How To Prevent and Detect Dog Kidney Failure

By Valdette Muller| April 20, 2018 | Blog

Kidney disease is a condition that needs to be treated by your vet as soon as possible.

Your dog’s kidneys have the important job of removing waste from the bloodstream and maintaining the normal balance of fluid and minerals within your dog’s body.

Kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, blood volume, water composition in the blood,  pH levels, and produce red blood cells and certain hormones throughout the body. This then can become a difficult slow process once kidney failure starts to set in.

If the kidneys are not able to do their job, this in turn becomes life a threatening situation.

Signs of a serious kidney disease will only become apparent once 60% of your dog’s kidneys are no longer functioning.

The sooner the kidney disease is diagnosed, the more time there is to address the underlying causes or slow the disease’s progression.

On diagnosis, the condition had most probably been present for sometime, but this disease can be managed with the right nutrition and medication.

What are the causes?

Age: While dogs of any age can be diagnosed with kidney disease, it is mostly common in older dogs. The chance of developing kidney problems in dogs doubles between the ages of 10 and 15.

Food: Some dog foods high in phosphorus, sodium and protein can accelerate chronic kidney disease.

Breed: Some dog breeds are more susceptible to kidney problems than others.

More serious concerns: These can involve poisoning, for example, accidental ingestion of antifreeze, human medication or toxic plant material, which could all bring about immediate kidney failure. Extreme dehydration as result of heat stroke or no access to drinking water for an extended time period, an overwhelming bacterial infection, a urinary obstruction or a decreased blood flow to the kidneys as a result of heart problems or heat stroke can all  trigger kidney failure. If your dog has been through a traumatic experience with intense shock and/or blood loss, it can also result in serious kidney problems from the induced stress.

What signs should we look out for?

Please ask your vet for advice if you pick up on any of the following signs, each of which could be symptoms of kidney problems. Remember that early indication is key to managing a dog’s kidney disease.

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Bad breath and a sores in mouth
  • Weight loss and weakness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

What can you do to help your dog?

Avoid hazardous items and keep your dog safe: Ensure that your dog is kept away from toxic substances such as antifreeze, heavy metals, rat poisons and other pesticides, common household medicines, and certain foods and plants. Keep your dog away from the road when not leashed and away from other pets that might want to harm your dog.

Get them treated : If your dog has any bacterial infection, urinary obstructions or other illness that could lead to compromised kidney function, please see your vet as soon as possible to prevent prolonged disease.

Give your dog a balanced diet: Over time a poor quality diet harms the kidneys.

Brush your dog’s teeth: Dental disease is surprisingly one of the most common causes of chronic kidney failure. Maintaining good oral health for your dog is paramount. You should brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week.

Annual Blood tests and urine tests: An annual blood and urine test is the best way to detect kidney disease early.



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