Has your favourite tail-wagger stopped wagging his tail as eagerly as he used to? Unfortunately, our dogs suffer illnesses like we do. Luckily, not all of them are serious if we identified and treated it on time.
If your dog demands his bathroom walks more frequently than before and drinks water every couple of minutes or so, the chances are high that he might have renal disease.
Pay close attention to the clues, and we’ll help you determine whether the time is right for paying a visit to the veterinarian.
Two Types of Kidney Failure
In fact, there are two different types of kidney failure – acute and chronic; the second one takes some time to manifest and is thus much harder to get identified by a non-professional.
Unlike chronic kidney disease, the acute version usually affects old dogs, with its symptoms appearing suddenly and accelerating quickly.
What Causes Them?
Like with humans, kidneys have a very specific purpose, which is to help the body get rid of the toxins.
Both acute and chronic cases of the disease occur once the kidneys cannot perform this function any longer. There are a lot of reasons that can cause these cases.
Injuries and decreased blood flow are the most common culprits for the acute cases. While toxins are usually to blame if the failure is chronic.
Though age, parasites, infection and poisoning are what commonly causes kidney disease, the illness can happen as a consequence of other factors as well.
Some of the most common causes are like congenital and autoimmune disorders, trauma, inflammation, amyloidosis, and cancer.
Is Canine Kidney Disease Dangerous?
In addition to water balance, such a condition affects the water and electrolytes balance as well. Hence, this will cause a dangerous domino effect and result in a disturbance in digestion and the overall metabolism.
If not caught in time, yes, kidney disease can be quite severe, even fatal.
How to Recognise It?
The blessing in disguise is that renal failure is usually followed by a set of easily noticeable symptoms, even in cases of acute diseases. Since kidneys regulate fluids in your dog’s body, the first thing that will change are his bathroom habits.
If it comes to your attention that your dog urinates more frequently or has blood in his urine, pay a visit to the vet immediately.
These symptoms are almost always followed by excessive thirst and decreased appetite, both of which give rise to irregular bowel movements (whether diarrhoea or constipation), weight loss and overall lethargy.
Other symptoms may include bad breath and face swellings. In case your dog has stopped urinating altogether before you’ve had time to notice all of these changes, the chances are, sadly, that his kidneys are in the final stage of failure.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Once a veterinarian runs both blood tests and urinalysis, and confirms that your dog is suffering from kidney disease. Stay calm, don’t panic. You can start looking at your dog’s treatment options.
For both acute and chronic kidney failure, the most common treatment is the fluid therapy. You can do it either in the clinic or at home.
Rehydration is the first step toward successful recovery, follows by the additional electrolyte, vitamin and fatty acids intake.
If needed, medicines like furosemide and mannitol (for urine production), cimetidine (to stop the vomiting) and antibiotics (in case the cause is the bacterial infection).
In terms of nutrition and recovery diets, your dog should be fed a high-quality, yet lower-quantity protein. Due to the illness, you will see decreased appetite and food-induced nausea on your dog.
We have to try our best to improve the situation but don’t expect it to happen overnight. Serve canned food in smaller portions several times a day and, if need be, introduce medication for appetite stimulation.
Can we prevent our dogs from getting kidney disease?
Though frequent, we can always prevent our dogs in getting kidney disease. A few things that you can do here which I think most of you already did.
For instance, things like keeping him away from toxic substances, taking regular vet exams and getting him used to a balanced diet that is species-appropriate.
These will be quite enough to protect him from any kind of serious disease, including this one.
Hopefully, we don’t have to tell you to love your favourite pup, care for his wellbeing and pay close attention to his habits and behaviour.
If so, it won’t take long before you notice unordinary changes that may indicate to kidney failure, in case it still creeps up on you both.