Canine & Feline Kidney Disease – What You Need to Know
Kidney disease is an ailment that negatively affects the quality of pets and their owners alike.
As the kidneys are one of the vital organs that are crucial for detoxification, when they improperly function, whole body health is negatively affected.
What is Canine & Feline Kidney Disease?
Kidney disease occurs when there is some degree of failure in the normal functioning of the kidneys.
The functional unit of the kidney is called a nephron and there are millions of them inside each kidney which maintain a complicated and invisible process crucial to day-to-day bodily processes.
The kidneys work like filters to remove toxins from the blood. Common toxins the kidneys clear include nitrogenous waste that enters the blood from digestion of dietary protein or breakdown of muscle and other body tissues, man-made or environmental toxins, drugs used for medicinal purposes, and more.
Regulation of water and other substances essential to health are other functions of the kidneys. Maintaining an appropriate hydration level is the goal, so the kidneys excrete excess water and conserve moisture when hydration intake is insufficient. Maintenance of glucose, protein, and electrolyte levels are also governed by the kidneys. Generally, the kidneys strive to keep glucose and protein in the blood and sustain a balance of sodium, chloride, and potassium between the blood and the urine.
The kidneys also manufacture a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) that stimulates the bone marrow to manufacture more red blood cells. All bodily function depends on transportation of oxygen by red blood cells, so the kidneys play a key part in the process.
This is a timely topic for me since our Miss Nilla's last bloodwork showed elevated kidney numbers.
Mom to Miss Jelly Bean "Beanie" Licorice Pug
Forever in our hearts: Miss Nilla Sassafras Pug August 17, 2002 to April 19, 2018
And my Heart-Dog... Wonka the Dancing Pug, CGC, W-FD, W-TFD.
Februrary 11, 2005 to May 10, 2020. Miss you, sweet boy!