Kidney disease -­‐ is my pet affected?

by on June 1st, 2012

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Thankfully most of our pets lead healthy active lives. However for some kidney disease can be a problem and it is particularly prevalent in older pets, especially cats.
Dogs and cats have two kidneys and each kidney has several hundred thousand tiny filters called nephrons. These filter the blood, removing toxic waste products, salts and water which are then concentrated to form urine. Over time a proportion of the nephrons will disappear with age and not be replaced. Other factors such as toxins, infections or cancer may also destroy nephrons.

However, the kidneys have excess filtering capacity with the result that visible symptoms of kidney disease are not usually seen until roughly two thirds of the nephrons have been lost. If this stage is reached the filtering capacity falls and toxic wastes begin to accumulate in the blood. Common symptoms include increased drinking and increased urination, weight loss, muscle wastage, lack of appetite and lethargy.

Whilst kidney disease cannot be cured, a combination of specially formulated diets that reduce the workload of the kidneys, together with novel forms of medication, can often significantly improve the quality of life for affected pets. With regular veterinary check-­‐ups the symptoms of kidney disease can often be detected at an early stage, before they become outwardly noticeable. So don’t delay – if your pet is showing any symptoms of kidney problems, please see us

for a check-­‐up.

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