Drug Shows Promise as Treatment for Chronic Renal Failure in Dogs

University of Minnesota study looks into benefits of the hormone Calcitriol in dogs.

A low, daily dose of the hormone Calcitriol (dihydroxycholecalciferol) stabilized kidney function in dogs with chronic renal failure, according to a clinical trial at the University of Minnesota.

The disease causes clinical signs including weight loss, decreased appetite, vomiting, muscle wasting, lethargy, bad breath, oral ulcers and diarrhea. It is often treated with diet therapy.

The UM trial compared the kidney function of dogs receiving Calcitriol and diet therapy that of a control group, which received a placebo of flavored olive oil.

During the study, the dogs were monitored for changes in their kidney function, biochemistry, decline in their quality of life and survival rate.

The dogs receiving Calcitriol saw a slowed progression of the disease, and prolonged survival.

The study was funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Posted: Nov. 26, 2005, 5a.m. EST


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