Signs of kidney disease in dogs

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First of all, it is very important to distinguish acute from chronic renal failure. The acute ones are usually due to intoxication or infection while in the chronic ones a gradual failure occurs and is related to chronic diseases and old age in dogs.

Dogs with severe acute renal disease often produce less urine than normal and as the condition progresses, may ultimately produce none at all. Producing large amounts of dilute urine is one of the first signs of chronic renal disease in dogs and makes it necessary to go for walks to urinate very frequently and have accidents at home (Changes in Urination).

Dogs with chronic renal disease try to compensate by drinking more water (Increased Thirst), but eventually they can’t drink enough to replace what is being lost and become dehydrated.

They lose energy and may simply want to rest rather than take part in the activities they used to love (Lethargy).

Compromised kidney function results in increased blood levels of metabolic waste products like blood urea nitrogen and creatinine and makes dogs feel sick. Erythropoietin is a hormone produced by the kidneys that stimulate the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. In cases of chronic renal disease, the kidneys no longer produce enough of Erythropoietin and causing anemia and worsening of lethargy. The metabolic changes make them feel bad enough that they lose their appetite and weight.

Dogs with advancing renal disease will often start to vomit and have diarrhea as a result of the irritation and inflammation within their gastrointestinal tract.

When a dog has a severe advanced renal failure, they can have dementia, breathing problems, sudden collapse, bleeding, and seizures.

At any sign, see your vet. The sooner dogs receive appropriate treatment for renal disease the better their prognosis. Some cases of acute renal disease can be cured. Chronic renal disease is not curable but If they are diagnosed on time and managed, we can give a good quality of life and prolong the life of the pet.


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