machineDialysis removes kidney toxins and/or supports a damaged kidney by mechanical means. It is a labor-intensive and highly sophisticated procedure.

Diagnosing Kidney Injury

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.

  1. You know the pet has ingested a kidney injurious substance such as antifreeze, lilies, ibuprofen, or certain other medications.
  2. Poor to no urine production even though the pet is well hydrated.
  3. If during an examination by your family veterinarian, they discuss the possibility of kidney disease.

If your veterinarian finds any of the following, it MAY indicate kidney injury.

  1. Standard kidney blood values such as creatinine or blood urea nitrogen are elevated.
  2. The presence of protein in urine that cannot be accounted for by infection or inflammation.
  3. Radiographic evidence of kidney or ureter stones. This is different from the more common bladder stones that do not cause kidney injury.
  4. Radiographic or ultrasound evidence of an enlarged kidney.
  5. Presence of certain infections such as leptospirosis.

Initial Treatment Session (Acute 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.

Subsequent Treatment Sessions

If the initial intensive treatment is successfully completed, then 5 to 10 outpatient therapies are typically needed while the kidney returns to function. These outpatient visits occur at Weare Animal Hospital, 91 North Stark Highway (Route 114), Weare, NH. 603-529-4999. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) These sessions are typically on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the morning. The standard treatment time during this phase is usually 4 hours for cats and 5 to 6 hours for dogs.

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.

Treatment for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

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.

The Only Veterinary Dialysis Center in Northern New England

Pet Dialysis is based in the greater Concord, New Hampshire area and is the only dialysis treatment center in northern New England. We serve patients in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond.