Author: Cristian Stan
Both young and older dogs can suffer from dog kidney failure. If the dog is young, it usually happens because he has a birth condition, or because he inherits this problem.
From a medical point of view kidney failure is considered a kidney disease in the 4th stage, which is the final one. If a dog gets to this stage of his disease, his kidney will usually function at below 25% of the capacity that is normal for them. The result is toxic substances that reach the blood, instead of being filtered by the kidneys.
Even though the fourth stage of kidney disease can be extremely serious, it doesn't always mean death, not unless their function goes under 5%. If you combine proper vet care, a modification of the diet, plus the things you need to do to make sure infection of the urinary tract doesn't set in, you have a good chance at increasing the life span of the dog.
Symptoms of dog kidney failure
Symptoms of kidney failure in dogs will vary and the condition's severity is important in this case. In a dog that has stage 4 kidney disease, you will see signs of depression, vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, mouth sores, appetite loss or diarrhea. If the dog is young, you might notice loss of teeth and bone softening when they have failure of the kidney.
Identifying the dog's condition
If you want to identify a condition, the first step would be to see what the symptoms are, but getting the help of a vet is extremely important in such a case. He has the training to recognize the problem more precisely than you can, plus he can use Xrays, blood and urine tests, ultrasonographies and physical exams to find out what is wrong with him.
Modifications of the diet for dogs that suffer from kidney failure
While you need to talk with a vet about the diet, here are a few things you should take in consideration.
First of all, you should give the dog less proteins to consume, since the kidneys can't process them well. Don't eliminate them completely though.
Second, you need to know that with a bad kidney, the level of the cholesterol rises, which builds up inside the arteries, so the heart is affected. You should avoid giving sodium to dogs for this very reason, as it affects the heart.
What you should do, is give your dog food that is especially made for dogs that have problems with their kidneys. The vet can advise you better on which brand to use.
Read more about kidney failure in dogs, the common causes of kidney failure in dogs and treatment for kidney failure in dogs at KidneyFailureInDogs.Org.
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Author: Cristian Stan