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Kidney disease in dogs

Kidney failure in dogs, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Kidney disease is usually caused due to aging and older dogs are more prone to such health disorders.

Some common kidney disorders affecting dogs are: kidney failure in dogs, dog kidney infection, dog's kidney stones, congenital kidney disease in dogs and polycystic kidney disease in dogs. Kidney failure or renal failure is common among both cats and dogs. Kidney diseases are broadly categorized as acute and chronic diseases.

Kidney malfunction may cause build up of toxins which lead to kidney damage and finally results in kidney failure. Such damage is usually irreparable and can trigger severe health conditions that are fatal in nature. If diagnosed early a kidney disease can be managed with the help of medication.


Causes of kidney diseases in dogs:
Various health factors can contribute to kidney diseases in dogs. Kidney ailments such as polycystic kidney disease are usually inherited. The other most common causes are:

  • Aging
  • Hypertension
  • Congenital kidney disease or genetic defect
  • Cancer and
  • Immune diseases
  • Trauma
  • Blood loss
  • Drinking Antifreeze

Age is one the key factors that cause kidney problems in dogs. The dog's kidneys are unable to function at normal levels with age and kidney damage usually happens over a period of time and is therefore not really curable.

Symptoms of kidney diseases in dogs:
Dog owners and care givers must observe the dog to know change in behavior and eating patterns to help understand the changes. If diagnosed early, kidney problems can be corrected and managed. Here are the symptoms of kidney diseases in dogs:

  • Stiff arched back
  • Blood in urine
  • Reduced urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • High protein in urine tests
  • Leakage of urine
  • Anorexia
  • Low body temperature
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Oral ulcers


Polycystic kidney disease also exhibits symptoms similar to chronic kidney failure. With kidney functioning at less than normal levels, toxins that are otherwise eliminated from the body start building up and cause damage to kidney triggering other organs to shut down.

Blood and urine tests are ideal ways to diagnose the possibility of kidney disease apart from the listed symptoms.

Medical treatments include kidney transplants, blood transfusion and medications to control symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. A low protein diet may also be prescribed for dogs with kidney ailments. Regular tests are the best way to detect kidney diseases early and control the damage. Providing appropriate medication early can reduce the risks and help improve your dog's quality of life.

  Submitted on June 1, 2010  

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