Objective: To describe the indications, clinical features, outcomes and complications associated with use of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in 17 client-owned dogs and 16 client-owned cats with acute or acute-on-chronic renal failure refractory to aggressive medical management.
Series summary: Twenty-nine percent of dogs and 44% of cats had evidence of pre-existing chronic kidney disease (CKD). Median duration of CRRT was 16.3 hours (range 0.3–83.0 hours) in dogs and 11.5 hours (range 1.0–35.5 hours) in cats. Median canine blood urea nitrogen (BUN) improved from 41.0 mmol/L (115.0 mg/dL) to 11.8 mmol/L (33.0 mg/dL) and creatinine from 636.5 mmol/L (7.2 mg/dL) to 274 mmol/L (3.1 mg/dL). Median feline BUN improved from 46.4 mmol/L (130 mg/dL) to 13.9 mmol/L (39.0 mg/dL) and creatinine from 1069.6 mmol/L (12.1 mg/dL) to 291.7 mmol/L (3.3 mg/dL). Metabolic acidosis resolved in 80% of affected dogs and 71% of affected cats. Hyperkalemia resolved in 100% of affected dogs and 88% of affected cats. Complications noted with CRRT included iatrogenic hypokalemia, iatrogenic metabolic alkalosis, clinical hypocalcemia, total hypercalcemia, filter clotting, anemia, hypothermia, and neurologic complications. Forty-one percent of dogs and 44% of cats survived to discharge. No dogs and only 1 cat developed newly diagnosed CKD.
New or unique information provided: CRRT can be a viable option for the management of acute or acute-on-chronic renal failure in dogs and cats that are refractory to aggressive medical management. The frequency of complications associated with CRRT in this study warrants further experience with this modality before its widespread use can be recommended.