Chronic Renal Disease
Chronic renal disease or renal insufficiency is a common condition of geriatric animals. Although it cannot be cured there are many things that can be done to make your pet feel better as well as slow down the progression of the disease.
This has long been the cornerstone of managing chronic renal disease. Hills prescription diet k/d is specially formulated to have optimum protein levels as well as reduced Phosphorus and salt. This diet comes in both canned and dry forms.
Calcitriol is active Vitamin D which can no longer be synthesized by the compromised kidneys. Supplementing with this drug can prevent a large number of metabolic disturbances associated with renal disease. Use of this medication does require frequent monitoring or it cannot be used safely and effectively.
Healthy kidneys normally produce erythropoietin-a substance that stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Dogs with chronic renal disease often do not produce enough of this and thus become anemic. Giving injection of Epogen ( a human form of erythropoietin) will compensate for this deficiency in your pet. If your pet is anemic they may be a candidate for this therapy which also requires frequent follow-up monitoring.
Symptomatic GI treatment
The toxins that build up in the blood stream in pets with renal disease can cause stomach ulcers, nausea, and vomiting. There are several medications that can help with these problems to make your pet more comfortable, as follows:
Phosphorus is one of the products that can build up in the bloodstream and make your pet feel ill. There are medications that can bind this phosphorus when given with a meal and help control this problem.
New research is showing some benefits to attempting to eliminate the uremic toxins that build up in renal disease through the gut. A new product called Azodyl is a probiotic that contains bacteria which can help digest these toxins and reduce the circulating levels of BUN and Creatinine in renal disease patients hoping to eliminate or reduce the need for additional fluid therapy.
Administration of fluids under the skin can help keep your pet hydrated as well as dilute the toxins that build-up in the blood stream and make your pet feel better.
High blood pressure and protein in the urine are often associated with renal disease and medications may be needed to help control these syndromes.
A pet will need follow-up testing to monitor his or her disease and our chosen therapy. This testing will let us know if the disease is progressing and if therapy needs to be changed or adjusted. The follow-up tests include:
- Chemistry panel
- Complete Blood Count or Packed Cell Volume
- ERD (checks for protein leakage into urine)
- Blood Pressure Check
- Urine Protein/Creatinine Ratio