4. Next, read test immediately using the colour scoring on the back of Kidney-Chek™ package.
What does Kidney-Chek do?
Kidney-Chek detects urea (measured in millimolar, or mM), a waste product in the body that the kidneys normally filter out. If the kidneys are not working well, urea can build up in the blood and can be detected in saliva. Elevated Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and when used in combination with other blood and urine tests, veterinarians can diagnose and stage the severity of the disease.
At what point in the progression of ckd will my cat or dog flag high with kidney-chek?
CKD is a complex illness that requires vets to evaluate multiple factors before they can diagnose it. Once CKD is diagnosed and the pet is stable, the vet can determine the stage of the disease from 1 to 4, where 4 is most severe (based on the IRIS guidelines). At stage 2, up to 60-75% of kidney function could be lost. Azotemia is defined as the accumulation of nitrogenous products in the blood which are normally excreted by the kidney (urea is one of those products). Mild azotemia can be found in some pets with stage 2 CKD, and it becomes worse as they progress to stage 3. If the pet is experiencing azotemia at stage 2, Kidney-Chek will be able to detect the elevated urea in the saliva.
Is kidney-chek a replacement for blood work?
Kidney-Chek is not a replacement for blood work and urine analysis. Regular wellness exams and lab work is the gold standard of care for our pets. If Kidney-Chek shows high results we recommend a consultation with a veterinarian to discuss further diagnostic testing. High blood urea can also occur with other conditions such as dehydration, gastrointestinal bleeding, or kidney stones. Elevated results on the Kidney-Chek test does not diagnose chronic kidney disease (CKD).
What if my pet already has chronic kidney disease?
Kidney-Chek's clinical study did not investigate if Kidney-Chek can be used to monitor pets with previously diagnosed CKD, but we are working with veterinarians to gather that information so we can provide accurate recommendations in the future.
My pet has a history of urinary tract infections or crystals, can i still use kidney-chek?
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is the phrase used to describe a variety of conditions that affect the feline bladder and urinary system, and can include stones/crystals, urinary tract infections (UTI’s), and idiopathic cystitis. These conditions are not directly related to CKD, although there may be some overlap. Dogs can also suffer from urinary tract issues like bladder stones and UTI’s, so it’s important to keep them in mind too! Kidney-Chek will not detect crystals or UTI’s, but you can still use it for pets who experience these issues to ensure their kidneys are functioning well!
Bladder Stones/Crystals: Cats and dogs are both at risk of having their urethra physically obstructed/blocked if they have stones or crystals in their bladder, which means urine (and the waste products urine removes from the body) can’t be released. This can cause Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). If your pet is straining or unable to urinate, it is an emergency and they need to be seen by a vet immediately.
Urinary Tract Infections: UTIs are caused by infectious pathogens causing inflammation in the urinary tract. These pathogens can spread to the kidneys if not treated appropriately, leading to inflammation and damage to the kidneys and increasing the risk of developing CKD. Pets with CKD also tend to develop recurring UTIs because their urine is more dilute, which can make the urinary tract more hospitable to certain bacteria. Paying attention to your pet’s “bathroom habits” will let you know when something is wrong, so you can get your pet the help they need right away.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC): FIC refers to inflammation of the bladder that is not caused by stones or bacteria. It is not well understood, but reducing the cat’s stress is one of the most important ways to prevent and manage FIC. Stress is also thought to be a risk factor to the development of CKD, and it’s generally just a good thing to decrease the amount of stress our feline friends experience so they can live happy, healthy lives!