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Dog renal failure

Dog Renal Failure

Canine renal failure suggests that the kidneys have quit working and are not making urine.

Renal failure occurs when the kidney is unable to remove waste products from the blood. In cases of dog kidney failure, the kidney does produce large quantities of urine, but the wastes from the blood are not being effectively eliminated by the kidney and waste products back up into the blood stream. The kidneys fail to keep the right balance of sodium, potassium, calcium phosphates, and other electrolytes for controlling acid in the blood and blood pressure, hence resulting in renal failure.

Unlike chronic dog renal failure, acute renal failure is easily reversible if treated in time. The chances of kidney failure are directly related to aging.

Renal dysplasia in dogs

Renal Dysplasia (RD) in dogs is mostly found in the Shih Tzu breed. RD shows no clinical signs or symptoms, and the presence of the disease generally fails to be detected by routine laboratory tests and the dog may inevitable die or be euthanized.

It is a hereditary disease where the puppies have abnormal kidney formation. The nephrons in the kidneys are not fully developed and these immature nephrons persist throughout life. There are no long-term treatments for the disease but kidney treatments and intravenous fluids may be beneficial if provided in the early stages.

Causes of Dog Renal Failure

  • Heredity
  • Urinary blockage
  • Decreased blood volume
  • Low blood pressure
  • Reduced erythropoietin hormone production for stimulating red-blood-cell production in the bone marrow
  • Inadequate blood supply to the kidneys.

Dog Renal Failure Symptoms

The signs of kidney failure in dogs will vary depending upon the severity of the condition. However, the commonly seen signs and symptoms of dog renal failure are:
  • Increased water consumption
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bad breath
  • Pale gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Weight loss
  • Heart murmur or irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of teeth and bone softening (in case of young dogs).
If any of these symptoms are experienced by your pet, getting the help of a vet becomes extremely important. Certain diagnostic tests are performed in order to confirm the condition. This may include X-rays, blood and urine tests, ultrasonography, and a complete physical examination.

Treatment of Dog Renal Failure

The dog is set on diuresis, which helps to stimulate the kidney cells to function again. It recommended that you administer fluid therapy to your dogs in order to replace various electrolytes, especially potassium. You must maintain a healthy dog diet. The diet should be low in protein, low in phosphorus, and not acidified. After your dog gets stabilized, fluids must be given subcutaneously at home. It should be done once daily to once weekly, depending on the degree of kidney failure.

You must avoid giving sodium to dogs with a bad kidney as the level of the cholesterol rises and builds up inside the arteries, which affects the heart. 

  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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