Kidney failure is considered to be the second most common cause of death in dogs. More than 20 percent of all dogs over the age of five have impaired kidney function. This often remains undiagnosed at first. Because it is only when the kidney loses more than 50 percent of its function that dogs show noticeable symptoms.
What is the function of the kidney in dogs?
Kidneys produce urine, which can be used to excrete waste products of the organism. They also participate in the formation of red blood cells by providing the hormone erythropoietin, in bone metabolism through vitamin D synthesis, and in the regulation of blood prere through the release of renin. Furthermore, the organs contribute to the regulation of the pH value. Thus contributing to the acid-base balance.
How to recognize kidney disease in dogs?
The key is to detect and treat the disease as early as possible. However, this is often difficult, because dogs with kidney disease do not show clinical symptoms for a long time, which is due to the high compensation capacity of these two organs. Since the number of dogs with renal insufficiency increases from the age of about five years, it is recommended in any case to have a routine annual examination of the dog by the veterinarian.
In general, a distinction is made between acute renal insufficiency, in which kidney function fails spontaneously, and chronic renal insufficiency, which is less common but more serious for the affected animal. The latter is considered one of the most common diseases in older dogs. The characteristic of chronic renal insufficiency is its gradual progression. Only when about 70% of the nephrons (smallest filter systems) are destroyed, there are clearly recognizable effects.
One speaks of renal insufficiency when about 35% of the nephrons are still functional. The salts and toxins can then no longer be completely transported out of the organism. Through increased water intake, the dog tries to dilute the urine and thus excrete it. As long as there are still enough healthy nephrons, they can take over the function of the damaged kidney tie. Blood prere is increased. Improved blood circulation.
As the disease progresses, the organism is no longer able to compensate for this extra work. The increased accumulation of toxins leads to further physical impairment or even death of the animal. A kidney disease is not curable, nevertheless the affected dog can still live for years with appropriate treatment.
The kidney detoxification organs of the dog
The kidneys are considered the largest filtering system in the body. The kidneys are located in the lumbar region of the dog, protected by a fatty capsule on both sides of the spine, and consist of so-called nephrons, whose central function is the excretion of toxins and metabolic waste products, water, foreign substances and electrolytes that are not needed.
The causes of kidney failure in dogs
Certain breeds of dogs, such as z. B. Dalmatians, Cocker Spaniels and Yorkshire Terriers have a genetic predisposition to kidney problems.
Long-term medication in particular can be the trigger for kidney disease. In this case, however, the attention of the pet owner is particularly important, since the causative drug has often been discontinued by the time the kidney disease occurs.
Because the kidneys do not work as well with age, renal insufficiencies are more common in older animals.
Special attention should also be paid to the dog's diet. Too high protein or. Phosphorus concentrations in food can cause further problems in dogs that already have kidney problems.
Symptoms of kidney disease in dogs
Initially, the symptoms resemble those of a general disease such as
– occasional diarrhea – vomiting – fatigue – mouth odor
Only as the disease progresses, do the symptoms suggest kidney disease. The following clinical findings may occur:
– increased urination (polyuria) – increased water intake – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth – loss of appetite – weight loss – lethargy – pale mucous membranes – dull coat
– INFO TO GO – Kidney insufficiency in dogs – The kidneys are the largest filtering system of the organism. Due to their high compensatory capacity, the kidneys can still fulfill their tasks even if a large part of the tie has already been destroyed. – More than 20% of all dogs over the age of five suffer from kidney disease. Therefore regular controls are meaningful with the veterinary surgeon, even if the dog does not show yet symptoms. – Certain signs suggest v.a. in the later stage suggest kidney disease. This includes u.a. Increased thirst, reluctance to eat, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth, increased urination and apathy. – Dogs with kidney disease should be fed a special diet. – Fresh water must be available ad libitum. – Special supplementary food can help to support the kidney activity and thus relieve the organism.
Treatment of the dog with renal insufficiency
If the pet owner observes an increased water intake of the dog, it is important to quickly consult a veterinarian. The veterinarian will first perform a thorough general examination and, in case of suspicion, urine and blood tests.
In cases of advanced kidney disease, regular testing by a professional is essential so that appropriate therapeutic measures can be taken. In addition to the necessary medication, attention must also be paid to appropriate feeding in order to support and relieve the still functioning kidney tie and to maintain its functionality for as long as possible.
Water should always be available in sufficient quantities for a dog with kidney disease, as it is no longer able to concentrate urine sufficiently. If this loss of fluid is not compensated, it can lead to life-threatening dehydration of the animal.
Prevention of kidney disease in dogs
Since protein surpluses in the feed can stress the kidneys, especially in high-risk dog breeds from the outset to a low-protein feeding should be ensured. Various environmental factors and medications or prolonged illnesses also put a strain on the kidneys. Therefore, it makes sense to support their detoxification function in extreme situations, so that harmful substances can be removed from the body more quickly.
MASTERDOG expert tip: The right way to feed your dog during and after kidney failure
To avoid dehydration of the dog, care should be taken to ensure that the dog always has enough fresh drinking water. If necessary, a change to a wet food must take place, since this, in contrast to dry food, provides additional liquid. Various herbs such as z.B. Birch and nettle stimulate urine production. The increased excretion of metabolic waste products from the blood supports the detoxification function of the kidneys.
Other herbs strengthen the cardiovascular system and thus ensure improved lymphatic circulation and thus also better removal of toxins from the body. Take a look at our wide range of herbs for this purpose.
Vitamins A, C and E help to protect the kidneys from inflammatory reactions caused by the excretion of harmful substances.
The water-soluble B vitamins support the rapid excretion of harmful substances from the blood. From our assortment can be referred in case of kidney problems to the CANIPUR-renafit can be resorted to. It contains the above ingredients. Thus supports the kidney function optimally. This can significantly increase the well-being and performance of the dogs. Sick animals should in any case be fed a salt-phosphate- and protein-reduced diet, in order to burden the organism as little as possible.