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Kidney Failure in Dogs: How to Recognize It

Deadly dog jerkyNo one likes to think of their dogs getting any disease. Your dog getting sick is a terrible and heart-wrenching event. Kidney disease is often recognized at home first and when identified early, can be managed easier.

Kidney disease, also known as renal failure, happens in 9 out of every 1000 dogs. That means that kidney failure in dogs is fairly common. It can happen to dogs of any age though more common in older dogs. The Samoyed, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, German Shepherd, and English Cocker Spaniel are the breeds that are most prone to renal failure, but that doesn’t mean that other breeds are not susceptible. There are a variety of causes of kidney failure in dogs not limited to breeds, which can include kidney disease, urinary blockages, some prescription medications, diabetes, lymphoma, and genetics. Certain breeds are also more disposed to renal failure:

Kidney failure is not something that necessarily happens quickly, though once the symptoms start showing it can seem to be progressing very quickly. This is because as the kidneys start to fail other organs in the body will start to compensate while they can. Here are the symptoms of renal failure. If you start noticing any of these symptoms, you should call your Albuquerque vet to make an appointment to get your dog evaluated. The earlier renal failure is identified the better the chance of survival.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Lack of appetite (anorexia)
  • Acute blindness
  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Blood in the urine
  • An increase in the frequency and amount of urination

There is no cure for chronic kidney failure. If your dog is diagnosed with renal failure he will likely need to undergo fluid therapy and receive a special kidney diet that is low in protein, and high in potassium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Treatment for Kidney Failure in Dogs. When a dog has kidney failure, dehydration is one of the most pressing issues. You have to make sure your dog stays hydrated. If he is not drinking enough water, you may have to give him fluids subcutaneously, aka. under the skin. The vet will be able to show you how to do this, and this can be done at home.

Renal failure in dogs is progressive. There is no cure, there is only management. If your dog has been diagnosed you will want to monitor him for changes in his health. Work with your vet on the best treatment plan and the best way to manage the disease.