Kidney disease – a silent and prolific killer
SDMA – The new test changing the face of pet kidney disease
A new and simple blood test is changing things for the better for Aussies pets and their owners. Read on to learn more about kidney disease, how it affects pets, the signs to watch out for, the new SDMA early detection test and tips for caring for pets with kidney disease.
This nifty test helps vets detect kidney function loss much earlier than previous tests – 45% loss as opposed to 75% loss.
Vets can then put proactive plans in place to help preserve pets’ kidney function, thereby giving them a better quality of life and hopefully, a much longer one too.
What is kidney disease?
Kidneys are amazing little work horses in both humans and animals. These organs do all sorts of vital things like filter blood, process waste, balance body water levels and maintain red blood cells.
When they’re working at good capacity, all is well. But a dip in kidney function (which is the definition of kidney disease) has all sorts of consequences and if chronic, it can lead to failure. In pets, it’s pretty hard to detect until things start to get really bad and not much can be done to help.
Kidney disease in cats and dogs
Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Both cats and dogs exhibit very similar signs when it comes to CKD. Unfortunately, these symptoms usually appear in the later stage of the disease.
- Increased/excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Subtle weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Bad breath with a chemical odour
- Mouth sores
Did you know that 1 in every 3 Cats and 1 in every 10 Dogs get kidney disease?
- Kidney stones & associated blockages
- Inflammation & damage to tubes and/or filters
- Hereditary diseases in some breeds
Any of the above can lead to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
But there is some good news. A new blood test is giving vets the opportunity to detect kidney problems at a much earlier stage.
Tips for pets with CKD
- Give ‘em lots of fresh water
- Ensure they have quick & easy access to ‘go potty’ (ask a neighbour/friend/family member to help during the work day if need be)
- Consult with your vet to make sure they have a kidney-friendly diet
- Keep on top of any associated protein or high blood pressure issues with regular vet checks
- Be patient with them & their increased needs
The importance of an annual vet visit
As a responsible fur-parent, it’s likely you schedule an annual vet visit for furry friend, right? If so, this is the ideal time to ask your vet to include the SDMA test in routine bloodwork.
All our Fur Life vets have the capability to run the SDMA test and will happily include it for you so everyone is well in the know. After all, the early you find out there’s a problem, the better the outcome for your pet.
If you haven’t quite got around to scheduling that yearly health check, go ahead and give your vet a call. Your pet and their kidneys will thank you for it!