What is Kidney Disease?

The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body.

All animals have two kidneys, located near the liver and stomach in the abdomen. The kidneys have three vital jobs – firstly, they filter the blood to remove any toxins or old chemicals. Secondly, they balance the amount of water in the bloodstream and in the body. Lastly, they produce some special chemicals and hormones, such as EPO, that regulate the blood.

Kidney failure (also called Renal failure) is unfortunately common in our pets, especially cats, and can occur at any age but is more common in older animals.

Kidney failure occurs when the microscopic filtration units called nephrons become damaged, affecting the kidney’s ability to get rid of waste and toxins in the urine. This failure can happen very suddenly due to a toxin or infection (called acute kidney failure), or slowly over time as an animal gets older and the nephrons wear out due to old age (called chronic kidney failure).

Please read on to learn about the common Signs of Kidney Disease, Diagnosis of Kidney Disease, Treatment and Prevention of Kidney Disease and The Long-Term Outlook.

Click on Signs of Kidney Disease to go to the next page in this article.