The kidneys maintain the correct balance of certain chemicals in your dog and filter waste products from the blood. Canine kidney disease will cause the kidneys to function improperly leading to the buildup of toxins in the blood. This condition is classified in two forms.
Canine kidney disease is classified as acute or chronic. The acute form occurs suddenly and may cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. It can affect dogs of any age. Chronic canine kidney disease usually affects older dogs. This condition slowly develops over long periods of times and normally causes irreversible damage.
There are many causes of canine kidney disease. Toxic chemicals such as rat poison or antifreeze are one of the leading causes. Canine kidney disease can also be caused by heart disease and fungal or bacterial infections. Medications like antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs can also be responsible for this condition when they are taken over long periods of time.
If you dog is suffering from canine kidney disease, he will show a variety of symptoms. The most common include dehydration, increased water consumption, and frequent urination. Your dog may also have discolored teeth and a loss of appetite. Other symptoms of canine kidney disease are muscle weakness, mouth ulcers, shivering, and diarrhea.
If you feel your dog is showing symptoms of canine kidney disease, you will need to take him to a veterinarian to get checked out. The vet will usually perform blood tests and a urinalysis to confirm the presence of the disease. It may also be necessary to take an ultrasound or x-rays. The most accurate diagnosis of canine kidney disease can be made by taking a kidney biopsy.
The underlying cause is always dealt with first for treating acute canine kidney disease. Your dog may also need IV fluids to help remove toxins from the blood. If that doesn’t work, dialysis will be used to eliminate the toxins. This will also give your dog’s kidneys a chance to rest and hopefully heal.
There is no treatment for chronic canine kidney disease. The best the veterinarian can do is try to slow or stop the progression of the disease to advanced stages. You will usually be instructed to provide your dog plenty of water and put him on a special diet. This diet will restrict the amount of protein, phosphorus, and sodium that your dog consumes.
If acute canine kidney disease is detected early enough, the prognosis is usually good. The likelihood of recovery increases if the underlying cause can successfully be treated and there is not a lot of permanent damage done to the kidneys. Chronic canine kidney disease is usually detected in the later stages, so the prognosis is not good. The only options may be medications to ease pain and reduce symptoms, while euthanasia may also be likely.