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What is Kidney Disease?

Underlying health problems and injury are just two of the two ways that your dog can become susceptible to kidney disease. Two of the earliest clinical signs are increased thirst and urination. Dogs with renal disease drink excessive amounts of water because the kidney, as the condition worsens, no longer processes toxins efficiently and requires more water to do so. Drinking large quantities of water will cause frequent urination, but the urine is not eliminating toxins as it used to.

Also known as renal disease, malfunction of the kidneys results in the inability of the organ to filter toxins out of the bloodstream. The normal processes of water balance in the body are also disturbed. Kidney failure can come on quickly with severe complications, or gradually occur over time. Kidney disease must be treated without delay; see the veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog is ill.

Kidney Disease Average Cost

From 31 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $30,000

Average Cost

$7,000

Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Though your pet may not present with all of these symptoms, kidney failure may be indicated by the list below:

  • Vomiting
  • Physical weakness due to low blood count and low blood potassium
  • Itchy skin because of deposits of phosphorous and calcium in the skin
  • Lack of appetite that has the opportunity to lead to weight loss
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Large volume of urine being produced (polyuria)
  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Straining to urinate
  • Incontinence or leaking of urine
  • Acute blindness due to high blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Ulcers in mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Anemia which may show as pale gums
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Disorientation
Types

There are two types of kidney disease:

  • Acute
    • This is sudden onset renal failure
    • With prompt treatment, the failure can be resolved before it becomes long term
    • Recovery depends upon how much damage was done to the kidneys
    • If left untreated, acute kidney disease can quickly become fatal
  • Chronic
    • This is the most common disease in older dogs
    • Unfortunately, by the time your pet shows symptoms, the damage is often irreversible
    • Early management can slow the progression
    • Upon diagnosis, chronic kidney disease will be classified as stage I through IV
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Causes of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Whether of an acute nature, or a chronic problem, kidney disease occurs for many reasons:

  • Acute
    • Urinary obstruction
    • Problem occurred in surgery
    • Heat stroke
    • Poisons like toxic plants, antifreeze or human medications that have been ingested accidentally
    • Toxicity from ingestion of foods such as grapes or raisins
    • Bacterial infection
    • Trauma to the organ from being struck by a car, for example
    • Dehydration
  • Chronic
    • Poor diet
    • The organs are worn out from old age
    • High blood pressure
    • Birth defect in the kidney
    • Incomplete recovery of kidney from a previous injury
    • Leptospirosis
    • Tumor
    • Lyme disease
    • Pyelonephritis (inflammation of urinary tract which causes bacteria to go into the kidney)
    • Glomerulonephritis (inflammation in the kidney structure that filters blood)

Studies have shown that several breeds are found to be prone to inherited chronic kidney disease:

  • Samoyed
  • Shih Tzu
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Poodles
  • Rottweiler
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Lhasa Apso
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Diagnosis of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Acute kidney failure must be treated without delay because damage to the kidneys can become irreversible. Upon arrival at the clinic or even while you're in the waiting room, be prepared to give a history of your pet’s recent behavior. The eating, drinking and urinary and defecation habits of your pet of late can be important indications to their health.

The veterinarian will under most circumstances, order a complete blood count, chemical profile, and blood analysis. Creatinine and blood urea nitrogen are found to be high in canines with kidney disease. As well, the electrolyte levels of your dog will be evaluated, to look for abnormalities or level disturbances such as hyperphosphatemia (elevated phosphate in the blood). Blood pressure may be elevated, and a urine sample could show evidence of bacteria. The concentration of the urine is another important kidney disease marker.

Dogs with kidney disease often present with weakened bones, bleeding in the stomach and fluid retention in the limbs and abdomen.Sometimes radiographs or ultrasound are used to further examine the kidneys size for diagnosis and to look for evidence of underlying causes. If warranted, a biopsy of the kidney tissue could be part of the diagnosis.

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Treatment of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Determining the cause for the kidney disease will direct the veterinarian towards the treatment plan. The condition of the kidneys at the time of diagnosis, and learning whether the renal failure is acute or chronic are other crucial points to be considered.

In the case of acute kidney failure, your pet may need to be hospitalized so the kidneys can be stabilized. Fluid therapy, in the form of intravenous administration, will reduce the amount of toxins and waste in the body. Pain relievers, gastrointestinal protectants, and anti-nausea medications will be given. If the damage to the kidneys is severe, the veterinarian will discuss the option of trying dialysis for an extended time, so the kidneys can have a chance to heal.

Depending upon the state of the kidneys, chronic renal disease will need to be addressed similarly to acute failure, or in the case of a slow progression of the illness, a more conservative treatment approach will be taken. To start, though, intravenous therapy may be done to flush out the kidneys (the process is called diuresis), and stimulate the function.

A change in diet will be part of the treatment plan. A diet with less protein (of a high quality like eggs and meat), which will create less waste for the kidneys to eliminate, is paramount to battling the chronic renal failure. Low phosphorus in the diet is key also because phosphorus tends to accumulate in diseased kidneys. It must be noted that the change in diet has to be very gradual so that the kidneys can adapt to the switch.

Blood pressure medication may be part of the long-term treatment, as well as other drugs required to maintain calcium levels and stomach acid.

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Recovery of Kidney Disease in Dogs

Dogs with acute kidney failure can have different outcomes which depend on the cause of the renal disease, and the severity of the effect of the disorder. The outcome for a dog with chronic renal failure is impossible to predict. Your pet may respond well to treatment and dietary changes and have months or years of a good quality of life. Other dogs will revert to a crisis situation shortly after the treatment has stopped. In some instances, the kidneys do not recover any function at all.

The change in diet could result in a longer lifespan. Be diligent in the type and amount of food you are feeding your dog. Follow the recommendations of the veterinarian carefully. Always provide plenty of fresh water. Some canines require the administration of subcutaneous fluids at home. The veterinary caregiver can provide training for you. Most dogs tolerate the administration very well.

It's imperative to reduce the amount of stress that your dog is exposed to. Work with him or her to maintain a calm, peaceful atmosphere. For example, if boarding your dog causes stress, have a dog sitter come to the home to stay there while you are away. If your pet prefers human company over the excitement of being around other canines, limit his exposure for the time he has left as your pet. The quality of care is essential to the longevity of your dog’s life.

Expect frequent visits to the veterinarian as part of the quality care. The testing of blood and urine on a regular basis is the safest way to assure your pet’s kidneys are continuing to function well.

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Kidney Disease Average Cost

From 31 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $30,000

Average Cost

$7,000

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Kidney Disease Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Spike

dog-breed-icon

Miniature Pinscher

dog-age-icon

14 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Diabetic
Lack Of Appetite
Nausea
Muscle Wasting

14 yo Min Pin. Diabetic for about 5 years, controlled for about 4-1/2 years. About 5 months diagnosed with chronic insufficiencies. We were having difficulties controlling blood sugars. We suspected Cushing's. Well, I kept putting it off and just kept running at home glucose curves that I would email to vet. Any ways, about 3 weeks ago started throwing up, and just went downhill quickly. Ran labs - SDMA 31 - CREAT 1.7 - BUN 61 - CHLORIDE 126 - TCO2 10 - PHOS 5.8 - CALC 9.7 - CREAT KINASE 288 Suggested 2 x weekly 100cc. A week pass before we could get in for training on subq fluids. A day or two later, Spike started acting strangely, so we took to the local ER. The labs were worse: CREA 2.0 - BUN 115 - BUN/CREA 58 - PHO 13 - CA 9.7 . ER vet recommended a phosphate binder (alum hydroxide - not thrilled about) and 100cc fluids 2x daily. We did see a little improvement, but not much. It has been about 1 week or so. I have learned now to feed him 4 times daily - seems to eat more. The vet wants him back to 11.5 pounds. He is currently 9.6 as of yesterday. I increased to 400 calories daily, but someone recommended to bring back down to 311 calories (amount needed for a 11 pound senior) as we saw a bit of a spike in blood glucose; however, no problem eating 350-400 calories. I would like to see how I can begin getting his muscle mass back. The vet said there is nothing you can do, but I would think there is (but then again I am not a vet). His little tail still does not come up, indicating he does not feel well still. HE seems a bit delusional. The vet says the blood work should show improvements in 2 weeks if therapy works. crossing my fingers. Any suggestions on increasing muscle mass? Nausea seems to subsided, however, was given a medication to use in case. I just read somewhere to try raw apple cider vinegar - any thoughts? I really want to get away from medications, and use a more natural approach if possible. Tricky trying to manage low phosphorus, low sugar and high calories.

Aug. 27, 2018

Spike's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Managing diabetes and kidney failure at the same time can be very difficult, and it is probably not a good idea to try and avoid medications for Spike. The medications are there to help with appetite, nausea, and controlling phosphors, and they are there for a reason. If you are able to get everything back under control for him, it would be a good idea to stick with a medical plan to keep him managed.

Aug. 27, 2018

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Abbey

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Jack Russell Terrier

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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3 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Lethargy
Nausea

My 9 yr old Jack Russell Terrier tested positive for Lyme and was started on Doxycycline. She wasn't tolerating the Doxy, so the vet gave her an injection of Convenia. He also took a blood test that day and she apparently has kidney disease. The vet felt it was from the Lyme. She was on IVs for 8 days and her BUN level dropped from 111 to 65. We are now feeding her a low protein/low phosphorus diet, and adding Azodyl and Epakitin. We give her 1/2 Pepcid if she gets nausea. My question is, she is supposed to receive another injection of Covenia for the Lyme. Will that increase the BUN levels? Could the Covenia or Doxycycline have any effect on her kidneys?

Aug. 23, 2018

Abbey's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If the blood test was taken on the same day as the first Convenia (cefovecin) injection, it wouldn’t have had the time to cause any issues with the kidneys; Convenia is safe to use and doesn’t cause kidney disease however it is cleared from the body by the kidneys which may result in a longer excretion time. Doxycycline or any other medication should be carefully considered when giving to patients with elevated kidney values. It is more likely that the kidney disease is secondary to the Lyme disease. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 23, 2018

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kencha

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Pomeranian

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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Critical severity

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1 found helpful

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

No Appetiate
No Appetiate , Vomiting

Kidney failure .. doctor says .now his creatinine level is 16 .. Now he is admitted in Hospital and giving him drips ...is there any chance that he can be normal as before

Aug. 20, 2018

kencha's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

That creatinine level is quite high. If Kencha has acute kidney failure doe to a toxin, IV fluids and medications may reverse the damage and he may be okay. There are many factors that his outcome will depend upon, and without more information it is hard for me to say. Since he is being treated in the hospital, asking his veterinarian would be a good idea - they can see him and see how he is responding. I hope that he does well.

Aug. 20, 2018

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Prince

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Shih Tzu

dog-age-icon

11 Years

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Critical severity

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1 found helpful

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

My 11 y/o Shih tzu Prince passed away yesterday unfortunately I had to put him down. Prince had kidney disease two days ago I gave him boiled chicken I had ran out of his dog food that he usually eats which I usually add chicken..the next day he had loose stool this went on for two days this has happened many times before (him having loose stool) I did not give him water for a day in attempt to stop the loose stool smh he began to act weird wouldn’t come when I called him so I picked him up realized he could barely move or walk I took him to the vet where ultimately I had to make a decision to put him down...I am really hurt by this and need answers. Do u think it was me not giving him water for a day that worsen the condition

Aug. 5, 2018

Prince's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

I'm sorry for the loss of your Prince. Kidney disease is a very difficult disease to control, and it does eventually lead to failure no matter how hard we try to manage it. Prince may have been at the point where his kidneys could not function any longer, and being a little dehydrated would have probably sped up that process. If he was that close to kidney failure, it seems that that would have happened soon, regardless. I hope you can find peace knowing that you did not allow him to suffer.

Aug. 5, 2018

I am trying so hard to cope with this. Thanks so much for your response!

Aug. 5, 2018

Prince's Owner

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Thommy

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Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

17 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Kidney Failure
Doesn'T Have Any Symptoms Right Now

Hi, My dog has kidney failure, stage 3. He had eaten something in the garden 2 weeks ago which made his IBS flare up and he didn't eat (but did drink) for 2 days, he had an upset tummy and was also vomiting. Went to the vets and after blood analysis was told its kidney failure. However the next day he went totally back to normal and has been fine since. He is eating and drinking well and normally. His toilet is normal too. He is happy and has put his weight back on. Did a urine sample a week ago and the vet said the results were much better then the blood results taken a week before. The plan now is to keep him as well and happy as I can. My question is : can I mix prescription drugs with holistic supplements ? He is currently taking the prescription drug 'Benazecare', and is having the holistics supplement 'Ipakitine', can I also give him 'Kidney Support Gold', which is another holistic food supplement ?, or is it dangerous to take it with 'Benazcare' drug? (Kidney support gold is a blend of different herbs: (Cordyceps mycelium, Rehmannia root, Dong Quai root, Astragalus root) He is also taking 'Denamarin' for liver support and probiotic supplement. I just wondered if I should not give him the 'Kidney support gold' with everything else he is taking ? or perhaps just give him an occasionally. I just don't know what to do, I would really value your advice. Thanks you.

July 19, 2018

Thommy's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

As far as I am aware there is no interaction with the herbs in Kidney Support Gold and Ipakitine or Benazcare (benazepril); however there isn’t much data on Kidney Support Gold (herbal medication under a certain concentration are regulated differently to regular medications) so I cannot say with absolute certainty. If you have questions, you should contact Pet Wellbeing. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petwellbeing.co.uk/products/dog-kidney-disease

July 20, 2018

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Railay

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

Our dog, a labrador of 2 years has been diagnosed by the vet with Renal problems. As two of his brothers in his nest were diagnosed in earlier ( one passed away a year ago, one diagnosed last week due to drinking and urinating a lot ) I just wanted to make sure our beloved dog is free of any complications. He has not one of any symptoms described, so this is where my doubt is. We took him for a blood and urine examination which, from my point of view, doesn’t look concerning. However the vet subscribed him with Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal. Urine value was 1.023 Blood: Urea 3.9 Crea 125 Bun/Crea 8 Tp 69 Alb 30 Glob 39 Alt 44 Alkp 47 Glu 5.91 What do you give me for advice?

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Freddie

dog-breed-icon

Mixed

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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3 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Thirst

Our dog Fredie has been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. He had several UTI's so they suggested Blood work. His initial Blood work was Creatine 4.5mg, Bun 77mg, Bun/Crea 17 and Phos 11.3 mg. We admitted him for IV fluids for three days and his numbers improved to Crea 2.3mg, Bun 32mg, Bun/Crea 14 and Phos 4.2mg. Brought him home on Sub Fluids of 500 (half an IV bag) every other day for 14 days. Took him back for Blood work and his numbers went back up to Crea 4.5mg, Bun 84mg, Bun/crea 19 and Phos 8.6mg. Here is the thing though. The dog shows absolutely no symptons. He loves his food and treats and is eating well, he runs and hops around like a puppy, likes playing with his sister etc. Other then us noticing he was drinking and having accidents, we would never know he was sick.. We have sought a second opinion and they put him on an antibotic as he was not put on one when diagnosed. Was put on Amphagel 3.5 CC for 4 weeks also.

dog-name-icon

Ayla

dog-breed-icon

American Staffordshire Terrier

dog-age-icon

8 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

I Don'T Know

I purchase a dog recently and the breeder recently told me that she wouldn't be able to sell the dog because during her last shots she was diagnosed positive for genetic conditions. Later I found out it was kidney failure. Two days after she went to the vet and Puppy had major Improvements and vet said it was a lack of a certain type of vitamin that made her kidney results all over the place. She tested for a clean Kidney screen. I asked for details but she won't answer me. Is that possible? How she was tested positive and now she is ok? Just feel like this story is weird. I am looking for some explanation about diagnosis and the vitamins/exams. Please!

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Fozzy Bear

dog-breed-icon

Border Terrier

dog-age-icon

14 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Incontinence

Hi, My beloved 14 year old border terrier has just been diagnosed with kidney disease and in my shock, I don't think I asked the vet the right questions. The vet told me that Fozzy's SDMA was 24, his red blood cell count was at the lowest end of normal and his phosphorus levels are normal. She told me to put him on a special renal diet, which I'll do asap. His symptoms are excessive drinking and peeing in the house, occasional vomiting, sensitivity around the kidney area, and general slowing down. Border terriers are notoriously plucky, though, so it's hard to tell if he's suffering. The question I wish I had asked is what stage is Fozzy at and what can we expect. I don't want to worry my kids unnecessarily, but I want to be as truthful as possible. Any advice would be really appreciated.

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Yogi

dog-breed-icon

Lhasa Apso

dog-age-icon

14 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Drinking

Please please please can anyone help me my baby boy yogi has renal failure, to start from the beginning we got him at 10 weeks old and for 8 weeks he was perfect then he couldn’t wee to cut a long story short he was diagnosed with a liver shunt and had 2 surgeries one to mend the shunt and the other to clear the rubbish from his bladder and both successfull then in October he had a massive seizure ( not epilepsy) and we was told he had kidney failure since then he has been good until 2 weeks ago when he had another major seizure his blood levels are now 475 and he was due to be put to sleep as now it’s irreversible and kidneys working at less than 25% but he’s only 14 months old and still full of love and life, my vets say there is nothing else thy can do please is there anything I can do to help him I’ve heard vitamin c and cbd oil may help please has anyone tried these or any vets please give me advice on anything I can do

Kidney Disease Average Cost

From 31 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $30,000

Average Cost

$7,000

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