Renal disease is a condition that occurs quite commonly in dogs and cats. Renal disease refers to the process where the kidneys or urinary system components have become compromised or have difficulty functioning at their full capacity. However, most commonly it’s the kidneys that become affected.
In many practices, renal disease is diagnosed daily. It can occur as a side effect from certain medications that your pet may have been prescribed long term, it could be related to an acute injury or toxin ingestion, or even congenital defects present from birth. In some cases where there is a simple fix, such as a urinary tract infection or kidney infection, things can be cured. In others like renal (kidney) failure, the progression of renal disease can only be decreased. Renal failure can progress quickly and be fatal, if left undiagnosed or untreated.
This is where the importance of LABWORK comes in! By monitoring specific renal levels on blood and urine testing, against other physical exam findings and diagnostic testing, we have the ability to identify kidney changes faster, helping to keep our friends healthier a lot longer and starting treatment much sooner.
Many of our senior pets are prone to some type of renal compromise as they age. Annual pre-screening lab work is recommended for all pets ages 7 and up to get a “snapshot” of kidney function at that current time and establish a baseline. Once baseline parameters are established, we can monitor and compare these levels and values annually to notice any progression of renal changes in advance. This gives us the ability to start and develop health recommendations like supplements and diet changes for your pet to help slow the progression of any renal disease that may be impending. Renal disease cannot be cured, but we can definitely assist in slowing its progression!
For most people, kidney transplants are not an option in their beloved pets. So let’s do what you can by having annual blood and urine testing performed on your “fur babies” to ensure the best quality of life possible!