Renal disease is a relatively common disease in dogs and especially cats. Our older pets are more commonly affected but young animals can also suffer from congenital disease of the kidneys or as a result of toxin ingestion.
Acute renal disease is generally caused by toxins for example lily toxicity in cats but chronic renal disease can be more insidious. Early disease can go completely undetected and it is only a build-up of certain waste products in the blood that alerts us to a potential problem. One of the earliest clinical indications of a problem is when our pets start to drink more water than normal. This usually is also seen together with increased urination. These early symptoms are then normally followed by slow weight loss, a diminished appetite and finally vomiting and anorexia.
We typically try and stage chronic renal disease according to criteria established by the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS). By staging the disease, we are more able to give a prognosis and better able to give appropriate medications and other supportive care. Staging requires blood and urine laboratory tests, blood pressure reading, and we may even recommend an ultrasound of the kidneys.
Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is not curable but we are able to maintain your pets quality of life with a range of supportive treatments and regular monitoring of the disease progression.