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Where Are My Dog’s Kidneys Located

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There are two types of kidney failure: acute and chronic.

Chronic kidney disease is usually congenital, but not always, he notes.

Dogs have two kidneys located within the abdomen along the spine, atop the bladder.

Virtually all dogs with Cushing’s disease have at least one of these signs, but it would be uncommon to have all of them. Dogs with Cushing’s disease are at risk for blood clots, kidney damage, high blood pressure and diabetes.

What Is The Prognosis For A Dog With Kidney Disease

Obviously, your vet will be the one to determine what lies ahead should kidney disease be the diagnosis. In general, Foster says the prognosis for dogs with acute kidney injury is guarded, with an overall survival rate of 50% to 65%.

Dogs with infectious disease have a better survival than those who have had a toxin exposure, he says.

Dogs with chronic kidney disease experience shorter survival rates as their disease progresses, he says, adding that veterinarians use the International Renal Interest Society staging system to characterize the severity of the dogs condition, with the survival rate shortening as the stages advance.

Stage I has an average survival of more than 400 days, Stage II 200 days, Stage III 100 days and Stage IV 14 to 100 days, he says. These survival statistics are old and retrospective. I generally see much better survival times for the patients I manage. The treatment for CKD is designed to slow the progression of disease however, given enough time, dogs will advance in their disease severity and eventually we will be unable to provide them with a good quality of life.

What Is Kidney Disease In Dogs

Many important tasks are carried out by the kidneys when they are functioning normally. They remove toxins from the blood and excrete them from the body in urine, regulate blood pressure and blood acidity levels, as well as preventing water loss and maintaining an overall healthy metabolic balance. Any condition which stops the kidneys working properly is referred to kidney or renal disease, and can vary greatly in severity. It means damage is in progress but there is still functional tissue left. In renal failure, the kidneys have stopped working altogether and is far more serious.

Kidney disease is classified in two ways acute and chronic.

When the condition is acute, it is a complication of another condition such as kidney stones or cancer, or the consumption of something toxic. In this case, symptoms can be severe and onset rapidly but, depending on the cause, the condition can sometimes be treated and resolved.

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Whats The Difference Between Kidney Infection Disease And Failure

Kidney disease is a broad term used to describe many conditions that can affect the kidneys. However, kidney failure describes a condition in which kidney function is reduced resulting in less effective removal of toxins and other waste products from the blood, maintenance of hydration and/or regulation of key electrolytes . Kidney disease and kidney failure, which are often used interchangeably, include acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease .

Acute kidney injury is the phrase veterinarians use to describe sudden damage to the kidneys, which can range from mild to life-threatening. While a kidney infection is considered a common cause of acute injury to canine kidneys, other causes include toxins such as those found in grapes, raisins and antifreeze certain infections, such as leptospirosis and Lyme disease and underlying health issues like high blood calcium levels or shock. The condition can develop rapidly, and damage to the kidneys may be reversible with appropriate treatment.

In contrast, chronic kidney disease often has a slow, gradual onset. Dog parents may not notice the signs until the disease is quite advanced. Although kidney damage associated with chronic kidney disease is irreversible and permanent, it can be managed through a therapeutic kidney food, medications and fluids.

Causes Of Kidney Disease In Dogs

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Broadly speaking, kidney disease means something is hampering the organs’ ability to do their jobremoving waste from the blood, producing urinesays Alicen Tracey, DVM and a member of the Daily Paws Advisory Board.

Sometimes, the causes of kidney disease in dogs just isn’t known, Washington State University veterinarians write. But a younger dog with congenital kidney disease likely has some kind of birth defect that causes the kidney trouble, Tracey says. She adds that sometimes kidney disease can be caused by an acute injury that harms the organlike if your dog consumes grapes or raisins.

Chronic kidney disease can also be connected to another chronic disease that affects the kidneys, WSU writes. It can also be caused by high blood pressure.

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Is Kidney Failure Typically Acute Or Chronic

The answer to this question depends entirely on whats causing your dogs renal failure. If a toxin or bacterial infection causes it, it will often be acute. On the other hand, if the cause of your dogs kidney issues is old age or the development of cancer, the progression is likely to be more chronic. In any case, kidney disease is most effectively treated in the early stages of its progression.

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.

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How Is The Dogs Kidney Fixed In Its Position

Different factors and structures keeping the dogs kidneys in their position

  • Renal vessels and ureter that attaches to the hilus of the dogs kidney,
  • A thin fibrous capsule with the renal fat,
  • Distribution of the renal fascia, and
  • Pressure performed by the different surrounding organs,

Here, the renal fascia of the dogs kidney is formed by the condensation of the extra peritoneal connective tissue. These tissues surround the dogs kidney and continue laterally with the transversalis fascia.

As there is an excellent role of the pressure of the surrounding kidney organs to hold in the position, you may learn more about these organs from the next section of the article.

Common Inquiries In The Dog Kidney Anatomy

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Now, I will enlist the common questions that the dog anatomy learner asks. I will try to provide concise answers to these questions on the dog kidney anatomy.

But make sure you know the basic structure of the dogs kidney. You may read this article from beginning to end to get a basic idea of the structure of the dogs kidney.

Lets see the common inquiries on the dog kidney structure that the learners commonly ask.

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Types Of Kidney Disease In Dogs

  • Acute Renal Failure: When the kidneys suddenly fail in an otherwise healthy dog, it is considered acute renal failure. This form of kidney disease develops over a few days, causing a dog to go from normal to very sick in that short period of time.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease : Chronic kidney disease is sometimes called chronic kidney failure. More vets have begun calling it chronic kidney disease because it seems to be a better way to describe the disease. Kidney function becomes worse over time, eventually leading to death.

What Kind Of Follow

Serial urinalyses and urine cultures are done during antibiotic treatment, generally 5 to 7 days into treatment and 1 to 4 weeks after antibiotic therapy concludes. Potential complications of pyelonephritis include kidney failure, recurrent kidney infections, bacteria in the blood causing infection in other parts of the body .

Overall, dogs with sudden pyelonephritis do well and return to normal health unless they also have kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract obstruction, or cancer in the urinary tract.

Dogs with chronic or recurrent pyelonephritis may be difficult to cure and their prognosis is more serious. If pyelonephritis is not identified and treated appropriately, permanent kidney damage and chronic kidney disease with kidney failure may result.

Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP

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Stages Of Renal Failure In Dogs

The elevation of blood waste product and abnormalities in urine, including the presence of protein, can indicate the severity of chronic kidney disease.

According to the International Renal Interest Society , stages of chronic renal disease are numbered 1 through 4 . The higher the stage number, the more symptoms youll often see in your pet. Its best if some treatments are started when the pet is at a specific stage of chronic kidney disease.

Median survival time for dogs in Stage 1 is more than 400 days, while Stage 2 ranged from 200 to 400 days and Stage 3 ranged from 110 to 200 days.

End-Stage Renal Disease in Dogs

Chronic kidney disease is progressive, and there is no cure. By the time an animal shows signs of the disease, damage is severe. The nephrons that remain are working hard to compensate for the nephrons lost to damage or age. In time, these remaining nephrons will also fail.

As the disease progresses prognosis worsens and survival time decreases with each stage. Median survival time for Stage 4 kidney disease ranges from 14 to 80 days, according to IRIS.

Does My Dog Have Kidney Disease

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The signs of kidney disease can be difficult to recognize but if you notice any of the following, it could mean your dog has a kidney problem. Please check with your veterinarian if you are seeing any of these signs.

  • Increased thirst and urine production
  • Obstructed urine flow

Chronic Kidney Disease: Chronic, or long-term, kidney disease can result from the above factors, plus: Breed and hereditary tendencies, in coordination with nutritional factors and immune system defects. Chronic kidney disease is progressive and irreversible.

Unfortunately, the signs of kidney disease usually do not appear until 75% of kidney function has been lost. Once chronic kidney failure develops, it cannot be reversed.

IMPORTANT: Early stages of kidney disease will show no signs or symptoms. An increase in thirst may be the first sign of kidney failure if you notice this, or any of the above signs, consult your veterinarian immediately.

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Kidney Pain Vs Back Pain

Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between kidney pain and back pain. Some muscular problems in the back or other diseases can mimic kidney pain. Dr. Davis goes on to explain that pain that comes from your kidneys is usually accompanied by other symptoms. For example, you may notice changes in your urination or you may have a fever.3

Usually, back pain is distinguished from kidney pain because it may get better or worse when moving the back muscles. Unlike kidney stone pain which comes on in sharp, painful waves, back pain is more constant and connected with movement.

In general, flank or kidney pain is usually higher in the back just under the ribs and the pain sensation is deeper. Back pain that is muscular is usually in the lower back.

The Cavity Of The Canine Kidney Anatomy

You will see a distinct cavity on the medial aspect of both the right and left kidneys of the dogs. This is the renal hilus and sometimes considers a cavity of the kidney.

A space marked by the wall of the renal hilus of the kidney is known as the renal sinus. Now, in the renal sinus of the dogs kidney, you will find the followings

  • A renal pelvis funnel-shaped structure,
  • A variable amount of the fat,
  • Branches of the renal artery, vein, and lymphatics, and
  • A ureter that is the continuation of the renal pelvis,

After passing the renal sinus of the dog kidney, the nerves, veins, and arteries enter into the parenchyma. Lets know a little about the different structures of the renal cavity of dogs.

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High salt diets may increase blood pressure and may worsen kidney damage, so diets designed for pets with kidney disease are low in sodium. You should also avoid feeding high salt treats such as cheese, bread, deli meat, and many commercial dog and cat treats.

When a dog’s kidneys fail, toxins such as ammonia and nitrogen can build up in their bodies. This, in turn, can cause nausea, vomiting, and/or a decreased appetite. This condition is known as uremia, and it is directly related to kidney failure.

These diets are formulated to help dogs with CKD avoid metabolic acidosis and are available from your veterinarian. Examples include Hill’s® Prescription Diet® k/d®, Royal Canin® Veterinary Diet Canine Renal Support, Purina® ProPlan® Veterinary Diet NF Kidney Function®, and Rayne Clinical Nutrition Adult Health-RSS.

In addition to feeding a lower protein diet, you also need to avoid giving high protein treats such as meat, jerky treats, cheese, rawhides, pig ears, etc.

High salt diets may increase blood pressure and may worsen kidney damage, so diets designed for pets with kidney disease are low in sodium.

Focal Abnormalities Of The Renal Parenchyma

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Renal Cysts

Renal cysts may be solitary or multiple, involving both kidneys.1517 This condition may be congenital, as explained previously, or acquired. Renal cysts are round to oval in contour and anechoic, and they have smooth, sharply demarcated thin walls with a distinct far wall border and distal acoustic enhancement.

Cysts may deform the renal capsule if they become large enough or if autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is present. Also, they can contain internal echoes in association with hemorrhage or necrotic debris. Diagnostic differentials for solitary cysts include hematoma, abscess, and solid or cavitary mass. The presence of cystic lesions of the kidneys in some breeds, such as German shepherds, should raise concern for some neoplasms, such as renal cystadenocarcinoma, which can be associated with cutaneous paraneoplastic fibrotic nodular lesions .18

Renal Hematoma

Renal hematomas typically occur in a young animal with a clotting disorder or recent trauma. They may contain a mixture of anechoic, hypoechoic, and hyperechoic components within the renal cortex or medulla. Differentiation from some neoplastic lesions, such as renal hemangiosarcoma, can be ultrasonographically challenging.

Renal Abscess

Renal Infarctions

Renal Mineralization

Renal Cystadenocarcinomas

Other Renal Neoplasia

Solid soft tissue masses may appear in a variety of ways:

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Kidney Infection Disease And Failure In Dogs They All Mean Urine Trouble

Youve noticed your dog is drinking more water and urinating more frequently. They have even had an accident indoors. Its probably a UTI, you think to yourself. Or could it be something more?

Your dogs symptoms certainly could indicate a bladder infection. But they could also signal a potential kidney infection, kidney disease, kidney failure, diabetes or even Cushings syndrome . The only way to know for sure whats afflicting your dog is to have them examined by your veterinarian.

Not only do signs of different urinary tract disorders overlap but, if left untreated, one problem can lead to another. The terms used to describe various urinary tract issues are similar all of which can be confusing for pet parents. In this post, well explain the differences between urinary tract disease, urinary tract infection , kidney infection, kidney disease and kidney failure.

The Kidneys Play Many Vital Roles But Are Often Credited With Just One

Put simply, the function of the kidneys is to make urine, a waste product of body metabolism. Of course, there is much more to the kidneys. They are powerful chemical factories that: Remove waste products, toxins, and drugs from the body Balance the bodys fluids and help maintain a constant body pH Release hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells Produce an activated form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones Anatomy and physiology The two kidneys lie against the back abdominal wall, lateral to the spine, in the lumbar region. They are encapsulated organs, shaped somewhat like a kidney bean, and their size varies with the size of the dog. The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. There are perhaps a million nephrons in each kidney, each one comprised of a glomerulus and a long tubule that eventually empties into the ureter.

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Where Can I Buy American Journey Dog Food

American Journey Dog Food is made from 100% natural ingredients. The company was founded in 2008 by two brothers who wanted to create a healthy dog food that would be easy for dogs to digest. They started by making a line of dry foods, which were then reformulated into wet foods. Their first product was called American Journey and it was sold exclusively at PetSmart stores. Today, they sell their products through pet specialty retailers nationwide.


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