Dog Health : Kidney Failure Symptoms in Dogs

Do you know that your dog could be suffering from kidney failure? Kidney failure is painful and makes the dog restless. You can help your dog on time by knowing the symptoms of dog kidney failure. The information below tells you about this dog disease.
| Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself." - Josh Billings

A dog is a blessing and if you have one I am sure you know what I mean. Every single day is more beautiful just because that furry little animal shows its affection to you in innumerable ways! This article gives you a chance to show your dog how much you care about its health. Read on to know the dog kidney failure symptoms.

Kidney Failure in Dogs

Kidney failure is best defined as the inability of the kidneys to remove waste products present in the blood. As the toxins build up it produces the signs and symptoms of uremic problems. This disease can appear all of a sudden or gradually over months. In most cases kidney failure occurs gradually and is caused by problems like nephrosis and nephritis. The signs of kidney failure are not visible until 75 percent of the functioning kidney is impaired.

Reasons for Kidney Failure in Dogs:

  • Rupture of the urethra or bladder
  • Obstruction of the urinary tract because of a stone
  • Shock which results in insufficient blood flow to the kidneys
  • Antifreeze
  • Lyme disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Leptospirosis

Symptoms of Dog Kidney Failure:

As mentioned earlier most of the symptoms of kidney failure are not visible in the beginning. Here is a list of symptoms that may occur gradually over an extended period of time.

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of weight
  • Depression
  • Blindness
  • Increased need for water/liquids
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Presence of blood in urine
  • Increase in the amount and frequency of urination

Treatment of Kidney Failure in Dogs

Periodic monitoring of blood chemistries in dogs that suffer from kidney failure is important. This helps detect changes in kidney function and in turn helps provide immediate medical intervention for your pet. Restricting salt intake is another step that needs to be followed as it helps prevent edema, hypertension and ascites. Phosphorous should also be restricted in dogs with kidney failure. Medications to lower the phosphorous levels may also be prescribed along with changes in the diet. Water should also become an important part of the diet for dogs suffering from kidney failure. This should be done so that the necessary water level in the body is maintained. In a few cases dogs with kidney failure might also require an occasional boost to their fluid intake. This fluid intake includes subcutaneous, which is also known as sub-Q or SQ. Once a dog with kidney failure reaches the later stages, it may need sub-Q fluids everyday.

Kidney failure may be acute of mild. If diagnosed on time a dog that suffers from mild kidney failure and is well supported medically does stand a chance of complete recovery. Of course in most cases the dog will need care and support throughout their lives since it will have atleast some renal function deficit. In the case of chronic renal failure, cure is non existent and the disease must be taken care of as well as one can for the rest of the dog’s life. If the dog is suffering from acute kidney failure another option is dialysis which is of two kinds - peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis. In the peritoneal dialysis special fluid is put into the abdomen with the help of a catheter. This fluid washes away tissues and absorbs toxins from the body across tissue barriers. Once the set time period is over the fluid is then removed through the same catheter along with the toxins. In hemodialysis the dog’s blood is circulated through a machine that has filters. These filters try to duplicate the filtering process of a healthy kidney. This therapy is not available everywhere since the equipment is expensive.

Another option which might provide relief for your pet is a kidney transplant. This treatment is only done in a few veterinary referral centers as of now but is becoming common. Very much like human organ transplants, drugs need to be administered to the dog post transplant. These drugs are expensive and have to be given carefully in order to minimize the side effects. Your vet will know the best treatment for your dog, it is thus important to consult him regularly  and provide your pet with the best care you can give.

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