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What Is Kidney Disease In Dogs

Symptoms Of Kidney Disease In Dogs

Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

The signs of acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease are fairly similar. The main difference is that the acute form comes on fairly quickly while the chronic form develops gradually over a longer period of time . The following signs are the most common early indicators of kidney disease in dogs:

Stage : Creatinine < 14 Mg/dl And/or Sdma < 18 G/dl

You can think of this as early stage kidney disease. Your dog will not feel bad from his or her kidney disease in Stage 1.

Stage 1 can be confusing because a creatinine < 1.4 is considered normal. So, if your veterinarian only evaluates creatinine, then your dog must have some other signs of kidney disease to fall within Stage 1. Your dog may have Stage 1 kidney disease if they have a normal creatinine but also have:

  • Kidneys that feel abnormal on exam
  • Kidneys that look abnormal on ultrasound
  • Abnormally high amounts of protein within the urine

Alternatively, the normal range for SDMA goes up to 14. So if your veterinarian runs a blood panel that checks SDMA and your dogs SDMA value falls between 14 and 18, the vet can use this alone to categorize your dog as being in Stage 1.

Kidney Disease In Dogs: What Dog Owners Should Know

Kidney disease is very common in dogs, and protecting your pooch from kidney disease means you should be prepared to look for problems early. Studies show that 1 in 10 dogs suffer from kidney disease, reports Dr. Celeste Clements. Dogs can get kidney disease for any number of underlying reasons, and even worse, its often difficult to spot. Some of the earliest signs of kidney disease in dogs may include subtle weight loss, urinating/peeing more often and drinking a lot more water. Therefore, if you notice your dog is peeing on the floor or asking to go out more, or if your dog is always thirsty, its time to visit your veterinarian. Unfortunately, sometimes once these signs are present, theres typically already been a great deal of kidney damage. Fortunately, new advances in the veterinary world are making it easier to find kidney disease in dogs earlier .What is kidney disease in dogs?Kidney disease in dogs is notoriously hard to catch early and can have devastating effects on our canine friends. In general, kidney disease happens when your dogs kidneys stop doing their job as well as they should. The kidneys help clean waste products from the blood, if they are not working properly these waste products can build up in the blood. This damage, once done, can be permanent and can be caused by a variety of issues. Kidney disease in dogs is classified in two primary ways, as:

Kidney disease quick tips:

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Treatment For Kidney Failure In Dogs

As with many other conditions, treatment will be determined by your dogs overall health and the underlying cause of their kidney problems.

If your pet is suffering from acute kidney failure, urgent and intensive treatment will be required, often in intensive care at your animal hospital. That said, if spotted early, milder cases of acute kidney failure may be treated with fluids, antibiotics and medications without the need for hospitalization. In some cases dialysis may be recommended to treat acute renal failure in dogs.

When it comes to treating chronic kidney failure, the primarily focus will be on slowing the progression of the disease and improving your dog’s quality of life. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease such as nausea, fluid imbalances, and blood pressure fluctuations may be treated with medications and/or changes to your dog’s regular diet.

Many dogs being treated for chronic kidney failure go on to enjoy a good quality of life for a number of years. In order to help manage your dog’s condition, and improve your dog’s quality of life, specific nutrients, nutritional supplements or a therapeutic diet may be recommended.

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease In Pets

Signs Of Kidney Failure In Dogs With Lyme Disease

Because the kidneys have so many functions, there are many signs a pet may show when they are not properly working. Chronic kidney disease is progressive, and by the time the pet shows signs, the damage is severe. Despite the chronic nature of the disease, sometimes signs appear suddenly. Common signs include:

  • drinking too much and urinating large volumes of urine
  • incontinence , especially at night
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • lack of appetite and weight loss
  • general depression related to the elevation of waste products in the blood
  • anemia resulting in pale gums and weakness due to a low blood count
  • overall weakness from low blood potassium

Less common signs include:

  • weakened bones can result in bone fractures
  • high blood pressure can lead to sudden blindness
  • itchy skin from calcium and phosphorous deposits
  • bleeding into the stomach or gut or bruising of skin

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Ask Your Veterinarian About Kidney Disease:

  • Are there any foods I should avoid giving my dog because of his condition?
  • Ask how human food may affect your dogs health.
  • Would you recommend a Hills® Prescription Diet® dog food for my dogs kidney health?
  • Ask about special nutritional concerns for your dog
  • How much / how often you should feed the recommended food to your dog
  • Discuss which treats you can feed your dog with the recommended food
  • How quickly should I expect to see signs of improvement in my dogs condition?
  • Can you provide me with written instructions or a booklet on kidney disease for my dog?
  • What is the best way to reach you or your hospital if I have questions?
  • Ask if you need a follow-up appointment.
  • Ask if a reminder email or notice will be sent.
  • What Should I Do If My Pet Is Showing Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease

    If your pet is showing symptoms of chronic kidney disease, you should immediately contact your veterinarian or the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital at .

    This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. Washington State University assumes no liability for injury to you or your pet incurred by following these descriptions or procedures.

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    Kidney Failure And Disease In Dogs

    • Renal disease and failure in dogs is relatively uncommon and can have a variety of causes, including cancer
    • Kidney disease can cause many different symptoms which can vary greatly between cases
    • Common signs include excessive drinking and urination, weakness and pale gums
    • Its a serious condition and the outlook is very variable some dogs deteriorate quickly and others remain relatively well for months or years, with some recovering completely
    • Treatment options include low-protein diets, medication and fluid therapy

    Correlation Between Test Results And Kidney Function

    Natural Ways to Treat Kidney Disease in Dogs

    Put another way, by the time your veterinarian is able to pick up kidney disease with a standard blood panel, only 25% of your dogs kidney function would remain. Your dog must lose even more kidney function before he or she would show outward signs of feeling sick from the elevated BUN and creatinine .

    This explains why it is so important to consider yearly screening labwork for your senior dog and why this labwork should ideally also include a urinalysis. Knowledge is power in this case. Finding chronic kidney disease as soon as it becomes detectable on bloodwork and urinalysis means being able to take steps to slow its progression sooner.

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    Kidney Disease In Dogs: Causes Symptoms Treatments And More

    Kidney disease in dogs, sounds scary right? Has your dog been diagnosed with kidney disease?

    Kidney disease in dogs is a generalized term that talks about the various diseases and metabolic problems that may disrupt the normal functioning of your dogs kidneys.

    So, if youve got a pooch with any kind of kidney problems then this article is just for you! Here we will cover all you need to know about kidney disease in dogs.

  • Kidney Disease in Dogs Is Serious so Read up and Talk to Your Vet
  • 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.

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    What Are The Signs Of Kidney Failure In Dogs

    Increased thirst in dogs and increased urination is often one of the first signs of chronic kidney disease. Let me explain.

    The kidneys help maintain hydration by making concentrated urine. With kidney disease, this concentrating ability is the first thing to go, leading to the production of copious volumes of dilute urine. To make up for all this urine, dogs with kidney disease must drink more water.

    With acute kidney failure, or with late-stage chronic kidney failure, your dog is more likely to feel outwardly ill. He or she may experience any combination of the following symptoms of kidney failure:

    • Ulcers in the mouth
    • Black tarry stools , which is an indicator of GI bleeding
    • A specific type of bad breath known as uremic breath

    If you notice any of these signs, please make an appointment with your veterinarian promptly. Early diagnosis can help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, and it is important to be able to start treatment as soon as possible for acute kidney disease.

    Since Chronic Kidney Disease Is Basically Just A Wearing Out Process How Is It Treated

    4. Chronic kidney Disease

    The treatment of chronic kidney disease depends on the results of blood tests, and specific treatments are aimed at resolving specific abnormalities. In some cases, the kidneys are damaged beyond repair before diagnosis and medical treatment is ineffective. However, with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, many dogs will live a normal lifestyle for many months or years.

    Treatment usually occurs in two phases, first flushing the kidneys and removing the accumulated toxins from the blood, and then providing treatments to manage the disease and delay its progression.

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    Diets For Dogs With Kidney Failure

    A special diet can reduce signs of kidney failure in dogs and slow the progress of the disease. Your vet may suggest a carefully balanced prescription kidney diet for dogs.

    This food will have been formulated to meet your dogs special needs and should always be your first choice if recommended.

    Unfortunately, these special diets arent always the tastiest as theyre made to very strict recipes, so your dog might not guzzle it up with as much gusto as they do with their usual food. Bear in mind that a dogs sense of smell and taste is around 200,000 times more sensitive than ours, so theyre bound to notice the difference! That said, dont give up on your prescription diet just because your dog seems disinterested at first with a bit of perseverance, theyll come around in the end.

    Collection Of Samples And Laboratory Methods

    Whole blood samples in potassiumEDTA tubes for CBC and whole blood samples in plain tubes with gel separators for serum biochemistry were collected at presentation and analyzed within 60minutes after collection. Urine samples were obtained by cystocentesis for urinalysis including dipstick chemistry and sediment cytology , as well as for bacterial culture. Urine specific gravity was measured using a clinical refractometer . Pyuria and hematuria were defined as presence of > 5 leukocytes or erythrocytes, respectively per highpower field. Bacteriuria was diagnosed if bacteria were observed in sediment cytology. Proteinuria was defined as a urine dipstick result of 1+ . Urine proteintocreatinine ratio was only measured in dogs with severe proteinuria and clinical concern that glomerular disease was the inciting cause for ACKD.

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    The Best Food To Feed A Dog With Chronic Kidney Disease

    If your dog has chronic kidney disease your vet will be sure to recommend the best food to help your pup fight the progression of this chronic disease. Every dog is different, and the food recommended for your dog will depend on the severity of the disease, how far it has progressed, as well as your dog’s age and overall health.

    Standard dog foods often contain levels of protein and phosphorus that are too high for dogs with chronic kidney disease, however there are a number of prescription therapeutic foods available from your vet. Prescription diets have been specially formulated to meet all of your dog’s dietary requirements while also offering restricted protein, phosphorus and sodium. Speak to your veterinarian about which food is best for your dog.

    Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

    Selection Of Dogs And Definitions

    Dog Health Treatment & Advice : How to Treat Kidney Disease in Dogs

    The medical records of dogs diagnosed with ACKD in the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, were retrospectively reviewed . Dogs were included in this study if admitted to the teaching hospital with acute onset of clinical signs compatible with AKI and azotemia , in accordance with the IRIS guidelines. Additionally, 1 of the following criteria had to be fulfilled to establish a diagnosis of CKD: previous diagnosis of CKD based on persistently increased SCR, with concurrent increase in SCR of > 25% above its previously documented baseline dogs with abdominal ultrasound findings compatible with CKD, based on presence of 2 of the following: increased renal echogenicity, markedly decreased renal corticomedullary differentiation, decreased kidney size or asymmetry, and renal cysts or irregular renal contour.18

    Survivors were defined as those alive at discharge from the hospital. Nonsurvivors died or were euthanized because of lack of improvement, despite treatment during hospitalization. Dogs were excluded from the study if euthanized within the first 48hours after admission.

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    Summary Of Kidney Failure In Dogs

    Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are no longer functioning correctly. There are two different types acute and chronic kidney failure. Acute kidney failure happens suddenly, and if caught and treated quickly, can be reversed. While there is no cure for chronic kidney failure, symptoms can be minimized with fluid therapy and diet changes.

    Medications To Manage Proteinuria

    Protein loss in the urine is a similar chicken and egg phenomenon to high blood pressure causing kidney disease and kidney disease causing high blood pressure. Consequently, vets also try to monitor and address urine protein levels in dogs with chronic kidney disease.

    As the kidneys degenerate, the filter portion of the kidneys can become leaky. Proteins that the kidney should keep within the bloodstream are then able to leak out into the urine. So, protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease, but that leakage of protein through the kidneys can also hasten kidney damage.

    Your vet may prescribe oral medication to help decrease this protein loss.

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    What Are Common Causes Of Kidney Failure In Dogs

    Any disease that impacts the kidneys may cause the kidneys to fail, such as:

    Congenital Disease: This category is comprised of hereditary conditions and underlying illnesses – everything from cysts to agenesis .

    Dental Disease: Advanced dental disease can result from the buildup of bacteria on teeth and gums. The bacteria accumulates here, then enters the bloodstream to attack multiple organs, causing irreversible damage to kidneys, along with the liver and heart.

    Bacterial Infections: Drinking or swimming in contaminated water is a hazard, as the system becomes susceptible to bacterial infections including leptospirosis. This can result in inflamed kidneys and renal cells being killed.

    Toxicosis: If the kidneys are poisoned, this can cause cells within the kidneys to become damaged. This can happen if your dog consumes drugs or poisons .

    Geriatric Degeneration: Cells within the kidneys may break down and die as your dog ages, which can lead to kidney disease.

    What Is The Best Diet For Dogs With Kidney Disease

    Dog Kidney Failure

    If your dog has chronic kidney disease, feeding them the right diet is going to be an essential part of their treatment. For dogs with kidney disease, our Cordova vets may recommend a therapeutic diet with increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids and restricted amounts of protein, phosphorus and sodium. Here’s why…

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    Treatment For Kidney Failure

    In human medicine, dialysis and kidney transplantation are the main methods of dealing with advanced kidney failure. These methods are also employed in treating dogs but impose heavy financial and time burdens on the pet owner and some stress on the patient who is already stressed by the disease.

    Unfortunately, once the diagnosis of kidney failure is made, most patients are so sick that response to treatment is unrewarding and slow. You may need to consider euthanasia in order to prevent the long, slow, and agonizing death that comes from complete renal shutdown.

    In very extreme and special circumstances, a kidney transplant may be an animal’s only hope of long term existence. Kidney transplantation is a controversial topic but the science and success rate in cats and dogs has advanced greatly in recent years.

    The goal of treatment is to allow the patient to live as close to a normal life as possible under the circumstances. Since the kidneys do not heal or regenerate new and functioning tissue, the remaining functional tissue carries the entire burden normally handled by two healthy kidneys. Intravenous and subcutaneous fluids can be administered for varying lengths of time to try to correct acid-base imbalances.

    Dietary Considerations

    Image: bigbirdz / via Flickr


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