What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

CKD is a progressive deterioration in kidney function causing dehydration (as water is no longer retained) and a build up of waste products such as urea.

Red blood cells are also often decreased as there is a deficiency in a hormone called erythropoeitin (EPO) which is produced by the kidneys.

Unfortunately, this disease is common in older dogs and especially in older cats.

CKD is not curable but there are treatments that can be used to improve quality of life and slow progression. With current treatments, many animals with kidney problems can go on to lead a happy life for many years if they are carefully treated and monitored. However, it is important to remember it is likely the kidney disease will progress over time.


  • FLUID THERAPY - Fluid therapy may be required if your pet is dehydrated or at risk of becoming dehydrated. Increasing water intake via water fountains and wet food can help. We may teach you how to administer fluids under the skin to your pet at home.
  • MEDICATIONS - Medications and supplements to help your pet feel better , reduce toxins and help the kidneys may be started. These are often required long term. Injections to improve red blood cell levels may also be suggested as well as supplements to help reduce toxins in the blood.
  • DIET - A special low protein diet (Royal Canin Renal or Hill’s k/d) is generally recommended. These are available in many forms and flavours. Please let us know if you need recommendations.

Monitoring CKD

Regular monitoring with the vet (at least every 3-6 months) is very important to assess the progression of the disease and help your pet.



Please contact us immediately if your pet is:

- not eating for more than 24 hours
- vomiting frequently
- losing weight
- breathing heavily