"Polycystic Kidney Disease may not be life-threatening in itself but it should be given immediate attention since the cysts may develop infections which can lead to sepsis."
Just like our kidneys, our fur-baby's kidneys also need proper care and nutrition for them to function well and filter out the body's waste.
But did you know, too, that the kidneys do not only filter wastes but also play a great role in controlling your fur-baby's blood pressure, sustaining the right amount of phosphorus needed by the body, and supporting the production of red blood cells?
So you see, when your fur-baby's kidneys do not function properly, toxins and harmful wastes will eventually build up in the body and yes, you guessed it right - your fur-baby will get sick and may eventually die from kidney failure.
Kidney problems in dogs are one of the most complicated canine illnesses. Here, we've come up with a guide of its types, causes, signs, and ways you can prevent and/or manage it.
Identifying Kidney Problems in Dogs
There are many kidney problems in dogs that can be encountered by your fur-baby but the following are the most common:
Polycystic Kidney Disease. This happens when large areas of the functional tissues of the kidneys (renal parenchyma) are displaced by a number of cysts. Polycystic Kidney Disease may not be life-threatening in itself but it should be given immediate attention since the cysts may develop infections which can lead to sepsis.
Kidney Stones. Kidney stones are crystal or stones formed in the kidney of your fur-baby due to blood or urinary imbalance.
Kidney Failure. Also known as renal failure, this is the usual end result of the kidneys being greatly affected by illnesses and can no longer function properly. There are two types of kidney failure:
- Acute renal failure: This is the term referred to when the kidney/s of your fur-baby declines in a matter of hours or days and is associated with toxins and infections. The process is called acute.
- Chronic renal failure: This the term referred to when the kidney's loss of function is more gradual - it may take weeks, months and even years!
Causes of Kidney Problems in Dogs
- Ingesting toxins like antifreeze, self-medicated medicines, tainted foods
- Infections that are left untreated
- Dental diseases
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Improper diet
- Constant dehydration
Signs of Kidney Problems in Dogs
The following are the tell-tale signs that something is wrong with the kidney/s of your fur-baby.
- Sudden changes in your fur-baby's water intake
- Sudden decrease or loss of appetite
- Bad breath smelling like a chemical
- Pale gums
- Sudden weight loss
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Loss of proper movement and coordination
How Can Kidney Problems Be Prevented?
Kidney problems in dogs can be prevented in countless ways.
Keep harmful substances out of reach. To prevent kidney problems that are caused by harmful substances, see to it that these dangerous substances are stored and kept in places of your house where your fur-baby won't have access to.
Stop self-medicating. There are times where we feel like we know what exactly to give our-fur-babies when they are not feeling well. Well, we think we do but we actually don't. Medicines have certain amounts to be given according to the weight, medical history, severeness of symptoms, age, etc. of your dog. Self-medicating will be harmful in the long run.
Provide a proper and healthy diet. One of the most important things you can provide your dog to help avoid kidney problems is to provide him with a healthy and balanced diet that contains nutrition that will help fuel his body to function properly.
Note: Provide fresh water all the time, do not ever feed your dog foods that are harmful to them like chocolates and grapes and avoid giving your fur-baby too much protein as this can tax the kidneys.
Make teeth brushing a habit. Dental disease, as mentioned above, is one of the major reasons for kidney problems in dogs. Make sure that you and your dog develop the habit of brushing teeth to maintain good oral health.
Provide supplements that support kidney health. Provide your fur-baby supplements like the Pet Parents® Bladder Dog Cranberry Supplement that will provide healthy ingredients to help bladder & dog kidney support such as, Pacran®, organic licorice root, & marshmallow root. This supplement helps support proper bladder muscle function and kidney detoxification.
Kidney problems in dogs surely is a complex one that may even lead to death if not treated immediately. But as a pet parent, nothing is ever too hard and too impossible to help your fur-baby get through these trying times and on to healthier and happier years ahead.
"One of the most important things you can provide your dog to help avoid kidney problems is to provide him with a healthy and balanced diet that contains nutrition that will help fuel his body to function properly."