A little about the structure and function of the kidney


Mammals are normally born with two bean shaped organs called kidneys. The organs main functional unit is called a nephron. Each kidney contain anywhere from two hundred thousand to more than one million of these microscopic structures, depending on the mammal. Every nephron is a mini filtration system that cleans the blood of toxins and in the process creates urine.






The kidney itself has a few basic functions:


Waste product regulation


Normal metabolism of proteins create nitrogenous waste products that can be measured in the blood as a value termed blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Creatinine is a waste product of muscle metabolism and can also be found in the blood and quantified. The values of these metabolites are measured and compared to a standardized value range that is known to represent normal kidney function. If the values are higher than the normal range it can give an indication of acute or chronic kidney function impairment.


Fluid regulation


The kidneys try to maintain an optimal amount of water in the system. They manage this by controlling the amount of water excreted into the urine, more water equals lighter colored urine, less water excreted equals darker, yellow colored urine.


Electrolyte regulation


There are four major electrolytes that the kidneys manage.

Sodium:† plays an important role in regulating fluid levels in the bloodstream† thereby affecting blood pressure. Itís also involved in nerve impulse propagation.

Reserved: Donít scare me!
Keep it simple.
Chronic Renal Failure?


My purpose here is to give a very basic overview of what healthy kidneys do and what functions are affected by chronic renal failure as well as the resulting consequences to your pets health. I have provided some excellent links for those of you who would like a more comprehensive understanding.

To contact us email:† emarco@astroscrfoil.com