Extracorporeal Therapy

Extracorporeal therapy is a procedure that removes blood from the body, circulates it through a filter system and then returns that blood back to the body. At Avets, we offer Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) and Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE). 

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) is traditionally associated with the treatment of acute renal failure in pets who are not responding to traditional therapy. It can also be useful in treating many types of toxicoses and drug overdoses. Please note that the CRRT service offered at Avets is not suitable for treating chronic kidney failure. 

CRRT may be used to treat: 

  • Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) Ingestion 
  • Congestive Heart Failure 
  • Leptospirosis (dogs) 
  • Ureteral Obstruction 
  • Lily Toxicity 
  • Hyperkalemia and Acidosis 
  • Acute Poisonings 
  • Acute kidney injury (acute renal failure) of any cause 
  • NSAID toxicity 
  • Many Other Accidental Toxins and Medication Exposures 
  • Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) 
  • Myasthenia Gravis 
  • Treatment of autoimmune disorders 

Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) may also be completed to separate plasma from other parts of the blood to remove toxic substances from the plasma. TPE uses a different type of semi-permeable membrane to remove the pet’s own plasma proteins from the blood. The pet’s red and white blood cells are returned while donor plasma is used to replace what was removed. Antibodies are a large protein removed through TPE. When a pet is suffering from an immune-mediated disease, the removal of these antibodies can help gain control over the disease quicker than with medication alone. This can prevent further decline and the need for continued intensive care. Consequently, the pet has a greater chance of recovering more quickly, and hospitalization time may also be reduced.  

TPE can be used to treat a variety of ingested toxins or drug overdoses, as well as harmful substances in the body such as with immune-mediated diseases. The plasma cannot be collected for transfusion with this technology. 

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy and Therapeutic Plasma Exchange may be ordered through a referral from your primary care veterinarian or though one of the veterinarians at Avets. 

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