William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Dialysis Painful? Is it uncomfortable or stressful? Will my pet have to be anesthetized or sedated?
A: Actually, animal patients tolerate hemodialysis therapy incredibly well. They rarely need sedation and no invasive medical procedures are performed during dialysis. Pets lie on warm, fluffy beds and are allowed to move, eat, drink and sleep as they wish. They receive constant attention, interaction and 'TLC' from all of the professional staff. We encourage owners to visit during hemodialysis sessions to see directly how their pets respond to this therapy.

Q: Does my pet have to stay in the Hospital?
A: Initially patients are hospitalized. Depending on the reason the animal requires dialysis will greatly influence the hospitalization. Once an animal is stable they can go in-between their dialysis treatments.

Q: Will Dialysis cure my pet?
A: Dialysis does not fix the 'kidneys'; dialysis provides supportive care, taking the place of the kidneys. The pet would require dialysis until kidney function returns.

Q: How many sessions will my pet require?
A: The number of sessions will vary depending on the underlying disease and the extent of the kidney injury.

Q: How long are the dialysis sessions?
A: The dialysis sessions are usually 4-5 hours in length. The pets are dropped off in the morning and spend the day with the dialysis personnel.

Q: What species of animals can you treat?
A: We are able to treat a variety of species. We have treated dogs, cats, horses, sheep, and reptiles.