In a healthy dog, the kidneys perform many different functions. They provide the body’s water balance, secrete the hormones necessary for the production of red blood cells, remove toxins from the body and function in the continuity of the body’s electrolyte balance. When kidney failure occurs in a dog, the kidneys begin to fail to perform the functions necessary for the continuation of health. Kidney diseases in dogs are considered as diseases that can threaten general health, whose symptoms should be closely observed and veterinarians are recommended to be consulted without delay. Kidney failure in dogs can occur as a result of different problems and can occur acutely or chronically. In this article, you can find information about the causes of kidney failure in dogs and the treatment of kidney failure in dogs.
Causes of Acute Kidney Failure in Dogs
Acute kidney failure in dogs is usually caused by exposure to toxins. Consuming household cleaning materials, chemicals or foods that should not be consumed can cause acute kidney failure. It is also possible that the problems arise due to urinary obstruction. Depending on the blockage, blood flow to the kidneys may decrease and the decrease in the amount of oxygen reaching the kidneys can lead to infection in the kidneys. Severe dehydration, heat stroke, snake bites and bacterial infections are also important risk factors for acute kidney failure in dogs. When a fast and effective treatment is not applied; The acute condition may become chronic due to increased kidney damage.
Causes of Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs
Chronic kidney failure in dogs is a disease that is usually seen in older dogs and its exact cause is difficult to determine. Unfortunately, it is not easy to recognize the early symptoms of chronic kidney failure.
One of the most common causes of chronic kidney failure is dental diseases. When the oral and dental care of the dogs is neglected, the bacteria build up on the teeth and move towards the digestive system while eating or drinking water. Since the kidneys of dogs have the function of filtering waste, the entry of bacteria into their systems will damage the functions of the kidneys over time.
It is possible to differentiate the causes of acute and chronic renal failure in dogs. However, in general, we can list the causes of kidney failure in dogs as follows.
- Progression of age: As dogs age, kidney cells begin to break down and die. This condition damages kidney function, resulting in kidney failure in dogs. The microscopic structural units of the kidneys are called nephrons. Young, healthy dogs have thousands of nephrons, but some are kept in reserve. As dogs age and kidneys become damaged, some nephrons die and those held in reserve begin to function. When there are no spare nephrons and the kidney continues to be damaged, symptoms of chronic kidney failure, also known as chronic kidney disease, begin to appear in dogs.
- Congenital diseases: It is known that abnormal development can result in kidney diseases in dogs.
- Bacterial infections: Bacteria from drinking water or food consumed can cause infections in dogs. Kidney cells can be damaged due to bacterial infections.
- Intoxication: As mentioned earlier, poisoning is one of the dangerous situations that can result in kidney failure in dogs. Foods such as chocolate, which are harmful to dogs, and cleaning chemicals used at home can also cause poisoning. In order to minimize the possibility of poisoning, you can read our content called 8 Foods You Should Always Keep Your Dogs Away.
Kidney Failure Symptoms in Dogs
The presence of different diseases such as kidney failure type in dogs, how long the dog has had kidney failure, the main factor causing kidney failure, and underlying diabetes in addition to kidney failure can change the symptoms of kidney failure and the severity of these symptoms in dogs.
Symptoms of kidney failure in dogs include: severe weight loss, vomiting, pale gums, loss of coordination, smelly breath, decreased appetite, increased or decreased water consumption, increased or decreased amount of urine, sores in the mouth, blood in the urine and fatigue.
It is also known that there are some rare but possible symptoms of chronic kidney failure in dogs. Sudden vision loss due to high blood pressure, bruising on the skin due to stomach bleeding, itching due to calcium and phosphorus accumulation, bone fractures due to weakening of the bones may also occur in dogs due to kidney failure.
All the above-mentioned symptoms may vary in line with the stages of kidney failure. Chronic kidney failure in dogs is divided into different stages depending on the level of waste and protein in the blood. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, which is examined in 4 basic stages, the more positive results can be obtained.
Kidney Failure Treatment in Dogs
As with many other health problems, treatment for kidney failure in dogs can vary depending on the dog’s general health and the problem causing the kidney failure. Clinical care may be needed because acute renal failure can cause sudden and severe problems.
In chronic kidney failure, it is generally aimed to slow the progression of the disease and increase the quality of life of dogs. Unfortunately, there is no definitive treatment method for dogs with chronic kidney failure. Steps are taken to control nausea, dehydration, blood pressure changes and other symptoms that dogs may experience with medication and dietary changes. If kidney failure is diagnosed in dogs, it is important to focus on changing the diet, and at this point, veterinarians will determine the most appropriate feeding method for the dog.
It is critically important to comply with the recommendations of veterinarians in order for dogs to lead a quality and feel-good life after being diagnosed with kidney failure.