March 19, 2013

Dog and Cat Kidney Disease Health Awareness and Support

Kidney failure in dogs - kidney failure in catsMarch is National Kidney Month, and for that reason I would like to focus on bringing awareness to holistic support options for the prevention of kidney disease, and improvement of kidney health in cats and dogs.

Kidney disease is the second leading cause of death in cats. That is pretty staggering, considering not many cat owners or even dog owners are aware of the signs, treatment, support options, and prevention methods for pets with kidney disease.

The way in which the kidneys work in the human body, is the same process by which they work in your cat or dog. The kidney’s main function is to eliminate waste and to balance fluids in our blood. Unless you are feeding your pet a natural and healthy diet, their kidneys are working overtime in an attempt to filter:

• Chemical preservatives from commercial pet food and treats
• Insecticides present in pet treatments like flea and tick control
• Other chemicals and pollutants that animals are exposed to daily, like drinking water

Symptoms that your cat or dog may display if they are having issues with their kidneys:

• Increased thirst and urination
• Loss of appetite and weight
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Mouth and toungue ulcers
• High blood levels of metabolic waste
• Dull coats and heavy shedding/hair loss
• Urine smell in breath

There can already be significant damage to kidneys – up to 75% – before the symptoms of kidney disease are physically evident, so it is crucial to know whether your pet’s kidney health is in decline. This is why it is very important that your pet receive annual check-ups, which include getting blood work done. I believe that once your pet exhibits blood indicators of deteriorating kidney health that is in the high end of a normal range, it is important to begin taking your pet’s kidney health more seriously.

A simple measure you can take to aid in the health of your pet’s kidneys is very simple – change their diet. The goal of a pet kidney-friendly diet is to reduce metabolic wastes, protein, and phosphorous. This will diminish the stress on the kidneys, which can aid in their healing process. Protein should not be completely eliminated from a pet’s diet, but instead you should provide your cat or dog with high quality proteins in small servings. Such protein would include turkey, chicken, and steamed greens.

You can also supplement your pet’s diet with vitamin A, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A will lubricate the kidney tissue; vitamin C is a natural diuretic; and omega-3 will help reduce kidney inflammation, reduce cholesterol, and increase the blood flow in the kidneys.

I also recommend that you include a probiotic in your pet’s food, so that you can supplement your companion’s physical health with good bacteria. This will help the kidneys with waste elimination.

Natural remedies to go along with a kidney-friendly diet include Juniper Berry and Parsley Root.

As I previously mentioned, annual check-ups with your vet and having blood-work done are necessary to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy. In addition, always inform your vet about any herbal supplements you may want to give your pet.

Dr. Loridawn Gordon




Dr. Loridawn Gordon

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.