Renal Replacement Therapy (Renal Dialysis) 

Renal Dialysis
Renal Dialysis


Renal dialysis has been available to pet owners in Europe and America for many years and now Valley Farm Animal Hospital is very proud to be the first veterinary hospital in South Africa to offer Dedicated Renal Replacement Therapy (Renal Dialysis) for dogs 10Kg+.


Dr Gareth Zeiler, Emergency and Critical Care Specialist heads up the team that will be looking after these special patients and their care.


Dialysis is a method of treating renal (kidney) disease.

Acute Renal Disease

Can be caused by things such as:

  • Infection
  • Toxins and reduced blood flow through the kidneys

Chronic Renal Disease

This is the result of many and varied causes and often the specific cause is not actually identified.

Once diagnosed these pets will be placed on special renal diets to reduce the toxic load on the kidneys and medications to support the kidneys. Chronic renal disease is progressive despite all known treatments, and both the acute and chronic problem can be fatal.

Renal Dialysis involves

  • The removal of blood from the patient,
  • Passing it through the dialysis circuit and then returning it to the patient.
  • The dialyser does the job the patient’s kidneys should be doing by removing the toxins in the blood.
  • There are many different types of renal toxins, it is not practical to measure all of these, so we measure blood urea nitrogen (BUN) to monitor the therapy’s adequacy.
  • If BUN is removed effectively, then the other renal toxins should also be removed.

In Acute Renal Failure, by doing the work of the kidneys, Dialysis not only removes the toxins and their potential harmful effects but also allows the kidneys time to heal.

Pets that develop an immune mediated disease that does not respond to the usual treatments or those that repeatedly relapse, can be greatly helped by a treatment called Plasma Exchange:

  • This is when the patient’s blood is passed through the dialyser and their plasma filtered out and replaced with donor plasma.
  • This gives the pet an opportunity to gain control of their immune system’s response.

We are very excited to be able to offer these treatments for pets that do not respond to the usual treatment protocols for their disease or for renal patients whose discerning owners want  the highest standard of care.

We hope with this advanced technique we can help tip the balance in favour of life and quality of life for these pets.

If you have any enquires about this ground breaking South African first please email

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