudden loss of​ kidney functioning which is​ sometimes reversible,​ and
Chronic – a​ loss of​ kidney function that occurs gradually over time. Chronic kidney disease is​ often progressive,​ but,​ depending on​ the​ underlying cause and with careful management,​ animals often live comfortable lives for many years.

The causes of​ kidney disease can include inherited defects,​ infections,​ toxic substances and simply aging. Although the​ cause of​ kidney disease can be difficult to​ determine,​ with careful testing by your veterinarian,​ the​ disease can often be managed. Most treatments are aimed at​ decreasing the​ workload of​ the​ kidneys,​ reducing the​ severity of​ symptoms,​ and slowing the​ progression of​ the​ disease.

What Are Its Symptoms?

If kidney disease has undermined the​ kidney’s ability to​ perform properly,​ waste materials accumulate in​ the​ blood. Signs that could indicate a​ potential kidney problem include:

  • Loss of​ appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination or​ increased volume
  • Poor hair coat
  • Depression and/or vomiting

What you​ Can Do to​ Prevent Kidney Disease?

While kidney disease is​ most often found in​ older dogs and cats,​ even young animals can be affected. And while the​ disease is​ not always preventable,​ there ARE things you​ can do to​ help minimize the​ chances of​ your dog or​ cat developing the​ disease,​ such as:

  • Feeding the​ best quality dog or​ cat food you​ can
  • Providing continual access to​ clean,​ fresh water
  • Eliminating toxic materials from the​ home
  • Maintaining a​ low stress lifestyle
  • Regular veterinary care to​ detect potential problems as​ soon as​ possible

You are your animal’s daily detective and advocate. you​ are your animal’s best chance for receiving medical treatment when the​ problem is​ still at​ an​ early stage and treatment is​ most successful. It is​ always better to​ prevent a​ disease,​ or​ to​ treat it​ early,​ than to​ have to​ treat it​ after it​ has become advanced.

Could Your Dog Or Cat Be At Risk For Kidney Disease

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