What Do Kidneys Do?
Kidneys are amazing organs. They filter out waste in our blood and send it into our urinary tract system in a way our body can tolerate so we do not get sick from the chemicals. When the kidneys do not function as they should, the body does not release the toxins and will build up a deadly amount of body waste, which can eventually be extremely detrimental to our or our pet's health and well being.
Your pet's body knows how to heal. It just needs the right ingredients to do so.
PLEASE NOTE: IF your pet was affected by any Pet Food Recalls, please view our Pet Food Recall Recommended Protocol. Hopefully your pet has NOT been affected by this, but if he or she has, please view our protocol information to assist your pet in recovering from the poisoning, kidney failure, and poor liver health.
The kidneys are organs which maintain the balance of certain chemicals in your dog, cat, or other animal's blood while filtering out the body's wastes as urine. The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, help regulate the production of calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and produce a hormone that stimulates red-blood-cell production called erythropoiten.
There are tens of thousands of microscopic funnel shaped tubes in the kidneys called nephrons. These tiny structures are responsible for filtering and reabsorbing the fluids that balance the body. These nephrons are susceptible to damage due to many causes such as poisons, aging, infection, trauma, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and genetic predisposition. If any of these occur the entire nephron stops functioning. Fortunately, due to both the reserve capacity of the kidney and the ability of the nephrons to grow larger, the kidney can still function. If damage to nephrons occurs gradually and the surviving nephrons have enough time to hypertrophy, a kidney can continue to function with as few as 25 percent of its original nephrons.
When the number of functioning nephrons drops below 25 percent or when damage occurs too suddenly for the remaining nephrons to compensate, kidney failure occurs. There are two types of kidney failure. Acute kidney failure is a sudden loss of function that is sometimes but not always reversible. Chronic kidney failure is an irreversible loss of function that occurs gradually over months or years.
Failing kidneys can't adequately clear the blood of certain toxins. These include urea (a nitrogen-containing byproduct of protein metabolism) and creatinine (a chemical byproduct of muscle exertion). As a result, when the kidneys fail, there is an abnormally high level of these wastes products. Other blood components normally regulated by the kidneys - such as phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride - may also rise or fall abnormally. Failing kidneys may also produce extremely dilute urine or urine that contains too much protein. Healthy kidneys produce concentrated urine that is relatively protein-free.
Acute kidney failure occurs so suddenly surviving nephrons don't have time to compensate. This abrupt failure can occur if the kidney is damaged by an infection, or harmful substances such as antifreeze and rat poison; or certain medications, including some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs.
Many cases of bacterial kidney diseases can be successfully treated. Leptospira is one bacterium that can cause acute renal failure. Other bacteria can also cause kidney infections, invading the urinary tract, the bladder or prostate for example, and ascending up to the kidneys.
Ingesting as little as a teaspoon of ethyleneglycol-based antifreeze, which forms crystals inside the dog's nephrons and shuts down kidney function is usually fatal. Unfortunately, this product has a sweet taste which attracts pets to drink it. (Propylene-glycol-based antifreeze is a safer way to protect your car and your dog.) Another potentially lethal substance is rat poison. If a dog eats rat poison containing calciferol (a form of vitamin D) the calciferol pushes up the dog's calcium level, causing mineral deposits, inflammation, and other damage within the kidneys.
Ironically, treatments for some non kidney diseases can jeopardize the kidneys. Although most antibiotics cause no harm to the kidneys, practitioners should closely monitor patients on certain antibiotics - gentamicin, for example - because of potential damage to nephrons. Cisplatin (an anticancer drug) and amphotericin B (a drug for serious fungal infections) can also cause acute kidney damage. In general, before you decide on a course of treatment for any condition, ask your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of all available options.
Nobody can survive without the function of the kidneys. People as well as beloved pets and animals should cleanse their kidneys at least twice/year.
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*The information on this web site is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or veterinarian. This information is not intended as a substitute for the reader's independent judgment and personal responsibility. Health issues are far too important to delegate to anyone else. It is highly recommended you research and seek information and counsel from as wide a variety of sources as possible, so you can make well informed educated decisions about you, your child's, or your pet's health, as in the end YOU make the decisions.
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