ISSN 2398-2942      

Renal function assessment



  • Accurate clinical evaluation of renal function can be accomplished by a series of diagnostic procedures.
  • Physical examination and a complete history of the patient are important in the diagnosis of renal failure, although most signs are relatively non-specific.
    Important in differentiating acute from chronic disease.
  • Examination of urine and blood samples is essential in the diagnostic process.
  • Normal urine production is the total effect of glomerular and tubular function.
  • Function tests will be discussed under glomerular and tubular function although there is some overlap since disease in one unit of this closely linked system ultimately affects the other.

Is the damage affecting the tubules or glomerulus?

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Assessment of tubular function

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Brown S A, Finco D R, Boudinot F D et al (1996) Evaluation of a single injection method, using iohexol, for estimating glomerular filtration rate in cats and dogs. Am J Vet Res 57 (1), 105-110 PubMed.
  • Gleadhill A & Michell A R (1996) Evaluation of iohexol as a marker for the clinical measurement of glomerular filtration rate in dogs. Res Vet Sci 60 (2), 117-121 PubMed.
  • Gleadhill A, Peters A M, Michell A R (1995) A simple method for measuring glomerular filtration rate in dogs. Res Vet Sci 59 (2), 118-123 PubMed.
  • Brown S A (1994) Evaluation of a single injection method for estimating glomerular filtration rate in dogs with reduced renal function. Am J Vet Res 55 (10), 1470-1473 PubMed.
  • Finco D R, Tabaru H, Brown S A et al (1993) Endogenous creatinine clearance measurement of glomerular filtration rate in dogs. Am J Vet Res 54 (10), 1575-1578 PubMed.



Analgesia: NSAID

Anemia: non-regenerative


Blood biochemistry: albumin

Blood biochemistry: alkaline phosphatase (ALP)

Blood biochemistry: amylase

Blood biochemistry: aspartate aminotransferase (AST)

Blood biochemistry: cholesterol

Blood biochemistry: creatinine

Blood biochemistry: glucose

Blood biochemistry: ionized calcium

Blood biochemistry: lipase

Blood biochemistry: potassium

Blood biochemistry: total calcium

Blood biochemistry: total globulin

Blood biochemistry: total protein

Blood biochemistry: urea

Bull Terrier

Chinese Shar Pei

Cocker Spaniel

Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes mellitus


Dysuria investigation

Ethylene glycol poisoning

Fractional electrolyte excretion

Glomerular filtration rate


Heart: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM)

Hydronephrosis / hydroureter

Hypercalcemia: overview




Hypoproteinemia: investigation

Juvenile renal disease

Kidney: acute kidney injury (AKI)

Kidney: chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Kidney: dysplasia

Kidney: neoplasia

Kidney: polycystic disease

Kidney: renal hypoplasia

Kidney: surgical approach


Nephrotic syndrome


Polydipsia (non-pathological causes)

PTH assay

Quercus spp poisoning

Radiography: abdomen

Radiography: intravenous urography

Radiology: lower urinary and genital tracts

Radiology: upper urinary tract

Renal disease investigation

Renal secondary hyperparathyroidism

Scintigraphy: renal for GFR


Serum protein electrophoresis

Ultrasonography: kidney

Urinalysis: centrifuge sediment

Urinalysis: dipstick analysis

Urinalysis: epithelial cells

Urinalysis: pH

Urinalysis: protein

Urinalysis: specific gravity

Urinalysis: white blood cell

Water deprivation test


Investigation of renal function

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