Kidney disease affects many of our pets - nearly 1 in 3 cats and 1 in 10 dogs. Healthy kidneys help to filter and remove waste from the body, help maintain normal red blood cells, and balance the body’s fluid and minerals. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when your pet suffers from gradual and permanent loss of these functions over time. Amazingly, symptoms of CKD may not occur until kidney function is reduced by 75%.
CKD often goes undetected due to a lack of symptoms, or very subtle changes in your pet’s water intake, appetite or energy level. Other disease processes may also disguise CKD symptoms. That’s why regular veterinary checkups and urine and blood tests are so important. Thankfully, your veterinarian now has a valuable tool to identify CKD much earlier than before.
A new blood test, called SDMA, can identify CKD months or years earlier than traditional methods. This test is now included in all of the blood chemistry panels that are recommended at Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital- at no additional cost. Early detection is very important to identifying the cause, and in creating the best treatment plan for your pet.
If your pet is diagnosed with CKD, there are a number of treatment options available to improve his quality and length of life. These treatments typically include feeding a high-quality kidney-friendly diet, increasing water intake, and medications. Frequent veterinary checkups and urine and blood tests are also recommended as your pet ages and his kidney function changes.
If you would like more information about CKD, or if you think your pet may be suffering from CKD, please call our office to schedule an appointment- (717) 766-7981..
If your pet gets stressed out at the mere mention of the veterinary clinic, check out these ‘do’s’ and avoid these ‘don’t’s’ to make for a smooth clinic visit.
Practice makes perfect
If your dog or cat is showing signs of anxiety each time they visit the veterinarian, try a practice visit. Depending on the level of anxiety your pet experiences, follow each of the steps below, provided rewards and praise after completing each step.
World of worry
It’s very important to remember that your tone of voice, body language and stress level will affect how your pet reacts to an environment. They will be looking to you to see if everything’s all right. Whenever you’re preparing the visit the veterinarian, it’s crucial that you act as if everything is going great.
Handling begins at home
In order to perform a physical examination, the veterinarian and/or staff members may need to restrain your pet. A dog that has never been physically restrained will naturally struggle against being held, even at home where he or she feels safe.
Of courses being restrained can increase anxiety and stress, and in some situations may even cause a dog to lash out. To help prevent this from happening, it’s important you handle your dog or cat on a regular basis by checking their ears, mouth and feet. Massage sessions are especially helpful to desensitize handling issues and are a great way to relax your dog or cat while at the veterinary clinic.
Your perseverance and patience will pay off. Remember to use lots of rewards and positive reinforcement for good behavior and your pet will be well on your way to enjoying a fear free visit to their veterinarian in no time.