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SDMA & Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)is one of the most prevalent disease conditions affecting older cats and dogs.

CKD is seen about 3 times more frequently in cats than dogs.

CKD can be seen in cats of any age, but is most commonly seen in middle-older age cats ( those over 7 years ) and becomes
increasingly common with age.

Initially, clinical signs are often very subtle and mild but will gradually worsen over a long period of time.

Like all mammals, cats and dogs have 2 kidneys located in the abdomen, which perform a wide variety of important roles, including:

  • Removing toxins from the blood
  • Maintaining normal fluid balance
  • Maintaining normal salt balance & regulating electrolytes
  • Maintaining acid balance of the body
  • Maintaining normal blood pressure
  • Producing hormones

Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced appetite or anorexia
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Anaemia
  • Mouth ulcers

The first test that reveals early kidney disease is the SDMA blood test.

SDMA will become higher than normal when about 40% of kidney function has been damaged.

This is Stage 1 of CKD and is ideally when medication is begun that will slow the deterioration of the kidneys and lengthen lifespan the most effectively.

Stage 2 of CKD is when you would usually begin to notice some clinical signs ( eg ) increased thirst / increased urination.

Signs of kidney failure may not develop until about 2/3 of the kidney’s tissues are damaged. When this 2/3 level is reached, the kidneys can no longer conserve water and electrolytes ( sodium / potassium / chloride etc..) to maintain the correct levels in the blood.

Stage 3 of CKD is the stage where we start to see more obvious symptoms.

It is at this stage, where 75% of kidney function is gone, that the kidneys can no longer remove waste materials from the body properly and the levels of these toxins start to rise in the bloodstream.

Unfortunately, if early blood screening has not been carried out, patients will present in the latter stages of CKD ( Stages 2 or 3 )

Because CKD is such a common disease in cats, routine screening of all mature and older cats can help early diagnosis, which in turn may prolong a good quality of life.

We recommend SDMA as a marker for early Kidney Disease.

We are delighted to be able to offer this important early Kidney Disease indicator here at Vetcare.

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