Kidney Failure in Dogs

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Kidney Failure in Dogs

Kidney failure in dogs is a common and serious condition that can affect many dogs. It is probably one of the leading causes of death in older dogs. There are two forms in which kidney failure can manifest itself, acute or chronic. The acute form can happen quickly and suddenly, while the chronic form begins slowly and progresses over time. Sadly for the dog owner, news of either form of kidney failure is upsetting.

Kidney Failure in Dogs

– what to look for …

Kidney Failure in DogsKidney failure causes a loss of approximately seventy percent of normal kidney function and it is these organs that act as the body’s filtration system. If the kidneys do not work properly, toxins and waste products slowly build up in the blood. This can lead to a variety of problems, and sadly, eventual death. This unfortunately is the harsh reality of canine renal failure.

Kidney Failure in Dogs – What Happens?

Dog kidney failure stops the ability of your dog’s body to function properly. Toxins begin to build up in his body, and once this starts, a number of symptoms and warning signs will more than likely become apparent. Each form of kidney failure shows different symptoms – with the acute form your dog will possibly have become dehydrated. To test for hydration, gently pull on the skin of your dog’s stomach. This should spring back. If it does not, there may be a possibility that your dog is dehydrated.

You may have noticed your dog not wanting to pass urine, or there may be no urine production at all. This is also is a warning sign that your pet may be a victim of acute canine kidney failure. Kidney problems in dogs can lead to your dog having extremely painful kidneys, and you may notice your dog moving with stiff legs or an arched back. These symptoms are signs for any dog owner to watch out for.

Kidney Failure in Dogs – Chronic Signs

Chronic kidney disease in dogs shows different symptoms. They may well have a change of appetite with no desire to eat where normally they would happily gulp down their food. They may perhaps go off their food altogether. This will, over time, lead to weight loss. The first warning signs which highlight the start of the disease are increased thirst and water consumption. These are frequent signs of kidney failure in dogs. Sadly the dog may lose control of its bladder with frequent increased urination occurring. As time goes on urination will become painful, in some cases impossible and blood may appear in the urine.

Canine kidney disease is serious, and can be deadly, so if there are any signs of urine symptoms, vomiting, lethargy or depression in your pet, treat this as a warning sign and alert your vet straight away. If caught quickly it may be possible to gain control over the disease.

Kidney Failure in Dogs – What Your Vet Will Probably Do

Kidney Failure in DogsIf your veterinarian suspects dog kidney failure, he will normally follow four steps to determine if the dog has kidney failure or not.

First, he will conduct a thorough physical examination. Secondly he will ask you about your dog’s relevant history, including symptoms and behavior at home.

After completing the examination and history taking, your vet will conduct two further steps – a blood test and urinary test. Both of these are necessary as to conduct one without the other will give a less certain diagnosis. Both of these tests will confirm whether your dog has the acute form of canine renal failure, or chronic canine kidney disease.

If so, make sure you have sufficient knowledge to discuss ALL options with your vet.

Kidney Failure in Dogs – Treatment Options

Your dog’s body is full of intricate inner workings that enable the body to heal itself from within, given the correct nutrients and care. Pharmaceutical drugs in the long run add more toxins to the body that can debilitate the body even more, further compromising the healing process. Pharmaceutical drugs may help your dog live a short time longer, but for many dog owners that’s just not enough.

Pure drinking water, plant based vitamins and minerals, specific herbs to cleanse the blood, strengthen the immune system and repair the liver, hydrotherapy, and exercise can all play a part in repairing your dog’s kidneys naturally.

You should always consult your vet before embarking on a natural treatment program, but there are natural means of reversing kidney failure in your dog that have been known to produce results even when a veterinarian has recommended euthanasia as the only option.

For more information on natural treatments for kidney failure in dogs, click here.

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6 thoughts on “Kidney Failure in Dogs

  1. angela

    I have a 1 year old boston terrier and since day one wjen we got her from the breeder her bladder has been leaking all day she might have 2 or 2 real pees a day if we are lucky other then that it is little drips 24 / 7 we had her to the vet where she had a urin culert sample done and it came back normal so does this rule out the possible sign of kidney failuer?? we are going to pei foe surger some time soon to have a dye test done to see where the urine is going and 2 possile results we were told 1 being it could be a problem with her urine not going throuug the uretha proper or it is going to her kidney this is what I am unsure about does this mean that if it going into her kidney is that kidney failuer ??? even though her urine test came back normal I have been tinking of question to ask the vet that i didnt know to ask when i was ther because of being upset and now they come to me so i hope you can help answer some of these for me thank you Angela

  2. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Angela,

    Sorry, as you may know, I’m not a vet and I have no veterinary training whatsoever.

    But go to and look at the information there. And by all means, contact the people at that site ask the same question you’ve just asked here. I have found them quite helpful.

    And you could always give your vet a call – surely he/she would not mind answering another couple questions for such a worrying problem.


  3. Dr.Helen

    Treatment of kidney failure in dogs occurs in two phases. The first phase is to “restart” the kidneys. Large quantities of intravenous fluids are given to “flush out” the kidneys. This flushing process, called diuresis, helps to stimulate the kidney cells to function again. If enough functional kidney cells remain, they may be able to adequately meet the body’s needs for waste removal. Fluid therapy includes replacement of various electrolytes, especially potassium. Other important aspects of initial treatment include proper nutrition and drugs to control vomiting and diarrhea.

  4. gloria bowers

    just had my dog put down. he just laid there did move a inch vet said he had kidney failure and testicle infection. never showed any sign of paid but hedid move or blink for anything. thought there was a lot of pain with kidney failure? i am so upset. he was 15 years old. he didnt even reginize me thanks very upset

  5. Brigitte Smith

    So sorry to hear of YOUR pain, Gloria.

    I’m sure your dog recognized you until just before the end, and I’m sure he knew you were there for him.


  6. Kimberley

    I wish more people would read your post.
    So many website info describe kidney failure as painless disease for dogs. You are the only one who rightfully pointed out on the pain that can come with the disease. My Lucky was limping around for some time avoiding the use of one of his hind legs. The vet I took him to treated his condition as joint and bone problem. It was not until he got very sick, stopped eating and admitted to a vet hospital that he was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. With blessing he pulled through and is stable now. Strangely, he is walking like normal now without any treatment for his limb. I am sure he was experiencing pain in his kidney and it was a sign so obvious but not picked up by the usual vet I go to. Appreciate your good info here. Thank you!

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