Let’s face it; it’s hard to watch a pet dog suffer from an agonizing kidney disease. The thought of getting separated from our furry friend is equally tough because we all want our pup to live with us forever. In short, a kidney disease creates a hell lot of drama and trauma in both the pet and the pet owner’s life.
For those who don’t know, the clinical symptoms of advanced kidney failure in dogs include depression, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, increased thirst, lethargy, difficulty in breathing, and bad breath. Visible weight loss can also be seen in such dogs because they will refuse to eat food or drink water due to constant digestive issues.
When the kidneys don’t function well, other vital body organs suffer as well. As the disease progresses, additional toxins build up in the body, leading to more health complications. A dog may suffer from high blood pressure, dehydration, gastric ulcer, anemia, decreased urine output, and even seizures from a progressing kidney disease.
As you can tell, it’s a damn serious issue that requires medical attention. Believe it or not, a failing kidney can cause your dog to go from normal to extremely sick in a very short span of time because some of the symptoms can progress rapidly over a period of few days.
The bad news is that chronic renal failure cannot be reversed, no matter who treats your dog. For the expected outcome, the vet will be the best person to guide a pet owner. That said, dogs with chronic kidney issues (if caught early) can live for many years when the best treatment is offered.
What are the reasons for kidney failure in dogs?
An acute kidney failure may develop due to your dog accidentally ingesting any toxic substance, such as human medications. Chronic kidney failures are usually caused due to some underlying medical issue. Keep in mind that dental issues can also cause kidney problems in dogs as mouth bacteria have the capability to enter the bloodstream.
It’s also worth pointing out that older dogs are more prone to kidney diseases because cell health decline drastically with age. The onset of kidney disease is seen in the age range of ten to fourteen years as the dogs start to age. Coming back to the cell degeneration process in older dogs, geriatric degeneration is the term used to describe the cell degeneration phenomenon.
How painful is kidney failure in dogs?
As expected, there is pain associated with this condition. When most of the kidney tissues get damaged, there’s a rapid rise of waste production in the body. This not only leads to a sudden onset of new symptoms, but it also causes more pain. Not to mention that the pain aggravates during the end-stage of the disease.
There comes a point where the dogs stop responding to the treatment, causing them to get very sick. At this point, pet owners can choose to humanely end the life of their pets to put an end to the pet’s misery. Of course, it takes a great degree of heart-to-heart discussion to decide whether or not euthanasia is in the best interest of the dog.
Generally speaking, euthanasia will be suggested only if the dog is too weak to handle the pain. Needless to say, pet owners must keep the dog’s vet in the loop over here. After all, the vet would be the right person to recommend a proper end-of-life care treatment at home to provide the best quality of life to a pet during his last days.
How long can a dog with kidney failure live?
Right off the bat, no one can tell because it would depend on the severity of the kidney disease. If it’s a complete kidney failure, then the life expectancy would be very less. If it’s decreased kidney function, then the dog may live much longer. So, we can’t mix these things up.
Believe it or not, some dogs can die within 24 hours from the time the symptoms show up, assuming that it’s a case of a late diagnosis. In other cases, dogs can live for many weeks or months before they take their last breath. It generally takes many weeks for a mild kidney infection to get severe.
How can you prevent kidney failure in dogs?
As a pet owner, you can do a lot to prevent kidney failure in dogs. The preventative measures are as follows:
-Providing high-quality dog food to your pet
-Providing them with plenty of clean drinking water
-Taking care of their dental health
-Keeping them away from human medications
-Perform annual tests to check their kidney’s wellbeing
Keep in mind that dogs with suspected kidney issues require frequent trips to the vet’s office. Unfortunately, many pet dogs are good at hiding their symptoms, which can lead to a late diagnosis of kidney problems. Of course, a proper test will pinpoint the problem, allowing you to catch any kidney issue at the earliest. A vet can prescribe proper diagnostic tests for the same.
As hinted earlier, many dogs with chronic kidney failure do not survive for more than a few days. That said, the survival rate is higher at the early stages of kidney failure. If diagnosed early and attended aggressively, a full cure is definitely possible. The treatment generally involves intravenous fluid therapy combined with supportive medications.