How Is Chronic Kidney Failure Diagnosed
There are two basic tests for kidney function: a complete urinalysis and a blood chemistry analysis.
A urinalysis is needed to evaluate kidney function. A low urine specific gravity is the earliest indication of kidney failure. An increase in protein in the urine also indicates decreased kidney function.
A blood biochemistry analysis assesses the function of various internal organs. Measuring the level of two waste products in the blood, namely blood urea nitrogen and blood creatinine , indicates decreased kidney function. Tests to measure the blood levels of other substances such as albumin, globulin, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and calcium, as well as the red and white blood cell counts are important in order to determine the extent of failure and the best course of treatment.
A recently developed blood test to assess levels of SDMA has been used to determine if early renal failure is occurring. SDMA concentrations increase above the normal reference interval well before serum creatinine becomes elevated. This will help your veterinarian provide treatment for your dog at a much earlier stage in the disease.
“SDMA concentrations increase above the normal reference interval well before serum creatinine becomes elevated.”
A dog diagnosed with low urine specific gravity as well as elevated BUN and CREA is said to be azotemic.
Consider Cost Of Treatment
Sometimes your dog might need a treatment that will help increase their quality of life, but you wont be able to afford it. If theres no way for you to get the money for treatment and there is no one that could help you financially.
If your dog cant live a painless and normal life without the treatment, you should consider euthanasia. Be sure to speak to your veterinarian about all your options and possible payment plans.
Not being financially stable enough to provide care for your pet can be heartbreaking especially with the cost of pet care in the USA rising. If you are concerned about your pet getting sick and being unable to afford treatment then looking into pet insurance may be a good thing to consider.
Pet insurance starts as low as $10 per month but can get more expensive depending on which plans you choose. If you can afford it then it might be a worthwhile investment that can give you some peace of mind.
Keep in mind that the earlier you get coverage for your dog the better since the monthly cost goes up with the age of your dog.
What Causes Renal Disease In Dogs
There are many different causes of kidney disease in dogs. Certain breeds are more susceptible to the condition and it can often be genetic. Age has a bearing on renal functionality, and
environmental factors can also damage the organs, such as chemicals, toxic foods, infections and some medications. Kidney problems in dogs can also be caused by illnesses such as cancer. Its even suggested that advanced dental disease has a link with renal failure.
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What Is Chronic Renal Failure Is It The Same As Chronic Kidney Disease
Many people think that chronic kidney failure or chronic renal failure means that the kidneys have stopped working and are not making urine. This is not the case. By definition, chronic renal failure , or chronic kidney disease is the inability of the kidneys to efficiently filter the blood of waste products, not the inability to produce urine. Ironically, most dogs in kidney failure produce large quantities of urine, but the body’s toxic wastes are not being effectively eliminated.
Dog Kidney Failure When To Euthanize
Dog Kidney Failure When To Euthanize is something that you may eventually need to consider. The best way to keep your dog as healthy as possible is to recognize signs of illness and get ailments treated as soon as you can. Canine kidney failure is a common problem found in older dogs and can often go unnoticed for a long time before symptoms show. There are many treatments available when your dog has been diagnosed with this condition and once youve got all the facts about dog kidney failure when to euthanize youll know just what to expect.
What Are The Common Causes Of Kidney Failure In Dogs
Any disease that affects the kidneys can cause them to fail, such as:
Congenital Disease: This category includes hereditary conditions and underlying illnesses such as cysts and agenesis .
Dental Disease: Bacterial buildup on teeth and gums can lead to advanced dental disease. The bacteria agglomerate here before entering the bloodstream and attacking multiple organs, causing irreversible damage to the kidneys, as well as the liver and heart.
Bacterial Infections: Drinking or swimming in contaminated water puts the body at risk of bacterial infections such as leptospirosis. This can result in inflamed kidneys and the death of renal cells.
Toxicosis: When the kidneys are poisoned, the cells within the kidneys can be damaged. This can occur if your dog ingests drugs or poisons .
Geriatric Degeneration: As your dog ages, the cells in his or her kidneys may break down and die, resulting in kidney disease.
What Are The Clinical Signs Of Chronic Kidney Failure
When disease or advanced age causes the filtration process to become inefficient and ineffective, blood flow to the kidneys is increased in an attempt to increase filtration. The body must increase the amount of blood flowing through the kidneys since less and less of the metabolic toxins are being removed each time. This results in the production of more urine. To keep the dog from becoming dehydrated due to increased fluid loss in the urine, thirst and water consumption is increased.
Thus, one of the earliest clinical signs of kidney failure is increased water consumption and urination, and is called compensated renal failure. After approximately 2/3 of the kidney tissue is destroyed, there is a rapid rise in waste products in the bloodstream and an apparent sudden onset of severe disease. The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath. Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.
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Canine Kidney Disease Explained
Both dogs and cats can be at risk for chronic renal failure. In particular, it is estimated that 15% of dogs over the age of 0 years may experience kidney damage. But, if youve got a cat, then studies showed that 30% of cats over the age of 15 years are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Kidney disease in dogs sounds quite complicated, right? It definitely is a relatively difficult topic to understand especially if you dont have a medical background.
Here is a little anatomy and physiology lesson 101! Kidneys have four main functions in our dogs body, this includes:
- The kidney function as a filtration system
- Reabsorption of substances and helpful molecules back into the blood
- Secretion of waste products
- The kidney function as a waste disposal system. That is the kidney excretes waste products out of the body.
Now, if we were to zoom into the kidneys of a dog we would see this structures called nephrons.
Nephrons are a single unit that consists of things like the Bowmans capsule, glomerulus, and renal tubules.
To keep it simple, on a microscopic level the kidney consists of millions of tiny little nephrons, these nephrons are what filters in and out substances which means toxins will begin to build up in their blood.
What Causes Chronic Kidney Failure In Dogs
Based on the name, you can infer that chronic kidney failure refers to a much more gradual process where the kidney function declines slowly over a long period of time. Unfortunately, a specific cause tends to be more difficult to pin down than with acute kidney failure.
In some cases, the loss of kidney function is due solely to age-related degenerative changes. Basically, more and more kidney cells wear out over time, leading to decreased overall kidney function. In other cases, genetics, immune-mediated disease, or chronic non-kidney related illnesses can play a role in kidney problems.
Remember I mentioned earlier that every dog is born with extra kidney function? Well, this means that chronic kidney disease can be present for quite a long time before any obvious signs of decreased kidney function become outwardly apparent.
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Understanding Your Dog’s Risk
The timing of kidney degeneration is likely linked to a dog’s genetics. Consequently, chronic renal failure in dogs is effectively preprogrammed to occur at a certain age. Nonetheless, no specific breed predisposition is known to exist. Certain kidney diseases that can lead to renal failure in dogs, however, can disproportionately affect specific breeds. These include the following:
- Basenji dogs are especially affected by Fanconi syndrome, which disrupts electrolyte absorption.
- Bernese mountain dogs can suffer a congenital disease of the kidneys called glomerulonephritis.
- Collies, Shetland sheepdogs and German shepherds can be affected by lupus, an autoimmune disease affecting the kidneys and other organs.
- Shar-Peis can suffer a kidney disease known as familial renal amyloidosis.
It can prove difficult to determine which dogs will suffer these conditions in advance. New blood tests, however, are now helping identify kidney disease in dogs and cats early, sometimes even many years before signs become evident. One test called the SDMA is now considered very common. Many veterinarians consider it part of their annual wellness screening be sure to ask your vet if this test is available for your dog at your next appointment.
Why Does My Dog Shake When She Goes To The Groomers
We sometimes use kennels to help dry their faces, so that we don’t have to use the high velocity dryer around their ears and faces, but it is for a short time. This is one of the reasons why we schedule by appointments. The clippersthe noise, the vibration.
Im Bruce. Im the head trainer at Doggie Do Good Rescue, where I have the pleasure of helping owners with all sorts of behavior problems and special needs dogs learn how to play well together and live happily ever after! In addition to performing dog behavior evaluations for rescue groups, potential adopters and owners who are having trouble with their pets, I also teach pet first aid classes, pet CPR classes and pet dog training classes.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease In Dogs
Kidney diseases do not happen overnightit takes time to grow and be apparent. But there are a few signs associated with the development of kidney diseases. If you are careful, you might help prevent kidney diseases from becoming fatal in your dog.
Here are a few signs of kidney disease in your dog. But note that the information offered below is only for educational purposes and does not constitute a vets opinion.Not all the signs mentioned directly imply renal issues. To get a definite answer, we recommend consulting your vet.
Preventing Kidney Failure In Dogs
Considering the fact that acute renal failure is usually caused by ingesting toxins or foods like raisins, preventing it is fairly easy. Make sure to get any poisons, medications, and dog-unsafe foods out of your pups reach. You can also get your dog vaccinated for Leptospirosis.
Chronic renal failure is usually age-related and genetically predetermined, so theres not much you can do to prevent it. However, taking your pet for annual wellness checkups and physical exams can increase the chances of catching the disease early and start treatment before it progresses and becomes more serious.
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How To Prevent Their Pet From Developing Kidney Failure
There are a number of things that dog owners can do to help prevent their pet from developing kidney disease. These include:
Feeding a healthy diet: A balanced, nutritious diet is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for those at risk for kidney disease.
Avoiding toxins: Avoiding exposure to toxins, such as poisonous plants and chemicals, can help to prevent kidney damage.
Getting regular exercise: Exercise helps to keep the kidneys healthy and functioning properly.
Having regular vet checkups: Regular checkups with your veterinarian can help to catch kidney disease early and start treatment right away.
Treatment Of Kidney Disease In Dogs
Determining the cause for the kidney disease will direct the veterinarian towards the treatment plan. The condition of the kidneys at the time of diagnosis, and learning whether the renal failure is acute or chronic are other crucial points to be considered.
In the case of acute kidney failure, your pet may need to be hospitalized so the kidneys can be stabilized. Fluid therapy, in the form of intravenous fluid administration, will reduce the amount of toxins and waste in the body. Pain relievers, gastrointestinal protectants, and anti-nausea medications will be given. If the damage to the kidneys is severe, the veterinarian will discuss the option of trying dialysis for an extended time, so the kidneys can have a chance to heal.
Depending upon the state of the kidneys, chronic renal disease will need to be addressed similarly to acute failure, or in the case of a slow progression of the illness, a more conservative treatment approach will be taken. To start, though, intravenous therapy may be done to flush out the kidneys .
A change in diet will be part of the treatment plan. A diet with less protein , which will create less waste for the kidneys to eliminate, is paramount to battling the chronic renal failure. Low phosphorus in the diet is key also because phosphorus tends to accumulate in diseased kidneys. Phosphate binders may be given.
Worried about the cost of Kidney Disease treatment?
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What Happens During Euthanasia
It usually consists of two shots: the sedative and the one that has the euthanasia drug in it. Euthanasia drugs might sound scary, but its just medication that puts your pet to sleep very quickly. Vets usually use pentobarbital, which is a seizure medication. It shuts down the heart and the brain functions within 2-3 minutes.
Regardless of what you may think, your pet wont be in pain. You may notice that they twitch or not close their eyes fully, but those are normal things that happen during the procedure.
What If Your Dog Already Has Kidney Disease
Even if your dog already has a problem with their kidneys, that doesnt mean theres nothing you can do to prevent the disease from worsening. Modifying your pets diet can make it possible to significantly increase your dogs longevity. Here are a few dietary tips that can help you increase your pets life expectancy:
- Make sure that they have access to fresh water at all times.
- Ensure that your dog has access to all of the nutrients that they need to fight their kidney disease. This includes B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C.
- Avoid excess intake of sodium, potassium, and other metals that can exacerbate kidney issues.
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Spotting The Signs Of Acute Kidney Failure In Your Somerset County Dog
Healthy kidneys perform a range of essential functions, dogs with acute kidney failure experience a sudden and rapid reduction in kidney function that requires urgent veterinary care. Our Somerset County vets explain the signs of acute kidney failure in dogs, and what you should do if your pup shows signs of kidney failure.
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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Keep Your Dog Comfortable
Your vet will discuss with you how to keep your dog comfortable after diagnosis of end-stage kidney failure. You can:Make sure your dogs bed is quiet, warm, and cosy with a blanket and toysSpend as much time with your dog as possible as this will bring company and calmSupervise interactions with others to ensure gentle playKeep your dog clean and dry, washing and brushing regularly
Can Kidney Failure In Dogs Be Reversed
In some cases, kidney failure in dogs may be reversible if the underlying cause is treated. However, in other cases, kidney failure may be progressive and irreversible. The best way to determine if your dogs kidney failure is reversible is to talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to give you more information about your dogs individual case.
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How Do You Comfort A Dog With Kidney Failure
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each dog will respond differently to comfort measures. However, some things that may help to comfort a dog with kidney failure include:
Providing a soft bed or mat for them to lie on
Keeping them warm with a blanket or coat
Giving them gentle massages
Speaking to them in a calm, soothing voice
Allowing them to spend time with their favorite toy or chew bone
It is important to remember that comfort measures are not a substitute for medical treatment and you should always consult with your veterinarian before trying any new approach.