The kidneys are a very important part of the body and this is not only true in humans, it is true in dogs as well. Dogs will sometimes suffer from kidney difficulties and the specific issues they have can range quite widely. One of the common issues that are severe is chronic kidney failure, which occurs in approximately 1% of all dogs that were tested for this problem.
Chronic kidney failure in dogs can occur at any age but it is more than likely to become a problem as the dog gets older. Since the kidneys is important for so many functions in the body, including regulating blood sugar and blood pressure, producing blood and cleaning the blood, a failure in this area can be severe and even life-threatening. The issue tends to occur gradually over time, however, so it may be possible to treat the condition, even if it has been going on for some time.
Recognizing the symptoms of kidney failure is one of the best things that you can do to help get the problem diagnosed and begin treatment. Some of the common symptoms that may be experienced include lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea, weight loss, lack of appetite, depression, blindness that comes on suddenly, seizures and blood in the urine. If any of these problems occur, it would be prudent to see a veterinarian about the issue. Early diagnosis of kidney failure in dogs does open up the opportunity for an effective treatment.
Kidney disease is one of the most common reasons why a dog may experience kidney failure. They may also have a problem with an obstruction of the urinary tract, lymphoma, reactions to medication and diabetes. There may also be times when it is more likely for a dog to experience kidney failure because it is passed down from one generation to the next. Certain breeds may be more likely to have a problem, including the German Shepherd, bull terrier, Samoyed and English Cocker spaniel.
Blood tests will be taken by the veterinarian to determine if the dog is suffering from kidney failure. They will also take a blood count and possibly, a urinalysis. Certain issues may exist in a dog with kidney failure, including high blood pressure, an imbalance in electrolyte levels and anemia. The urine may also be tested, because it may be either deluded or concentrated in the case of kidney failure. The kidneys may also appear to be abnormally large or misshapen.
If your dog is diagnosed with kidney failure, they may need to go on a fluid therapy to reduce an issue with dehydration. They may also be given a specific diet that is low in phosphorus, protein and sodium. Vitamin D supplements and phosphorus binders may also be provided for dogs with chronic kidney failure. Additional medications may be provided to lower blood pressure as well. Although chronic renal failure is a serious issue, if it is cared for properly, your dog can live for many years.