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What Would Cause An Enlarged Kidney

What Are The Symptoms Of A Swollen Kidney

Ultrasound Video showing Bilateral Fetal enlarged kidneys with Renal Parenchymal disease.

One of the challenges of diagnosing hydronephrosis is that symptoms dont always develop right away. While some cases of hydronephrosis are mild and pose no serious threat to your health, others may require medical intervention.

Typically, though, symptoms will develop if your kidney hydronephrosis becomes serious and requires a visit to a doctor or specialist. Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Pain in one or both sides, including pain that extends into the lower abdomen and even the groin
  • Fever
  • Failure to thrive
  • A bladder condition or injury preventing the bladder from being emptied

In most cases, pain will be the most common symptom of bilateral hydronephrosis. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor or a urologist to receive a diagnosis.

Preventing And Treating Urinary Tract Infections

In some cases, health care professionals may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent urinary tract infections in infants and children with hydronephrosis. If a child develops a urinary tract infection, antibiotics are also used to treat the infection.

Research suggests that, in male infants with hydronephrosis, circumcision may lower the chance of getting urinary tract infections.4

How Can I Prevent Hydronephrosis

Since hydronephrosis is caused by an underlying condition, prevention depends on avoiding or promptly treating the cause. For instance, the chance of developing a kidney stone may be reduced by going to a stone clinic to find out what is causing the stones and start treatment to prevent recurrence .

Seek treatment immediately if you experience severe pain in the side or abdomen, vomiting, or a fever above 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

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How Is Hydronephrosis Detected During Pregnancy

Ultrasound can detect the fetal kidneys and bladder by 14 or 15 weeks gestation, though 20 weeks of pregnancy is the ideal time to detect hydronephrosis as the fetus is larger and the kidneys are producing urine. When a UPJ obstruction is identified, the kidneys are closely examined for other findings more common with UPJ, such as cysts or an abnormal shape .

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What Are The Treatment Options For Hydronephrosis

Kidney Stone Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

Treatment for hydronephrosis primarily focuses on getting rid of whatever is blocking the flow of urine. The treatment option your doctor chooses for you will depend on the cause of your obstruction.

If a blocked ureter is causing your condition, your doctor might need to do any of the following:

  • insert a ureteral stent, which is a tube that allows the ureter to drain into the bladder
  • insert a nephrostomy tube, which allows the blocked urine to drain through the back
  • prescribe antibiotics to control infection

Your doctor might have to remove the obstruction with surgery. If something like scar tissue or a blood clot is causing the blockage, your doctor might remove the affected area completely. They can then reconnect the healthy ends of your ureter to restore normal urine flow.

If the cause of your hydronephrosis is a kidney stone, you may need surgery to remove it. To do this, your doctor might perform endoscopic surgery, which involves using tiny instruments to perform the procedure. This drastically reduces your healing and recovery time.

Your doctor might also prescribe you antibiotics. This will help ensure you dont develop a kidney infection.

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Treatment Of Kidney Enlargement In Dogs

The treatment depends on the type and cause of the kidney enlargement in your dog.

Acute Kidney Enlargement


Your dog may need to stay overnight in the hospital to get IV fluids and antibiotics. If your dogs kidneys seem to be handling the fluids well and he is able to urinate, he may be sent home with oral antibiotics.


Your dog will need to stay overnight in the hospital to get IV fluids and antibiotics.

If the injury is mild or moderate and can heal on its own, your dog will be sent home as soon as the swelling goes down and he is able to urinate on his own. Your veterinarian may prescribe pain medicine or steroids to control swelling.


Your veterinarian may perform a gastric lavage to empty your dogs stomach and give him charcoal to absorb the toxins, depending on the timing. Your dog will also get IV fluids and possible an antitoxin or antibiotic. Once he is stable, your veterinarian will send you home with strict instructions to come back immediately if your dog starts having symptoms of relapse.

Kidney stones

Chronic Kidney Enlargement


Hereditary kidney disease that causes chronic kidney enlargement is usually treated with palliative care and management. There is no treatment to get rid of a hereditary kidney disease so the best that can be done is to treat the symptoms as they arise. A special diet is also usually prescribed to help reduce inflammation and infection.


What Are Clinical Trials And What Role Do Children Play In Research

Clinical trials are research studies involving people of all ages. Clinical trials look at safe and effective new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving quality of life. Research involving children helps scientists

  • identify care that is best for a child
  • find the best dose of medicines
  • find treatments for conditions that only affect children
  • treat conditions that behave differently in children
  • understand how treatment affects a growing childs body

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How Is It Diagnosed

Presently a vast majority of children are diagnosed with hydronephrosis on fetal scans. At present, the 20 weeks scan can be useful for detecting hydronephrosis and this frequently means there may be further ultrasound scans required in pregnancy. This can occur at approximately 1 2% of all pregnancies. However, hydronephrosis symptoms can also be detected after the baby is born. This usually happens when ultrasound scans are performed to check on the kidneys due to recurring urinary tract infections or other issues.

Common Causes Of Kidney Disease In Cats

Causes for an Enlarged Kidney|Kidney deseases| Very Well

Kidney disease is a common problem in cats, affecting more than 1/3 of older cats1,2. There are a number of causes that may affect different age groups and have different consequences. Ultimately though, chronic kidney disease or acute kidney injury will always have the same resulta sick kitty. The signs of illness in your cat reflect the failure of the kidneys to do their many jobs well enough. Below, you will find a brief description of ten common causes of kidney disease. These are the targets of your veterinarians testing

1. Infection of kidney tissues Infection of kidney tissues with bacteria or, rarely, fungal organisms, is one of the kidney diseases that may have a more favorable outcome, so your veterinarian will be on the lookout for it. Our goal with pyelonephritis is to kill the bacteria that cause the damaging inflammation. This should limit progression of any chronic kidney disease or assist with recovery from an acute kidney injury. A bacterial urine culture and susceptibility can verify the infection and identify which antibiotic might work the best.

2. Kidney stones Kidney stones can be the product of chronic bacterial infection, genetics or diseases that alter blood or urine characteristics. Nephro liths dont seem to cause cats much pain, but this can change if they cause blockage within the kidney or its collecting ducts it can also change if they contribute to infection .

  • Pet Poison Helpline 764-7661


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What Are The Symptoms Of Hydronephrosis

Normally, urine flows through the urinary tract with minimal pressure. Pressure can build up if theres an obstruction in the urinary tract. After urine builds up for an extended period, your kidney can enlarge.

Your kidney may become so engorged with urine that it starts to press on nearby organs. If its left untreated for too long, this pressure can cause your kidneys to lose function permanently.

Mild symptoms of hydronephrosis include urinating more frequently and an increased urge to urinate. Other potentially severe symptoms you may experience are:

  • pain in the abdomen or flank
  • a fever
  • chills

If you see signs of hydronephrosis, schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about your symptoms. Untreated UTIs may lead to more serious conditions such as pyelonephritis, an infection of the kidney, and , an infection in the bloodstream or blood poisoning.

How Is Arpkd Diagnosed

ARPKD is diagnosed when typical features and symptoms of the disease are present in the kidneys and liver. These features and symptoms are widely variable and can appear before birth, later in childhood or, more rarely, in adulthood.

If ARPKD is suspected, investigations and tests will be carried out such as blood tests and scans to confirm the diagnosis. The usual type of scan used is an ultrasound. This uses soundwaves to make images of the inside of the body. Using ultrasound, a technician or doctor can spot cysts in the kidney and liver.

Genetic testing can be used to support a diagnosis, although its not routine and is usually only carried out when parents already have a child with ARPKD. There is more information about genetic testing further on in this information sheet.

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What Can Be Done

If they find an enlarged kidney in your baby, there are things that can be done to monitor or treat the condition. These include:

During Pregnancy

The doctor will do ultrasounds frequently during your pregnancy to check for the following:

  • Kidney development
  • How much amniotic fluid you have


  • If the enlarged kidney in fetus is mild to moderate and does not threaten the pregnancy or your babys life, no treatment is needed.
  • In moderate cases where amniotic fluid is low, they can infuse more fluids via amniocentesis through a catheter.
  • If the condition is severe and threatens the life of your baby, doctors may opt to send you to a specialized hospital for surgery.

After Baby Is Born


Newborns, babies, and kids born with hydronephrosis may be sent to a pediatric urologist to be monitored. Tests include:

  • Kidney ultrasounds to check the size of the kidneys.
  • Voiding cystourethrogram to make sure urine is passing freely.
  • Kidney scans can check for blockages and kidney functions.


You will most likely have to take your baby for another ultrasound in the near future. A mild case of hydronephrosis may stay mild and not need any attention. Most cases just need good follow-up care and no treatment if watched closely.

Symptoms Of Kidney Enlargement In Cats

Enlarged kidney: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Kidney enlargement can cause a variety of symptoms, although it is possible for the kidneys to be enlarged and the cat to be asymptomatic. If the kidney is very enlarged, it may be possible to feel or see the swollen area. The symptoms associated with an enlarged kidney closely resemble symptoms of several serious medical conditions. Any cat experiencing symptoms like these should be seen by a medical professional immediately.

Symptoms include:

  • Blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Increased thirst
  • Pale gums or mucous membranes
  • Abdominal bloating, swelling, or mass
  • Swelling around the area of one or both kidneys
  • Bad breath
  • Abdominal pain and sensitivity to touch
  • High blood pressure

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Food Tastes Like Metal

Why this happens:

A build-up of wastes in the blood can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just don’t feel like eating.

What patients said:

Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like you’re drinking iron.

I don’t have the appetite I had before I started dialysis, I must have lost about 10 pounds.

How Is Hydronephrosis Treated

The aim of treatment is to restore the flow of urine from the kidney and to decrease the swelling and pressure caused by urine back-up. Treatment depends on the underlying condition, as that is the primary problem. You should discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.

If the hydronephrosis is acute or sudden, a stent or soft tube may be inserted through the skin into the kidney to drain off excess urine. A soft plastic tube called a ureteral stent may be placed between the kidney and bladder by a urologist during a cystoscopy to drain excess fluids.

If hydronephrosis is caused by stones in the kidneys or ureters, treatment options may include:

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How Common Is Hydronephrosis And What Causes It

Some studies show that as many as 2 percent of all prenatal ultrasound examinations reveal some degree of hydronephrosis, making it one of the most commonly detected abnormalities in pregnancy. Why the ureter becomes blocked during development is unclear. Hydronephrosis is more often seen in males than females.Some studies show that as many as 2 percent of all prenatal ultrasound examinations reveal some degree of hydronephrosis, making it one of the most commonly detected abnormalities in pregnancy. Why the ureter becomes blocked during development is unclear. Hydronephrosis is more often seen in males than females.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hydronephrosis

Ultrasound Video showing Polycystic kidney disease with enlarged bilateral seminal vesicles.

Most infants with hydronephrosis have no symptoms at all. Older children may also have no symptoms and the condition may disappear without intervention.

If a child has more severe hydronephrosis, they may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain with nausea and/or vomiting, especially after large fluid intakes.
  • Flank pain .

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What Are The Signs Or Symptoms Of Hydronephrosis In A Newborn

Newborns with hydronephrosis often do not show signs. In some newborns, the abdomen may be swollen due to severe blockage of the urinary tract. In other cases, newborns with hydronephrosis may develop a urinary tract infection, which may cause signs or symptoms.

If your child has been diagnosed with hydronephrosis, talk with your childs health care professional about appropriate evaluation and treatment options.

Specialists Youll Have To See During Pregnancy

Your doctor likely will refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist .

Other specialists you may see during pregnancy include a pediatric urologist or nephrologist and a neonatologist . They will make recommendations for follow-up care during your pregnancy as well as follow-up care for your baby once he or she is born.

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Treatment Of Kidney Enlargement In Cats

If your cat is experiencing kidney or renal failure, treatment will be required immediately. Kidney failure can quickly become life-threatening. Hospitalization may be required for several days or weeks to stabilize and treat your pet. Medication may be prescribed to treat the underlying cause of kidney enlargement, but medications carry some risk as the kidneys will be responsible for processing any medication. Some common treatments associated with kidney enlargement in cats include:


The purpose of dialysis is to filter the blood, which is a normal function of the kidneys. When the kidneys are functioning poorly, waste material is not properly filtered. Dialysis can help with filtering. There is a moderate risk associated with dialysis, but the treatment will be recommended if the benefits outweigh the risk. This treatment is not widely available and can be incredibly costly.

Surgical Intervention

Surgery may be needed to clear an obstruction, remove a tumor, or repair certain issues. Surgery carries some risk and the patient will require careful observation during surgery and recovery. Your pet will be hospitalized post-surgery to ensure there are no complications.

Intravenous Fluids

Fluid therapy can assist with dehydration, removing some impurities from the system, and balancing electrolyte levels. This common treatment carries a very low risk but is generally provided on an inpatient basis.

Feeding Therapy

Kidney Transplant

Upset Stomach Nausea Vomiting

Eating Disorders: Swollen Kidney

Why this happens:

A severe build-up of wastes in the blood can also cause nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.

What patients said:

I had a lot of itching, and I was nauseated, throwing up all the time. I couldn’t keep anything down in my stomach.

When I got the nausea, I couldn’t eat and I had a hard time taking my blood pressure pills.

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How Is Fetal Hydronephrosis Diagnosed

Hydronephrosis is diagnosed prenatally using ultrasound examination. After the baby is born, ultrasound or other tests may be necessary to determine the cause and severity of the hydronephrosis. Tests may include intravenous pyelogram , voiding cystourethrogram , renal scan or magnetic resonance imaging .

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Tips And Precautions For Moms

To ensure healthy development of your baby and avoid enlarged kidney in fetus, before you get pregnant:

  • Start taking 400 mcg folic acid daily
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Do not use street drugs
  • Eat a healthy diet

If you are trying to get pregnant, it is a good idea to make healthy lifestyle changes beforehand. You could be pregnant for up to 12 weeks before you know that you are pregnant and this is a critical time for baby’s development.

After you find out you’re pregnant, do these things during pregnancy to continue healthy development of your baby’s tissues:

  • Try avoiding infection
  • Watch your blood sugar levels
  • Eat healthy
  • Take your prenatal vitamins
  • Check any medications with your obstetrician

If you have low amniotic fluid levels due to this condition, your doctor may make further recommendations to help prevent the fluid levels from becoming too low. However, studies show this only helps if the lack of maternal hydration contributed to the condition.

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How The Kidneys Work

Urine is a mixture of waste from your blood and water. Its processed in the kidneys, flows down a thin tube and deposits into the bladder. You have two ureters and each one leads from each kidney into each side of the bladder. Hydronephrosis is when this system doesnt work properly and urine builds up in the kidney, causing it to swell.


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