Chronic kidney disease is common in pets middle to old age, especially in cats. In animals with such disease, kidney slowly lose their ability to purify harmful waste products from the blood and to retain water in the body. As a result, in the blood accumulate waste products that lead to a degraded state, and other complications. Although it can not be cured, the disease can be slowed with appropriate therapy and home care and your pet can continue to have an excellent quality of life!
What is chronic kidney disease?
This is a condition in which healthy kidney cells are damaged and are unable to function properly. As a result, the kidneys can not perform their role in the release of harmful waste products from the blood and keep the amount of water in the body. Affected animals are dehydrated, urinate more and need to drink more water to replace lost fluids with urine. Also can be observed vomiting, loss of appetite and weariness that due to the waste products which are not filtered from the blood.
What causes this condition?
The cause of chronic kidney disease is not always evident. It is sometimes associated with the aging process and reduction of renal function. Diseases that affect other organ systems (eg heart disease) can lead to chronic kidney disease. Serious dental problem may even be a direct cause if it leads to spread of infection through blood. The cause often remains hidden.
Some important tips to comfort your pet:
- Apply regular care to coat of your pet. The animals with chronic kidney disease can not take care by themselves about their appearance!
- Provide ample opportunity for exercises for your old pet. If stairs are a problem, consider for a ramp. Cat litter box with a lower threshold may be more comfortable for older kitten.
- Secure warm, comfortable places to sleep and rest.
- Try to reduce stress and keep in mind that he / she may get tired more easily
- Donate your pet with a huge amount of love and warmth!
What can I do for my pet?
Chronic kidney disease is a progressive process, which means that once started, it deteriorates over time. Fortunately progression can be slowed with proper treatment and the sooner we start this treatment, the better will feel your pet. We, your veterinarians, may write down a specialized diet for kidney problems. These diets are formulated to reduce the amount of waste products in the blood. If your pet does not want to eat, you need him / her encouragement. Warming food in the microwave, adding some juice tuna (without spices and salt), chicken or beef broth (again without spices and salt) may help. It is important to make sure that anything you add did not contains onion, which is highly poisonous to dogs and cats and make sure the animal do not receive any food scraps from the table. If your pet still does not want to eat, contact your veterinarian!
Other therapeutic approaches include drug and fluid therapy. For the animals with chronic kidney disease is crucial to always have available sufficient amount of clean water for drinking, but sometimes however, it need to hydrate further in clinical or home.
The first reaction in diagnosing chronic kidney disease could be fear, worry and sadness of what lies ahead. However, there are things you can do to make your pet enjoy of an excellent quality of life. Although chronic kidney disease is “incurable” but many dogs and cats respond well to therapy. In addition to regular visits to your veterinarian, here are five important tips on care at home:
- Keep an eye on the weight of your pet: Progressive weight loss may indicate that the treatment does not give the desired result. Check weekly weight (and write it in a note) can bring useful information. If your animals is small enough can be measured along the scales at home and then remove your own weight. If the weight of your dog is too big for this method, you are welcome for regularly “measurement”.
- Closely follow all prescriptions for drugs, carefully follow the instructions for giving medicines: if you are unsure about any instruction, do not hesitate to contact us. If your pet vomits or has a problem with a particular drug, call us now!
- Do not give human food to your pet: if your pet refuses food, call us now!
- Do not forget about other health care: dental health, control of parasites and other aspects of health care, they continue to be critical to your favorite despite his chronic illness.
Keep up with regular brushing the teeths, prevention of heartworm disease, internal and external deworming.
- Do not hesitate to ask us questions: the team responsible for the health of your pet is there to help you and your pet during this difficult period. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns!
Long-term control of chronic kidney disease
Since this health problem is irreversible, your pet will need treatment for the rest of its life. When the disease is diagnosed early and controlled properly, dogs and kittens can live with it for years. Regular check-ups and follow-up laboratory tests on your veterinarian is an essential part of dealing with this problem. However, between visits, you need to track the status of your pet, its normal habits and behavior, so to see if anything changes. Go to your veterinarian if you notice any of the following signs:
- Increased urination (increased amount and frequency of urination)
- Increased thirst
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Lethargy (unusual tiredness) or avoidance of other family members
Chronic kidney disease can be treated and controlled and we, your veterinarians are ready to help. Contact us for questions about this disease or care for your pet.