Kidney Disease in Dogs

Kidney Disease in Dogs

 

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located on either side of your dog’s lower back.  When a dog eats and drinks, the nutrients from its food is absorbed into the body through the small intestines where the nutrients enter the blood stream to be delivered to tissue throughout the body.  The kidneys’ job is to filter the blood to remove waste materials and excess moisture.  Urine is produced in the kidneys then travels down the ureters to the bladder where it is stored until your dog urinates.  By controlling the release of materials in the blood as well as water content, the kidneys help regulate electrolyte levels and blood pressure.  Additionally, the kidneys produce hormones that are used in red blood cell production.

 

The function of a dog’s kidneys can slowly deteriorate with age.  Medications, toxins (ex: antifreeze), chronic infection and trauma can all damage the kidneys.  The first signs of kidney disease are big increases or decreases in the amount of water your dog drinks and how much they urinate.  Other symptoms include lethargy, gastro-intestinal upset, loss of appetite, changes in breath odor, mouth ulcers and incoordination.  Acute cases of kidney failure due to poisoning or contamination need to be addressed by a veterinarian immediately to flush the toxin out of the dog’s system and so they can provide supportive therapy.  Untreated, kidney failure can be fatal.

 

Dogs should visit their veterinarian on an annual basis, especially senior dogs, for routine check-ups.  Your vet can catch signs of chronic kidney disease by running blood and urine tests.  Chronic kidney disease in older dogs can be managed through diet and medication.  Herbs such as astragalus root and rehmannia can help support kidney function.

 

 

 

Studies

 

Oxidative stress, superoxide production, and apoptosis of neutrophils in dogs with chronic kidney disease.

 

Increased concentration of serum TNF alpha and its correlations with arterial blood pressure and indices of renal damage in dogs infected with babesia canis.

 

Intrarenal distributions and changes of angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in feline and canine chronic kidney disease.

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