Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize CRF and exclude other diseases. Tests may include: Complete medical history and physical examination
Complete medical history including questions regarding change in water consumption and urination, exposure to ethylene glycol (antifreeze), recent surgery or anesthesia, drug therapy, appetite, weight loss, previous illness, and medications
Complete physical examination
Complete blood count (CBC)
Other diagnostic tests may include:
Blood gas analysis
Endogenous or exogenous creatinine clearance
Urine protein/creatinine ratio
A fine needle aspirate
Fractional excretion of electrolyte
Although there is no cure, early detection can slow the progression of the disease. CRF can be a life threatening condition that requires hospitalization and treatment for stabilization in extremely ill pets. Treatments may include:
Fluid therapy for dehydrated pets
Management of blood abnormalities such as hyperkalemia or hypokalemia (abnormal potassium blood levels), metabolic acidosis and hyperphosphatemia
Dietary therapy with protein a phosphorus restriction
Free access to water
Supportive care and careful monitoring of urine output
Control of vomiting with diet and drug therapy as needed
Management of anemia if needed (with Epogen)
Chronic renal failure is life-threatening, and if you suspect your pet has this condition, you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Follow-up with your veterinarian for examinations, laboratory work and urinalysis. Blood and urine analysis should be repeated within five to seven days after discharge.
Feed your pet the diet recommended by your veterinarian. Provide free access to fresh clean water at all times. Some owners can administer subcutaneous fluid to their pets at home, if necessary. Your veterinarian can provide instructions when indicated.
Administer any prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian. Drug therapy may include: phosphate binders; potassium supplementation; or drugs for vomiting (such as cimetidine or famotidine); or anabolic steroids for some patients. Epogen may be given for anemia two to three times weekly.
There are no specific recommendations for prevention of chronic renal failure. However, general suggestions include:
Providing frequent attempts to urinate and free access to fresh clean water.
Avoiding exposure to ethylene glycol that can cause acute kidney damage.