Treating Feline Renal Failure with Azodyl for Cats

Azodyl is an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that may help reduce some of the side effects caused by feline chronic renal failure (CRF). Known commonly as kidney disease, CRF is generally associated with the long-term deterioration of the kidneys. Cats with the disease will experience a gradual decline in the number of nephrons, or filtering units, in their kidneys. When too many of these small structures die off, feline kidneys can no longer sufficiently regulate body fluids and filter waste products. Although caring for a CRF cat can seem distressing and overwhelming, Azodyl may offer owners a way to potentially improve their pets' lifespan and quality of life. Here is a summary of how Azodyl works, guidelines for its use, and some of its potential side effects.

What Azodyl Is and How It Works

Azodyl is a non-prescription nutritional supplement designed to help slow the advancement of chronic renal failure in cats and dogs. In the United States, it is sold as coated, easy-to-swallow capsules by the veterinary pharmaceutical company Vetoquinol USA. It is widely available through many veterinarians, specialty pet retailers and online vendors.

Azodyl may help owners manage some of the effects of CRF by reducing the occurrence of azotemia, a condition where creatinine, urea and other nitrogen-based toxins are not properly filtered by the kidneys. Azodyl contains bacteria believed to support the "flushing out" of the waste products associated with azotemia. This patented formula of "beneficial" bacteria is sold as Kibow Biotics®. Azodyl works by introducing Kibow Biotics into the digestive systems of CRF felines. The bacteria are designed to metabolize the excess nitrogen toxins in the bowels of affected animals. This may then help reduce the build-up of potentially harmful waste products in a CRF cat's bloodstream.

Potential Side Effects

Azodyl is generally considered safe for use in most CRF cats, including those currently taking other medications. However, some owners have reported instances of their cats vomiting up whole Azodyl capsules until they become used to swallowing the supplement. Many animal care experts suggest giving cats access to plenty of fresh water following their Azodyl dose. This may prevent the capsule from sticking in the animal's throat.

Guidelines for Use

Azodyl is generally regarded as effective for daily use in felines with chronic renal failure, stages II through IV. As an enteric-coated supplement, Azodyl is made to be released in the intestines instead of the stomach. For this reason, Azodyl should be given to cats in its original whole capsule form. To help preserve Azodyl's live active bacteria, pet owners may want to store the supplement in a cool dry place, like the refrigerator. Many online retailers of Azodyl also recommend having the product shipped overnight on ice. Azodyl may be used on a long-term basis.

Caring for a cat with chronic kidney failure can be a daunting and difficult task for almost any pet owner. Although there is currently no cure for the disease, a growing number of cats owners are exploring the benefits of probiotic supplements like Azodyl to help improve the quality of life and longevity of their pets.