Is your pet a bit thirstier than usual? Are you filling up their water bowl more often, or have you noticed them drinking from the shower or toilet? An increase in thirst can be one of the first signs of kidney disease and if you are worried you should arrange a check up with us.
The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called ‘nephrons’ and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can’t regenerate. As a result, the body doesn’t conserve enough water so your pet will need to drink more to stay hydrated.
Toxins, drugs, a change in blood pressure and particular diseases can harm the nephrons – and your pet may not show any signs until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.
Other than increased thirst, watch out for:
- Increased urination
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
There are plenty of other diseases with similar signs of kidney disease (such as diabetes) so it is important that we investigate further. Measuring your pet’s water intake over 24 hours is a good place to start. A blood test, a urine test, blood pressure and an ultrasound of the kidneys may then be necessary.
The take-home message is that if you notice any changes in your pet’s thirst, it’s best to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible. If we detect that your pet’s kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment, the better.