Kidney disease is a serious condition that is not uncommon in dogs, especially those with old age. This disease has two forms namely acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease occurs in a short period of time while the chronic kidney disease happens in a slow progressive process. When a dog’s kidneys begin to lose around seventy-five percent of its ability to function well, toxins will also begin to build up, causing a number of signs and symptoms to become apparent. And when the kidneys are already incapable of removing waste from the blood, a kidney failure will likely happen. So what are the signs of kidney failure in dogs?
Signs of Kidney Failure
Dehydration is one of the primary symptoms of kidney failure in dogs. An owner may notice his or her dog becoming thirsty more than usual. Aside from this more than usual thirst, the dog may also be observed to have irregularity in urinating. These are all because the kidneys are no longer capable of concentrating the urine. To test if the dog is indeed suffering from dehydration, a gentle pull on the skin of its stomach will clear things out. If there is no immediate springing back of the skin, then this is a probable sign of the dog’s dehydration.
Kidney failure is also responsible for a painful feeling that could make dogs move with an arched back or with stiff legs. Aside from this and dehydration, a dog is also expected to show signs of uremia. This is the state when the dog retains nitrogen, ammonia, acids, and other harmful chemical wastes within the bloodstream and tissues.
Signs of uremia include a loss in appetite and a loss in weight, dry haircoat, depression and apathy, a discoloration in the shade of brown that is observable on the surface of the dog’s tongue, and an ammonia-smelling breath. Dogs found to be in this stage of kidney failure are also observed to have less frequency in urination. Signs of ulcers in the mouth and of edema are also present at this stage of kidney problem. A gastrointestinal bleeding together with vomiting and diarrhea can also be expected. And when the end stages are reached, a dog is also likely to fall into a coma.
Treatment of Kidney Failure
To treat dogs with kidney failure, a periodic monitoring of the blood is required in order to quickly identify changes in the function of kidneys so that immediate medical intervention could be given to the dog. Restriction of salt intake is also very vital in the treatment of such undesirable condition. This will highly help in the prevention of edema and hypertension.
Apart from these steps, regular check-ups with the veterinarian are one important step for all dog owners. This will provide an assurance that proper measures and treatments will be provided for the dog.