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Common Causes of Kidney Disease in Pets

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Common Causes of Kidney Disease in Pets


Kidneys are two bean shaped organs which excrete the nitrogenous waste from the body, balance the multiple electrolytes and make hormones which control the blood pressure and also of the red blood cells. Renal disorder (also remarked as kidney failure) is caused by many conditions that negatively affect the health and functioning of the kidneys and its related organs. With animals, kidneys are unsung heroes that perform several important jobs. They are often underrated when we think about our pet’s health. So when kidneys stop working, it can make our beloved pets very sick.

Acute & Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Acute kidney failure  is characterized by a sudden decrease in kidney function, typically within some hours or days. Presence of infection or exposure to toxins are the most common reasons of this condition in dogs. If diagnosed early and treated aggressively, the prognosis is good in most cases.
  • Chronic kidney failure in the other hand, is characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over a period of weeks, months or perhaps years. Although not always, it is most frequently related to age-related degeneration and mostly diagnosed only later in life especially when our cats and dogs become senior. While there is no known  treatment, chronic kidney disease can easily be managed with the right care and animals can live for many years.

Common Causes

  • Geriatric Degeneration
  • Congenital Disease
  • Mycotic Infections (fungal infections)
  • Leishmaniasis (parasitic disease)
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Nephrolithiasis (kidney stones)
  • Ureterolithiasis (stones in the ureter)

•      Spay Granuloma (inflammation of the uterine post ovariohysterectomy)

•      Amyloidosis (build-up of abnormal proteins)

•      Toxicosis (pathological condition caused by a poison/toxin)

•      Autoimmune Diseases

•      Cancer

•      Cyst

•      Diabetes

•      Dental Disease

•      Trauma

•      Heat Stroke

•      Severe Dehydration

•      Snake Bite

•      Leptospirosis

Common Signs

•      Weight Loss

•      Poor appetite (inappetence)

•      Lethargy (tiredness)

•      Increased thirst (polydipsia)

•      Increased urination (polyuria)

As the disease progresses, other signs may include the following:

•      Poor coat

•      Hypertension (high blood pressure)

•      Vomiting

•      Bad-smelling breath (halitosis)

•      Weakness

•      Anaemia

Treatment & Prognosis

There are two basic tests for kidney function when your veterinarian suspects a kidney failure; complete urinalysis and a blood chemistry analysis. Other tests may be performed to check underlying causes and/or to know at which stage of the disease your pet is experiencing. Severity of symptoms will determine appropriate treatments, which can include IV fluids, however, if the disease is extremely severe your dog might not react to treatment. Aggressive treatments may include hospitalization for fluid therapy, dialysis or a kidney transplant if needed. Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic renal disease. Prognosis is greatly related to its severity. As your pet progresses through disease’s stages, survival time is probably going to grow shorter. Remember that treatments are intended to cut back the work kidneys requires to perform, and to switch substances like potassium and to scale back accumulating wastes. Your pet’s initial response to conservative therapy is also relatively slow — it might take weeks or months to determine progress. Additionally, your vet might suggest diet modifications to enhance quality of life and potentially limit the progression, resulting in an extended lifespan.

Indeed, it is very crucial to know the signs and as to when you need to bring your pets to the clinic. At the City Vet Clinic, you can reach us anytime even during outside clinic hours for emergencies.


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