How Veterinary Technicians Assist in the Diagnosis of CKD in Cats

Catching chronic kidney disease (CKD) early is paramount to managing it.

How is CKD in Cats Diagnosed?

Several of the following tests and procedures may be required to diagnose CKD.

  • SDMA blood test
  • Blood pressure test
  • Urine tests: bacteria, concentration, pH and presence of protein, red blood cells and other cells
  • Blood tests: urea nitrogen, creatinine, electrolytes, red blood cell count, protein concentrations
  • Abdominal ultrasound: look for small/asymmetrical kidneys and/or an enlarged bladder
  • Observed clinical signs: muscle wastage and poor body condition
  • Microscopic evaluation of biopsy samples
  • X-rays

The Role of Veterinary Technicians in Veterinary Diagnostics

Veterinary technicians aid veterinarians in a similar way laboratory technicians and nurses aid doctors. They have been educated in:

  • Animal care and handling
  • Basic principles of normal life processes
  • Basic principles of abnormal life processes
  • Various laboratory and clinical procedures

Their involvement in the treatment of animals therefore plays a very important role in maintaining and promoting animal wellness and well-being.

National Veterinary Technician Week: October 11 to 17, 2020

National Veterinary Technician Week, first celebrated in 1993, takes place annually in the third week of October. While these incredible individuals are valued every single day, it provides a special opportunity to honour them and acknowledge their contributions.

Responsibilities of Veterinary Technicians

Veterinarian technicians assist veterinarians with the tests required to diagnose CKD.

  • Carefully restrain cats during exams
  • Obtain and record patient case histories
  • Collect and prepare samples/specimens for testing
  • Perform the necessary laboratory procedures/tests
  • Administer treatments prescribed by the veterinarian
  • Advise and educate cat parents on the disease
  • Expose and develop X-rays

Other responsibilities of veterinarian technicians may include:

  • Emergency first aid
  • Specialized nursing care
  • Supervise and train practice personnel
  • Assist in administering medications and vaccines
  • Perform dental procedures, including preventative ones
  • Assist with administering anaesthesia before procedures
  • Assist in other diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures
  • Prepare animals, instruments and equipment for surgery
  • Monitor and document patient vital signs and activity


If you are a cat owner, please consider reading An Overview of Feline CKD to find out more about the disease.

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