Despite the fact that dogs are a different species, their bodies are quite similar to human bodies in terms of function. Kidneys in dogs filter waste and balance nutrients in their systems.
Kidneys also assist in the regulation of blood pressure, the formation of red blood cells, and the metabolizate of calcium.
When your pet’s kidney function is impaired, it can lead to a cascade of health issues. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of kidney disease in dogs and how to avoid and cure it.
What Causes Kidney Failure in Dogs?
Dog kidney disease can be acute or chronic. Acute kidney failure develops during a few days, but chronic kidney failure develops over time.
Causes of Acute Kidney Failure
A toxin eaten by your dog is the most common cause of acute renal issues. It might be a chemical, such as antifreeze or home cleansers, or it could be bad food.
A urinary obstruction in your pet’s body might potentially cause problems. When blood flow to your dog’s kidneys decreases, the organs become less oxygenated and more vulnerable to infection.
Kidney issues may also result from:
- Severe dehydration
- Heat strokes
- Snake Bites
- Leptospirosis (a bacterial infection)
Causes of Chronic Kidney Failure
Chronic disease is most frequent in older dogs, and because of its delayed start, pinpointing the exact cause can be difficult. Because the early signs of chronic kidney disease are mild, they are readily neglected or rejected.
In older dogs, dental disease is a primary cause of chronic renal failure. Bacteria accumulate on your dog’s teeth and enter his digestive tract when he eats or drinks. While your dog’s kidneys are meant to filter waste, bacteria over time can reduce kidney function.
What Are Some Signs of Kidney Disease in Dogs?
A few signs to watch for include:
- Drinking more or less water
- Change in volume and frequency of urination
- Loss of interest in playing or interacting
- Decreased appetite
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood in urine
- Signs of dental disease like pale gums, smelly breath, mouth ulcers
How Can Kidney Failure Be Prevented?
Keep Your Dog Away From Chemicals
Your dog doesn’t have to suffer from kidney illness. Prevent your dog from getting access to household chemicals and cleaners by taking protective precautions.
It’s vital to remember that dogs are natural chewers, therefore storing chemicals in a closed cabinet won’t suffice. You may also assume that “child-proof” seals will keep your dog safe, but this is not the case.
Plastic bottles are easily chewed by dogs, allowing them to consume harmful chemicals. Make sure bottles are secured in locked cabinets or high up out of reach of dogs.
Avoid Exposure to Medications and Other Harmful Substances
Aside from keeping your dog away from potentially harmful household cleaners and chemicals, it’s also a good idea to keep your dog away from medications, food, and other things.
These could include:
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs, like ibuprofen
- Contaminated water sources
Because poor oral hygiene can lead to chronic kidney disease, keeping your dog’s teeth clean is essential for long-term health.
Consult your veterinarian about how often your dog’s teeth should be cleaned, as well as food and treats that may aid in dental hygiene.
How Is Kidney Disease Treated?
While acute kidney problems are more easily treated, chronic kidney disease causes irreversible damage to your dog’s organs if not discovered early.
Because some harm is irreversible, taking the precautions mentioned above is critical for your dog.
If your dog has kidney disease or kidney failure, the therapy will be determined by the severity of his illness. Your veterinarian will begin by treating underlying illnesses such as chemical poisoning, dehydration, or infection.
Your dog’s treatment plan may also include:
- Medicines that encourage production of urine
- Fluid therapy via an IV
- Addition of electrolytes to balance out blood levels
- Medicine to reduce vomiting
- Medication to ease gastrointestinal problems
- Recommendations for changes in diet
- Medicine for anemia
- Management of blood pressure
What Foods are Good for Dogs With Kidney Disease?
While you may be tempted to make your dog a home-cooked diet, this may not be the greatest option. Dog food contains the right balance of nutrients for your dog’s health.
Your veterinarian may recommend a specific dog food that has additional nutrients that your dog requires due to his illness.
You might be tempted to feed your dog from your plate, however certain foods might harm your dog and/or cause renal problems, such as:
- Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia and other nuts
- Milk and dairy
- Onions, garlic, chives
- Raw or undercooked meat and eggs
- Salty/processed snack foods
- Yeast dough
What Happens if Kidney Disease Goes Untreated?
Untreated kidney disorders in dogs can be life-threatening. If you suspect your dog is suffering from kidney failure, don’t try to diagnose and treat the problem alone.
Kidney issues frequently result in life-threatening situations that require hospitalization and treatment right away. End-stage kidney failure can occur if left untreated, and it can be fatal.
For a diagnosis and treatment, consult your veterinarian or take your dog to an after-hours emergency clinic.
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