Staging of CKD must be done when the disease is not actively getting worse. Veterinarians will need to repeat the lab work after making changes to the pet's treatment plan so they can see if the plan is working and stabilizing the kidneys. To get the most accurate picture of your pet's kidney health various tests need to be repeated every few weeks to months until the values remain steady.
The IRIS staging system is meant to be a guideline for vets to use, but it should be noted that this system is ever-evolving as new research about CKD in animals continues to emerge. This blog post will go over the basics of how CKD in pets is typically staged, and what treatment looks like for each stage.
NOTE: It is vital to note that the clinical signs of CKD do not typically become apparent until the later stages of the disease. This is why it is incredibly important to screen for CKD regularly using a tool like Kidney-Chek™, as early diagnosis is one of the most important steps in treating your pets CKD - Waiting until clinical signs become apparent is often too late.
The following symptoms may be present in pets currently in Stage 1 of CKD:
Treatment for pets in Stage 1 of CKD:
The following symptoms may be present in pets currently in Stage 2 of CKD:
Treatment for pets in Stage 2 of CKD:
The following symptoms may be present in pets currently in Stage 3 of CKD:
Treatment for pets in Stage 3 of CKD:
The following symptoms may be present in pets currently in Stage 4 of CKD:
Treatment for pets in Stage 4 of CKD:
Early detection of CKD is one of the most important steps in maintaining your pets quality of life and keeping them comfortable. While it is recommended that your pet visit the vet at a minimum of once per year for regular blood work, pet owners may not be able to do this for a variety of reasons including time, budget restraints, and more.
Kidney-Chek™ can help. Kidney-Chek™ is an affordable, easy to use saliva test strip that allows you to screen for kidney concerns in your pet, right from home. Kidney-Chek™ can alert you to changes in the markers for CKD and allow you to know when it’s time to get your pet to the vet.