Chronic renal disease (CRD) is the progressive shut down of the kidneys. As you may know, it is the kidney’s job to remove waste from the blood, while keeping the electrolytes and fluid required by the body. As CRD progresses the kidneys will be able to filter out less and less of the body’s metabolic waste, as well as, retain less water and electrolytes. If left untreated the waste will, eventually, build up to toxic levels.
Like many diseases CRD has a quiet onset and as much as 66% of the kidney’s function may be gone before your pet starts to show signs. Some of the early indications that your pet may have CRD include: excessive thirst and urination, depression, lethargy, bad breath, and weight loss (with no change in diet or exercise). Your veterinarian may see want to blood work, as well as, an ultrasound to prove that your pet definitely has CRD. CRD is not a death sentence. There is no cure, but with proper treatment, your pet can live a full and happy life.
Catching CRD early means more treatment options and more time with a better quality of life for your pet. Treatments include: diet change, blood pressure medication, and subcutaneous fluids (to help hydrate your pet, as well as, flush out toxin build-up). As with any treatment there are side effects, so always pay close attention to your pet and notify your vet if you notice any abnormal changes.