Your animal has just been diagnosed with chronic renal failure. This condition arises when more than 75% to 85% of the kidneys have stopped functioning. They therefore no longer arrive at performing their daily functions which consist of regulating the metabolism of water as well as eliminating the metabolic waste produced by the different organs, your animal will gradually develop some of the following symptoms: weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting, dehydration despite the increase in water consumption and increase in urine production. Chronic renal failure is unfortunately most often irreversible and fatal. However, by following the recommendations provided, we can possibly slow down its progression.
Feed your animal the recommended renal formula. It is very important to introduce this new food very gradually over a period of four weeks in order to get your animal used to it. Canned food is preferable over dry food because it contains more water. There exists other methods for increasing water consumption such as: placing several bowls of water throughout the house and filling them up to the brim (avoid plastic bowls because they give water a bad taste. Use stainless steel, glass or ceramic instead) you may also add ice cubes or a couple of drops of tuna juice to the water while being sure to offer him a bowl of fresh water as well. A water distributor may also be useful.
- It is very possible that your animal has no desire to eat. In this case we can prescribe an appetite stimulant.
- To reduce the damage caused to the kidneys by phosphorous (which has a tendency to increase in the blood with renal failure), a phosphorous linking agent may be prescribed.
- To reduce the loss of protein by the kidneys, which aids in the progression of the disease, we have prescribed benazepril hydrochloride.
- To reduce the nausea and/or vomiting caused by gastro-intestinal irritation, which provokes metabolic waste in the blood, we have an antiemetic and gastric protector.
- To maintain a good hydration as well as to facilitate the elimination of metabolic waste, you should administer subcutaneous fluids to your animals.
- A potassium supplementation was established during treatment.
- In order to prevent the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism (condition that affects the metabolism of calcium) common with chronic renal failure, which is also damaging to the kidneys, we have prescribed Calcitrol.)
- If your animal suffers from severe anemia causes by his renal failure, we have prescribed him erythropoietin. In about 25%-30% of cases, the production of antibodies against this erythropoietin may appear following the treatment and lead to certain side effects. The symptoms consist of hypertension, seizure and a deterioration of the anemia due to lack of iron. The animal may require one or more blood transfusions, which risk causing transfusion reactions.
This is why the treatment is not established until hematocrit level (proportion of red blood cells in the blood) is inferior to 20% and the animal shows anemia related symptoms (increased cardiac frequency presences of a heart murmur, heart failure, intolerance to exercise and a loss of appetite) an iron supplement should be given along with this treatment.
- It is common that an animal suffering from a chronic renal failure also suffer from hypertension, which can damage the kidneys even more. If this is the case for your animal, we have prescribed a hypertensor.
As for the follow up of his condition, we recommend that you make an appointment for a physical examination, hematology, hematocrit, biochemistry, a measure of blood calcium levels and a urine analysis including a urinary prot/crea ratio +/- urine culture, as recommended by your veterinarian.