Did you know your dog’s organs are identical to a human ones? Pretty cool, but this unfortunately leaves him susceptible to human problems, like kidney disease. Kidneys typically act as the filter for toxins in the blood and urine and, when they aren’t working properly, those toxins can build up and make your dog sick.
But what causes canine kidney disease and how is it treated? Kidney problems can arise if they ingest toxins, from certain medications and even from tainted food. Typically, kidney disease occurs slowly and can end in acute renal failure. This is when your dog’s kidneys have completely stopped working and he is becoming more and more septic with all of the toxins in his body.
Causes and Symptoms
According, to the ASPCA, chronic kidney disease will show up over time and affects mostly older dogs. Surprisingly, one main cause of kidney disease is from the bacteria present in advanced dental disease. That bacteria can get into your dog’s bloodstream and invade other organs damaging the heart, liver and kidneys.
Some signs to look out for in your dog include:
- Change in amount of your and produced
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Change in water consumption
- Pale gums
The last symptom is one that is sometimes difficult to determine especially if your dog is very active and you have a slippery floor. You’ll know if your dog is stumbling by whether not he seems “drunk.” If your dog shows any of the above signs, take him to the vet right away.
Oftentimes, prevention of kidney disease in dogs is as simple as brushing his teeth. Make sure that his gums and teeth are healthy and, if needed, have your veterinarian clean them once a year. Also, make sure he doesn’t have any access to a toxin like antifreeze.
If your dog is diagnosed with kidney disease, your vet will probably put him on a special diet depending on the severity of the disease.
Other therapies include drugs that encourage urine production to help him eliminate any toxins from the kidneys, medication for any gastrointestinal problems and even dialysis.
Even with appropriate medication and monitoring, there are times when canine kidney disease turns into acute renal failure. At that point, there is usually no turning back and your dog must be euthanized.
The best preventive is to be vigilant and pay attention to any symptoms your dog is exhibiting. Early detection and treatment can help your dog live a healthy and long life.
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