Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
The function of kidneys is to clear the metabolic toxins from the blood, to keep water and salt balance, to maintain blood pressure, and regulate red blood cells production. The failure to perform its function leads to kidney failure which can be acute or chronic. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with aging and occurs in older dogs as a result of acute kidney failure. Kidney failure may not have obvious signs in the early stages due to the reserve capacity of kidneys to perform the function. Symptoms are noticeable when 2/3rd of the kidney has already lost its function. Increased thirst and volume of urine are the apparent and earliest sign of chronic kidney failure. Others include loss of appetite, anemia, poor hair coat, vomiting, and diarrhea. CKD may be diagnosed incidentally during routine health checkups. CKD gives irreparable damage to the kidneys and the main focus of treatment is to improve quality of life and delay the progression of the disease by maintaining blood pressure and water and salt balance.