The kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste products in the blood and removing them in urine. They also balance the body’s fluids and manufacture an important hormone. When the kidneys can no longer do their job properly, a veterinarian may diagnose the dog with kidney failure.
Types of Kidney Failure
There are two main types of kidney disease: chronic and acute. Chronic kidney disease occurs gradually. It is most often associated with older dogs. In these cases, the ailment can be attributed to the breakdown of kidney function due to advanced age. On the other hand, acute kidney failure occurs suddenly—in a matter of hours or days. Acute renal failure can happen to dogs of any age, including young puppies. Most often, it’s due to infections or exposure to toxins. The good news is that, although acute renal failure can be life-threatening, it can also be reversible with rapid and aggressive treatment.
Signs of Kidney Failure
The severity of the symptoms depends on the type of kidney failure, the cause of it, and how advanced the problem is. Most often, dogs with kidney failure will start to drink more and urinate more frequently. They may also suffer from vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. If you examine your dog’s mouth, you may notice that the mucous membrane appears pale. It’s crucial to get your dog to a vet right away if you notice any unusual symptoms.
Treatment for Kidney Failure
When a dog is diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, one of the first steps in managing it is to switch the dog to a renal diet. A high-quality renal diet supports the function of the kidneys while preventing malnutrition and weight loss. The veterinarian may also recommend medications and supplements. Dogs with acute renal failure are generally started on IV fluids right away and given medications designed to address the cause of the problem.
Urologic medicine is one of our specialties here at Horizon Animal Hospital. Our experienced, compassionate staff treats your pets like family, and ensures that you’re fully informed about your pets’ medical conditions and treatments. You can reach us in Scottsdale at (480) 800-4559 to request an appointment.