Signs and Symptoms of Dog Kidney Disease
Its hard to tell if one of your dogs internal organs is compromised, but Tracey says there are a few things to look out for that could point to chronic kidney disease. Here are a few:
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WSU warns that depression, anemia, and overall weakness can also be strong indicators.
See these signs? Call your veterinarian. Dogs kidney disease symptoms overlap with other maladies, namely diabetes and kidney stones, so youll need tests to get a definite answer. You can opt for a blood or a urine test, Tracey says. The blood test indicates how well the kidneys are filtering out waste while the urine test examines the pees concentration. If its too low, your pup could have kidney disease.
Because kidney disease mostly affects older dogs, Traceys hospital employs annual blood testing when a dog is 6 followed by yearly urine testing at age 7.
“Unfortunately, were really late to the game when we see signs for kidney disease,” she says.
Causes of Kidney Disease in Dogs
Broadly speaking, kidney disease means something is hampering the organs ability to do their job—removing waste from the blood, producing urine—says Alicen Tracey, DVM and a member of the Daily Paws Advisory Board.
Sometimes, the causes of kidney disease in dogs just isnt known, Washington State University veterinarians write. But a younger dog with congenital kidney disease likely has some kind of birth defect that causes the kidney trouble, Tracey says. She adds that sometimes kidney disease can be caused by an acute injury that harms the organ—like if your dog consumes grapes or raisins.
Chronic kidney disease can also be connected to another chronic disease that affects the kidneys, WSU writes. It can also be caused by high blood pressure.
What are the clinical signs of chronic kidney failure?
When disease or advanced age causes the filtration process to become inefficient and ineffective, blood flow to the kidneys is increased in an attempt to increase filtration. The body must increase the amount of blood flowing through the kidneys since less and less of the metabolic toxins are being removed each time. This results in the production of more urine. To keep the dog from becoming dehydrated due to increased fluid loss in the urine, thirst and water consumption is increased.
Thus, one of the earliest clinical signs of kidney failure is increased water consumption and urination, and is called compensated renal failure. After approximately 2/3 of the kidney tissue is destroyed, there is a rapid rise in waste products in the bloodstream and an apparent sudden onset of severe disease. The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath. Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.