Did you know that it is National Kidney Awareness Month? Similar to how kidney disease can affect humans, it can also develop in pets. As a matter of fact, kidney disease is the second leading cause of death in cats. This is pretty scary if you’re a cat owner, right?
What do kidneys even do? Well, they are organs that have two main jobs:
1. Remove waste/toxins from the blood
2. Maintain bodily fluids
The job that kidneys perform is just as important as the job of our hearts. Without kidneys, animals, as well as humans, would die.
The problem with kidney disease is that it is hard to detect until it is too late. When you begin to see symptoms of the disease in your cat or dog, it is likely that 75% of their kidneys are already damaged. Such symptoms include:
• Increased thirst
• Increased urination
• Cloudy urine
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Bad breath
• Ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue
• Dull coats with heavy shedding
Since kidney disease is hard to detect until most of the damage is done, you have to take care of your pet’s kidney health (and all aspects of their health) the moment you become a pet owner. In order to do this, make sure that you take your furry friend for yearly check-ups with your vet, and ensure that your vet is doing yearly blood work. It is easier to detect illnesses, like kidney disease, through blood tests than relying on symptoms.
If your cat, dog, or any other pet has kidney disease, it is likely that your doctor will recommend the following treatment options:
1. Diet change
2. Fluid therapy
3. Various medications
Make sure you do the research regarding the pros and cons of all treatments. There are even natural options to help with kidney disease that you may find more suitable for your pet.
Below is a list of cat and dog breeds that are the most susceptible to kidney disease:
• Bull and Cairn Terriers
• Chow Chows
• Doberman Pinchers
• English Cocker Spaniels
• German Sheperds
• Minature Schnauzers
• Shih Tzus