Canine Kidney Disease Symptoms

Canine kidney disease may progress over the course of months or years, or it may develop very quickly. Similarly, it may be acute and treatable or chronic and irreversible. Because early detection of kidney disease is crucial to managing canine kidney health, dog owners should be familiar with the causes, symptoms and treatments of kidney damage or disease, or canine kidney failure.

Causes of Kidney Disease

Damaged kidneys are not able to remove toxins from the bloodstream as normal. As these toxins build up in your dog's body, they can lead to a variety of detrimental effects and even death. Canine kidney failure may occur suddenly as a result of one or more of the following events:

  • Poisoning
  • Blood clots
  • Severe dehydration or heat stroke
  • Heart failure

Dog kidney disease may also develop gradually over time. Chronic kidney disease may be difficult to diagnose at first, so keep an eye out for signs of kidney damage in your dog if you know that he suffers from any of the following conditions:

  • Existing kidney problems, such as kidney stones or a genetic defect
  • Cancer
  • Parasites of the kidney
  • Weakened immune system

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Canine kidney disease manifests a variety of symptoms, many of which are common to a number of different conditions. While every healthy dog may display some of these symptoms infrequently, persisting symptoms may indicate a serious underlying health problem. The most common canine kidney symptoms include:

  • Excessive water consumption and frequent urination (the most common symptom)
  • Digestive problems, including diarrhea and vomiting
  • General fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

If your dog displays one or more of these symptoms for more than 48 hours, take him to a veterinarian for an examination. Your vet will conduct a renal evaluation of your dog, which will include tests of your dog's blood and urine for abnormal toxins. This procedure will help to determine the underlying disease and how far it is progressed, which in turn informs your choice of treatment options.

Treatments for Canine Kidney Disease

Because kidney disease in dogs may be exacerbated by a number of different causes, your vet may prescribe a change of environment in addition to a drug regimen in order to treat your dog. Physical stresses, certain antibiotics and diet may contribute to kidney disease, so be prepared to modify your dog's home life, existing medications and food. Additionally, dogs suffering from kidney disease should have plenty of water available at all times. Some of the medicinal treatment options for canine kidney disease include:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Antacids

Herbal medicines, including Pet Alive Kidney Support

Dialysis and kidney transplant are potential treatment methods as well, although these procedures tend to be costly. Your veterinarian will recommend a treatment option that is unique for your dog based on the type and progression of his disease.

Many owners find that a combination of these treatment plans helps dogs suffering from canine kidney disease to live long, happy lives. If you suspect that your dog may have kidney damage, consult your veterinarian immediately.