Chronic Kidney Disease
In Dogs And Cats
Ron Hines DVM PhD
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Every group of animals has its weakest link. For humans, it can be our heart. But for dogs and cats, it is often their kidneys that wear out first. Although our pets suffer from specific diseases that weaken their kidneys, most often it appear to only be due to the passage of time. Year by year, the small filtering units (glomeruli), that form your pet’s kidneys turn off. With each fewer glomerulus, the pet’s kidneys have lost a little bit of their ability to cleans the blood of the toxic waste products of metabolism. In addition to their blood-cleansing action, these filters regulate the amount of water and mineral salts (electrolytes) present in your pet’s body fluids.
As a precaution against this natural loss, Nature gave all animals much more kidney filtering capacity at birth than their daily needs require. It's not until approximately eighty percent of the filters have been damaged that the level of waste products in your pet’s bloodstream begins to increase. The abnormally high level of these waste compounds is what constitutes uremia.
When your veterinarians sees signs in your pet that suggest kidney problems, the vet will test the level of two of those byproduct compounds in your pet’s blood – urea and creatinine. (you can see what those values ought to be, here.)
Read About the SDMA test