Kidney Disease

Information on kidney disease problems in cats and dogs.

Select a Topic

  1. What is Kidney Disease?
  2. What Causes Kidney Disease?
  3. Diagnosing Kidney Disease
  4. Help for Kidney Disease
  5. More Information on Kidney Disease

What is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease, also known as renal disease, can affect both cats and dogs. The kidneys filter the blood and remove waste products from the body. If kidney function is impaired, waste products build up in the body and cause your pet to become very ill.

Acute kidney disease is sudden and severe. Symptoms are often the result of toxicity, infection or changes in the body that restrict blood flow to the renal system.

Chronic renal disease (CRD) occurs gradually over a longer period. There may not be obvious signs of illness. If left untreated, chronic kidney failure can occur and result in serious health complications for your pet.

Diagnosing Renal Disease in Cats and Dogs?

A diagnosis is based on your pet’s symptoms, a physical examination and a review of your pet’s medical history.

Common symptoms and signs of kidney disease in pets include:

  • An increase in water consumption
  • Increase in volume of urine output
  • Decrease in urination
  • Voiding urination during the night
  • Blood in the urine
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Hunched over posture accompanied with a reluctance to walk
  • Poor skin and hair condition

Your vet may perform various tests, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Urinalysis
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound

What Causes Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs?

Causes of renal failure in pets include:

  • Fungal, viral, and bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Aging
  • Inflammation
  • Trauma
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Congenital diseases
  • Amyloidosis (a disease caused by the abnormal deposits of certain types of protein)
  • Inherited disorders
  • Toxic reaction to certain medications

Treatment for Renal Disease in Pets

Dietary changes such as a low-protein, low-sodium and low-phosphorus diet can help, along with drinking plenty of fresh, clean water. There are various medications your vet can prescribe to reduce the workload on the renal system.

A good quality dietary supplement like Kidney Support™ for Cats & Dogs helps support healthy urinary tract function.

In more severe cases of renal failure, your cat or dog might need to be hospitalized. In the hospital, the vet can provide intravenous fluids, medications and nutritional support to help your pet feel better. Dialysis and transplants may also be performed on pets, but these treatments are extremely costly.

Preventing Renal Disease

There are many things that you can do to prevent renal disease in cats and dogs, including:

  • Food. Feed your pet a well-balanced all-natural pet food containing the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
  • Water. Always make sure that your pet has access to fresh, clean water and encourage him to drink regularly.
  • Urination. Encourage your dog to urinate often by taking him outside at regular intervals.
  • Litter box. Make sure that your cat has access to a clean litter tray.
  • Exercise. Make sure that your pet exercises regularly to maintain overall health.
  • Supplement. Incorporate immune-building supplements into your pet’s diet to strengthen the immune system thereby avoiding disease and infection.
  • Avoid toxins. Avoid exposing your pet to chemicals and toxins.
  • Vet checks. Have regular veterinary checkups to maintain the overall health of your pet.



1. “Chronic Kidney Disease.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed March 26, 2020.
2. “Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure (CKD, CRF, CRD).” Washington State University. Accessed March 26, 2020.
3. “Kidney Disease in Dogs: How Much Do You Know?” American Kennel Club. Accessed March 26, 2020.

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