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CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Pet Kidney Failure Treatment

Pet Kidney Failure Treatment Cost


How Much Does Pet Kidney Failure Treatment Cost?

 
low costSpecial Pet Food: $18-60 average costHydration Therapy: $30-$300+ per monthhigh costKidney Transplant: $4,500-$8,000
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Dogs' and cats' kidneys often fail in old age. Also known as chronic renal failure, kidney failure is progressive and incurable. However, many treatment options are available to provide longer, more comfortable lives for these pets. Common treatments for kidney failure are diet changes and hydration therapy. Rarer and more expensive treatments include dialysis and transplants.

Typical costs:

  • Special pet foods with fewer hard-to-digest ingredients (like protein) typically cost $20-$60 or more for a month's supply. For example, Iams Veterinary Multi-Stage Renal Feline dry cat food[1] costs $23 for at least a month's supply. Wet food costs $18 for 12 6-ounce cans, a two-week supply.
  • A 15-pound bag of Iams Veterinary Formula Early Stage dry dog food[2] costs $40 and would last about a month to two months depending on the dog's size. Wet food costs $30 for 12 6-ounce cans, a two-week supply.
  • Hydration therapy, which involves injecting fluids under the pet's skin, costs around $30 a month for do-it-yourself supplies for treatments a few times each week. Set-up costs include a box of 100 needles for $6-$30 and IV administration sets for $2-$5+ each. The fluid, called Lactated Ringer's Solution, costs about $3-$15+ per bag, depending on whether its purchased singly or in bulk, and from a veterinarian or a direct supplier.It costs $4.50 for a one-liter bag at thrivingpets.com, and a case of 12 one-liter bags costs $30. A prescription is required for most purchases.
  • Having the vet's office inject subcutaneous fluids (instead of doing it at home) can cost $15-$25 or more per treatment, depending on local rates, making it $180-$300+ a month for two to three treatments per week.
  • Dialysis costs from $2,500 to $3,000 for the first week. Then each treatment costs $500, with an average of three treatments per week.
  • Kidney transplants may be available for pets with severe kidney failure, at a cost ranging from $4,500 to $8,000.
Related articles: Pet Insurance, Owning a Cat, Owning a Dog

What should be included:
  • When the kidneys don't function correctly, waste accumulates in the pet's body. Symptoms[3] of kidney failure include excessive urination, increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss and a dull coat.
  • Hydration treatments help to flush waste from the pet's system. A drip bag is set up, hanging above the pet. A needle is attached to the bag and fluids are injected just under the pet's skin, usually into its back. The process takes several minutes. The injected fluid will eventually be absorbed into the body. This can be done at home by the owner after one or more training sessions at the veterinarian's office. The vet will decide how often treatments need to be done, and how much fuild needs to be injected. Detailed instructions on this process are available for both cats[4] and dogs[5] .
  • In dialysis, the pet is hooked up to a machine that draws blood, cleans it and then transfuses the clean blood back into the pet.
  • Kidney transplant surgery's total cost includes tests, donor adoption, both pets' surgeries and extended hospital care.
  • Since there is no cure for kidney disease, all of these treatments should be considered short-term solutions that either slow the progress of kidney failure or make life more comfortable for the pet.
Additional costs:
  • Many pets don't like the taste of low-protein foods. Appetite stimulants like Diazepam[6] can help.
  • If administering fluids at home, consider having a veterinary technician coach the first one or two sessions. This costs about $30 per visit.
  • Those who opt for a kidney transplant operation are required to adopt the donor pet. Ongoing costs for a cat or dog range from $200 to $700 per year, depending on the pet's size and medical needs.
  • Medication following a pet's kidney transplant is pricey at first, but goes down after the first six months or year. An injection of Epogen will likely be required daily for the first week or so following the procedure; it costs $75. Cyclosporine must be given daily for the rest of the pet's life and costs about $300 for a three-month supply.
Shopping for pet kidney failure treatment:
  • VeterinaryPartner.com provides answers to basic questions about Kidney transplants[7] are the start of a different, more high-maintenance life for a pet. Recovery takes a long time, and the pet may be on medication for the rest of its life.
  • There are few dialysis centers[8] for animals in the United States.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.iams.com/index
  2.  www.iams.com/dog-food/buy-now
  3.  www.felinecrf.com/what0.htm
  4.  www.fabcats.org/owners/kidney/subcutaneous/info.html
  5.  www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/dog_fluids.aspx
  6.  www.drsfostersmith.com/Rx_Info_Sheets/rx_diazepam.pdf
  7.  www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1349
  8.  www.marvistavet.com/html/body_dialysis.html
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