Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Dogs?

Kidney failure (renal failure) in dogs can be caused by underlying health conditions which impact the kidneys and related organs. Here, our Mechanicsburg emergency vets share some common signs and symptoms of this potentially life threatening condition.

Although most dog are unable to fully recover from chronic kidney failure, this condition can often be successfully managed, allowing pets to enjoy a good quality of life for a number of months or years. That bacteria could then make its way into your pet’s blood stream and organs, potentially causing damage to your dog’s kidneys, heart and liver.

That said, if spotted early, milder cases of acute kidney failure may be treated with fluids, antibiotics and medications without the need for hospitalization. When it comes to treating chronic kidney failure, the primarily focus will be on slowing the progression of the disease and improving your dog’s quality of life. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease such as nausea, fluid imbalances, and blood pressure fluctuations may be treated with medications and/or changes to your dog’s regular diet.

Many dogs being treated for chronic kidney failure go on to enjoy a good quality of life for a number of years. Keep toxic substances such as antifreeze, human medications and potentially harmful foods well out of your dog’s reach. Chronic kidney failure is generally age-related and predetermined by genetics, making it much more difficult to prevent.

That said, regular wellness exams twice yearly at your primary care veterinarian’s office will help to increase the chances detecting symptoms early so that treatment can begin before the condition becomes more severe.

What are the early signs of kidney failure in dogs?

Significant weight loss..Vomiting..Pale gums..Drunken behavior or uncoordinated movement such as stumbling..Breath that smells like chemicals..Significant decrease in appetite..Increase or decrease in water consumption..Increase or decrease in volume of urine.

How do dogs act when their kidneys are failing?

The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath. Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.

Is a dog in pain when it has kidney failure?

When the kidneys become damaged, whether through an infection, poisoning, or some other event, a pet can experience vomiting, appetite loss, frequent urination, back or abdominal pain, and other symptoms.

What happens when a dog's kidneys start to fail?

When a dog’s kidneys fail, toxins such as ammonia and nitrogen can build up in their bodies. This, in turn, can cause nausea, vomiting, and/or a decreased appetite. This condition is known as uremia, and it is directly related to kidney failure. Other symptoms of uremia.

Kidney failure is also referred to as renal failure, and can be caused by a number of diseases that can impact the kidneys and related organs. Healthy kidneys are supposed to eliminate toxins, regulate hydration, maintain a normal electrolyte balance and release hormones required to produce red blood cells.

If the loss of kidney function is gradual (over weeks, months or years), its referred to as chronic renal failure. The bacteria can enter the blood stream and attack multiple organs, causing irreversible damage to the kidneys in addition to the heart and liver.

Congenital disease – This category can include underlying illnesses and hereditary conditions – everything from agenesis (being born without one or both kidneys) to cysts. Acute kidney failure can make dogs very sick and may need to be treated in the hospital, in intensive care. Your vet may be able to treat milder cases with fluids, antibiotics and medications on an outpatient schedule.

With chronic kidney failure, vets generally focus on slowing down the diseases progression and looking at ways to improve quality of life for the patient. Nausea, fluid imbalances, blood pressure fluctuations and other symptoms will need to be treated, usually with medication and changes to diet. Your vet may also recommend specific nutrients, nutritional supplements or a therapeutic diet to manage the condition.

Take inventory of your house and remove potential toxins such as antifreeze (the chemical ethylene glycol is toxic to dogs) and put medications and other foods or substances out of reach. However, keeping up with regular physical exams and annual wellness checkups will increase the chances any problems will be detected early.

The kidneys have many functions. They principally act to remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate the levels of certain essential minerals such potassium and sodium, conserve water, and produce urine.

After approximately 2/3 of the kidney tissue is destroyed, there is a rapid rise in waste products in the bloodstream and an apparent sudden onset of severe disease. The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath.

If a major stress such as illness or surgery occurs, the kidneys may fail, sending the blood test values up quickly. This flushing process is called diuresis and helps mildly damaged kidney cells to function again by removing the toxic metabolites and creating a healthier environment for healing. Other important aspects of initial treatment include proper nutrition and medication to control vomiting and diarrhea if present.

The ideal diet for a dog in the advanced stages of kidney failure is lower in protein, low in phosphorus, and is not acidified. This type of diet helps reduce the amount of protein wastes or metabolic toxins that may make your pet feel sick and lethargic. Nutritionists have developed commercial therapeutic diets that are designed for treating various stages of chronic kidney disease.

Certain drugs will bind excess phosphates in the intestinal tract so they are not absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in lower blood levels of phosphorus. This serves to prevent dehydration, helps continually flush toxins from the kidneys and provides additional levels of electrolytes. Therefore, many dogs in kidney failure will be unable to produce erythropoietin and have anemia or a low red blood cell count.

Synthetic erythropoietin may stimulate the bone marrow to make red blood cells and correct the anemia in most dogs. Treatment and follow-up care is relatively easy and inexpensive and extending the length and quality of life for their faithful companion represents the ultimate reward for many clients.

The kidneys perform many vital functions, including the removal of various toxins from the body. These toxins are waste products from normal cell functions.

Antifreeze (radiator fluid, ethylene glycol) Lily plants (cats only) Raisins and grapes Certain drugs, including pain pills such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) Heatstroke or other disorders causing massive damage to body tissues, such as bee stings or snakebites, can also lead to kidney failure.

Stomach or intestinal ulcers may develop which will result in either a black or tarry stool or vomiting of digested blood (which looks like coffee grounds). Blood and urine tests are used to diagnose acute kidney failure and to assess the severity of disease. These fluids are used to restore good hydration and to flush out the substances that the kidneys should be removing from the bloodstream.

Temporary Feeding Tube: because kidney failure drains the bodys resources, and pets with kidney failure frequently refuse to eat, a temporary feeding tube may be recommended. Careful Monitoring: the clinical condition of dogs and cats with acute kidney failure can change rapidly. The increased potassium level slows the heartbeat and can cause the heart to stop.

This may manifest itself as increased body weight, belly bloating, swollen legs, or shortness of breath if fluid builds up in the lungs. Initially, this procedure requires a doctor or nurse 24 hours a day to keep flushing the fluid in and out. Despite all the advances in the treatment of acute kidney failure, it remains a serious and often fatal disease.

About 60% of dogs and cats with this disease either die or are humanely euthanized because of failure to respond to supportive care. In those patients, 50% may recover with dialysis, depending on the underlying cause of kidney failure.

Kidney (Renal) Failure

Renal failure (commonly called kidney failure), can be caused by a number of conditions that impact the kidneys and other organs. A healthy dog’s kidneys work to eliminate toxins, regulate hydration, maintain a normal electrolyte balance and release hormones to produce red blood cells. In dog’s experiencing kidney failure the kidneys are no longer performing their function as effectively as they should.

Causes of Kidney Failure in Dogs

There are two broad categories of kidney failure seen in dogs, chronic and acute.

What do my dog’s kidneys do?

The kidneys have many functions. They principally act to remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate the levels of certain essential minerals such potassium and sodium, conserve water, and produce urine.

Acute Renal Failure: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

The kidneys perform many vital functions, including the removal of various toxins from the body. These toxins are waste products from normal cell functions.When kidneys fail, they can no longer remove these toxins. “Acute” renal (kidney) failure means that the problem developed relatively quickly.

Symptoms

Many things can cause acute kidney failure. Certain poisons are well known for their ability to damage the kidney. These poisons include:Severe infections in the kidney from bacteria can cause sudden kidney failure. Although kidney infections can occur spontaneously, usually there is a preexisting condition that reduces an animal’s ability to fight infection easily – such as kidney stones, partial urine blockage or chronic kidney disease.Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection (Anything that decreases blood flow through the kidney can cause kidney failure. This includes dehydration from any cause (such as severe vomiting and diarrhea). Heatstroke or other disorders causing massive damage to body tissues, such as bee stings or snakebites, can also lead to kidney failure.

Diagnosis

Blood and urine tests are used to diagnose acute kidney failure and to assess the severity of disease. Other tests, such as radiographs (X-rays), ultrasound and special blood tests are usually necessary to help determine what might have caused the kidney failure. Sometimes a biopsy of the kidney is recommended.However, the cause of kidney failure is not always easily discovered and may never be determined.

Advanced Therapies

Potassium is an electrolyte normally found in the blood in low levels. With acute kidney failure, potassium levels may increase to dangerous levels, unlike in chronic kidney failure when levels tend to decrease. The increased potassium level slows the heartbeat and can cause the heart to stop. Alternatively, very high blood pressure could also develop because of the kidney failure, so blood pressure medication is frequently needed. High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the eye or brain to burst.
Fluid retention may occur if urine production is less than IV fluid input. This may manifest itself as increased body weight, belly bloating, swollen legs, or shortness of breath if fluid builds up in the lungs.