Dogs are not humans, but our best friends, with their bodies functioning quite similar to ours. They also face chronic and acute diseases, sometimes leading to fatal outcomes. And among those, all issues related to the renal system are of special importance.
But knowing the symptoms of kidney disease in dogs can help us relieve our pets before the worst outcome nears. Below, we have jotted down those.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Dogs
Kidney diseases do not happen overnight—it takes time to grow and be apparent. But there are a few signs associated with the development of kidney diseases. If you are careful, you might help prevent kidney diseases from becoming fatal in your dog.
Here are a few signs of kidney disease in your dog. But note that the information offered below is only for educational purposes and does not constitute a vet’s opinion. Not all the signs mentioned directly imply renal issues. To get a definite answer, we recommend consulting your vet.
1. Frequent Urination
When a kidney filter is damaged, it leads to an increased urge in dogs to pee, thus leading to frequent urination. Usually, it is the last stage before which complete renal failure occurs and is accompanied by other signs such as pain and swollen body parts.
However, note that it is a common symptom of urinary tract infections and prostate issues as well.
2. Drinking More Water
As kidneys lose their strength to concentrate urine, they excrete more liquid to get rid of different solutes, and as a dog’s body struggles to cope with the loss, he might become thirsty more often. Thus, it is a general sign that there is some problem in the kidneys. Excessive thirst is a sign of diabetes as well. To confirm it is related to kidneys, look for the decreased appetite in your dog.
3. Nausea and Vomiting
Due to the buildup of toxins and electrolytes in a dog’s body, nausea and vomiting can occur. As kidneys are ineffective in removing harmful products, the body will find other ways to do the job, leading to vomiting. Besides, the dog might also face a rise in body temperature.
4. Lethargy and Tiredness
Toxins and impurities not able to leave the body through urine tend to build up in the blood, causing the affected dog to feel tired because such substances do not let organs and different faculties work well. As the blood reaches every nook and corner of the body to refresh it, impurities can cause serious consequences, even related to the brain.
5. Weight Loss
Compounds that build up in the blood suppress hunger in dogs suffering from kidney disease, causing weight loss. It can also lead to malnutrition and decreased intake of proteins, exacerbating the problem. However, the water weight stays and even increases. As liquid does not find escape, it is deposited in tissues and muscles.
6. Pale Gums
Kidney issues can impact periodontal health in dogs. When kidneys are damaged, they do not produce the hormone that causes red blood cell production, leading to less oxygen delivery to different parts, and they start appearing pale. Gums are also the parts that get affected; in severe cases, they might appear white.
7. Weak Bones
Calcium will decrease when phosphorus is present in large amounts in a dog’s body. As calcium gets moving out of the bones, they tend to become weak. Damaged kidneys cannot remove phosphorus from the body, which increases its level in the blood.
8. Gastrointestinal Problems
Kidney diseases may lead to several digestive issues due to the accumulation of toxins and other substances in the blood. For instance, high urea levels in the blood may lead to peptic ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. In extreme cases, gastrointestinal seizures may also occur.
9. Bad Breath
Kidney problems can give rise to metabolic disorders that result in bad breath in dogs. As several chemicals develop in the lungs, they are deposited there and only exhaled through breath, making the air smell unpleasant. Though the smell can be cured by maintaining dental hygiene, it is a sign that something is seriously wrong with the renal system.
As explained earlier, kidney diseases may lead to anemia, causing a ruptured blood supply to different vital organs, which can cause dizziness and loss of senses. Similarly, the same situation occurs when toxins and other waste materials accumulate in the blood to a dangerous level.
11. Bloody Urine
When kidneys do not function correctly, blood in the urine (hematuria) might occur in dogs. It happens due to several renal system issues, such as the inflammation of the kidney’s filtration system. Even if kidney diseases are ruled out, hematuria is still a serious problem, and canine owners must keep an eye on dog urine color chart to deal with it effectively.
What Can Cause Kidney Disease in Dogs?
Unfortunately, dogs can fall victim to kidney diseases due to several different types of problems. These problems might not necessarily lead to kidney malfunctioning but may gradually push your dog’s well-being towards it. These can lead to complete kidney failure or other chronic diseases if not taken care of.
- High blood pressure
- Ingesting toxins
- Old age
- Heat strokes (Learn how to cool down your puppy in hot weather)
- Snake bites
- Staying dehydrated
How to Maintain Healthy Kidneys in Dogs?
- Hydration: The more water a dog drinks, the more blood waste is drained. It also opens the blood vessels and does not let any harmful substance accumulate in the renal system.
- Protein: Various studies point out that high protein consumption can lead to healthier kidneys in dogs. Unfortunately, dry kibble has inappropriate levels of proteins. Try adding supplements if needed.
- Balanced Diet: Meals not in balance can lead to bad kidneys. For instance, too much phosphorus consumption is known to cause an early onset of kidney diseases in dogs. Therefore, it is advisable to offer your pet balanced nutrition only.
- Healthy Weight: Being overweight can reduce the functioning of the kidneys. They might work hard to filter the blood, leading to the possibility of kidney diseases. To avoid that, exercise your pooch regularly so that he might never get obese.
What to Do if Kidney Disease Symptoms Occur in Your Dog?
Getting a pro’s help must be your top priority if you see any symptoms of kidney disease in your dog. Remember, renal issues can be life-threatening. If not treated well and in time, they can lead to further serious complications and even death. Therefore, instead of trying to care for your pet at home, hospitalization is the only option.