Having your pet go through illness can be quite stressful. Dog’s Kidney failure can be a tough illness to go through. There are different dog kidney failure stages and detecting it early can help save your four-legged friend. There can also be hope for dog stage 4 kidney failure if you take the right measures, and successfully avert last days of a dog with kidney failure.
What do Kidneys Do?
Before going into details of how you can help your dog, it will be ideal to look at what kidneys do. Kidneys are vital organs responsible for taking out waste from the body, producing urine and maintaining a salt balance in the body. If your dog is going through renal failure, then it means a large part of his/her kidneys has been affected.
Dog Kidney Failure: When to Euthanize?
Kidney damage will not be apparent until 2/3 of the kidney has been destroyed. This part will not regenerate itself and requires medical attention. Age is often the factor for this condition. The older your dog, the more health complications are bound to arise.
There can be some telltale signs that your dog is having renal failure and some are as follows.
If your dog is urinating more frequently, then it can signal kidney damage. This is because the filtration system becomes a little inefficient and the amount of blood flowing becomes lesser. This means lesser waste is being taken out, thus resulting in the production of more urine, in order to balance out the waste removal. You must give your dog enough water to remain hydrated so that he/she does not feel dehydrated.
Other signs include loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and bad breath. If you happen to notice any of these then it would be best to take your dog to the vet for a kidney problem.
What Dog Blood Tests will be Conducted for Kidney Failure?
There will be two basic tests that will be conducted that are as follow:-
Urinalysis: The urinalysis will be performed to check for any renal or kidney failure. If there happens to be any excess protein in the kidneys, then it can indicate lower kidney function.
Blood Biochemistry Analysis: A blood biochemistry analysis is performed to assess the state of the various organs in the body. It is also used to assess the presence of waste products in the body such as creatinine and blood urea nitrogen. The test is also conducted to assess the presence of albumin, sodium, calcium and other nutrients to understand the stage of damage and the treatment that can be administered.
Treatment for Long Term Kidney Disease in Dogs
The treatment to be used will depend on the state of kidney failure. Early diagnosis can help administer the right treatment and return your dog back to normalcy within a few months.
The treatment is usually administered in two phases by first getting rid of any toxins that have accumulated in the blood and then delaying the progression of kidney damage.
During the 1st phase, the dog is administered intravenous fluids in order to clear out the systems and bloodstream, This process can help some damaged kidney cells to start functioning, again and again, the process of healing.
Electrolytes and potassium are some of the nutrients that are administered during this phase. You can begin to notice improvements in your dog after this phase as the kidney will begin to recover. But if the damage is severe then this can take a long time. Your dog will be monitored to check for progress.
If the first phase is successful then the second phases come into play. Based on your pet’s condition, doctors will attempt to make the kidneys function normally for as long as possible.
It will be important to adopt the right steps during this stage and administer a special diet that is nutritious and low in acids and phosphorous so that it is easier to process and eliminate toxins from the body. Doctors might also suggest you feed your dog a diet with decreased protein as it will not overburden the kidneys.
Once your dog is returning back to normalcy, it will be important to administer the right dose of fluids. This can prevent dehydration and keep your dog hydrated while flushing out toxins from the body. The doctor might introduce you to home fluid therapy that is usually prescribed for dogs with kidney issues.
Doctors will also advise the maintenance of a good phosphorous to calcium ratio in the dog’s body, as these are important for kidney health.
You must follow up regularly and make sure to follow the doctor’s instructions so that your dog can recover faster.
How Long Can a Dog Live with Kidney Failure?
It is difficult to answer this question as it depends on the dog’s response to the treatment and the stage at which the diagnosis occurred. Proper treatment and good care can help your dog lead a healthy and fuller life.
Prevention for Dogs During Kidney Failure
- It is important to keep your dogs away from toxins. This includes metals, pesticides, certain food substances etc.
- Keeping your dog active and providing enough fluid to keep him/her hydrated at all times.
- It is important to take your pet to the doctor if you suspect any urinary or bacterial infection or others that can impact their kidney health.
- Limiting or cutting down on the vaccines and medications that are administered to your pet through their life.
- Feeding your dog a balanced and nutritious diet complete with elements that help him/her remain healthy for life.
- Maintain a journal or diary to record their health parameters and look for any signs of changes in their appetite, behavior etc.
- Do regular vet visits so that your dog’s health can be monitored from time to time.
- You must equip yourself with the knowledge of performing regular self-tests and make a note of the results
As you can see, not all hope is lost and you can still try your best to save your dog if the condition is detected early. Make sure you take good care of your dog right from the beginning and take him/her for regular checkups so that is easier to start treatment early and give them the best chance to recover from kidney disease.