Chronic Kidney Failure In Dogs

Chronic renal disease in dogs is quite common these days. The disease was once a lesser known disease in dogs but with the passage of time this disease has gained a foothold. According to Petmd, one of the most reputed and trusted websites in pet category says, nine of every 1000 dogs  that are medically examined suffer from renal disease. Even though dogs of any age could suffer from this deadly disease, it’s most commonly found in older dogs.
Kidney failure in dogs happen at a very slow pace and it is sometimes difficult to identify the Chronic Kidney Failure In Dogsdisease in early stages. Kidneys have a very important role to play in proper functioning of blood pressure ,glucose levels, creation of red blood cells, managing pH levels and producing particular hormones. By the time the symptoms are easily identified it is too late to get a hold on this disease. Ultimately the kidney starts to wear off and the performance drops, gradually but frequently.
Although serious renal failure can’t be cured or healed, frequent medication and treatment can definitely slow down its pace, resulting in longevity of the affected pet. This disease isn’t confined to dogs only, cats can also fall a victim to this slow poison. In the following section we shall discuss the symptoms and types of the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs.


Types & Symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure

Nothing happens too fast in chronic renal failure, everything takes place at a very slow pace, over an extended time period, following is the list of symptoms of chronic kidney failure in dogs. Remember, not all of these symptoms might show up in every dog.

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in the urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures and comas
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Constipation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Acute blindness
  • Frequent urination

Causes Behind Chronic Renal Failure

Kidney Failure in dogs can be caused by urinary blockage, prescription medicines side effects, diabetes, kidney disease or genetic factors passed on by  genes.

Out of all dog breeds, Samoyed and Bull Terrier is the most affected breed in terms of the kidney failure. The other prone breeds are

  • Cairn Terrier
  • English Cocker
  • German Shepherd

Related: How To Keep Your Pet Healthy?

Diagnosis of the Renal Failure

Chronic Kidney Failure In Dogs
Regular checkups can slow down the progress of the Chronic Kidney Failure.

The very first thing that an affected dog will have to face is the blood profiling that includes a chemical blood profile, urine analysis and blood count. Dogs having kidney issues usually have an increased blood pressure all the time in addition to anemia and very inconsistent electrolyte levels. In med examinations, urine is a another very helpful indication to the health issues apart from the blood. Dogs having chronic renal failure have neither a very concentrated urine nor a diluted one, this points towards the inefficient working of the kidney. Vets often use X-ray to monitor the shape of the kidney. In most cases, chronic kidney failure in dogs result in decrease of kidney size.

Treatment of the Renal Failure

As we already mentioned that this disease can’t be cured, the only possible way to go forward is medication and treatment to slow down the process. Senior dogs having renal failure usually undergo fluid therapy. Fluid therapy assists the dog’s depleted fluid levels, as kidney failure results in imbalance of body’s fluid levels. In such cases, vets often recommend low protein dog food for the dogs as it is very helpful for dogs. The specially formulated low protein dog food is very useful for the dogs as they have low protein levels so that the kidney doesn’t have to work hard enough. The only issue is that these diets are tasteless and a dog may not adopt to it at once.

Most likely a dog would resist to eat such non-flavored food, but you can add some chicken stock or tuna juice to make it favorable. The best practice is to consult your vet for this issue. Renal failure causes dehydration in dog’s body and you as a pet owner must make sure that your dog has an adequate amount of fresh water available all the time. Vets recommend foods like Vitamins D, Erythropotein and Phosphorus binders to aid the dog’s digestive system and overall body condition, based on the condition of the dog.

How to Live With It?

Chronic kidney failure in dogs is a slow but progressive disease and there is no certain and exact way to prevent or cure this deadly disease, the only known way is to examine and monitor the suffering dog on regular basis. Life of the dog will only depend on the condition of the pet and the progression of the disease.



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Hi, I am Jeni Peterson and I’m a graduate of Florida Medical College with a degree in Rehab Work. Our sole motive is to provide “Quality Information” to the online community seeking answers to their everyday issues related to pets.