Kidney disease is a common and serious condition that can affect many dogs. It is probably one of the leading causes of death in older dogs. There are two forms in which the disease can manifest itself, acute or chronic. The acute form can happen so quickly and suddenly, while the chronic form begins slowly and progresses over time. Sadly for the owner, news of either form of disease is upsetting.
This disease causes a loss of approximately seventy percent of normal kidney function and it is these organs that act as the body’s filtration system. If these do not work properly, toxins and waste products slowly build up in the blood. This can lead to a variety of problems, and sadly, eventual death. This unfortunately is the harsh reality of canine kidney disease.
The ability of a dog’s body to properly function is stopped by kidney failure. A number of symptoms and warning signs will likely become obvious when the toxins begin to build up in their bodies. The acute time form usually appears more quickly even though both these chronic diseases show different symptoms. Dogs that suffer with this form of kidney disease can become dehydrated. Gently pull the skin on your dog’s stomach to test them for hydration. The skin should spring back. There is a real possibility that your dog is dehydrated if it does not.
Another telltale sign of the acute kidney disease is the extreme reduction or total stoppage of urine. Your dog would suddenly stop urinating. It is a very excruciating process as the kidneys become quite painful. This is the most obvious sign. You would notice your pet’s arched back or stiff leg movement. In such a case, you would need to rush your precious pet to a veterinarian immediately.
In the case of chronic kidney disease, the symptoms are different and they occur over a period of time. The first indicator is an increase in thirst and consequently water consumption. This is a constant indicator of the disease. The dog might lose his or her desire to eat resulting in excessive weight loss over time. Contrary to the acute kidney disease, in the chronic version, the canine loses control over its bladder function. As a result, it urinates very frequently. As time passes, the process of urinating will cause extreme discomfort and become very painful. It is possible that there might even be blood in the urine or it may become impossible for the dog to urinate completely. Since the chronic kidney disease is a fatal illness, it is advisable to rush your pet to the veterinarian as soon as you see any of the warning signs such as problem in urination, vomiting, lethargy and depression. Any combination of these signs is a sure shot reason to go to the vet. If caught in time, there is hope for cure of this malady.
Kidney disease in dogs is serious and if the veterinarian suspects this he will normally follow four steps to determine if the dog has the disease or not. Firstly he will conduct a thorough physical examination. Secondly he will speak to the owner about their dog’s relevant history, regarding symptoms and behavior at home. After completing the first two steps he will conduct two steps, a blood test and urinary test. Both of these are necessary as to do one without the other will give a less certain diagnosis. Both of these tests will confirm whether your dog has the acute form or chronic kidney disease.