Chronic renal failure (CRF) is a very common disease in older animals. In several studies have shown, for example, 10% of cats 7 years suffer, and over the 10 years, 30%.

But what is this disease?

The term refers to kidney malfunction of the kidneys. It may be the acute form, which occurs in a few hours or days and usually brought on by diseases that reduce the intake of oxygen to the kidneys or by determining how toxic pesticides or drugs. By contrast, the chronic form is one that occurs over a period of months or years, and much of the functional structures of the kidney called glomeruli are damaged. Usually progressive (worsens over time) and irreversible. It may be a progression of acute, but most of our larger animals is the result of a decrease in renal function associated with age.

When the kidneys fail can not properly remove waste products such as urea, which is a derivative of ammonia produced, among other effects, irritation of the digestive tract that usually accompany ulcers from mouth to the intestine through the stomach. Also, do not effectively help to conserve body water, it stimulates the production of red blood cells and blood can not properly regulate blood pressure, among other functions. For this reason, when the disease is advanced, we can see signs like diarrhea with or without vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urine, dehydration, apathy, mouth ulcers among others.

Once you see these signs and bring the animal to our center, the disease is often in an advanced degree, ie, much of the kidney (typically over 75%) is damaged. At this time, tend to have renal blood indicators (urea and creatinine) and elevated by a blood test can determine.

Now, for the treatment is the most effective and can slow progression of the disease effectively, it must be diagnosed in the early stages, when we do not have any symptoms and renal involvement is less.

What happens in the initial stages to allow diagnose IRC?

In these early stages, the only renal function is altered is the ability to concentrate urine. Furthermore, as part of glomeruli fail, the remaining must work harder to be able to filter more blood. This is achieved by increasing glomerular pressure through a series of internal mechanisms. This pressure is apparently useful for the proper functioning glomeruli was damaging healthy proteins causing leak when regularly should not cross. This protein is detectable in urine, which is known as proteinuria.