Kidneys play an important role in many body functions by helping to control blood pressure and regulate the chemical makeup of the blood. They produce hormones and enzymes and contribute to the production of red blood cells. They also remove metabolic waste from blood. When kidneys no longer function properly, and the blood is not properly filtered as a result, severe complications ensue.
The most common cause of renal failure is the ingestion of toxic substances such as antifreeze, Lily plants, grapes raisins, and certain types of human medications. Infections are also a common cause of kidney disease.
Animals with kidney disease have either acute or chronic renal failure. In acute renal failure, there is a rapid onset of symptoms, while chronic renal failure progresses over a longer period of time.
If diagnosed early and treated immediately, acute failure or damage can be reversible. Chronic kidney failure is not reversible. It is the result of the deterioration of kidney tissue and progresses over many months or years.
Animals with renal failure require a global approach to therapy. Diet, medications, blood pressure control, hemodialysis, and renal transplantation may be considered.