What are the signs of organ failure in dogs? Get Your Pet Thinking

Types of Kidney Failure in Dogs

There are two broad categories of kidney failure seen in dogs, chronic and acute.

  • Chronic Renal Failure – Chronic kidney failure is characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over a period of weeks, months or years. Chronic kidney failure in dogs is typically caused by degeneration of the kidneys associated with aging. Although most dog are unable to fully recover from chronic kidney failure, this condition can often be successfully managed, allowing pets to enjoy a good quality of life for a number of months or years.
  • Acute Renal Failure – Acute kidney failure is characterized by a suddenly decrease in kidney function over a period of hours or days. This form of kidney failure is typically caused by exposure to toxins or an infection. If diagnosed and treated early, acute kidney failure can often be cured.
  • Stages of Renal Failure in Dogs

    The elevation of blood waste product and abnormalities in urine, including the presence of protein, can indicate the severity of chronic kidney disease.

    According to the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS), stages of chronic renal disease are numbered 1 through 4 (with four being the most severe). The higher the stage number, the more symptoms you’ll often see in your pet. It’s best if some treatments are started when the pet is at a specific stage of chronic kidney disease.

    Median survival time for dogs in Stage 1 is more than 400 days, while Stage 2 ranged from 200 to 400 days and Stage 3 ranged from 110 to 200 days.

    Chronic kidney disease is progressive, and there is no cure. By the time an animal shows signs of the disease, damage is severe. The nephrons (microscopic units in the kidneys) that remain are working hard to compensate for the nephrons lost to damage or age. In time, these remaining nephrons will also fail.

    As the disease progresses prognosis worsens and survival time decreases with each stage. Median survival time for Stage 4 kidney disease ranges from 14 to 80 days, according to IRIS.

    Since chronic kidney disease is basically just a wearing out process, how is it treated?

    The treatment of chronic kidney disease depends on the results of blood tests, and specific treatments are aimed at resolving specific abnormalities. In some cases, the kidneys are damaged beyond repair before diagnosis and medical treatment is ineffective. However, with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, many dogs will live a normal lifestyle for many months or years.

    Treatment usually occurs in two phases, first flushing the kidneys and removing the accumulated toxins from the blood, and then providing treatments to manage the disease and delay its progression.

    How to Recognize the Signs & Symptoms of Canine Kidney Disease

    It is very normal for dog owners to feel overwhelmed in the first weeks and months with their new addition. The vast majority of overwhelming issues related to puppyhood can be resolved with training and time. Honestly, as a pet parent, you will always be concerned about your dog at all stages of their lifetime; after all, your dog is your child, an important part of your family.

    At Brightcare Animal Neurology, we know how important your dog is to your family and that, as their human parent, you want to give them the best possible life. However, part of being a responsible pet parent is educating yourself about the most common symptoms of a sick dog and ensuring you have access to a veterinarian. Some conditions can be hard to detect, and you never want to wait until it’s too late.

    Your furry best friend is prone to the same illnesses as humans are. So, it’s important that you learn some of the most common health issues in dogs and the clinical signs to watch out for to ensure your pet’s highest quality of life.

    As your trusted veterinary neurological center today, we will be taking a look at renal failure, which is one of the most common health issues faced by dogs aside from skin issues, ear infections, urinary tract infections, vomiting, diarrhea, parasites, dental disease, and obesity.

    Before getting deep into everything regarding renal failure, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms that can be warning signs indicating that your dog isn’t feeling well.

    Dogs are smart, to say the least, but unfortunately, dogs can’t tell us how they are feeling, so the only way to know if your pooch is sick is by paying attention to the potential signs. Some of the most common dog symptoms include:

    Just like with your human children, you will need to pay attention to your pet; after all, no one knows your pet better than you.

    Dog’s bodies function very similarly to human bodies. Dogs have kidneys to balance nutrients in their bodies and filter out waste. Kidneys also help control blood pressure, increase red blood cell production, and help calcium metabolize.

    The impairment of regular kidney function in your pet can cause a mountain of health problems.

    Chronic renal failure or CRF is the inability of your dog’s kidneys to efficiently filter the blood of its physiological waste products, not the inability to produce urine. However, most dogs in kidney failure produce large quantities of urine, but the body’s toxic wastes are not being effectively eliminated.

    Kidney problems in dogs can be acute or chronic. Acute kidney failure happens quickly over several days, while chronic kidney failure happens slowly over time.