Dog Renal Failure Treatment

Dog renal failure is a serious medical condition that should be detected as early as possible and should be treated, so that the kidneys regain their normal function and to prevent the occurrence of chronic renal failure, which can lead to death in dogs. The condition is more frequently met in older dogs and certain breeds such as beagle, cocker spaniel, poodle, schnauzer or German shepherd. The treatment should focus to stimulate the function of the kidneys and will include a change in diet, fluid therapy and possibly some drugs.

Fluid Treatment for Dog Renal Failure

A dog with renal failure should be given fluid therapy to stimulate the function of the kidneys and to help them flush out the waste materials that are in the blood stream. This treatment is also known as diuresis. This therapy should be efficient, especially if there are enough functioning kidney cells in the dog’s body.

In addition to the fluid therapy, the vet may also prescribe some medication to control the vomiting and diarrhea, two symptoms that are frequently met in dogs with kidney failure.

The diuresis should have a positive effect on the kidneys, however, in some cases, the kidney failure may reoccur after the treatment is discontinued or the kidneys may not respond at all.

Dietary Changes

Once the kidneys start functioning again, the focus should be on keeping them functional for as much as possible and prevent a chronic renal failure. This can be accomplished through a special diet. Wet food will decrease the workload of the kidneys. The food should also be poor in proteins, minerals and phosphates. Your vet will prescribe a special dog food for dogs with kidney problems or give you some guidelines on how to prepare the food at home.

Phosphate Binders

Phosphate binders may also be prescribed for dogs with kidney failure. The kidneys filter the phosphorus from the food and when the kidneys are dysfunctional, the phosphorus remains in the dog’s blood and causes lethargy and lack of appetite.

Phosphate binders can help lowering the levels of phosphorus from the dog’s blood.

More Fluids

Fluids are essential to maintain normal kidney function and to flush out the toxins from the blood. Make sure you give your pet plenty of fresh water.

Fluids may also be injected subcutaneously; you may get used to administering these fluids yourself, or get to the vet once or twice per week.


The calcium levels must also be regulated; the normal ratio between calcium and phosphorus must be kept at 2 to 1. Calcium is produced by the parathyroid gland and the production of calcium can be increased if the phosphorus levels are higher than normal. Calcitrol can regulate the production of calcium.

Stimulate Red Blood Cell Production

The kidney also stimulates the bone marrow to produce the red cells and if the red cells are in deficit, the dog may be anemic. The vet may prescribe a drug to stimulate the production of red blood cells. Epogen or procrit are commonly prescribed drugs.