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Signs of kidney disease in dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by FEWill, Jun 14, 2010.


  1. FEWill

    FEWill PetForums Senior

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    This article is dedicated to our beloved Issac who we very sadly had to put down last week after 15 years because of this. He had every sign except Oliguria and Anuria. it was hell watching him waste away right before our eyes.



    There are numerous signs of kidney disease in dogs and they can range very subtle and fairly non- specific, to the complete opposite where they are severe. If it is a chronic form of kidney disease, the signs your dog shows may be very slow in developing. In this case, it may just appear that your dog is simply not feeling well, unless you know and understand the different signs to watch for. However, if it is an acute form caused by something like a toxic reaction, the signs will be both very rapid as well as quite severe.

    There are several potential causes of kidney disease, but in the vast majority of cases it is the result of your dog aging and their kidneys slowing starting to fail. However, there are other causes including congenital and inherited disorders, viral, fungal, or bacterial infections, as well as cancer. Kidney disease can also be the result of Amyloidosis, which is caused by abnormal deposits of certain types of protein in their kidney, inflammation, or an autoimmune disease. It can also be the result of some type of trauma or a toxic reaction to a poison or medication.

    The signs:

    Signs of kidney disease in dogs come in several variations and can mimic the same signs seen in liver or pancreatic diseases, as well as urinary tract disorders. However, perhaps the most important thing an owner can do when watching for these signs, is to closely monitor your dogs weight. The weight loss will be gradual, but in the end, it will be very apparent and very alarming.

    Polydipsia and Polyuria:

    The first signs of kidney disease in dogs are known as polydipsia and polyuria. The term polydipsia refers to an extreme as well as excessive amount of water intake by your dog, which in turn leads to polyuria, which is a formation and then the natural excretion of very large amounts of urine as the result of the excessive drinking. This condition can also be the signs of diabetes mellitus, liver disease, or high blood calcium, but in the majority of cases, it is the result of kidney failure.

    This is very easy for an owner to spot, as a normal dog will intake about 40 to 80 milliliters per pound of body weight each day. This equals about 6 to 8 cups of water daily for a 40 pound dog. As such, it is half that amount for a 20 pound dog and double for an 80 pound dog. Anything that exceeds this level is considered to be polydipsia and should be taken very seriously. As it increases in severity, your dog may begin to drink from a faucet or from the toilet as their need increases.

    If you do suspect this is occurring, completing shut off all other water sources so you can measure the exact amount that your dog is drinking. If they exceed the normal levels, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

    Oliguria and Anuria:

    The next set signs of kidney disease in dogs are referred to as oliguria and anuria, which are the complete opposite of the first set of signs. Oliguria is a slow decrease in your dogs urination even though they may be drinking larger amounts of water. This is a condition that at best is very hard to actually spot in your dog, but anuria is not. Anuria is the lack or urination by your dog, and is almost always the result of acute kidney failure.

    It is technically defined as the complete suppression or urine production by your dogs kidneys. In a normal and healthy dog, their kidneys produce one to two ml of urine per kilogram of body weight every hour of the day. If they produce less than 1 ml/kg per hour, it is considered to be oliguria where very little urine is being produced. If no urine is produced, it is anuria and is now a very serious situation.

    There is one thing very important to note about this condition, as it can often be confused with kidney stones. Kidney stones obstruct urine from passing properly, but they do not result in the lack of urine production, and must be treated in entirely different ways.

    Nocturia:

    The next set of signs of kidney disease in dogs is referred to as nocturia, and if you see this sign in conjunction with either of the first set of signs, there is usually very little doubt about what your dog has. This is a situation where your dog will start to basically wet their bed at night. It will usually start as very small amounts but as the kidney disease increases, so does the voiding of urine during your pets sleep.

    Hematuria:

    Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in your dogs urine, and it usually is very difficult to spot at first. However, as it increases, it is much easier to spot. This condition has several potential causes, but when it is combined with other symptoms; it is yet another set of signs of kidney disease in dogs.

    Weight loss:

    Weight loss is perhaps the most chilling and confusing set of signs simply because in most cases it will make absolutely no sense. In isolated cases, dogs with kidney disease will become anorexic and stop eating, but in the majority of cases, especially involving the final stages of the aging process, your dog has a very healthy appetite. However, it will seem that the more that they eat and drink, the thinner they become. This is not an illusion; your dogs body can no longer hold and absorb nutrients and as a result, weight loss occurs.

    Halitosis:

    Signs of kidney disease in dogs will almost always include halitosis, which is bad breath in dogs. But this is much different than what is referred to as dogs breath, as it will be almost nauseating to owners. It is the result of a toxic build up in your dogs blood stream and the result, is a very extreme and foul odor.

    Other signs:

    Other signs of kidney disease in dogs will include vomiting as well as diarrhea. Neither one may be severe, but you will begin to notice both occurring much more as your dogs kidneys begin to fail. Your dog may also start to develop a hunched position or a reluctance to move at times, because of the pain of this disease.

    More signs may include pale mucous membranes from a decrease in red blood cells, as well as ulcers that may form in your dogs mouth, most commonly on their tongue, gums, or inside or their cheeks.

    Summary:

    These signs of kidney disease in dogs are certainly not all conclusive, but represent the major signs that your dog will show with this eventually life taking condition. In some cases young and middle aged dogs can be treated successfully, but with an older dog, there is very little than can be done other than comforting them in their final days. In most cases, having them put down is the only viable option as they are basically wasting away right before your eyes.

    Liquid Vitamins for Humans Cats and Dogs
     
    billyboysmammy likes this.
  2. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    We had a dog with kidney failure which was due to his heart condition as the kidneys rely mainly on good blood pressure he had d.c.m yes the weight loss is alarming he lost mostly muscle as his kidneys was losing so much protein, he was given steriod injections they did help a little.
     
  3. FEWill

    FEWill PetForums Senior

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    Did either of you lose a dog to this killer?

    Live it first hand and see the killer that it is

    Issac wasted away right before our eyes--can you repsond to the signs?

    The article is about the signs--
     
  4. FEWill

    FEWill PetForums Senior

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    It is still killing our family with the loss of Issac--15 years with a dog and than you have to put him down

    that is very tough
     
  5. paddyjulie

    paddyjulie PetForums VIP

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    My Ozzy died in October just gone at the young age of two years to kidney failure...such a horrible way for them to go...he did show lots of these signs...especially the drinking, hunched back.smelly breath..

    juliex
     
  6. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Monty died of the d.c.m but the kidney failure made him very weak, lost muscle/weight its horrible. I suppose if it wasnt for the kidney disease he would have been much stronger and his heart would have had to work so hard, who knows.:frown:
     
  7. LauraJayne

    LauraJayne PetForums Member

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    My baby was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure last week.

    We did not know the signs and symptoms, i only know them after reading this post.

    The only thing we identified as a problem was him 'peeing' in the house at nice, usually on the landing and stairs which is where he chooses to sleep at night.

    Now I have read this post, my eyes are filling up as I idenify many of these symptoms, if we knew maybe we could have done something sooner!!

    My poor Jack has a hunched back which has developed these last few month, we just assumed he was getting old. My mum said exactly that... have you noticed his little hunch, hes getting like your nana with his old age, i would have though it would have been higher up tho.

    And his breath, it makes me feel ill sometimes =(

    My poor baby! please everyone look out for these signs and symptoms, please.
     
  8. FEWill

    FEWill PetForums Senior

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    Hi Laura,

    This is exactly why I write articles. Not all of them I experience first hand and most of them I get from experience when I go to shelters and talk to various vets and than see first hand.

    But in this case it was our Issac--we tried everything and I mean literally everything. But when he could not lift himself up and he started to wet--combined with the weight loss and the horribe breath--it was time.

    Once the kidneys fail it is too late. But if you can catch it early there is a chance. I did not start writing articles until about a year ago. I wish I had known this myself one year ago. It might have at least slowed this killer

    But these signs are critical. I just hope that it helps one dog and than that the owner pushes it on. Combined, we can save one dog a day

    Thanks,
    Frank
     
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