Nutrition for Pets with Chronic Kidney Disease


Why Should I Bring my Pet to Willows for Chronic Kidney Disease?

The Sherlock Holmes of the Specialist Veterinary world, Willows’ Internal Medicine team, has over 70 years of collective experience in diagnosing and treating complex medical conditions, including chronic kidney disease. Willows is one of a handful of Specialist centres in Europe to have a board-certified Specialist in Clinical Nutrition, providing the very best diet recommendations to support the management of kidney disease.


What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease is a condition where the kidneys do not work properly. This usually develops and progresses slowly over time.


What are the Most Common Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease most commonly occurs as a degenerative condition in older dogs and cats. Occasionally other causes, such as certain poisons, infections, and blockage of urine flow, can also cause this more rapidly.

What are the Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease?

The most common signs of chronic kidney disease are reduced appetite, weight loss and increased drinking and urination.


How is Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosed?

Chronic kidney disease is diagnosed by a combination of blood and urine tests and an ultrasound scan of the kidneys.


What Treatments are Available?

Nutrition is known to play a key role in helping patients with chronic kidney disease. Diets low in protein and phosphorus have been proven to improve the signs of chronic kidney disease (e.g. improve appetite and weight gain). Such diets have also been found to help pets with this condition to live longer.

There are several commercial diets available for patients with chronic kidney disease. Alternatively, a balanced home-cooked diet can be formulated for your pet by our Specialist in Clinical Nutrition. Medications are also commonly used to manage some of the complications associated with chronic kidney disease, e.g. high blood pressure, protein loss in the urine.


What can I Expect if my Pet is Treated for Chronic Kidney Disease?

Following a chronic kidney disease diagnosis, a plan for your pet’s diet and medication will be formulated. Our Specialist in Clinical Nutrition will be able to discuss the diet options for your dog or cat, including commercial diets and a home-cooked diet.

As with any chronic disease, this condition will require regular monitoring, including blood/urine tests and blood pressure measurement.

Long Term Management

Depending on your pet’s progress over time, it may be necessary to make changes to his/her medications and diet.

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Clinical Nutrition

Find out more

To talk you through some of the main areas associated with clinical nutrition at Willows, we have put together a range of information sheets.