Q. My dog's urea level is v.elevated. Should she be taking medication for kidney prob's? She has arthritis but no longer takes NSAI's.
LINDSEY EDWARDS MVB, BSC, IVCA
A. Elevated urea alone is an indication of kidney disease but must be assessed in line with other test vales such as creatinine and urine concentration/specific gravity as many factors feed into urea levels. If kidney disease is confirmed on repeated, fasting samples there are many things which can be done to reduce the impact. Increased water intake and transitioning onto a kidney specific renal diet alone can increase life expectancy x2-3times if kidney failure has developed. Certain binding medications are sometimes added if phosphorous levels are elevated and certain supplements can help to improve appetite and slow the rate of disease progression. Medications may be added to protect the stomach lining, reduce blood pressure and protein loss and improve appetite in some cases and antibiotics are occasionally required if urinary tract infections develop. It is important to work in conjunction with your vet in the management of such chronic conditions which require ongoing medication and monitoring.