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..