The Kidneys manufacture a hormone that encourages red-blood-cell production. It is also responsible for filtering out the body wastes as urine, and maintain normal concentrations of salt and water in the body. Kidney Problems do also happen in animals, although it is very common in cats it also occurs in dogs of any ages.
When the kidneys are no longer able to properly filter nitrogen and other waste from the bloodstream dog kidney failure happens.
Dog kidney failure appears suddenly with severe symptoms, it can also be a chronic condition that appears over time, it cannot be reversed or cured, it is usually fatal in months to years.
With various treatment and management aimed at reducing the contributing factors and symptoms of Dog kidney failure it can slow its progression and effect on your dog’s well-being and can keep your dog comfortable and with a good quality of life for months to years.
Causes of Kidney Problems in Dogs
Chronic kidney disease shows up over a period of time and its causes are harder to determine, while acute kidney failure is an abrupt decline in function that occurs over a period of days.
Below are some of the possible causes of Kidney Problems in Dogs.
- Birth defects ( a congenital malformation of the kidneys)
- Bacterial infection of the kidneys with or without kidney stones
- High blood pressure
- Diseases associated with the immune system (e.g. glomerulonephritis, systemic lupus)
- Acute kidney disease, for example, ingesting toxins including antifreeze, contaminate foods, and taking certain medication
Symptoms Of Kidney Problems in Dogs
The symptoms of chronic and acute kidney problems in dogs may be mild and gradually worsen until they are noticeable.
The dogs that are suffering from chronic kidney failure may not show any signs, some show any symptoms but may be so mild that they’re unnoticeable at first until it gradually gets worse with time as the condition progresses.
While acute kidney failure symptoms come on suddenly and severely, it can be very noticeable and require immediate emergency treatment.
The following are the symptoms of kidney failure in your dog.
- Lack of appetiteItchy skin
- Blood in the urine
- Increase in the frequency and amount of urination
- High blood pressure (can lead to acute blindness)
- Bruising of skin or bleeding into the stomach or gut.
- Anemia (pale gums and weakness due to a low blood count)
Once your dog shows any of these symptoms immediately get to your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Preventing Kidney Problems in Dogs
Today there are still no known methods for preventing kidney problems in dogs.
But there are some things you have to do in relation to prevent your dog from having kidney problems. Keep them vaccinated against leptospirosis, a bacteria that may cause kidney damage even without noticeable symptoms, Good eating habits and giving healthy and proper foods to your dog, don’t forget the easy access of clean and freshwater! , and most important yearly check-ups for early detection that will help to reduce the risk.
Your veterinarian will undergo a complete blood profile of your dog, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count (CBC), and a urinalysis, along with blood pressure testing. The other tests that may be performed include:
- Abdominal radiographs (x-rays) or ultrasound – to determine the size of the kidney.
- A kidney biopsy – to show the cause of kidney problems.
- Tests of clotting ability – if your dog is going to undergo kidney biopsy, this may be performed in advance to evaluate the ability to stop the bleeding from the biopsy site.
- Bacterial culture – your dogs immune system may weaken if they have kidney problems that will result to bacterial infection.
Depending on the result of the diagnosis your vet will plan on how to treat your dog.
There is no cure for chronic kidney failure but there are various treatments and management to help minimize the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Depending on whether the problem is acute or chronic, the treatment may include the following:
- Fluid therapy (to assist with depleted body fluid levels)
- Giving antacids such as famotidine, ranitidine, or omeprazole to help with diarrhea and vomiting
- Blood electrolyte abnormalities management
- Monitoring of urinary output
- Control of vomiting
- Dietary management (if you are changing the food of your dog do it gradually, your vet will tell you how to do it)
- Medication for anemia
If your dog has chronic kidney failure it is very important to monitor him/her on a regular basis, a regular check-up with your veterinarian is very important to ensure that the medications and diet are optimal for your dog’s disease stage.
Keep your dog healthy, a simple walk is advisable for any dog reed to have a fit and healthy body. Also, don’t forget the regular visits to your vet to find issues earlier if there is. Let us know how you keep your fur baby’s healthy in the comment below!