If a vet suspects an animal has kidney disease based on discussion with a pet owner, diagnosis is usually performed by:

  1. Clinical Examination – looking for signs such as dehydration and smelly (uraemic) breath
  2. Blood test – to check the kidney function. Increases in blood chemicals called BUN and creatinine often reflect kidney problems. Phosphorus levels may also rise and red blood cell counts may fall in more severe cases.
  3. Urine test – to check the concentration and chemistry of the urine. Lower concentrations and increased urinary protein can indicate kidney issues.
  4. Ultrasound – this can be useful to examine the shape, size and structure of the kidneys to look for any reductions or problems.

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