A dog’s kidneys are responsible for filtering blood in order to maintain certain substances within the bloodstream and eliminate unwanted molecules and toxins along with excess water to produce urine. The kidneys are also responsible for keeping normal concentrations of salt and water in the body, along with influencing blood pressure and producing a hormone that serves as a necessary ingredient in the production of red blood cells. If the kidneys don’t function properly, toxins will build up in the blood stream and the dog will become sick.
Dog kidney disease is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute disease occurs whenan insult affects kidney functioning over a period of days. This can happen as the result of ingestion of toxins, certain medications, or tick or bacterial-borne diseases. Other causes of acute kidney failure include decreased blood flow of oxygen delivery to the kidneys, infections, and urinary obstructions. Depending on the underlying cause, the treatment for some of these conditions can leave the kidneys without any residual damage. However, in some cases, the acute kidney damage is irreversible.
While some kidney problems have an immediate cause that can be treated, chronic kidney disease generally progresses over a period of time and its causes are harder to determine. Chronic kidney disease most often affects older dogs. However, it can also be due to a hereditary or congenital condition. Dog dental disease has also been associated with kidney failure. Bacteria caused by advanced dental disease enter the blood stream and invade multiple organs, resulting in irreversible damage to the heart, liver and kidneys. Short of a kidney transplant, there is no specific treatment for chronic kidney disease in dogs.
Dog kidney disease is a condition that is best managed through prescription diets, increased fluid intake, mineral supplementationand, in some cases, blood pressure medication. These prescription foods and supplements are available for purchase at Town and Country Animal Hospital in Naples, but if you reside in Estero or Marco Island, for example, and are unable to make the trip, they can be ordered and delivered through our website at www.mynaplesvet.com or our online pharmacy at https://mynaplesvet.vetsfirstchoice.com.
At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of options to detect and manage dog kidney disease, as well as care and treatment for many other diseases and issues, including cat kidney disease and dog and cat teeth cleaning to prevent dental disease.