Canine Kidney Disease Prognosis

Canine kidney disease can occur in dogs of any breed, but affect mostly senior dogs over the age of 7. Some breeds are more susceptible to the disease. Kidney disease is signaled by increased thirst and increased frequency of urination and may lead to kidney failure. Kidney disease can be manageable with medication, but the condition is severe and leads to irreversible kidney failure, the prognosis is poor.

Causes of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease in dogs is most frequently idiopathic, so it has no determined cause.

Kidney disease in dogs may occur as part of the aging process, as the kidney function will decline.

Kidney disease can also be caused by:

  • Poisoning
  • Kidney infections
  • High calcium levels
  • Kidney stones
  • Chronic urinary infections
  • Tumors
  • The lengthy administration of certain drugs

Symptoms of Canine Kidney Disease

The symptoms of canine kidney disease include increased thirst and water intake and increased urination. The dog will drink more water, trying to get rid of the waste that cannot be eliminated through the kidneys and are present in the blood flow.

The dog will be less active, will lack appetite and lose weight.

Bad breath or halitosis is frequent in dogs with kidney problems.

Other symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Exercise intolerance

Treatment Options

The treatment will depend on the cause and the severity of the kidney disease.

A change in diet is required to take some workload off the kidneys. The vet will prescribe a special formula wet food that is lower in protein, sodium, phosphorus and calcium.

If the disease is irreversible and renal failure occurs, the dog will receive medication to control the nausea and the other upsetting symptoms.

Fluid therapy may be required for dogs with severe kidney disease.

Frequent complications of kidney disease include kidney failure, stomatitis in the mouth, stomach ulcer, anemia, low red blood cell count, high blood pressure and urinary tract infections. If these complications occur, treatment should be prescribed to manage these secondary conditions.

Kidney Disease Prognosis

The kidneys are vital organs and their main functions include excretion, waste filtering from the blood flow to the urine, conservation of fluids or production of hormones (i.e. erythropoietin).

Kidney disease can be a reversible condition if it is caused by poisoning or if the disease is a side effect of the administration of certain drugs. If the toxic substances are removed from the dog’s blood flow or the medication is discontinued, the dog’s kidneys will get back to their normal function.

If the condition is caused by old age and the function of the kidneys is progressively declining, the prognosis is poor, as the condition is irreversible. The treatment will not improve the dog’s condition, but may ease the pain and the symptoms of the disease. The disease will turn into chronic renal failure and the dog may die in a few months up to 1 year.