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Kidney Failure in Dogs and Cats

Kidney Failure

Herbal treatments for dogs and cats to help reduce kidney dysfunction, kidney failure and problems related to kidney disease.

Herbal treatments for dogs and cats to help reduce kidney dysfunction, kidney failure and problems related to kidney disease. 

In renal challenges, the kidneys not only need to be supported and rehabilitated but consideration should also be given to support of the liver, cardiovascular system and autonomic nervous system.

The endocrine system interacts with many organs and bodily systems, and the adrenal and thyroid glands plays a major role in providing critical trace nutrient support to all glands and tissue, and the adrenals can become stressed and fatigued, also affecting the liver, duodenum, and kidneys.

The kidneys are responsible for various functions including regulating fluid, electrolytes, and supporting an acid-base balance. Kidneys also filter and excrete metabolic wastes such as urine, the production of marrow, as well as regulates blood pressure and the production of calcium and phosphorus metabolism. As kidneys perform so many tasks and are already fragile organs, they are often the first body organ to break down in older pets.

Kidney failure can be acute or chronic. Kidney failure can occur suddenly (acute kidney failure) or come on gradually over a period of time (chronic kidney failure).

Acute kidney failure is a condition in which an animal’s kidneys are no longer able to remove wastes from the blood, resulting in a buildup of toxins in the blood. An animal with kidney failure shows signs and symptoms of uremic poisoning. Acute kidney failure can be highly fatal. It can be a result of some sort of poisoning, such as exposure to anti-freeze poisoning, raisin or grape poisoning, or certain medications, such as some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs.

Acute kidney failure can be related to bacterial infections and congestive heart failure as well as dehydration, when an animal does not have access to fresh, clean water. A pet suffering from acute kidney failure requires hospitalization with emergency treatment of intensive fluid therapy.

To test for dehydration in dogs or cats, gently pull the skin away from your pet’s back. If the skin does not immediately spring back, your pet may be dehydrated.

Chronic kidney failure is more common in older dogs and cats and is usually a slow, progressive disease that unfortunately often goes undetected for quite some time. You may or may not notice changes in your pet until kidney failure presents. When the kidneys have lost 70 to 75 percent of their cells, it is considered that kidney failure has begun. Up until this point, although kidney cells may be deteriorating or dying gradually, the proper functioning of the kidneys usually remain intact and the cell loss is unnoticed.

Common causes of Chronic Kidney Failure include:

A diet that contains excessive amount of phosphorus in the food AND insufficient quantity of usable calcium is problematic since the kidneys may not be able to eliminate the phosphorus effectively. The end result is the formation of kidney stones or degeneration of kidney tissues, which can lead to kidney failure long term.  

Animals can also develop kidney problem as a result of other diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, congenital and inherited disorders, and autoimmune diseases. As animals with chronic kidney failure usually do not show symptoms until they have lost 75 percent of their kidney functions, it is often impossible to cure the disease at that stage. However, once diagnosed, at least the progression can be slowed down with proper treatment and care.

Acute Kidney Failure:  Acute Kidney Failure occurs quickly. Common symptoms include: 

Loss of appetite



Walking with stiff legs or reluctance to move

Weakened lower back and/or limbs

Acute anemia

An arched back due to painful kidneys

Little or no urine output

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Failure:

Increased thirst

Frequent urination with large quantities of pale urine

Poor appetite

Weight loss

Nausea or vomiting




Bad breath


Walking with stiff legs or reluctance to move

Weakened lower back and/or limbs

Mouth ulcers (in later critical stage)

Dietary change is crucial to control kidney disease in animals. Some studies suggest that a low-phosphorus diet supplemented by calcium is beneficial to pets with chronic kidney failure, since the diet can reduce the chances of kidney crystal and stone formation, slowing down the deterioration of the kidneys that eventually leads to kidney failure.

Some holistic veterinarians suggest low-protein diets for dogs with chronic kidney failure as they generate fewer nitrogenous wastes. The down-side of low-protein diets is that the dog may not be able to get sufficient nutrients from the foods.

Instead of low-protein diets, many holistic vets suggest a diet with high-quality protein sources, such as eggs, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets for this disease or condition - human grade meets highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies can be highly effective to ease kidney failure and kidney disease and to help slow disease progression; to help support kidney conditions and function; to support healthy urinary function and support; to purify and cleanse the blood; to promote kidney, liver and urinary tract health and to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Kidney Support Meal Topper* - (learn more) is a potent antioxidant and kidney nutritional support, containing first class adaptogen plus a variety of natural plant chemicals, vitamins, minerals, fatty and amino acids plus silica and boldine which may help support robust nutritional, phytochemical and rehabilitative support of the kidneys, o help balance kidney function, help tone connective tissues and help stabilize pH balance, may help reduce inflammation in the kidneys and bladder related to urinary inflammation and infection by helping limit toxin load on the kidneys and susceptibility to the growth of certain bacteria and fungi that affects the kidneys and liver, may help support proper excretion of waste products by the kidneys and may help detoxify and protect the kidneys and liver by promoting bile production.  

Stix and Stones - (learn more) Stix and Stones may nutritionally help reduce urinary tract inflammation; may help support healthy kidney function and its natural plant adaptogen content may help identify the source of the urinary tract infection at a cellular level and nutritionally work to help restore balance in the bladder, kidneys and ureters; may help moderate cortisol and calcium levels in the blood; may help normalize pH levels toward balance (neither acidic or alkaline); may work to help limit all types of future urinary tract infections (UTI's) and stone formation and crystal formation by blocking their formation in the kidneys and bladder (i.e. calcium oxalate stones from acidic urine; struvite stones from alkaline urine); may help address and break up commonly occurring stone formation related to kidney, liver, gallbladder and bladder stones, gravel, crystals and calculi; adaptogen content helps carry out reparative actions against cellular dysfunction that allows stones to form by helping to block unwanted material from entering kidney cells and supporting their safe elimination in the urinary tract; suitable for all life stages of dogs and cats.

Hepa Protect – (learn more) may help support proper liver function and metabolism, bile production and flow, ma help rehabilitate the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gall bladder, may help rehabilitate and detoxify the kidneys and liver; tones and balances the connective tissue of the liver, kidneys and bladder, normalizes liver enzyme levels, regulates kidney acid/alkaline levels, for all types of stones and gravel of the liver, kidneys, bladder and gallbladder, including oxalate and struvite crystals and stones; reduces uric acid, for gall bladder inflammation, gall stones and gallbladder infections, for renal colic and renal calculi; helps to protect red blood cell formation, useful in diseases such as ehrlichia, ehrlichiosis.

Break It Up  (learn more) helps to eliminate liver, kidney, bladder and gall stones, crystals, grains and gravel (calcium oxalate, struvite, uric acid, cystine, calcium phosphate and silica stones ) with less pain and safely removes them from the body; helps to treat bladder and kidney infections (urinary infections) and diseases, balances and normalizes liver enzyme levels, reduces uric acid and increases urination, for cystitis and prostatitis, infectious hepatitis and leptospirosis, Fatty Liver Disease, (hepatic lipidosis), Feline cholangiohepatitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (FIV), Leaky Gut Syndrome, Intestinal Dysbiosis and Intestinal Hypermerability. This product has been proven to be 90% effective at addressing urinary tract infections, stones, gravel, calculi and crystals in dogs and cats.

Conventional Remedies:

Diagnosis of kidney failure involves a blood test and a urine test. As the functions of the kidneys deteriorate, excessive amounts of nitrogen, acids, ammonia, and other chemical wastes are retained in the blood and tissues, a condition called uremia.

The degree of uremia is determined by a blood test that measures the blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and electrolytes.

Dogs and cats with chronic kidney failure have high BUN and creatinine levels. (Normal BUN and creatinine levels are about 10-25 mg/dl and 1-2 mg/dl, respectively.)

One common treatment is subcutaneous fluid therapy. If your dog and cat is suffering from chronic kidney disease, your veterinarian's office will most likely train you to do this at home.




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