Kidney Problems in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

The kidneys are responsible for balancing nutrients, filtering waste, controlling blood pressure, red blood cell production and metabolizing calcium. Kidney problems encompass any issue that disrupts any of these functions.

What Causes It?

Acute kidney problems can arise from several sources including ingesting toxins, dehydration, obstruction to urinary system, heat strokes, snake bites and bacterial infections.

Chronic kidney problems, typically found in older dogs, are a little more difficult to pinpoint because their symptoms are usually mild getting progressively worse over time. Some of the more likely sources of kidney issues include:

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in urine
  • Depression

Is it Life Threatening?

Yes, kidney problems can be fatal. If you suspect your dog is having issues, contact a vet immediately. Some acute issues can be treated, many chronic issues will be permanent.

When diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your dog will likely only have months to a year to live.

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How is It Diagnosed?

Your vet will do a full physical exam and medical questionnaire on your dog. Not only will your vet be diagnosing kidney issues but also the source of the problem.

If it is acute, you will also need to treat the root condition. Bloodwork and urinalysis will diagnose the kidney issue. An ultrasound, x-ray or other imagine may be required to determine the level of the condition.

What Are The Treatments?

There are many treatment methods for kidney issues depending on the severity of the condition.

Medicines that increase urine output, IV fluids, electrolytes, antinausea medicine, dialysis, diet management, anemia medicine among others.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.