As pets age, they tend to get many of the same diseases and disorders elderly humans do. They get arthritis, gingivitis and tooth loss, and even heart disease. They also get diabetes and kidney diseases. If your pet has been diagnosed with a kidney disease and is very lethargic and uncomfortable, you should get your pet to the animal hospital right away. Here is what the vet will do for your pet there:
Check Blood Glucose Levels
In cats and dogs over ten years of age, diabetes is almost always the culprit. Your vet will check blood glucose levels first to rule out diabetes. If that is the case, regular doses of insulin will help your pet feel a lot better very soon. If it is not the case, the next thing your vet will do is check the cells in the blood.
Check the Cells in the Blood
Next, the vet will check your pet's blood for any abnormalities. High counts of white blood cells mean your pet is trying to fight an infection. Low counts of white blood cells can indicate an autoimmune disorder. Low hemoglobin means your pet is anemic, and/or cannot process oxygen efficiently in the body and dispose of poisons in the blood through the kidneys. If it is the latter (cannot dump poisons through the kidneys), your pet may have something wrong with its kidneys.
If there are signs of an infection, the vet will prescribe antibiotics and may keep your pet in the animal hospital for a day or two to monitor your pet's condition and see if it improves. If it does, your pet can go home but will have to remain on antibiotics until the medicine is gone. If the infection seems unaffected by the medicine, your vet will take an x-ray or ultrasound.
X-ray or Ultrasound, and Possibly Surgery
The point of an x-ray is to look for stones or other issues in the kidneys. An ultrasound can find signs of disease or full kidneys that refuse to empty into your pet's bladder. If anything is discovered that way, then your vet can proceed with treatment for these issues, if they are treatable. If the kidney disease discovered shows imminent kidney failure, your vet will have to operate right away to save your pet's life. Then your pet may remain in the hospital sedated for up to a week, while a catheter helps empty the bladder and your pet recovers from surgery.