Detecting Canine Kidney Disease by Measuring Microalbuminemia

Veterinarians diagnose canine kidney disease through tests that look for albumin proteins within the urine. The microalbuminuria test proves that kidney function is impaired.

Understanding Microalbuminemia

Proteins, known as albumin, occur naturally in the body's blood stream. The role of a kidney is to prevent these proteins from exiting the body. When proteins reach the urinary tract, veterinarians know the kidneys are not functioning correctly. A positive microalbuminemia test signifies the potential for canine kidney disease.

Positive test results do not necessarily mean your dog will die. It signifies that an underlying condition or disease is putting extra strain on the kidneys. The underlying cause must be determined.

Reasons for Kidney Damage

Many infections lead to kidney damage. The following conditions and diseases all damage the kidneys:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic skin disease
  • Dental disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heartworm
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Lyme disease
  • Poisonings

Diagnosing these diseases in their early stages prevents canine kidney disease. Providing the test results show a small amount of albumin in the urine, treatments prevent kidney damage. If albumin levels are high, kidney damage is likely. Dietary changes and medications will prolong a dog's life.