Common Kidney Problems in Dogs | Stryde (2024)

In the intricate physiology of dogs, their kidneys play a crucial role like a finely tuned filtration system. Responsible for carrying nutrients, filtering waste from the blood, and regulating blood pressure, these vital organs ensure the overall well-being of our canine companions. When the delicate balance of kidney function is disrupted, the potential for harmful toxins to accumulate in their system becomes a concerning reality.

Kidney disease poses a significant threat to dogs, potentially leading to various health complications if left unaddressed. Understanding the signs of kidney problems in dogs is essential for proactive and effective care.

In this blog, we delve into the realm of common kidney issues, shedding light on the subtle indicators that may hint at underlying problems, explore valuable insights into the signs of kidney problems in dogs, and discover potential treatment options to safeguard the health of your cherished furry friends.

Causes of Kidney Disease in Dogs

When your dog has kidney disease, it means that something makes their vital organs unable to remove the waste and toxins from the blood and produce urine.

What causes kidney problems in dogs? Kidney disease or canine renal disease can result from various causes. Some of the most common are the following:

  • Age: As dogs grow older, their kidneys naturally decline, as chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common occurrence in older dogs.
    • Toxin Ingestion: When a dog is exposed to certain toxic substances, it can either cause acute kidney injury or lead to the development of chronic kidney disease. Many things can be harmful for your pets, such as specific medications, household chemicals, and food like grapes or raisins.
    • Genetics: Some dog breeds are more susceptible to developing kidney disease than the rest, thanks to hereditary nephritis or kidney scarring. Breeds such as co*cker Spaniels, Bull Terriers, and Samoyeds are examples of dogs with this predisposition.
    • Cancer: There are some types of cancer, such as kidney tumors or lymphoma, that can lead to kidney disease in dogs.
    • Other Systemic Health Conditions: Dogs that already suffer from preexisting health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and other systemic diseases are more likely to get kidney disease.

    Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease

    Since kidney disease is an internal illness, it can be difficult to tell if your dog's kidneys have been compromised. However, there are some symptoms to look out for that can help owners spot if their dogs have kidney disease:

    • Increased Thirst (Polydipsia): Dogs suffering from kidney disease may drink more water to compensate for their poor kidney function.
    • Frequent Urination (Polyuria): Just like their increased thirst, they may have a tendency to urinate more frequently or have more accidents. Sometimes, dogs can change their manner of urinating, either producing more or less urine.
    • Abnormal Urine Color: You may find that your dog’s urine looks more diluted or has a strange color in that it's cloudy, dark, or bloody. They may also experience some straining and discomfort when urinating.
    • Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss: Your dog may experience less appetite which can lead to their overall weight loss.
    • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea: Kidney disease affects your dog’s gastrointestinal functions, so it is not uncommon to find them nauseous, vomiting, and experiencing diarrhea.
    • Bad Breath (Halitosis): Dogs may experience bad breath with an ammonia type of odor because their kidneys cannot get rid of the waste in their system.
    • Lethargy, Anemia, and Depression: Physical changes are not the only signs of kidney problems in dogs. Dogs can appear fatigued or lack energy, making them less interested in participating in their typical activities.

    Common Kidney Diseases in Dogs

    Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or chronic renal failure is a progressive condition where the kidneys lose their function over time.

    A sudden loss in kidney function is called Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). This is usually a sudden loss of function that is typically caused by toxin ingestion, urinary tract obstruction, infections, or severe dehydration.

    Kidney stones, or nephrolithiasis, are another kind of disease that develops in your dog’s kidneys and causes urinary tract blockage, infection, and overall discomfort. These can result from bacterial infection, genetics, or diseases that affect the blood.

    Glomerulonephritis is damage to the kidney filters. In the early stages, this may be brought about by infections such as Lyme disease. When left untreated, this inflammation can cause serious damage to the surrounding tissues which leads to chronic kidney disease.

    Pyelonephritis is a form of bacterial infection of the kidney tissues that happens when the bacteria from the lower urinary tract rise to the kidneys, causing inflammation.

    Treatment for Kidney Disease in Dogs

    A veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your dog to make a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the severity of your dog’s kidney disease is assessed together with their age and health. Treatment for early kidney diseases usually comes with dietary changes, restrictions, and medication such as antibiotics if there are infections. Medications are used to eliminate the symptoms of the disease but it is the therapeutic diet that will slow the disease’s progression and alleviate the stress on your dog’s kidneys.

    When left untreated, kidney disease can be life-threatening for your dogs so it is important that you see a veterinarian in order to properly diagnose your dog and give them the treatment that they need.

    One of the ways you can improve their diet is through the introduction of omega-3 fatty acids. This has been proven to be able to reduce the production of inflammatory compounds in the kidneys. Foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon, can be great alternative diets for your dog, alongside supplements like fish oil. Fish oil has many benefits for dogs with kidney disease such as helping lower blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and decreasing protein loss in urination.

    Don’t let your dog suffer until it's too late. Introduce them to the proper exercise and a well-balanced diet which includes the use of fish oil supplements such as Stryde’s Premium Omega-3.

    Learn more about improving your pet’s wellness by visiting the Stryde blog.

    Common Kidney Problems in Dogs | Stryde (2024)


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