Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is a very common problem in older pets, especially senior cats. Kidneys
are essential for overall health, and have a crucial role in waste management and
detoxification. It takes a loss of 75% of both kidney function to see clinical signs. Clinical
signs shown are excessive drinking, excessive urinating, lethargy and vomiting, and
sometimes diarrhea. Preventive medicine is the best way to extend your pet’s life.
Tests available to check kidney function are;
*E.R.D.Test; this is a new test that detects a kidney problems at the earliest stage. It is
done with urine , and can be performed in our hospital! Results are available in about
15 minutes. This test is now available for cats who are a specie especially prone to
kidney failure.
*Urinalysis; it can be done by cystosynthesis or free catch. A sample of urine collected
by cystosynthesis (directly from the bladder) is more accurate and less contaminated
than a free catch. The urinalysis will check the pH of the urine (important for bacterial
infection and crystal formation), the specific gravity (checks if the kidneys can
concentrate properly), the presence of blood (from kidneys or bladder), and other data
to check for infection or metabolic diseases.
*Bloodwork needs to be complimentary. A chemistry panel will show how severely
the kidneys are affected.
*Ultrasound and radiography: these tests are available at our hospital. They allow
visualization of the kidneys. Conditions leading to kidney failure such as kidney stones,
polycystic kidneys, hydronephrosis, and other conditions can be checked this way.
Treatments:
If the kidney problem is identified at it’s beginning stage, diet food may be enough to
improve and maintain kidney functions. In cases of more advanced conditions, sub
cutaneous fluids or even intravenously fluids might be needed to start the treatment.
Famotidine, antiacid, can be prescribed.
Recommendations:
Regular bloodwork, blood pressure monitoring, and eye blood pressure ( with a
tonopen ; is useful to prevent glaucoma: see glaucoma info sheet) are tests useful to
monitor the progression of kidney failure. These results help determine how to readjust
treatment accordingly to prevent further damage.