By Susan Aielo • Published: March 4th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Like Cinderella, kidneys are hard-working yet unappreciated stepchildren among the body’s organs. Not as glamorous as the heart or brain, these vital structures are often ignored — until they fail.

Kidneys strip the blood of waste products that would otherwise build up and lead to fatal poisoning.

For almost one hundred years, dialysis has been used as a temporary way to clean the blood of people suffering from renal failure, until their own kidneys recover or a transplant can be arranged.

This vital technology is also available in veterinary medicine. Its success depends on the pet’s age and health, and the reason behind the failure. Pets whose kidneys have failed because of infection often recover quickly after only a few weeks on dialysis, while pets with antifreeze poisoning often need a longer course of treatment, and recovery is more variable.