Hemodialysis to the rescue

By Connie Orcutt • Published: July 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves

Physicians and veterinarians share lots of techniques in caring for their respective two-legged and four-legged patients.

For example, when kidneys are damaged and can’t remove bodily wastes, hemodialysis provides an external means of doing so. In hemodialysis, intravenous tubes allow waste-laden blood to flow from the body, travel through a filtration system and return to the circulation, toxin-free. People with long-term kidney failure may have dialysis several times a week, but in animals, the process is short-term only — hopefully providing just enough time for injured kidneys to heal on their own.

While it doesn’t provide a guarantee of recovery, hemodialysis has helped cats recover from ingesting toxic lilies and dogs heal from the bacterial infection leptospirosi, just to name a few examples. Without it, most of these animals wouldn’t have stood a chance.