How to Identify Kidney Disease in Dogs

November 23, 2009

in Cat Health

Kidney disease 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 the disease can manifest itself, acute or chronic. The acute form can happen so quickly and suddenly, while the chronic form begins slowly and progresses over time. Sadly for the owner, news of either form of disease is upsetting.

The kidneys act as a filtration system for the body and an estimated seventy percent of their normal functioning is lost with this disease. Toxins and waste products get into the blood and build up when these do not work correctly. A variety of problems is caused by this and it eventually leads to death. Canine kidney disease has this sad outcome in reality and it is unfortunate.

The ability of a dog’s body to properly function is stopped by kidney failure. A number of symptoms and warning signs will likely become obvious when the toxins begin to build up in their bodies. The acute time form usually appears more quickly even though both these chronic diseases show different symptoms. Dogs that suffer with this form of kidney disease can become dehydrated. Gently pull the skin on your dog’s stomach to test them for hydration. The skin should spring back. There is a real possibility that your dog is dehydrated if it does not.

Another telltale sign of the acute kidney disease is the extreme reduction or total stoppage of urine. Your dog would suddenly stop urinating. It is a very excruciating process as the kidneys become quite painful. This is the most obvious sign. You would notice your pet’s arched back or stiff leg movement. In such a case, you would need to rush your precious pet to a veterinarian immediately.

Chronic kidney disease shows different symptoms. They may well have a change of appetite with no desire to eat where normally they would gulp 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 exhibits of the condition. Sadly the dog may lose control of its bladder with frequent increased urination occurring. As time goes on urination will become painful, some cases impossible and blood may appear in the urine. Canine kidney disease can be deadly and serious, any signs of urine symptoms, vomiting, lethargic or depressed 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 disease in dogs is serious and if the veterinarian suspects this he will normally follow four steps to determine if the dog has the disease or not. Firstly he will conduct a thorough physical examination. Secondly he will speak to the owner about their dog’s relevant history, regarding symptoms and behavior at home. After completing the first two steps he will conduct two steps, a blood test and urinary test. Both of these are necessary as to do one without the other will give a less certain diagnosis. Both of these tests will confirm whether your dog has the acute form or chronic kidney disease.

Veterinary medicine has limited solutions for treating kidney disease in dogs, but the good news is that there are natural alternatives that can even reverse canine kidney failure.

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