The second leading case of nonaccidental death in cats and dogs is kidney disease. The really scary part is that it can be months or even years before symptoms show up, and by then the damage may be severe and irreversible. Even scarier, there is no cure for kidney disease in cats or dogs – yet.
But if caught early, the disease’s progression can be slowed down considerably.
1. Know the facts. Your pet’s kidneys filter out toxic waste. They produce “renin” – a hormone that controls blood pressure and regulates phosporus, calcium, and potassium. Furthermore, they help stimulate bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
Important functions, right? It’s not hard to see what all could go wrong if the kidney’s weren’t functioning properly. Harmful toxins which would otherwise be eliminated are left to make one very sick little cat or dog.
2. Treat Urinary Tract Infections promptly. An untreated UTI can lead to kidney infection and, then, kidney failure. If you notice blood in your pet’s urine, if he’s straining to urinate, or making very frequent trips to releive himself, call your vet – it may be a UTI. Antibiotics, given early, can clear this infection up before damage is done.
3. Watch his eating and drinking habits. Increased thirst and/or loss of appetite are signs of kidney trouble.
In the meantime, keep him hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water. If he eats dry food, mix in water or broth, or switch to canned food which contains more moisture.
4. Keep an eye on his activity level. Laziness and weight loss are also signs of kidney trouble.
5. Schedule regular kidney screening tests. Once your pet hits the age of 7, get blood and urine tests to screen for kidney disease.
WARNING SIGNS OF KIDNEY DISEASE:
Poor hair coat
Loss of appetite