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Can Kidney Problems Cause Vision Problems

What Life Expectancy Can I Hope For My Dog With Kidney Disease

Mayo Clinic Explains Kidney Disease
  • A dog with chronic kidney failure cannot be cured. However, like any disease, the sooner it is diagnosed, the longer the dog’s life expectancy is. Treatments for chronic kidney disease in dogs therefore aim to reduce the symptoms of the disease, slow down the effects and allow the animal to live better with its disease.

  • If a dog is suffering from another disease that has the effect of reducing blood flow to the kidneys or causes an obstruction to the urinary tract, the resulting kidney failure can be treated. Hence the importance to not delay before consulting.

  • In cases of acute kidney disease, if after treatment , urea and creatinine return to normal, it will be considered that the dog is out of danger. If otherwise, the dog must be monitored because its kidneys have been weakened.

Retinal Screening For The Diagnosis Of Renal Disease

The demonstration of associated retinal features potentially aids in the diagnosis of some forms of renal disease. This is particularly true of inherited renal disease including Alport syndrome. Eighteen patients with CKD stages 3 to 5 in this study were known to have inherited renal disease, and three were demonstrated to have previously unrecognized retinal abnormalities . Vision was already impaired at the time of examination and was likely to continue to deteriorate in all three patients. Although there is currently no treatment for these diseases, regular ophthalmologic monitoring may prevent complications such as retinal hemorrhage or detachment and help preserve vision.

This study did not identify any previously undiagnosed renal disease on the basis of the retinal features, possibly because the renal diagnosis was likely to be known by adulthood, many abnormalities in acquired disease resolve after presentation, and some diagnostic abnormalities are demonstrated only with peripheral retinal photographs or special techniques such as optical coherence tomography.

A Blockage In The Urinary System

A blockage means that one or both of your child’s ureters is blocked and urine cannot flow through to their bladder. This prevents urine from moving out of their body. Urine can build up in their kidneys and cause kidney damage or kidney failure.

Sometimes a blockage will go away on its own and other times doctors may do surgery to fix it.

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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Kidney Failure

Excessive thirst and urination are among the most recognizable symptoms of kidney failure in cats.

Even when the kidneys are failing enough to cause clinical signs, kidney failure may not be the obvious diagnosis. Kidney failures clinical signs are non-specific, meaning that they dont indicate a particular disease.

The clinical signs gradually worsen as kidney failure progresses.

Kidney Stones Or Nephrolithiasis

Kidney Stones Cause Headaches

Kidney stones are normally made up of hard collections of minerals which form in the renal system. These stones may stay in the kidneys for quite a while. They often become painful when they move out of the kidney into the ureter. The pain is often described as a strong colicky pain, usually felt in the ureter between the kidney and the bladder. Kidney stones can be extremely painful.

Colicky, strong to very strong pain coming in waves, is the most obvious symptoms of kidney stones. The location of the pain and where it spreads to gives clues as to where the stone is currently located in the urinary system. The pain of a kidney stone passing through the urinary system is felt suddenly and severely in the flank and spreads down the groin on the same side. Not all stones cause radiating pain. Some stones may not cause any pain.

Good to know: Pain from kidney stones is often described as excruciating. Kidney pain from kidney stones can come and go. It can occur in bouts lasting between 20 minutes and an hour. People with painful kidney stones often cannot keep still because of the discomfort. They are often pale and sweaty, with a painful, tender abdomen.

Other symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Nausea

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Screening To Preserve Vision

In general, microvascular retinopathy is considered nonvision-threatening, but this is not so for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Patients with diabetes should undergo retinal screening every 2 years and more often if abnormalities are present. Patients with macular degeneration grades 4 and 5 require an ophthalmologic assessment. Interventions preserve vision in diabetes, and monitoring may prevent complications in macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.

In this study, 11 patients with reduced eGFR required urgent ophthalmologic review using current international guidelines. Some had visual loss that could be halted, if not reversed, by interventions such as laser therapy. For others, review and treatment might prevent further complications. None of the four patients with diabetic retinopathy had attended for their routine ophthalmologic screening despite hospital visits for dialysis and renal review.

In conclusion, moderate-severe microvascular retinopathy, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and late-stage macular degeneration are common, severe, and threaten vision in hospital patients with stages CKD stages 3 to 5. These changes occur more often and are more severe than in patients with CKD stages 1 to 2. Early recognition, monitoring, and intervention will result in a better visual outcome for these patients.

Can Losartan Cause Vision Problems

can causeeye problemscan lead toeyesight losseye problemseyesighteye pain

. Likewise, people ask, does losartan cause blurry vision?

Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. This could be a sign of a serious eye problem. Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor.

Also Know, what medications cause eye problems? Certain classes of drugs are known to cause eye problems. These include diuretics , antihistamines, antidepressants, drugs that lower cholesterol, beta-blockers and birth control pills. Antihistamines often cause a very significant dry-eye syndrome, Andreoli says.

Similarly, what are the most common side effects of losartan?

The more common side effects that can occur with losartan include:

  • upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold.
  • dizziness.

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Physical Therapies For Itching In Kidney Disease

There are therapies that can be done to the skin itself. These physical therapies include phototherapy and acupuncture.

Itching in Kidney Disease

Ultraviolet B phototherapy works by stopping the spread of the substances that cause the itch. This therapy also stops inflammation from the immune response.

UVB phototherapy is effective for ESRD pruritus. Some therapies perform better than others.

Narrow band-UVB phototherapy and UVA alone do not appear to be as effective. Itching came back soon after 6 weeks of NB-UVB. To fully control itching, these therapies need to be done continuously over time. Initially, this type of phototherapy needs to be done three times per week. After that each week an additional one to two sessions needs to be done for maintenance.

Broadband phototherapy worked the best. Nine out of 10 patients had a marked improvement in itching after 6 BB-UVB treatments. These effects lasted for at least six months.

Acupuncture for Itching in Kidney Disease

Acupuncture is a common complementary therapy for many conditions involving pain. The theory for itch relief is that acupuncture will block itch impulses. Acupuncture generates impulses, similar to nerve messages. In response, an opioid-like substance will be released.

This substance will block the slower C fiber impulses and stop the itch. When compared with the placebo acupuncture helped stop the itch.

Signs Of Acute Kidney Injury

Early Warning Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Diseases | Dr. Sudeep Singh Sachdev

Acute kidney injury is a rapid or abrupt decline in kidney function and is considered a medical emergency. It occurs when there is direct injury to one or both kidneys, a blockage in the ureter or another condition causing insufficient blood flow to the kidneys.

In adults, kidney failure can be caused by:

  • Low blood pressure that occurs very suddenly and/or is severely low
  • Bleeding
  • Tenderness or pain in the area of the the lower ribs

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Recovery Of Vision Problems In Dogs

While it is sad if your dog loses its eyesight, it is not the end of the world. They have such great personalities and acceptance and they will just get on with life using their other great senses. Dont panic or fuss over your dog as it may make them concerned and sense something is wrong. Let them find their own way around, help them by calmly leading them around obstacles or saying stop if they are well trained and they will find their own solution. Many dogs go on to lead a happy meaningful life even if they no longer have perfect vision. Other conditions have a positive prognosis for recovery, and after surgery or medication your dog can recover to lead a full life. Early detection of any vision problems is the key to successful recovery.

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Alport Syndrome Eye Symptoms

Ocular abnormalities are estimated to occur in about 10 percent of the patients with Alport syndrome

Following eye structures may be affected by the syndrome.

  • Conjunctiva-calcium crystals with granulomatous response
  • Cornea-juvenile corneal arcus, corneal endothelial pigmentation, bilateral non-simultaneous corneal ring, abscess
  • Anterior chamber angle-Pigment dispersion, angle-closure glaucoma
  • Lens-anterior lenticonus, anterior polar cataract, posterior cortical opacities
  • The retina-Abnormal coloration of the retina, dot and fleck retinopathy, maybe the presence of numerous discrete white intraretinal dots, resembling fundus albipunctatus, retinitis pigmentosa, ERG abnormal , and EOG normal. As a result of severe kidney failure that may occur, a patient may develop marked hypertension and hypertensive retinopathy.
  • Optic nerve head-optic disc edema, optic nerve head drusen


Alport syndrome is suspected based on family history or clinical signs of the conditions.

A kidney biopsy is done to look for signs of condition such as abnormalities of cells in glomeruli. It also allows testing especially for type IV collagen protein, as this protein would be absent in a patient with Alport syndrome.

The test is performed to measure the amount of blood and protein in the urine.

An ophthalmic exam may be used to look for signs, characteristics of a condition such as anterior lenticonus, and among others.


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Other Ways Itching In Kidney Disease Can Affect Your Skin

Itching is not the only thing that can occur in kidney disease. Other dermatological conditions include the following:

  • Scratching and scratch marks
  • Perforations of the skin

Scratching and Scratch Marks

Too much scratching can also develop into secondary skin conditions. It can rub off the top layer of skin. Impetigo can also occur as a result of scratching. This is a skin infection caused by bacteria, specifically Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.

Thick, Callous Skin

Lichenification is skin that has become thick and leathery due to constant scratching or rubbing.

Lumps and Bumps on the Skin

Kidney itching can cause hard, itchy bumps known as prurigo nodularis. They also appear as prurigo lesions. Try not to scratch these. They can cause more skin lesions to appear.

Color Changes to your Skin

During ESRD the skin will change color. It can become a pallor or yellow hue. The yellow color is related to anemia and hormone imbalances. Pallor is a slate-grey discoloration. It occurs when iron is trapped in skin cells.

Nail changes

Kidney disease can result in small, narrow, and thickened fingernails. Nails can also discolor and split in half.


In CKD the kidneys are not able to properly filter and remove toxins. This can lead to the buildup of fluid in the body. It will often result in swelling in the legs, hands, face, feet, and/or ankles.



Tight Skin

Calcium Deposits Beneath Skin

Perforation of the Skin

Available Treatments For Itching In Kidney Disease

Can Kidney Disease Affect Your Eyes

You may be wondering how you can stop this horrible itching in kidney disease. Unfortunately, there is no one right answer. Uremic pruritus treatment varies from person to person and there are modalities used to treat this condition. They include:

  • Improve dialysis

Aside from better filters just optimizing the schedule of dialysis may help lessen the itching. If you are currently under dialysis and suffering be sure to ask if you need to revise your treatment schedule.

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Eyes And Chronic Kidney Disease

Diabetes and high blood pressure arent only the leading causes of chronic kidney disease . Theyre also the leading causes of eye disease and loss of vision. If your renal disease is a result of either condition your vision may be at risk.

Some of the most common eye problems that occur in CKD patients are retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.


Retinopathy is a condition where the small blood vessels in the eyes become damaged as a result of hypertension or diabetes. When the damage is caused by diabetes, it is called diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes elevates the blood glucose levels in the bloodstream which can damage the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys, fingers feet and eyes. High blood pressure places strain on the walls of the blood vessels, weakening them to the point where they can break or burst. Like CKD, both types of retinopathy occur over time and symptoms are often not felt until the damage is done. Sometimes damaged vessels can become scar tissue and turn into detached retina, a condition that causes severe loss of sight or blindness. It should be treated by a medical professional right away.


Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. The lens of the eye is normally clear. Its purpose is to focus the light coming in from the pupil to the retina at the back of the eye. A cataract scatters the incoming light and can make everything look blurry.


High blood pressure and diabetes are possible risk factors for glaucoma.

Newer Therapies For Itching In Kidney Disease

Uremic pruritus could not just be an isolated skin condition and may have underlying neurological ramifications that need to be addressed. The most likely scenario is that there is an imbalance in the nervous system. The answer to the itch would be correcting these imbalances.

Opiates trigger itching so finding an opiate antagonist may be the solution to this itchy problem. When tested these medications had some success. The best medication for stopping itch was that consisting of both an agonist and antagonist.

Known as opioid receptor agonist-antagonists, these compounds are thought to be more effective than pure agonists. These medications also alleviated itch as well as may inhibit scratching.

The National Library of Medicine has indicated the following as new therapies to stop itching in kidney disease:


This opioid receptor antagonist is a pain reliever. It can inhibit histamine and other substances that trigger scratching in animal studies. In humans, Nalfurfine is well tolerated with rare side effects. However, it was not helpful to those with really bad itching.

Results had only a mild or no effect with only a third of people feeling that itching intensity slowed. There is still a lot we do not know about this medication.


This medicine is a part opiate agonist and partial opiate antagonist. It can significantly reduce itching among people on hemodialysis.





Other New Medications

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What Is Acute Kidney Failure In Dogs

Acute kidney failure in dogs is different from chronic failure in that it occurs suddenly. This also includes acute kidney damage.

Acute kidney failure may be related, for example, to severe dehydration, urinary obstruction, ingestion of a toxic substance or bacterial infection. The symptoms are therefore circumstantial and sudden.

Most acute kidney damage in dogs can be treated if you act quickly, but they must be considered emergencies. The symptoms are so blatant most of the time that you cannot miss them.

It is possible that acute kidney diseases will damage the kidneys in the longer term if they are not treated quickly enough or if the kidney damage is unfortunately too significant. However, since you are reading this article, you will know how to recognize the symptoms and this may enable you to prevent the consequences of acute kidney disease as much as possible.

About Joanna Pendergrass Dvm

Kidney (Renal) Disease Signs & Symptoms (ex. Peripheral Edema, Fatigue, Itchiness)

JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, is a veterinarian and freelance medical writer in Atlanta, GA. After graduating from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine with her veterinary degree, JoAnna completed a 2-year research fellowship in neuroscience at Emory University. During this fellowship, she learned that she could make a career out of combining her loves of science and writing.As a medical writer, JoAnna is passionate about providing pet parents with clear, concise, and engaging information about pet care. Through her writing, she strives not only to educate pet parents, but also empower them to make good health decisions for their pets. JoAnna is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and Dog Writers Association of America.

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What Nerve Problems Can Happen

People who have had diabetes for a long time might develop a type of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy .

Diabetic neuropathy can affect nerves in many different parts of the body. The most common early symptoms are numbness, tingling, or sharp pains in the feet or lower legs.

Doctors believe that nerve damage is linked to high blood sugar levels over time. So controlling blood sugar levels by following a diabetes treatment plan can help reduce a person’s risk of developing this problem.

How To Manage Chronic Kidney Disease In Dogs

Now, kidney failure in dogs can eventually take a dogs life.

When a dog is living with kidney failure, the ultimate goal is to slow down the progression of the disease through diet, alleviate the harsh clinical signs and correct any metabolic abnormalities.

When it comes to managing your dogs chronic renal failure, you as a pet owner will have to control your pets diet by choosing the right dog food.

Additionally, you will have to administer subcutaneous fluid a few times a day, every day to ease your dogs symptoms. Furthermore, your veterinary may prescribe a range of drugs such as anti-inflammatories, anti-emetics and more in order to ease the symptoms of chronic kidney failure in your dog.

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