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How to Identify Kidney Disease in Dogs

Jul 7, 2008
A serious and common disease affecting a number of dogs is kidney disease. In older dogs it is probably one of the leading causes of death. Acute or chronic are the two forms that this disease can take. While the acute form happens very suddenly the chronic form starts slowly and gets worse with time. For the owner getting the news of either one is an upsetting thing.

The kidneys act as a filtration system for the body and an estimated seventy percent of their normal functioning is lost with this disease. Toxins and waste products get into the blood and build up when these do not work correctly. A variety of problems is caused by this and it eventually leads to death. Canine kidney disease has this sad outcome in reality and it is unfortunate.

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.

You may have noticed your dog not wanting to pass urine or no urine production at all. This is also is a warning sign that your pet may be a victim of acute kidney disease. This disease can lead to your dog having extremely painful kidneys; or you may notice the animal moving with stiff legs or an arched back. These symptoms are signs for any dog owner to watch out for.

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.

If the veterinarian suspects kidney disease he will usually follow four steps to decide if the dog has the disease or not. A thorough physical examination is what he will normally do first. The dogs relevant history will be gone over with the owner next, things such as their home behavior and symptoms. A blood test and urinary test are the two steps he will take after the first two steps are done. Both tests have to be done to make sure of a correct diagnosis. Whether or not your dog has acute or chronic kidney disease will be confirmed by both of these tests.
About the Author
Conventional veterinary medicine has limited answers for treating kidney disease in dogs, but there are natural alternatives that can even reverse dog kidney failure.
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