Kidneys are amazing but they get tired as they get old!
The kidney is an amazing organ. Tucked away in the abdomen, it filters the blood and removes waste products as urine. It also does lots of other amazing things like help build new red blood cells by making EPO [if you know anything about cycling you’ll have heard of that one!]. The kidney really is one of the unsung heros of the body, chugging away every second of every day, performing life sustaining tasks! But as cats and dogs get older, their kidneys often start to struggle and slow down. This is a common problem and one that causes some serious problems for the older animal.
Signs of Kidney Disease
A dog or cat with ailing kidneys might show a poor appetite, weight loss, increased thirst and increased urination. Other signs may include a poor coat, vomiting, bad breath, lethargy and ill thrift. So if you look down at your pet and see a scrappy, scruffy, thirsty cat or pooch that wee’s rather a lot and is looking a bit on the thin side its time to get them checked ASAP!
Diagnosis of Kidney Disease
Your vet will do some blood and urine tests to work out exactly what is going on. Blood pressure monitoring is also helpful.
Treatment of Kidney Disease
If your dog or cat is diagnosed with kidney disease it’s important to understand the while cure is usually not an option, many pets can live a full life with support for the old and tired kidneys.
Diet change, water supplementation and possible medication to control blood pressure or other changes in the body will give your pet good support.
Improved dental hygiene may also be needed. Icky infected mouths do kidneys no favours and can put added pressure on them if infection spreads via the blood stream to the poor struggling organ.
So lets all take a moment to remember that trusty and amazing organ – the humble kidney, slogging away for our betterment, tucked up in the abdomen!. A little support can go a long way to extending your pets quality and quantity of life!
If your dog or cat has any of these signs, then it is is time to get them checked out. Call us to make an appointment.