Acute Renal Failure: Peritoneal Dialysis Provides New Hope for Horses

Acute renal failure used to be a death sentence for a horse, but a new procedure pioneered by Laurie Gallatin, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, could be a viable option for getting horses with this condition through the most dangerous period.
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Acute renal failure used to be a death sentence for a horse, but a new procedure pioneered by Laurie Gallatin, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, and successfully used by Sarah Reuss, VMD, a veterinary resident instructor at Texas A&M University, could be a viable option for getting horses with this condition through the most dangerous period. Reuss presented her experiences with the method at the 2006 AAEP Convention.

Reuss has used continuous peritoneal dialysis to allow the toxins that the kidneys usually filter to diffuse across the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), into the dialysate (material that passes through the membrane in dialysis), then out into a collection bag.

This method relies on the permeability of the peritoneum to filter toxins and gives horses a fighting chance in cases where they are unable to produce urine.

Reuss’ method uses a fluid drip from an ingress portal (the opening where fluid flows in) in the left flank area to an egress portal (place for excess fluid to escape) along the middle of the belly

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Written by:

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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