Similar to all other species, kidney failure in dogs is also common. Like in humans, a dog’s kidney also plays an essential role in body functions. The health of the dog suffers greatly if any of its kidney functions fail. Moreover, kidney failure is also known as “renal failure.”
Kidneys filter blood, clean waste from the blood, regulate hormones, control blood pressure, red blood cell production, and maintain normal electrolyte balance. All of these functions are important for every human and animal. Moreover, every organ is important for a healthy body, like the kidneys.
Apart from that, there are two types of kidney failure:
- Acute kidney failure
- Chronic Kidney failure
In Acute failure, the kidney stops functioning suddenly, and this happens due to toxins or any infections.
In Chronic failure, kidney functions are affected slowly. It takes months or years to show any clinical signs or symptoms.
- 1 What are the Causes of Kidney Failure in Dogs?
- 2 What are the Signs of Kidney Problems in Dogs?
- 3 What If My Dog Suffers From Kidney Failure?
- 4 What is the Treatment or Therapy for Kidney Failure in Dogs?
- 5 How do I Keep my Dog from Kidney Failure?
- 6 What Foods are not Good for Dogs Suffering From Kidney Disease?
- 7 Conclusion
What are the Causes of Kidney Failure in Dogs?
Dogs with acute kidney failure will show a sudden decrease in overall health. Moreover, kidney failure in dogs is due to many different factors. Here we have mentioned some of the factors:
1. Bacterial Infections
Leptospirosis can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. It is a type of bacterial infection. Such infection is very rare in cats. Additionally, urine and contaminated water from infected animals are the primary sources of bacterial infection.
2. Geriatric Degeneration
Failure in kidney functions or renal failure in dogs due to ageing is called geriatric degeneration. Similarly, the cells of the kidney walls start to die and slowly lead to kidney failure or other kidney diseases.
3. Congenital Disorders
Sometimes genes or hereditary play a key role in determining a healthy body rather than other medical conditions. Dogs can also suffer from hereditary disorders such as kidney cysts or dogs without or with only one kidney.
Another term for Toxicosis is “Kidney Poisoning.” In such conditions, damage to kidney cells happens because of ingesting toxins. Additionally, these toxins can be:
In this case, keep such household items away from your dog.
5. Dental Disease
Bacteria pile up on your dog’s teeth and can slowly affect your dog’s digestive system. The bacteria can slowly progress to the dog’s bloodstream and other organs affecting their functions. Moreover, the potential organs can be kidneys, liver, heart, etc.
What are the Signs of Kidney Problems in Dogs?
In dogs, chronic kidney disease progresses over time, and the symptoms appear after two-thirds of the kidney function is already lost. Indeed, the initial condition of your dog will be:
- Excessive urination
- Increased thirst
- Increase depression
After such a condition, the disease starts to progress, and your dog will show some severe clinical signs of kidney failure:
- Coordination loss
- Pale gums
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Ulcer in mouth
- Smelly breath
- Intestinal seizures
- Blood in urine
What If My Dog Suffers From Kidney Failure?
Before treating any disease, knowing the underlying or root cause is very important. Hence, if your dog shows similar clinical signs, take your dog to the veterinarian to seek help. The vet will observe the condition and provide treatment immediately.
Furthermore, the vet can do specific urine or blood tests to diagnose or see the disease’s progression. The vet will decide particular treatment for your dog after testing.
In acute kidney failure, it is advisable to shift your dog to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Acute kidney disorders can make your dog very ill. Hence special care is needed for them.
In chronic kidney failure, the doctor tries to slow down the disease’s spread or progression and improve the dog’s quality of life. Your dog may suffer from blood pressure issues, fluid imbalance, or nausea during this time.
You can treat milder cases of kidney disease with medications, fluid therapies, or antibiotics. The veterinarian will also suggest a healthy diet and supplements for your dog to lead a healthy life and manage the kidney condition.
What is the Treatment or Therapy for Kidney Failure in Dogs?
There are several types of treatment for kidney diseases, depending on the severity of the disease.
1. IV Fluids
As kidneys cannot wash out all the toxins from your dog’s body, IV Fluid serves the purpose. Additionally, IV fluid maintains hydration in the body as excessive urination leads to dehydration in dogs.
You can treat kidney failure due to some bacterial infection with the help of medication such as antibiotics. Other than antibiotics, different medications are used along with IV treatment.
3. Temporary Tube Feeding
Loss of appetite is one of the clinical symptoms of kidney failure in dogs. Hence, tube feeding is the best option to overcome the body’s energy needs.
Your dog’s condition may change with time, so careful monitoring is necessary. The vet should check blood pressure, urine volume, body weight, electrocardiogram, and blood test.
The vet can do dialysis if your dog still shows high potassium levels in the blood, fluid in the lungs, and other abnormal test results. There are two types of dialysis such as:
- Peritoneal Dialysis
When the kidneys fail to perform with the help of medications and therapies, the only option left is dialysis.
How do I Keep my Dog from Kidney Failure?
Considering the causes of kidney failure in dogs, you can prevent your dog from kidney failure. Always keep an eye on your dog when going on a walk or hike. While hiking, your dog may sniff something and can eat from the road, which can cause poisoning. Always go for a handy harness while walking, running, or jogging with your dog.
Please read our article and buying guide on the best Pitbull harnesses to learn more about dog harnesses.
Likewise, keep all your household items away from your dog. You know that certain medications and foods are not suitable for the dog’s health. Be alert if you do not want to risk your dog’s life.
Moreover, do you know that dogs are allergic to some foods that can cause serious health issues in dogs, especially in German Shepherd? Please read our article on dogs and food allergies.
Another important factor is the genetic condition of your dog. If your dog is prone to kidney cysts like its ancestors, you should seek a vet now and then to check your dog’s health.
What Foods are not Good for Dogs Suffering From Kidney Disease?
There are certain foods that your dog wants to eat, but they can pose serious health issues for your dog. such foods are:
- Milk and dairy
- Macadamia and other nuts
- Onion, garlic, and chives
Kidney failure in dogs is a very concerning issue, and if not treated, it can be life-threatening to your dog. If you see any clinical signs in your dog, immediately take your dog to the vet and seek help. Your vet will help you out in knowing your dog’s condition.
The best way to treat acute kidney failure is by giving on-time treatment. In comparison, chronic failure is manageable with a good diet, physical activity, and medications. Moreover, chronic kidney failure is more likely age-related.
Dogs’ diseases are treatable and manageable if you don’t ignore the early signs and symptoms.
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