Dealing With Kidney Failure in Your Dog

Chronic kidney failure is a disease that is diagnosed in approximately nine out of every 1,000 dogs that get examined by veterinarians. It’s a disease that is most commonly found in older dogs, but it can actually develop in any age or breed of dog. Some breeds are predisposed to chronic renal failure, including German Shepherds, Bull Terriers, Cairn Terriers, English Cocker Spaniels, and Samoyeds.

Besides genetic predisposition, renal failure can be caused by a diversity of factors, including kidney disorders or kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, a blockage of the urinary tract, and lymphoma. Certain medications can also increase a dog’s risk for kidney damage.

Dealing With Kidney Failure in Your Dog

Your Dog’s Kidneys Are Vital Organs

The kidney is an essential organ because it regulates blood pressure, blood volume, blood sugar, pH levels, and water composition in the blood. It also produces red blood cells as well as other hormones necessary for good health.

The biggest challenge with kidney failure is that it is a disease that can remain asymptomatic for a long time. In many cases, once signs and symptoms finally start presenting themselves, the disease is very far along. Making matters worse is that kidney failure is not a condition that can be cured or reversed. This is why early detection is so important for dogs that might be starting to suffer from renal complications.

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Dogs

If you have noticed one or more of the following symptoms, then you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately as they may be signs of kidney failure:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blindness
  • Seizure or coma

Getting Your Dog Treatment for Kidney Failure Starts as Your Vet

Once you’ve completed the above checklist, print it out and take it to your veterinarian so you can discuss your dog’s health with the vet. The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your dog including a review of both hers and her family’s medical history (if that information is available), and a detailed account of when the symptoms started to present themselves.

Tests you can expect to be performed include a complete blood count and a urinalysis. If a urinary tract obstruction is believed to be the cause, then an x-ray and/or ultrasound will also be ordered.

Treatment for kidney failure (long-term) in dogs typically includes fluid therapy to help prevent dehydration. The dog will also be put on a low-protein, low-sodium, kidney-friendly diet that is high in omega fatty acids. Medications may also be prescribed by the veterinarian. Common medications used to help treat a dog with long-term renal failure include anti-hypertensives, blood pressure medications, vitamin supplements, and more.

If your dog is diagnosed with long-term kidney failure and she is prescribed medications to help treat it, you can receive a free quote for your pet’s medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on all of your pet medications.

As always, be sure to inform your veterinarian about any medications or supplements your cat is currently taking so your vet can make the best treatment decision for your pet’s unique case and help reduce the risk of a potential drug interaction.


Author: Giano Panzarella