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Kidney Disease in Dogs: Symptoms & More

Posted 03.11.22 by Alison Bradshaw, DVM

As a pet owner, you want to keep your dog as healthy as you can for as long as possible. Unfortunately, kidney disease is a common condition in dogs—especially older ones. Luckily, it is treatable. Your pet will only have a chance to live a long and happy life if you seek veterinary attention as soon as you notice signs of the condition.

You’ll also need to make sure that you choose a vet who is experienced when it comes to treating kidney disease in dogs. Here’s what you need to know about kidney disease as a pet parent with a dog.

What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Dogs?

If you have a dog, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of kidney disease. These symptoms can manifest differently in different dogs. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the full range of common manifestations in dogs.

Kidney Disease Often Causes Urinary Issues

As you would expect, kidney disease can cause serious problems with your dog’s urination. Kidneys that do not function properly won’t be able to process waste out of the bloodstream as efficiently, resulting in decreased urination. However, increased urination can also occur in some cases.

Therefore, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention right away if your pet shows any substantial changes in their urination-related behaviors. There are some specific red flags to watch out for when it comes to your dog’s urination habits. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • A dramatic increase in water intake
  • Lack of urination or a rapid decrease in urination

General Malaise

If your dog has kidney issues, they may feel generally unwell, which can manifest itself in various ways. Some of the most common problems are nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, frequent whining and whimpering, and any of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Lack of interest in activities that your pet used to enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping and restlessness
  • Excessive scratching and itchiness
  • “Drunken” behavior
  • Back pain
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anemia due to low red blood cell levels, which often causes fatigue

In some cases, kidney disease is diagnosed at annual wellness checkups. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that your dog visits a vet at least once a year.

Is Kidney Failure Typically Acute or Chronic?

The answer to this question depends entirely on what’s causing your dog’s renal failure. If a toxin or bacterial infection causes it, it will often be acute. On the other hand, if the cause of your dog’s kidney issues is old age or the development of cancer, the progression is likely to be more chronic. In any case, kidney disease is most effectively treated in the early stages of its progression.

What Are the Causes of Kidney Disease in Dogs?

While there are many potential causes of kidney disease in dogs, issues with your pet’s diet are among the most common causes. However, exposure to toxins is another common cause of kidney disease that you should be aware of. Luckily, there are ways that you can reduce your pet’s exposure to potential causes of kidney disease unrelated to aging.

What If Your Dog Already Has Kidney Disease?

Even if your dog already has a problem with their kidneys, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prevent the disease from worsening. Modifying your pet’s diet can make it possible to significantly increase your dog’s longevity. Here are a few dietary tips that can help you increase your pet’s life expectancy:

  • Make sure that they have access to fresh water at all times.
  • Ensure that your dog has access to all of the nutrients that they need to fight their kidney disease. This includes B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C.
  • Avoid excess intake of sodium, potassium, and other metals that can exacerbate kidney issues.

How Can Canine Kidney Disease Be Treated?

If your dog has kidney disease, there are several treatment options that are available, and the best course of action will vary significantly from one dog to another. Most vets will use a combination of dietary modifications and medications. Usually, this involves a drug that is designed to lower blood pressure, such as amlodipine. A second medication to treat the kidney disease directly is generally given. An example of such a medication is Benazepril.

What Is the Best Diet for a Dog With Kidney Disease?

If you have a dog with kidney disease, his or her diet is likely to play a crucial role in the prognosis of the condition. Luckily, a skilled veterinarian with experience in treating kidney disease can make it easy to determine the right diet for your pet.

You’ll typically want to choose a diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals, contains the right amount of healthy proteins, and has a proper balance of all essential nutrients. Also, many vets will prescribe a special veterinary diet which is designed to meet the needs of pets with kidney disease.

Why You Should Choose The Pet Hospitals to Treat Your Dog’s Kidney Disease

If your dog needs veterinary care for kidney disease or any other ailment in Memphis or the surrounding area, you can rest assured that we offer the best treatment in the area. Not only does this mean that we’ll be able to improve your pet’s longevity and physical health, but it also means that we’re the best choice when it comes to your dog’s quality of life.

All of our veterinarians have extensive experience with a wide range of canine ailments, and that includes kidney disease. As a result, we’ll be able to develop a treatment protocol that is tailored to the unique needs of your dog.

We have worked with every breed of dog that you can think of and more. This helps us to tailor our treatment approach to the unique needs of your pet even more effectively, which can make a huge difference when it comes to the prognosis of pets with kidney disease. So, give us a call or send us a message online today if your pet is suffering from kidney disease or displaying any signs or symptoms of the condition. It could change your dog’s life!

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