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Chronic Kidney Disease in Pets


One of the most common conditions affecting older pets, and some young ones as well, is chronic kidney disease (CKD), sometimes referred to as chronic renal failure. Increased thirst and urination, inability to go throughout the night without going outside, usually causes us to bring a pet to the veterinary clinic. Following the diagnosis based on urine and blood tests, depending on the severity of the values, fluids and dietary changes are most commonly advised; unfortunately, by this time more than 75% of the kidney capacity to “purify” the blood has been lost. Occasionally euthanasia is deemed more prudent than treatment.

In traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM), conventional lab tests are important to reach the above diagnosis and to follow the progression of improvement from the treatment. Causes for CKD, in TCVM, are linked to three factors: 1. the patient’s constitution, 2. the environment in which he lives, and 3. the food that has been fed. These factors, combined with the TCVM diagnosis or pattern will determine acupuncture and herbal treatment, along with dietary changes that will enhance the results of the treatment. For example, a pet in Texas fed warm food (chicken-based) as well as living in a hot environment, along with a constitution that tends to be warm, will require treatment that addresses Kidney Yin Deficiency. Specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas are available to help “rebalance” such a pet toward better health.

While chronic kidney disease is incurable, TCVM has been able to help pets live longer and BETTER in up to 95% of cases in which conventional veterinary care has included this modality of treatment. There are four TCVM patterns that come under CKD, each one requiring different acupuncture points and herbal formulas, but once response has been achieved, a pet with dedicated owners can enjoy improved health for substantially longer than without TCVM. This is a perfect example of TCVM becoming complementary to your conventional veterinarian’s care.

If you find yourself struggling with a pet with any chronic condition that seems to be defying resolution, ask your veterinary care provider to consider TCVM as a tool to achieve better results and a happier patient.