Azodyl is a welcome addition to treatment protocols for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats and dogs. Most pets with CKD receive what is essentially symptomatic therapy: subcutaneous fluids to prevent dehydration, medications to counter the biochemical effects of poor kidney function (e.g., high blood phosphorous and low blood potassium levels), and nutritional support. Adding Azodyl to traditional treatments can improve the lives of pets suffering from CKD. Here’s how it works:
Chronic kidney disease develops after at least two-thirds to three-quarters of a patient’s kidney function is lost. The exact cause of CKD usually goes undiagnosed, but it can be the result of some combination of acute kidney damage (e.g., kidney infections, exposure to toxins, or episodes of low blood pressure), developmental abnormalities, and/or the chronic loss of small amounts of kidney function that results from normal, daily wear and tear.
When kidney function becomes insufficient, dogs and cats become dehydrated and can no longer efficiently eliminate metabolic waste products like blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine in the urine. Pets with CKD typically develop the following symptoms:
- increased thirst and urination
- poor appetite
- weight loss
- altered behavior
- unsteadiness when standing or walking
Symptomatic therapy can help with some of the above, but studies have shown that probiotic nutritional supplements, like Azodyl, actually remove metabolic waste from an animal’s bloodstream. They do so by breaking down nitrogen which encourages BUN and creatinine (both of which contain nitrogen) to diffuse out of the blood and into the gastrointestinal tract. Research in rats with severely restricted kidney function also showed that probiotics like those in Azodyl can significantly prolong the lifespan of affected individuals.
Azodyl contains living microorganisms and therefore needs to be carefully handled to maximize its beneficial effects. Azodyl must be kept cool at all times and shipped with insulated packaging to minimize any periods of non-refrigeration. The capsules are enteric coated to allow probiotic bacteria to pass unharmed through the acid environment of the stomach and into the intestinal tract. Capsules should not be crushed or opened, they should be swallowed whole. If necessary, they can be placed in a small treat that is meant to be swallowed rather than chewed.
In combination with traditional therapies for CKD, Azodyl can have a significant, positive impact on patient well-being.