Balls of tiny capillaries called glomeruli filter waste products from the blood, then the waste fluid passes through a series of tubules that reabsorb water and salt that is needed by the body. The remaining fluid (called urine) passes from the kidneys to the bladder via tubes called ureters.
What causes kidney disease in pets?
Chronic renal disease often develops gradually as the kidneys become less efficient with age, but it can also develop secondary to other diseases (eg, cancer or diabetes). Kidney disease can also develop rapidly because of poisons, toxins, or infections.
What is the difference between renal insufficiency and renal failure?
Renal insufficiency is when the amount of urine increases to make up for decreased efficiency at removing waste products. Renal failure is a severe form or renal insufficiency that is associated with other signs of illness.
How is kidney disease in pets diagnosed?
Your veterinarian can diagnose kidney disease using a combination of blood and urine tests.
How is kidney disease in pets treated?
Kidney disease is treated with fluids and medications that increase the flow of urine. Your vet may also prescribe a special protein-restricted diet so that the kidneys do not have to work as hard at eliminating waste products from the blood.
***Credit: Written and reviewed by John A. Bukowski, DVM, MPH, PhD and Susan E. Aiello, DVM, ELS ***