Acute Renal Failure in Dogs

Acute Renal Failure in Dogs

With all the controversy surrounding the dog food recalls lately, pet owners need to become aware of their pet’s health due to the fact that renal failure has been diagnosed in most cases. Pet owners who have unfortunately discovered that they unknowingly have fed their pet one or more of the affected pet foods may take some comfort in becoming familiar with the symptoms they need to be aware. If these owners are aware of the symptoms associated with renal failure they will be prepared to make that all-important decision of when to take their pet to the veterinarian.

Acute kidney failure occurs when the dog’s kidney quit working all of a sudden. This can be a very dangerous health problem because of what the kidneys do for the dog’s body. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, removing the waste products created by the metabolism, and producing hormones “that stimulate the production of red blood cells”. The kidneys also “regulate the volume and composition of body fluids and also regulates calcium balance”.

Dog owners who have discovered the food they fed their dog is on the list of recalled dog foods should pay close attention to their dog, looking for symptoms that can hint to something wrong with the dog’s health. These symptoms include disorientation, urination problems, no appetite, lethargic, is uncoordinated, vomiting, weakness and changes in drinking habits. If a dog owner determines that their dog has a number of these symptoms, the dog should be carried to the veterinarian, especially if the dog has unfortunately been fed dog food on the recall.

Once the dog arrived at the veterinarian clinic, the veterinarian will reach a diagnosis. The exam will begin with a complete medical history which would include questions such as “has the dog been exposed to anti-freeze,” has the dog had “any recent surgery”, has the dog been exposed to any drugs or has the dog recently been sick. Other than a complete medical history, the veterinarian will also perform a complete physical exam, serum biochemistry exams, a urinalysis, a complete blood count, the abdomen will be x-rayed and a urine culture. The veterinarian may also perform an urine culture, an ultrasound, a kidney biopsy, an ethylene glycol test or a blood test.

If the veterinarian determines that the dog in question has Acute Renal Failure, the first action that takes place is to hospitalize the dog and immediately begin intensive treatment. This treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering intravenous fluids, drug therapy to encourage urine production, manage blood electrolyte abnormalities, monitor urinary output and manage anemia. Treatment of Canine Acute Renal Failure can also include peritoneal dialysis, hemodiaylsis, or treatment with Antizol or ethanol.

After the veterinarian releases the dog to the owner’s care, the owner should carefully administer all medications that the veterinarian has prescribed for the pet as well as carry the dog back to the veterinarian clinic for follow up examinations and laboratory examinations. The dog should also have free access to drinking water at all times.

The prognosis for a dog with Acute Renal Failure “depends on the severity of the kidney damage.” The prognosis can also depend on determining the underlying cause of the Acute Renal Failure how well the treatment works.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our dog product reviews!