Whether in humans or pets, the kidneys filter waste from the blood among other duties. The filtered waste then travels to the bladder and leaves the body through urine. If the kidneys stop working correctly, known as kidney failure, that waste can accumulate in the blood. There are various causes of kidney failure. Some animals and people are predisposed to kidney disease while kidney failure may accompany other illnesses. Trauma to the kidneys such as a blood clot that travels to the kidneys or being hit in the kidneys can also lead to kidney failure as can ingesting toxins. Kidney disease is not uncommon in older pets.
Kidney failure is broken into stages. In the early stages, animals retain most of their kidney function. However, as the kidneys shut down, the stages progress until end-stage kidney disease, which can be fatal.
Signs of kidney disease in pets include changes in drinking, hydration, or eating as well as vomiting, weight loss, chemical-smelling breath, ulcers, paleness, and lethargy. Our pets are good at hiding discomfort, so you may not notice changes in behavior immediately. The disease may already have progressed into a later stage.
Keeping your pet properly hydrated ensures that its kidneys don't have to work quite so hard. Fewer proteins will accumulate in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure or allow kidney failure to progress. Because of this, it's often preferable to feed wet food to your pets to ensure they are hydrated enough. Your veterinarian may also recommend subcutaneous fluids, which are administered beneath your pet's skin to maintain hydration. However, it's best if your pet can obtain the hydration it needs from eating and drinking.
It's especially important to pay attention to your pet's hydration during the warmer months. Pets can become dehydrated more quickly when it's hot and humid. They might also experience heatstroke if they do not have proper hydration and shade.
Get Help in Winnipeg
If you suspect your pet might be having kidney failure or isn't hydrated, we can help. You can call Bridgwater Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Centre at (204) 452-0911!