Kidney Failure Symptoms in Dogs

The symptoms of kidney failure in dogs appear similar to those of a urinary tract infection, but cause far more damage. Monitor your dog's health in order to prevent your pet from being diagnosed with renal failure.

Kidney Failure Symptoms

You'll notice your dog urinating frequently, with housebroken dogs occasionally having "accidents" indoors. Your dog will also eat less, due to pain. This causes weight loss.

Renal problems also may be present with symptoms like pale colored urine, diarrhea, decreased coat quality, vomiting and an enlarged abdomen (due to the build up of fluids).

Visit your vet if you notice any of these symptoms. Though you may confuse the frequent urination for a bladder infection, there could be something far more serious wrong. When your dog starts to display the symptoms above, it means that his kidneys have dropped below 30% of normal function.

Uremia Can Be Sign of Advanced Renal Disease

Uremia occurs when damaged kidneys are unable to filter urea, causing blood poisoning. If your dog starts exhibiting symptoms of uremia, he or she is suffering from an advanced case of renal disease. Symptoms of uremia include low energy, vomiting, swelling of the limbs and mouth, and oral abscesses.

Fluid Treatment

The most simple form of treatment for the early stages of kidney disease is fluid treatment. Your vet will administer IV fluid over the course of a few hours to help maintain hydration and to check for healthy urination.

Unfortunately, there are many areas where fluid treatment is the only treatment available for dogs with renal disease regardless of their stage in the disease. However, some animal hospitals also offer dialysis.

Dialysis Can Lengthen Dog's Life

Dialysis is not frequently used as a treatment for canine kidney failure. However, if the procedure is offered in your area, dialysis can lengthen your dog's life, as well as make him or her more comfortable.

Dialysis uses a solution called dialysate in order to disuse toxins from the blood. The clean blood is returned to the patient, while the toxins enter the dialysate across a membrane. A recent study showed that 40% of dogs respond favorably to dialysis.

Kidney Failure Diet

Normal dog food can make a kidney-impaired dog even sicker. Your average food is packed with proteins, which break into amino acids, which is responsible for building and replacing tissue cells, and urea, a waste product. In healthy kidneys, urea is filtered out of the blood, but in damaged kidneys, urea builds up in the bloodstream, basically poisoning your pet.

In order to prevent the buildup of harmful products, find a kidney disease compliant dog food. Kidney disease compliant dog food focuses on replacing the nutrients your dog lacks as a result of damaged kidneys, with low percentages of protein, high bio-availability, increased calcium and vitamin D3, and lowered levels of phosphorus.