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How Do I Know If My Cat Or Dog Has Kidney Disease?

By Species, By Topic, Care & Wellness, Cats, Diagnosis, Dogs

As our pets get older, the internal organ functions are not as efficient as when they were younger.  For example, the kidneys don’t filter waste products as effectively. If these waste products build up in the bloodstream, they can literally become a poison to the body. Unfortunately, pets rarely show any symptoms of a kidney problem until it has progressed into a late-stage disease.

Signs of kidney problems include increased urination or excessive thirst; however, these symptoms don’t show up until kidney disease has developed into a serious health problem. In fact, these symptoms don’t typically show up until almost two-thirds of an animal’s kidney function is compromised, which is why it’s so important to bring your pet in for regular check-ups!!.

One method for checking for kidney problems is to test your pet’s urine for specific gravity (concentration) and the U/P:C ratio, which tests for a metabolite called creatinine as it compars to protein. Since creatinine can be influenced by factors other than kidney disease, we always have to interpret the results compared with other lab results and usually need to repeat the testing over time to monitor trends.

The good news is that a blood test is now available that will help detect kidney disease at an earlier stage. A blood biomarker called SDMA has shown to be an accurate and precise test for early changes in kidney function. This blood test is valuable in detecting early changes in kidney function, even if your dog or cat is not showing symptoms and even if the other “standard” blood test values are in the normal range. Our goal at CEDARCREST Animal Clinic has always been to detect any abnormality early, so that the appropriate treatment can be started!

If it has been over a year since your pet’s last visit to the vet, please call CEDARCREST Animal Clinic at 540-943-7577 to schedule an appointment.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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