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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

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 $50-$60 or more for a month's supply. For example, Royal Canin Renal Support E wet cat food[1] costs $51-$68 online for a case of 24 cans.
  • A 27 pound bag of Hill's Prescription Kidney Car Dog Food dry dog food[2] costs about $90 and would last about a month to three months depending on the dog's size. Wet food costs around $37 for 12 6-ounce cans, roughly a two-week supply.
  • Hydration therapy, which involves injecting fluids under the pet's skin, costs around $40 a month for do-it-yourself supplies for treatments a few times each week. Set-up costs include a box of 100 needles for around $10 and IV administration sets for $2-$5+ each. The fluid, called Lactated Ringer's Solution, costs about $8-$15+ per bag, depending on whether its purchased singly or in bulk, and from a veterinarian or a direct supplier.It costs $8 for a one-liter bag at[3] , when buying a dozen. 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[4] 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 from The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine[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 $35 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:
  • 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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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
5 y/o cat with kidney failure
Amount: $1,050.00
Posted by: AnnaCatLady in Fort Worth, TX.Posted: July 1st, 2023 07:07PM
Type of Therapy: SubQ Fluids, RX Food, Blood testsProvider: Banfield
Cat began having symptoms & diagnosed on a Friday, blood tests detected kidney failure ($617 for office visit, blood tests, day 1 in-office meds, in-office SubQ fluids & takehome meds)
Day 2 (Saturday): $153 for office visit, SubQ fluids & RX food.
Day 3 & 4: SubQ fluids given by vet daily for $80 ($160 for 2 days) a treatment with office visit.
Day 5: $120 for office visit and blood retest, cat declining so $260 euthanasia recommended by vet.
Total cost for 5 day treatment: $1,050
End of life cost: $260
Final total: $1,310
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Feline kidney failure
Amount: $61.00
Posted by: Callies mom in SOUTHGATE, MI.Posted: September 14th, 2020 09:09AM
Type of Therapy: FluidProvider: VCA
Unknown age older. On Hills canned prescription K/D diet. Had to hand feed, I mean put the food on my fingers, then she ate. Also giving home cooked chicken.Graduated from hand to bowl.No weight loss over the last month. Now likes to go outside. I think the diet change, low phosphorous, has helped. Seems more interested in life. Had fluids twice in the past month.
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17 yr old Labrador retriever
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: Noemi Martinez in Palmdale, CA.Posted: March 18th, 2019 04:03AM
Type of Therapy: Kidney flushing and beginning treatmentProvider: North Valley Veterinary Center
Treatment may or may not help...due to age of dog and quality of life. Lived 17 yrs until diagnosed with kidney failure. Decided his time had come to and end. Most horrible decision ever made.
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Zad in New York, NY.Posted: February 15th, 2019 06:02PM
Does anyone know of any cheap dialysis options for dogs around NYC? PA, NJ, Long Island?
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Lily poisoning, acute kidney failure 1 year old cat
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: EA in Canton, OH.Posted: November 11th, 2018 06:11PM
Type of Therapy: Tests, hospitalization, IVProvider: For Paws then Stark Emergency Vet
Initial tests at For Paws, $647. Three days Stark Emergency on IVs, inpatient care, drugs, care,labs, $1670. Additional 2 days IV therapy, outpatient observation status in hospital and one set labs $375. Not discharged yet.
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Kidney Failure in 10-year Maine Coon Mix
Amount: $800.00
Posted by: Fuji's Mom in AUSTIN, TX.Posted: June 14th, 2018 09:06PM
Type of Therapy: Vet, Emerg Vet., Sub Q FluidsProvider: Vet, now Me
Learned w bloodwork that 10-year old cat was in Kidney failure; vet recommended I take to Emerg. Vet.; after "haggling" with them 40 minutes, I only signed up to pay up to $650 for 3 full days and nights of care, so he could get IV fluids; they syringe fed him 3 times and charged me $60 additional for that. I feel Emerg. Vets are a rip-off (not my first experience w them), but I was kinda in "shock" about his kidney failure and needed time to think and plan. I was supposed to take him back to vet Mon. a.m., for more blood work, to see if he's "better".... but what would the point be? Another $120 for blood work, $60 fr the vet? why? So, instead, i went to his first vet, and got a RX for Sub Q fluids, Ringer Solution, and got a case Costco (12 bags, for about $100. I removed the "paw portal" for fluids (put in by Emerg vet).I had the tubing from the Emerg. vet, and ordered needles (20 gauge) from Amazon. So soon,was giving him fluids every day. He's better, longer life i hope
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17 year old cat, dead in 3 days, kidney failure, then heart failure
Amount: $1,792.00
Posted by: kattyr in Colleyville, TX.Posted: April 3rd, 2017 10:04AM
Type of Therapy: IV fluidsProvider: Local Vet Hosp.& ER Hosp
Saw local Vet for a yr. 17 yr old cat. Big girl diag diabetic late 2015, Insulin am/pm. Creatinine of 5.9 Dec 2016, took her wkly for Subq. losing weight. Saw Vet Mon 2/23 for Subq, I clld Wed, Cat's back legs failing. Local Vet Tech sd bring her Friday at 5 pm, Tech gave her Subq, sd blood glucose low, 290, stop insulin, sd back legs failing due to arthritis. Cat back to Vet Sat 8 am, gave me pain med syringes, blood glucose 290, still low, give no insulin all weekend, bring cat back Mon 10 am. Cat worse Sat pm, I gave her pain med, she didn't move for 12 hrs. Clld Vet and left mssg. Cat worse on Sun, collapsed early Mon am, rushed her to ER, Dr put her on IV, brought her back to local Vet Mon pm with IV. Visit Tues, Cat worse, visit Weds, no longer my cat, but a vacant eyed fur mat. I rushed her back to ER 2/22 pm w IV, ER sd dehydrated, learned IV plugged Mon pm at local Vet, IV tangled Tues pm. so no IV fluids either night! ER gave her IV fluids but she died 10 hrs later 2/23 am
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renal failure in small papillon- IV fluids for 3 days in hospital
Amount: $75.00
Posted by: Tassiwassi in middleburg, FL.Posted: October 12th, 2016 10:10PM
Type of Therapy: fluid therapyProvider: vet
pet lost weight quit eating and was throwing up. Went from 5 lbs to 3lbs in one week. Tests were 93.00 indicated renal failure. 3 day treatment in hospital for fluids and Rx food given. She still would not eat for another week or so and then finally ate food I cooked for her and is gaining weight fast.
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fluid therapy
Amount: $40.00
Posted by: sabey143 in salem, MA.Posted: November 7th, 2015 02:11PM
Type of Therapy: fluidProvider: new england veterinary and pet resort
My providor thankfully does not charge for my visits every other day just for supplies
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Fluid Therapy for my cats kidney failure
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: Mary Murphy in Matteson, IL.Posted: July 6th, 2015 08:07AM
Type of Therapy: fluidProvider: vet
The initial visit for tests ran $200.00. Now each fluid treatment is running $50 a treatment. My pet may require three to four treatments a week.
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