Microalbuminuria to Detect Early Renal Disease (ERD)

What is Microalbuminuria?

Microalbuminuria is used to detect the presence of albumin in urine. Albumin is a very important protein in the bloodstream but not usually found in the urine of healthy cats or dogs. Until recently the diagnostic methods of renal disease could only detect renal disease at a stage where kidney function was depleted by 75%. Now with more sensitive tests, vets can detect the smallest quantities of albumin in the urine which can indicate that there may be possibility of future kidney complications.

The complications associated with Microalbuminuria

There are a number of conditions that can damage the kidneys which results in small quantities of albumin in the urine – these conditions include:

  • Dental disease
  • Chronic skin disease
  • Bowel disease
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Ehrlichia infection
  • Heart worm and Lyme disease

The result of a positive test

Even if the Microalbuminuria test is positive it does not mean your pet has progressive renal disease, however it is a good early warning sign and through management and control of the underlying issues the problem can be resolved. Unfortunately, however for some cats and dogs the problem persists and Microalbuminuria increases over time. In these cases your vet should monitor the pets health and Microalbuminuria levels regularly.

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