Just like our own, your dog’s kidneys are imperative to their well-being. This organ helps to maintain a natural balance of minerals and fluids in your dog’s body by removing any waste substances from their blood. When your dogs is suffering from kidney disease, they may show early warning signs of dog kidney disease, but this is relatively rare.
In most cases, symptoms will not begin to show until they’re around 75% of the way through their illness. Early detection of canine kidney problems is imperative for their health – it’s especially important if your dog is over the age of seven. If you’re worried about dog kidney disease, it’s simple to detect. All your vet needs to do is conduct a urinalysis and a blood test for your pet.
What Causes Kidney Disease?
It’s common for dogs to suffer from this disease and the damage caused is often irreversible. However, with early diagnosis, treatment can be received faster, and most dogs go on to live long and happy lives.
Many different factors can cause dog kidney disease such as cancer, toxins and more, including:
- Age – When your dog is over the age of seven, they’re a lot more likely to develop kidney disease.
- Breed – Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to kidney problems. German shepherds, English cocker spaniels, and bull terrier are just a few.
- Food – Some dog foods have increased levels of protein and are high in phosphorus. If your dog has kidney problems, these foods can increase the rate of progression.
- Environment – Certain chemicals such as lead paint, antifreeze, and disinfectant, can be toxic to dogs and cause damage to the kidneys.
- Dental – If your dog has dental disease, the bacteria can enter your dog’s bloodstream and cause changes to their kidneys.
Signs Your Dog Kidney Disease
When your pet is suffering from kidney failure, they will show a range of different symptoms. It’s important for all dog owners to be aware of these signs so they can act fast. Not all of them are clear indications that your pet has kidney disease, for example, vomiting can be a sign of many other issues.
There are many damaging kidney toxins for dogs; you should always be aware of the following signs:
- If you see blood in your pet’s urine (hematuria)
- If your dog is vomiting
- If your dog isn’t urinating as often or struggling to urinate (anuria)
- If your pet is passing diarrhea
- If your dog is passing urine during the night (nocturia)
- If they’re reluctant to move and often in a hunched over posture
- If your dog is losing noticeable amounts of weight
- If you notice that your dog is acting lethargic and sleeping more than usual
- If their appetite has decreased (anorexia)
- If the coat of your dog is looking dull or starry
- If there’s an increase in urination (polyuria)
- If your dog is drinking a lot more water than usual (polydipsia)
If your dog shows any of the symptoms, you should seek veterinary attention. During an examination, your vet may also find some of the following signs that could indicate kidney problems:
- High blood pressure – this can also cause changes to your pet’s retina
- Bad breath caused by a buildup of toxic substances within the blood stream
- Pale gums from red blood reduction, anemia
- Mouth ulcers usually found on the gums, cheeks, and tongue
- Kidneys that are painful, swollen, small or irregular
- Soft bones
- Fluid causing swollen limbs and abdomen
Treatments for Kidney Disease
Dogs who are suffering from kidney disease will often undergo fluid therapy. However, it’s also paramount to keep your dog filled with nutrients. Your pet’s diet plays a crucial role in ensuring their health. When your dog gets diagnosed with the disease, managing their food can be significantly beneficial to their well-being.
By reducing the amount of protein and phosphorus that you give them, you can slow down the progression of kidney problems. For a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet is essential. You can always ask you vet which foods are the best to give your dog to improve their condition.
Don’t Delay In Scheduling An Appointment
Dog Kidney Disease and acute kidney injury (AKI) are life-threatening conditions to your dog. If your pet is showing any signs of kidney failure, you need to contact a vet immediately. Don’t hesitate to call South County Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment by calling (479) 996-6095. You can also get in touch with us if you’d like any advice on your dog’s condition.