Noticing the Signs: Kidney Disease


Kidney disease is a common health concern for dogs of all breeds. It is estimated that one in 10 dogs will suffer from kidney disease during their lifespan. Kidneys help filter and rid toxins and waste from the dog’s blood, and the waste products are then excreted in the urine. Kidney tissue does not regenerate itself in the same way other tissues do in your canine, therefore when your dog is diagnosed with kidney disease, he or she may already be on their way to kidney failure. By noticing the symptoms sooner, you may be able to help your pup and get them on the road to recovery!

What Causes Kidney Disease?

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can develop acute kidney problems as a result of ingesting toxins, certain medications or tainted foods. On the other hand, chronic kidney disease shows up over a period of time and the causes are harder to determine. Chronic kidney disease is often caused by an underlying illness and congenital and hereditary conditions. A main cause of chronic kidney failure is dental disease. Bacteria from the dental disease can enter the bloodstream and invade multiple organs causing irreversible damage.

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What are the Symptoms?

According to the American Kennel Club, there are some signs that can help determine if your pup may be having a kidney issue:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drinking
  • Frequent urination – sometimes in the house even if the dog is house trained
  • Decreased interest in eating
  • Chemical odor of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in urine
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Pale gums

A quick diagnosis is critical. If your pup is not acting like themselves, go to your vet. The American Kennel Club suggests you ask for a full blood-analysis panel even if your pup had one a few months ago because a little bit of time can change everything.

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How Can You Treat It?

As always, consult with your vet. Depending on whether the problem is acute or chronic, treatment may include:

• Drugs to encourage urine production
• Monitoring of urinary output
• Control of vomiting
• Medication for gastrointestinal problems
• Dialysis
• Dietary management

Final Thoughts

After consulting with your vet, together you can come up with therapies to help treat your pup and ease their discomfort. Keeping calm and their spirits up will help them on their way to healing and hopefully towards a longer and happier life with you!

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