Prognosis for Acute Renal Failure in Dogs

Renal failure in dogs is one of the most serious and immediate emergency situations that can develop. Renal failure, or failure of the kidney, is oftentimes the ultimate cause of a dog's death. It is typically one of the last processes to happen at the end stages of many terminal or fatal diseases. In other cases, acute renal failure can happen on its own and for a variety of different reasons.

Generally, the prognosis of renal failure is quite poor. However, if the body's chemistry can be maintained and the kidneys can be restored to good health, there is a small chance of survival, provided that you and your veterinarian are prepared and act immediately upon the very first indication of acute renal failure.

Acute Renal Failure Overview

There are a number of reasons why acute renal failure can happen. It is generally characterized as a lack of ability on the part of the kidneys to properly filter out toxins from the blood. When the kidneys are unable to do their job as usual, the result is that the levels of toxins in the blood quickly jump up and a number of very dangerous effects can take place.

Some of the many causes of acute renal failure include the following:

  • Lack of proper blood flow to the kidneys
  • Buildup of unusual toxins that the kidneys cannot process
  • Damage to the bladder
  • Infection
  • Obstructions of the kidneys

Improving the Prognosis

The best way to improve the prognosis on your pet's case of acute renal failure is to be as aware as possible of the potential symptoms of this condition. The better attuned you are to the symptoms of renal failure, the quicker you'll be able to recognize the issue and the more effectively you can work with a veterinarian to address it. The symptoms of acute renal failure to watch out for are the following:

  • Decreased urination or difficulty while attempting to urinate
  • Lameness
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased or decreased water consumption

Treating acute renal failure involves two distinct processes. The first is to stabilize your pet's body systems so that immediate death is not a concern. Once you've identified the situation, doing so involves a mixture of different procedures. The second process is to determine the underlying cause of the issue and to remedy it. Some of the ways that veterinarians typically stabilize dogs is by using intravenous fluids to help balance out their bodies, by introducing certain drugs into their system which help to break down the toxins in the blood, by inducing vomiting and more.

It's important to recognize that there is no effective home treatment for acute renal failure. You must take your pet into an emergency veterinary center as quickly as possible. Follow all of your vet's instructions for care of your dog before you bring him in as well as after he is released. Acute renal failure is a very serious condition and prevention is the best way to avoid putting your dog's life in jeopardy.