Causes of Kidney Infection in Dogs

A canine kidney infection is a serious condition that should be treated promptly. The kidneys are an important part of your pet's system, and they assist in the elimination of wastes and toxicity within the body. Without properly functioning kidneys, your pet would not be alive.

Common Causes of a Canine Kidney Infection

While there can be different causes or sources of a kidney infection in your pet, most are caused by some sort of unwelcome fungus, bacteria or microbe within the body. These bacterial infections may worsen as your pet loses the ability to fight off the harmful microbes. Other common causes of kidney infections in dogs are as follows:

  • A tumor or a mass present on the kidney tissue
  • Ingestion of harmful household products or chemicals ,such as cleaning solutions, soaps, detergents or antifreeze

No matter what the cause of your dog's kidney infection is, it is very important to seek out veterinary treatment quickly. Kidney infections in canines are often fatal if left untreated. 

Symptoms of a Kidney Infection

There are several symptoms pet owners should watch out for, and these symptoms can look like common symptoms of other illnesses. The most common signs of a kidney infection are:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Excessive thirst that also leads to frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of energy or strength
  • Urinating in strange areas
  • Strain while urinating
  • Foul smelling or bloody urine

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, it is recommended that you contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. The symptoms of a kidney infection may not be apparent until the condition has become somewhat severe. This makes it even more crucial to seek out medical treatment quickly. Blood in the urine is one of the most advanced symptoms of a kidney infection, and is an emergency situation.


When a veterinarian takes a complete medical history of your pet and makes the appropriate considerations, he will then seek out the underlying cause of the kidney infection. This often will involve blood and urine testing, which will measure the amounts of protein, nitrogen and creatinine in the system. 

When the underlying condition has finally been identified, you will need to closely follow all of the vet's instructions for a full recovery. Antibiotics and medications are used for bacterial and fungal infections. If your pet has ingested a harmful chemical, an antitoxin may be given. In the event of a mass or tumor, surgery is likely going to be the best treatment option. 

Kidney infections in dogs can be fatal if not treated properly, but if caught early enough, the chances for recovery are high. Most pets should recover rather quickly once the identified cause has been established and treated accordingly. Early detection of infections and other disease is the best way to ensure a full and speedy recovery.