What You Need to Know About Kidney Failure in Dogs




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Kidney Failure in Dogs – If your dog shows symptoms of kidney failure, such as loss of balance or nausea and vomiting, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away. Though there are several different types of kidney disease that can cause kidney failure in dogs, treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause. If you have any questions about what to do if your dog shows signs of kidney failure, talk to your vet right away to learn more about what steps you can take to help your dog feel better and keep the condition from getting worse.

Kidney Failure in Dogs

Kidney failure is a serious condition that can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and removing toxins from the body, so when they start to fail, your dog’s health will quickly decline. Symptoms of kidney failure include weight loss, vomiting, pale gums, and loss of balance. If your dog is showing any of these signs, it’s important to take them to the vet right away for treatment. There is no cure for kidney failure, but with early diagnosis and proper care, your dog can enjoy a good quality of life for many years to come.

Causes of canine kidney failure

There are many possible causes of kidney failure in dogs, including:

  1. Infection
  2. Toxins
  3. Trauma
  4. Cancer
  5. Dehydration
  6. Congenital defects
  7. Aging

While the exact cause of your dog’s kidney failure may never be determined, there are some risk factors that can increase your dog’s chances of developing the condition. These include:

  1. Breed – certain breeds are more prone to kidney disease, including Cocker Spaniels, Bichon Frises, and Basset Hounds.
  2. Gender – male dogs are more likely to develop kidney disease than females.
  3. Age – as dogs age, their kidneys begin to lose some of their function. This makes senior dogs more susceptible to kidney disease.
  4. Diet – a diet high in salt, protein, phosphorus or calories has been shown to contribute to renal problems. If you suspect your dog has kidney disease, take him or her to see a veterinarian for an examination and diagnosis. A veterinary specialist will have tools such as urinalysis and blood work that will help identify what type of kidney problem is present.
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Once diagnosed with canine kidney failure, it is important for owners to establish a schedule for giving treatments at home such as giving medications and feeding special foods designed for renal patients.

Signs and symptoms of canine kidney disease

The following are the sings and symptoms of canine kidney failure:

  1. Weight loss: As one of the main functions of your dog’s kidneys is regulating water and electrolyte balance, their kidneys will often go into overdrive when they start to malfunction, flushing out all the excess fluid from their body.
  2. Nausea and vomiting: Your dog may also experience nausea or vomiting as a result of this process, caused by an increase in toxins being flushed out by the kidneys.
  3. Pale gums: Pale gums may be another sign that your dog’s kidneys are struggling to do their job properly- one potential cause for this symptom is anaemia due to inadequate red blood cells from a lack of iron or vitamin B12, which could be preventing proper oxygen circulation through your dog’s body.
  4. Loss of balance, or stumbling: Loss of balance is common in pets with kidney disease, as it can lead to increased levels of uric acid in the bloodstream.
  5. Chemical smell to breath: A distinctive chemical smell on your dog’s breath may indicate that their kidneys have become overwhelmed with waste products and are having trouble expelling them from their system- these substances can’t just be swallowed back down because the stomach acids would destroy them before they’re absorbed back into the body again.

Treatments for canine kidney disease

  1. Early detection and treatment of kidney disease is essential for the best possible outcome.
  2. There are many different treatments available for kidney disease, depending on the severity and cause.
  3. Mild cases may only require changes in diet and increased water intake.
  4. More severe cases may require medication, dialysis, or even a kidney transplant.
  5. The most important thing you can do for your dog is to work closely with your veterinarian to create a treatment plan that is right for them.
  6. With early detection and proper treatment, many dogs with kidney disease can enjoy a good quality of life for years to come.
  7. If you think your dog may be showing signs of kidney disease, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible
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Which Kind of Dogs gets kidney disease?

There are many different types of renal disease, and any dog can be affected. However, some breeds are more susceptible than others. Breeds that are prone to kidney disease include Cocker Spaniels, Shetland Sheepdogs, Basset Hounds, and Poodles. If you have one of these breeds, talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to prevent this condition from developing. A diet low in protein is often recommended for dogs with chronic kidney failure. If your pet has had an acute attack of kidney failure, he may need intravenous fluids or other treatment immediately at a veterinary hospital or emergency clinic

Canine inherited nephropathies

There are two types of inherited nephropathies in dogs: primary renal disease and acquired renal disease. Primary renal disease is a condition where the kidneys are damaged from birth, while acquired renal disease is a condition that develops over time. Symptoms of kidney failure in dogs include weight loss, nausea and vomiting, pale gums, loss of balance, or stumbling. If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the vet for a check-up. Treatment for kidney failure will vary depending on the underlying cause, but may include medication, special diets, or fluids given through an IV.

Canine acute tubular necrosis (ATN)

ATN is one of the most common causes of kidney failure in dogs. It occurs when the kidneys are damaged and can no longer filter blood properly. Symptoms of ATN include weight loss, nausea and vomiting, pale gums, loss of balance, and a chemical smell to the breath. Treatment for ATN typically involves aggressive IV fluid therapy and monitoring of kidney function.

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Secondary diseases affecting the kidneys

There are a number of secondary diseases that can cause kidney failure in dogs, including:

  1. Diabetes mellitus: This is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it does produce. Insulin is necessary for the body to properly metabolize sugar.
  2. Cushing’s disease: This is a condition caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol in the body. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and helps to regulate metabolism, among other things.
  3. Addison’s disease: This is a condition caused by a deficiency of cortisol in the body.

Other Causes Of Renal Failure In Dogs

There are many potential causes of renal failure in dogs, including:

  1. Infection
  2. Toxins
  3. Autoimmune disease
  4. Cancer
  5. Trauma
  6. Urinary blockage

In most cases, the exact cause of kidney failure cannot be determined. However, early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome.


If you think your dog may be suffering from kidney failure, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. While there is no cure for kidney disease, early diagnosis and treatment can help extend your dog’s life. Treatment options include dietary changes, medication, and/or dialysis. With proper care, dogs with kidney disease can enjoy a good quality of life for months or even years.

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