NUTRITIONAL MANAGEMENT OF KIDNEY DISEASE IN DOGS AND CATS
Andrea J. Fascetti, VMD, Ph.D., DACVIM (SA), DACVN
Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA
Kidney failure is a common occurrence and it is important to distinguish between acute and chronic failure because the treatment and management differ significantly. The goal of managing acute kidney failure is to eliminate the underlying cause and support the kidneys so they may potentially return to normal function. Management of chronic kidney failure involves eliminating or minimizing clinical signs, and slowing the progression of the disease.
Dietary therapy has remained the cornerstone of the management of chronic kidney failure for decades. The goals of dietary modification are to (Elliott 2006): 1. Meet the patient’s nutrient and energy requirements, 2. Alleviate clinical signs and consequences of the uremia intoxications, 3. Minimize disturbances in fluid, electrolyte, vitamin, mineral and acid-base balance and 4. Slow the progression of kidney failure. It is important to realize that dietary therapy is only one aspect of conservative medical management of chronic kidney failure. Recommendations regarding dietary therapy and other components of medical management need to be individualized to patient needs based on clinical and laboratory findings. Chronic kidney failure is progressive and dynamic, hence serial clinical and laboratory assessment of the patient and modification of the therapy in response to changes in the patient’s condition is integral to successful therapy.