Kidney failure is one of the most common dangerous diseases in older dogs. Just like in humans, the kidney in dogs is also a very important organ. However, many farmers are not aware of the danger of this disease. Usually pet dogs will have 1 of 2 forms of kidney failure. In this article, Pesate will summarize the causes and ways to handle when dogs have this disease.
Causes of kidney failure in dogs
There are many causes of kidney failure in dogs. Some of the reasons can be listed as follows:
- Old dog advanced age and aging process.
- Virus, fungal or bacterial infection, parasites / spirochetes
- Reactions to toxins from food or drugs.
- Congenital and genetic dysfunction.
- Urinary tract obstruction.
- Bladder or urethral rupture
- Congestive heart failure causes low blood pressure and reduced blood flow to the kidneys.
Some drugs can be toxic to the kidneys
- Acetaminophen (analgesic)
- Amphotericin B (antifungal)
- Kanamycin (antibiotic)
- Neomycin (antibiotic)
- Polymyxins (antibiotic)
- Cisplatin (a cancer drug)
- Penicillamine (immunomodulator)
- Cyclosporine (Immunosuppressive)
- Amikacin (antibiotic)…
Types of kidney failure in dogs
When the kidneys have problems, the functions of the kidneys will be disrupted. Toxins will build up in the blood and the dog will have dangerous problems. There are 2 types of dog disease with kidney failure:
- Acute renal failure in dogs: is a sudden decline in kidney function. Severe illness persists, disrupts the functioning of many systems, and often leads to the death of livestock.
- Chronic renal failure in dogs: appear and develop over a long period of time with indefinable symptoms. The disease tends to develop slowly and affects most older dogs.
The bacteria will enter the bloodstream and into many organs. Causes serious damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.
Symptoms when dogs have kidney failure
Dogs with kidney failure usually won’t show any signs of the disease until 75% of the kidney tissue has been destroyed. So, even though the dog has not yet shown any symptoms of the disease, the damage to the body already exists. Some of the symptoms of the disease may include:
- The amount of water consumed is unusually large. Decreased frequency of urination but increased urine output. Dogs are often thirsty and drink a lot of water due to dehydration.
- Depression and listlessness, loss of appetite due to decreased appetite
- Bad breath due to toxic substances accumulating in the blood.
- Vomiting and weight loss
- Presence of blood in the urine.
- Dog has diarrhea gastrointestinal bleeding may occur.
- Pale mucous membranes (eg, gums, oral cavity) due to decreased red blood cell production leading to anemia
- Ulcers in the mouth, most commonly on the tongue, gums, or inside the cheeks.
- Swelling in the legs due to a buildup of fluid (subcutaneous edema)
- Enlarged abdomen due to fluid accumulation (ascites)
- High Blood Pressure.
- Changes in the retina due to high blood pressure.
- At the end of kidney failure, dogs fall into a coma.
Diagnosing kidney failure in dogs through blood tests
A blood test based on a chemistry panel is performed on a blood sample. Testing dogs for kidney failure commonly used in a chemistry panel to identify disease include:
- Blood urea nitrogen (Serum urea nitrogen) test: BUN is an abbreviation for blood nitrogen urea. The proteins consumed in the diet are called macromolecules. They are broken down and absorbed by the body. The remainder will not be absorbed and is excreted by the kidneys as a compound of urea and nitrogen. But if the kidneys have problems and cannot filter all of the above wastes. They accumulate in the blood. Therefore, using a chemical panel it is possible to identify and find these substances, thereby identifying diseases.
- Test for Creatinine: By testing for Creatinine we can measure the filtration rate of the kidneys. The kidney is the only organ that can excrete this substance. Therefore, detecting the presence of this substance higher than normal is a sign to diagnose impaired or weakened kidney function.
- Using a complete blood count (CBC): to check for anemia and signs of infection. Anemia in renal failure is common and results from a decrease in erythropoietin.
- Also check Phosphorus levels in the body: by this method can also be used.
Diagnosis of kidney failure in dogs by urinalysis
Test kit for dogs with kidney failure dipstick – Urinalysis (testing is done on a urine sample). This method is intended to check:
- Specific gravity of urine: This test is a measure of the density of urine, usually normal density is usually > 1.025, whereas in animals with kidney disease it is usually between 1.008 -1.015. Note: This method is not enough to make an accurate diagnosis of kidney disease, but is often used as an accompanying diagnostic method only.
- Protein Test: In some cases of systemic disease, large amounts of protein are lost in the urine.
- Sediment: Urine may be centrifuged so that larger particles can be separated and examined under a microscope. The presence of red blood cells or white blood cells in the urine can help detect the condition.
Diagnosing dogs with kidney failure by imaging
- X-ray: X-rays are taken to determine the size and shape of the kidneys. Small kidneys are more common in chronic kidney disease while large kidneys are usually due to an acute condition or cancer.
- Supersonic: Ultrasound will show changes in the density of the kidneys. An ultrasound can help determine the cause of kidney disease in some cases.
An accurate diagnosis will help in early and effective treatment. Helps distinguish and avoid confusion with other diseases such as liver, pancreatic diseases, urinary tract disorders not related to the kidneys.
Treatment of kidney failure in dogs
- For dogs with mild and well-supported acute kidney failure, recovery is possible. But usually the dog’s kidney function will become more impaired.
- For dogs with chronic kidney failure, the treatment is very difficult and very difficult to recover. Veterinarians will treat the symptoms in conjunction with supportive methods. Treatment can only help the dog live from a few months to a few years.
Depending on whether the condition of the dog with kidney failure is acute or chronic, veterinarians will have different treatments. Your dog will be given fluids to restore lost fluids (usually in about 2-10 hours).
If urine output is still not normal, furosemide or mannitol is used to support kidney function. Besides, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and some other electrolytes… are also monitored and maintained at normal levels for dogs. Rehydrating dogs also works in encouraging them to eat more. Thereby improving nutrients and fluid balance in the body.
- Treatment of vomiting: Divide into small meals throughout the day and use cimetidine/chlorpromazine. Expert advice should be sought before use.
- Hemodialysis/ Dialysis: This method should be applied in modern and fully equipped veterinary medical facilities.
- Kidney transplant: This should be considered as a last resort. This method is highly technical and expensive, as well as human.
The use of drugs is also used to prevent transplant rejection. These drugs are quite expensive and must be carefully calibrated to minimize side effects. All treatments must be prescribed by a veterinarian. Do not self-treat at home if you are inexperienced.
Diet for dogs with kidney failure
Dogs with kidney failure need a diet low in quantity but guaranteed in quality. A high-protein diet can help improve the condition of your dog’s kidneys. To increase appetite, you can divide into several small meals a day. Combine with cheese, yogurt or chopped vegetables. Or to add an appetite stimulant, a vomiting control medication. Reheating food can also increase palatability.
Check your dog’s weight every week to make sure it’s getting enough calories. It also controls dehydration. Besides, it is necessary to supplement calcium, monitor salt content and cali concentration to adjust appropriately.
Limit salt in your dog’s food. This helps prevent edema, ascites, and high blood pressure. Vitamin B and C supplements for dogs. Vitamins A and D should not be provided in excess, just the minimum required. Avoid adverse effects on the condition of the disease.
Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids at the same time reduces the amount of phosphorus provided to the body. This helps to slow down the progression of the disease when the dog has kidney failure.
Prevention of kidney failure in dogs
- Make sure your dog is not eating/drinking dangerous substances.
- Closely monitor the dog’s eating/going out.
- Do not give your dog medication without your veterinarian’s guidance.
- Make sure your dog has access to clean water.
- Proper oral hygiene will help maintain your dog’s overall health.
- Maintain a consistent diet.