Dialysis removes kidney toxins and/or supports a damaged kidney by mechanical means. It is a labor-intensive and highly sophisticated procedure.
The earlier kidney injury is detected, the more likely dialysis will be successful. Unfortunately, the readily accessible tests only detect injury when 70% or more of the kidney is non-functioning.
The following is a partial list of signs that MAY be useful in determining is kidney injury has occurred.
If your veterinarian finds any of the following, it MAY indicate kidney injury.
If you or your family veterinarian feels that kidney injury has occurred, please contact to further discuss the situation.
Normal Business Hours - call Weare Animal Hospital, 91 N. Stark Hwy, Weare, NH 03281 Phone 603-529-4999
After Hours - call Capital Area Veterinary Emergency Services, 1 Intervale Road, Concord, NH 03301 Phone 603-227-1199
In most cases, an initial session of 24-48 hours of almost continuous dialysis will be needed, during which time your dog or cat remains in the hospital with 24-hour nursing care.
Dialysis replaces many of the functions of the kidneys, but it cannot replace them all. Therefore, veterinary dialysis patients in the initial stages of treatment will need to stay in the Weare Animal Hospital. Ongoing medical care at this point includes fluid treatments, antibiotics, anti-ulcer medications and many other medications that need to be given by injection. At this stage of treatment, pets need constant monitoring of things like blood pressure, urine production, blood counts, etc.
Your pet will go home with the dialysis catheter still in place. The catheter is covered by a bandage around the neck and needs no care at home other than to keep it clean and dry.
You, the pet owner, must be able to bring your pet to Weare Animal Hospital on each day of treatment and leave him/her for the several hours needed.
At the beginning of a dialysis session, your pet is greeted and given a physical examination and recheck diagnostic values are obtained and evaluated.
Dogs lie on a soft pad and cats lie on a fleece pad inside half of a pet carrier (cats feel more secure if they are a bit hidden). All pets wear a special harness (like a nylon walking harness you attach to a leash), which is clipped to leads on three sides of the padded treatment table. This restraint system keeps your pet safely on the table, but lets her or him move and change positions at will.
A dialysis team member then unwraps, closely examines, and meticulously cleans the dialysis catheter. These catheters are the lifelines of our patients! When the dialysis catheter, dialysis prescription and patient are ready, we begin the dialysis treatment.
During a dialysis session, your pet's attitude and well-being, blood volume and blood oxygenation are monitored continuously. Pets may eat or drink during dialysis if they choose to. After acclimating during one or two treatments, most pets spend their time on dialysis comfortably napping.
After we re-assess physical parameters and feel comfortable that your pet is stable following treatment, she or he may leave the dialysis unit. Most pets feel great after dialysis.
With chronic kidney failure, the kidneys are permanently damaged. Dialysis is continued three times a week for the rest of the patient’s life. In this case, kidney transplant is the only alternative to chronic dialysis.