Renal failure in dogs and symptoms

Kidney (renal) failure is a common problem found in all dogs especially those who are older in age. Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to perform their proper functioning. Kidneys are basically meant to remove waste products from the blood acting as a blood purifier. Renal failure can appear all of a sudden or gradually over months.

Many different factors can lead to kidney failure.

  • Certain poisonous consumption will lead to the damage of the kidney. These poisons include antifreeze, raisins and grapes, certain drugs including pain killers like aspirin.
  • Severe infections in the kidney due to bacteria can cause kidney failure. Leptospires are the bacteria that results in kidney affection. These bacteria enter into the body through contaminated water or urine by infected animals.
  • Any reason that restricts the blood flow through the kidney can cause kidney failure. This includes dehydration, head stroke, snake bits etc.
  • Age is a vital factor seen in kidney affected dogs. When the dogs get older, they defend less to bacteria and viruses and thus lose immunity.
  • The autoimmune diseases also affect the kidney of the dogs. The autoimmune disease is a condition wherein the immune system of the body attacks its own healthy tissues thinking that they are foreign antigens.

Symptoms

  • Increased water consumption and urination volume:
  • A dog affected by kidney failure will have immense thirst for water and urinates more than its usage. These signs are shown as the failure of the kidneys to concentrate the urine. This results in a large urine output for which the dog has no control.
  • Once the function of the kidney starts declining, the dog starts retaining ammonia, nitrogen, acids and other chemical wastes in the blood and tissues. This process is called uremia. Dogs having kidney failure will not show uremia until 75% of their kidney tissue is damaged.
  • When you can see enough blood in your dog’s urine, then it is a symptom of kidney failure. This happens when more exercise is done, or due to the absorption of common drugs such as aspirin.

Apart from these major symptoms mentioned above, the other seen symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor hair coat

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