Nine out of 1,000 dogs that are visited suffer from chronic renal failure or chronic kidney failure. It is a serious disease that develops more frequently in older dogs.
The non-perfect function of a kidney, which regulates blood pressure, blood glucose, blood volume, blood water composition, pH levels, and produces red blood cells and some hormones, can develop so slowly and can to be often asymptomatic as long as it may be too late to be cured.
Often, the kidney will find other ways to offset this functional deficiency for years. Chronic kidney failure cannot be cured, but the treatment and management of risk factors can slow progression.
Symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure in the Dog
Symptoms often occur for a prolonged period of time. Also, they may vary and not all of the following are present in the dog:
- – Vomiting
- – Lethargy
- – Diarrhea
- – Constipation
- – Depression
- – Weight loss
- – Increased thirst
- – Lack of appetite (anorexia)
- – Acute blindness
- – Comatose condition
- – Presence of blood in the urine (hematuria)
- – An increase in the frequency and amount of urination
Which Are the Most Common Causes?
Among the causes of kidney failure, we may include kidney disease, urinary blockage (urinary tract obstruction or ureter), some prescription drugs, lymphoma, diabetes mellitus, and genetic factors (hereditary).
The most likely breeds to develop the disease are:
- – Samoyed
- – Bull Terrier
- – Cairn Terrier
- – German Shepherd
- – Cocker Spaniel English
How to Do the Diagnosis
Your dog will be subjected to a full blood test, a Hemocromocytometer examination, and a urine test. Dogs with chronic kidney failure may develop anemia, abnormal electrolyte levels, and high blood pressure.
The levels of some protein enzymes and chemicals such as creatinine and urea nitrogen (BUN) can be elevated. Another good indicator of chronic renal failure is urine low concentration and dilution, indicating the inability of the kidney to properly metabolize the urine.
Radiography or ultrasound can be prescribed to observe the size and condition of the kidneys and to see if there are obvious anomalies. Often, chronic kidney failure causes the decrease in the volume of the kidneys.
Treatment of Chronic Kidney Failure
Dogs suffering from long-term kidney failure are often subjected to liquids to help restore body fluid levels (dehydration).
Although there is no cure for chronic kidney failure, there are numerous rules that can be taken to minimize the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. For example, your dog’s nutrition should be low in protein, phosphorus, calcium, and sodium, as it may further aggravate the problem.
A diet with a higher level of potassium and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) will be formulated, which has been shown to be beneficial to the kidneys. The reversal of the medal is that these foods are not perfumed.
If your dog does not accept the new diet, you can combine the food with small amounts of tuna juice, chicken, or other flavor enhancers but under the guidance of your vet.
Maintaining Hydration Is Paramount
Make sure the dog always has an adequate amount of clean water to drink. If there is dehydration, additional intravenous or subcutaneous fluids may be administered.
Phosphorous binders and vitamin D supplements are often indicated for dogs with chronic renal failure in an effort to improve the balance of calcium and phosphorus and to reduce some of the side effects of the disease.
H-2 receptor antagonists, or other drugs for the secondary treatment of gastric ulcers and gastritis, may be useful to increase the appetite of the dog. Depending on the symptoms and general conditions, other medicines may be prescribed including:
- – Anti-hypertensive to reduce blood pressure
- – Enalapril to block angiotensin
- – Erythropoietin to stimulate red blood cell production, thus increasing oxygen in the blood textiles
How to Live With the Disease
Chronic kidney failure is a progressive disease. Dogs developing this disease should be monitored continually, with frequent check-ups to make sure that drugs and nutrition are correct. The dog’s prognosis depends on the severity and progression of the disease. The best way to treat this disease is to carefully follow the treatments prescribed by your veterinarian.