The standard tests to diagnose kidney disease are urinalysis and complete blood profile.
Dogs with chronic kidney failure may have anemia, abnormal electrolyte levels and elevated blood pressure.
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine levels in the blood are evaluated to assess kidney function. BUN is rather ambiguous and can be elevated for a number of reasons. It is not really representative of kidney function. Elevated creatinine is a good measure of kidney function but typically 75% of kidney function has to be lost before creatinine levels go up.
Considering that early diagnosis is ideal, wouldn't it be nice to find the problem long before that?
So far, urinalysis, namely urine specific gravity, combined with protein found in the urine seem to be the best tool for early detection.
A new blood biomarker has been identified.
Researchers at Oregon State University, IDEXX laboratories, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition have identified a blood marker—symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) that can detect impending kidney failure 17 months ahead of traditional blood tests.
Early detection means early intervention and better outcome.
This summer, Idexx labs should be adding SDMA to routine blood panels.
A Better Method for Diagnosing Kidney Disease in Pets
Kidney Disease – Say What?
Is Your Dog Showing Signs Of Kidney Disease? How Is It Diagnosed?
What Happens In The Dog's Body When The Kidneys Fail To Function Properly?
What's In The Blood? Blood Testing And Interpretation
What's In The Urine? (Part II: Urinalysis)
New IDEXX Test Detects Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs Months or Years Earlier than Standard Screening Technologies
Kidney Disease In Your Dog: Chronic Renal Problems
Tests used to Diagnose Kidney Disease in Dogs
Chronic Kidney Disease and Failure (CKD, CRF, CRD)