Dog Health, Dogs

Dog Kidney Disease Symptoms and How to Treat It?

Dog Kidney disease symptoms

Dog bodies almost work similarly to human bodies. Dog kidney filters out waste and balances nutrients in their bodies. Moreover, the kidney performs many other functions, such as increasing red blood cell production, it helps control blood pressure, and it helps calcium metabolize. Therefore, dogs suffer from various health issues when their kidneys don’t work properly. So, we have decided to share a detailed guide with you about dog kidney disease symptoms.

We’ll also find out the causes of dog kidney disease and the best treatment options. So, let’s start.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Dog Kidney Disease Symptoms, causes & types

Types of Kidney Failure in Dogs

Before discussing the causes and dog kidney disease symptoms, it’s essential to understand the types.

Acute Kidney Failure

This kidney failure type is associated with infections or toxins. In this type, kidneys stop functioning immediately. It happens quickly in a few hours or days.

Chronic Kidney Failure

In this type, kidneys start losing functionality gradually. It happens slowly over time, so the kidneys might stop working over weeks, months, or even years. The leading cause of chronic kidney failure is geriatric decline.

Remember, there is a natural lifespan of dog kidneys, but sometimes kidneys fail more quickly than others.

Causes of Kidney Failure in Dogs

Lots of reasons and diseases can cause kidney failure. Some conditions that can cause acute kidney failure are:

Ingesting a Toxin

The most frequent cause of acute kidney problems is ingestion of a toxin. For example, when your dog ingests bad food, household cleaners, or antifreeze, it results in acute kidney problems.

Urinary Obstruction

Another cause of acute kidney failure can be a urinary obstruction in your dog’s body. When there is a decrease in blood pressure, your dog’s kidneys become less oxygenated and more prone to infection.

Other causes of acute kidney failure can be

  • heat strokes
  • snake bites
  • severe dehydration
  • bacterial infection

Causes of Chronic Kidney Failure

Early symptoms of this type of kidney failure are often overlooked because they’re mild in nature. Mostly older dogs suffer from this disease. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find out the exact cause of chronic kidney failure. But the leading cause of chronic kidney failure in dogs is:

Dental Disease

Bacteria buildup on dogs’ teeth then enters the digestive system of dogs when they eat or drink something. No doubt, the role of kidneys is to filter out waste, but these bacteria can reduce their functionality over time.

Dog Kidney Disease Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, dog kidney disease might have been present for weeks, months, or years. Therefore, the dog kidney disease symptoms can be from subtle to severe. Sometimes, these symptoms appear suddenly.

Some common symptoms of kidney failure in dogs include:

  • Increased urine volume in the bladder
  • Drinking too much water and producing excessive urine
  • Low potassium in the blood can result in overall weakness
  • Increasing elevation of waste products in the blood can result in a general depression

Other symptoms to be looked for are:

  • Lethargy
  • Blood in urine
  • Intestinal seizures
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of interest in playing
  • Dental issues like pale gums, mouth ulcers, and smelly breath.

Sometimes, other factors like diabetes cause the symptoms of kidney failure in dogs.

Diagnose, Treat & Prevent

How to Diagnose Kidney Failure in Dogs?

Acute kidney failure is diagnosed, and the severity of the disease is tested by blood and urine tests. To identify the root cause of kidney failure, ultrasound, X-rays, and special blood tests are performed.

Moreover, some vets recommend a biopsy to diagnose kidney failure. But it’s not easy to determine the cause of kidney failure.

How to Treat Kidney Failure in Dogs?

Now that you understand the causes and dog kidney disease symptoms, the next most important question is how to treat or fix kidney failure?

The treatment options depend on the underline cause and the condition of the disease. For example, when dogs suffer from acute kidney failure, it can make them ill, and they need to be admitted to the hospital for intensive care.

The good news is you can treat milder cases with fluids and medications like antibiotics. Dialysis is another effective treatment option, but it’s an expensive option. Generally, the vets focus on slowing down the progression of kidney failure. Moreover, they try to improve their quality of life.

Changes in diet and some medications can help fix issues like fluctuations in blood pressure, fluid imbalances, and nausea. So, when a dog is diagnosed with kidney failure, there is a possibility that the pet can enjoy a good quality of life and live up to 4 years.

Finally, to manage the kidney failure issues in dogs, the vets may suggest nutritional supplements and a therapeutic diet.

How to Prevent Kidney Failure in Dogs?

It’s a famous saying that “Prevention is better than cure.” Therefore, the best practice is to take measures and keep your dog safe from kidney failure.

As you know, acute kidney failure is caused by ingesting chemicals or interacting with toxins. So, it’s the responsibility of pet owners to keep these substances away from dogs’ reach.

On the other hand, chronic kidney failure is mainly age-related, and genetics predetermine it. Therefore annual wellness checkups and physical exams can help you detect the problem at an initial stage. When the issue is detected early, it’s easy to treat. So, the vet can help your dog live a long and contented life.

Finally, if you witness any dog kidney disease symptoms, the best approach is to get an appointment with a vet and fix the issue as soon as possible.

Final Words

So, in this detailed article on dog kidney disease symptoms, we have covered almost everything that a pet owner needs to know. So, whenever you feel that your dog is suffering from kidney failure, you can find out the cause. Moreover, we have discussed different diagnosis, treatment, and prevention options. So, you can follow this guide to extend the lifespan of your dog.

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