Penn Vet | Surgery Stories
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Penn Vet Recognizes National Kidney Month

By: Ashley Berke Date: Mar 2, 2015

[March 2, 2015; Philadelphia, PA] – In recognition of National Kidney Month in March, Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital reminds pet owners that animals can suffer from a range of kidney ailments, including kidney failure, toxicity, and infection. Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital is the nation’s only academic veterinary hospital offering comprehensive services and certified specialists in urologic and kidney care for companion animals.

Important Tips for Pet Owners

The most common cause of renal failure in pets is the ingestion of toxic substances such as antifreeze, lily plants, grapes, raisins, and certain types of human medications. A pet may vomit, lose its appetite, or become lethargic within a few hours of ingesting a toxic substance. If these symptoms occur, seek veterinary care immediately.

Distinctions in Comprehensive Kidney & Urinary Care

Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital is the only veterinary teaching hospital in the nation offering kidney transplantation and hemodialysis under one roof.

Dr. Lillian Aronson (l) conducts a feline kidney transplant.Dr. Lillian Aronson, Professor of Small Animal Surgery and Co-Director of the Comprehensive Kidney & Urinary Care Service, founded Penn Vet’s Feline Renal Transplantation Program in 1998. Ryan Hospital is one of only two veterinary hospitals on the East Coast to perform feline kidney transplants, and one of only three renal transplantation programs in the country. To date, Dr. Aronson has successfully completed over 150 procedures.

Dr. Aronson and the Penn Vet team saved Elvis, a one-year-old cat, from kidney failure after he licked a lily. To learn more about Elvis’ case and kidney transplantation, click here.

Ryan Hospital is also one of only five veterinary hospitals providing hemodialysis on the East Coast. Dr. JD Foster, Staff Veterinarian and Co-Director of the Comprehensive Kidney & Urinary Care Service, specializes in hemodialysis and extracorporeal therapies. 

In severe cases of kidney disease, hemodialysis is the most effective method of replacing lost function of the kidneys. Hemodialysis can be used for acute or chronic kidney failure, treating:

  • Animals for whom standard therapy has proven ineffective
  • Animals with life-threatening complications of kidney failure
  • Animals who have eaten a poison that can be removed with dialysis 

Dr. JD Foster with one of his patients during dialysis treatment.The experts at Ryan Hospital also can perform hemoperfusion, which is used to remove large toxins or those with strong protein binding properties that are unable to be removed during hemodialysis. During this procedure, a charcoal cartridge is used to purify the patient’s blood.

Dr. Foster and the Penn Vet team saved Holden, a four-year-old dog, after he ingested Ibuprofen tablets and arrived at the hospital in a comatose state. To learn more about Holden’s case and hemoperfusion treatment, click here.

For more information about Penn Vet’s Comprehensive Kidney & Urinary Care Service, visit

Upcoming Symposium for Veterinarians

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, Penn Vet will present a special symposium for veterinarians on “Innovation in Kidney & Urinary Health.” Presented by Ryan Hospital’s Comprehensive Kidney & Urinary Care Service, the event will feature lectures on emergency management, minimally invasive treatments, surgical options, nutritional management, and more.

Continuing education credits are available. Download the registration form at

About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling more than 31,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles more than 4,000 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats nearly 36,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.