Watch For These Signs of Kidney Disease in Dogs
Polyuria is one of the most prevalent symptoms we see as veterinarians; this condition results from your dog attempting to compensate for renal losses by producing excessively dilute urine volumes.
Your veterinarian will use blood tests to identify kidney disease by measuring levels of urea, creatinine and SDMA; higher values indicate more damage has occurred.
Increased Thirst and Urination
One of the telltale signs of kidney disease in dogs is their increased thirst. Dogs will consume large quantities of water and often urinate more frequently than normal – this condition, known as polydipsia, is one of the first and clearest indicators that they’ve got kidney problems.
Your vet should conduct a full clinical exam on your pet to ascertain why their thirst has increased. They may also perform a complete blood count (CBC) and urine sediment test to detect inflammation or infection within their kidneys.
Once kidney damage has been identified, treatment begins for this illness. Treatment aims to preserve remaining kidney function while decreasing toxins within the body.
Rehydrating the pet with intravenous fluid therapy is the first step of treatment, designed to flush away toxins in their blood and increase urine output.
If a pet’s symptoms of kidney disease do not respond to standard treatments, dialysis may be needed as an effective lifesaving solution. By eliminating waste products from their blood, dialysis helps alleviate symptoms while prolonging life expectancy.
Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to control phosphorus levels, reduce protein loss in urine or ease nausea; in addition to suggesting a healthy weight-maintaining diet plan to ensure your dog with kidney disease remains at their optimal weight.
Once your pet has recovered from initial treatment, they should be monitored to make sure the condition doesn’t recur. Many dogs who suffer from kidney disease can live long and fulfilling lives when given proper attention and care.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
The kidneys are one of the body’s most essential organs, playing an essential role in filtering waste out of our bloodstream and maintaining water balance, electrolytes and phosphorus levels in our system.
Dogs suffering from kidney disease are unable to perform key functions necessary for keeping their bodies operating optimally, leading to symptoms like increased thirst and urination (polydipsia and polyuria), loss of appetite, lethargy, bad breath, weight loss, pale gums, weakness, vomiting obscene smelling snuffles as well as black and tarry stool.
Some of these symptoms may go undetected until kidney failure has progressed to life-threatening proportions; therefore, it is wise to visit a veterinarian as soon as you notice any of them.
Urine tests can detect build-ups of toxins in your bloodstream by measuring concentrations of two waste products: urea and creatinine. If these levels become elevated, this could indicate kidney disease.
If your dog is showing symptoms of kidney failure, regular blood tests will help your vet quickly diagnose their health condition and develop an individual treatment plan tailored specifically to them.
Treatment typically entails administering IV fluids to assist the kidneys in excreting waste, along with medications to control phosphorus levels and reduce protein loss. Although this will not cure kidney condition, it will reduce progression of disease; additionally, a low-protein diet can be recommended to ease strain on kidneys while relieving discomfort and nausea.
Loss of Appetite
Dogs living with kidney disease frequently exhibit loss of appetite. This could be the result of several different sources, such as moving to a new home, having family members away for extended periods, changing diet or loud noises such as fireworks, gunshots or thunder.
Chronic kidney failure poses an increased risk of dehydration for dogs, who may drink excessive water to replenish their fluid levels and prevent dehydration from taking its course and leading to electrolyte imbalance, shock or even coma. If left untreated, dehydration may result in electrolyte imbalance causing shock or even coma in severe cases.
If your dog’s appetite has diminished significantly, take them to a veterinarian to have their blood tested for any toxins accumulating in their urine – including BUN and creatinine levels.
Blood tests can provide valuable insight into how well your kidneys are working and whether they are producing enough USG concentration of urine. A drop in USG levels could indicate there may be something amiss.
Your veterinarian will suggest a special diet for your dog with kidney disease, consisting of minimal phosphorus, sodium and calcium intake as well as protein and other vital nutrients in a balanced fashion.
Diets containing kidney diets will need to be tailored in order to provide high-quality proteins – the optimal proteins are those which closely correspond with the mix of amino acids your dog’s body needs – with your vet providing recommendations of quality sources of essential proteins.
Once kidney function starts to decline, dogs may experience weight loss as their kidneys must filter more waste out of their blood stream to remove.
As kidney function declines, canine urine will also become increasingly acidic – often more frequently and less effectively urinating as a result – which indicates chronic kidney disease (CKD) in dogs.
As their kidneys gradually decline, dogs may experience changes to their appetite as their caloric intake decreases – potentially leading to weight loss and muscle atrophy.
Dogs that suffer from kidney issues can benefit from being placed on a therapeutic diet designed specifically to aid kidney health, with veterinarians offering guidance in selecting food suitable for each pet and how best to transition them over.
When transitioning your pet onto a renal-supportive diet, the key is starting slowly and adding small quantities to their existing food rather than overhauling it completely. This will allow your pup to adjust more smoothly as he experiences lower protein intake that will likely make the food more palatable.
As part of your efforts to help improve their kidney health, make sure your dog has access to enough water. They may need more hydration than usual so provide multiple sources of fresh water throughout your home for your pet to drink from.
Nutrition can be an effective way of slowing the progression of kidney disease and prolonging the life of your pet. Studies have demonstrated that feeding your dog a diet designed for kidney health can reduce symptoms associated with high levels of toxins in his or her blood, reduce uraemia risks and extend his or her lifespan.
Lethargy can be caused by any number of conditions, from an underlying medical issue to lack of physical exercise and mental stimulation.
If your dog exhibits signs of lethargy, it is crucial that they visit a veterinarian as soon as possible for evaluation. This may involve physical exams, blood tests and urine analysis in order to establish any potential kidney issues.
Early signs of kidney disease in dogs include increased thirst and urination due to impaired kidney function; as the kidneys can no longer concentrate urine effectively, your dog will drink excessively in an attempt to dilute his urine supply – leading him or her to consume large volumes of water in response.
Your veterinarian will also perform a full blood count and chemistry profile to detect abnormalities, testing for elevated levels of urea nitrogen and phosphorus; they’ll also evaluate electrolytes such as calcium and magnesium.
Early diagnosis of kidney disease is key to managing and prolonging your dog’s life. A therapeutic renal diet can be the key to controlling its underlying causes such as high blood pressure and protein loss through urine production.
Your dog needs a diet low in sodium and phosphorus in order to reduce waste production, and low-sodium treats like fresh fruit and vegetables may help. Consult a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition to discuss specific dietary supplements for pets with kidney issues – fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that may protect their kidneys while increasing lifespan.