How to comfort a dog with kidney failure

Kidney failure in dogs can be a life-threatening condition. Don’t give up hope if your veterinarian tells you that your dog has a kidney condition that might lead to renal failure in the future. That day may be further away than you expect, depending on the circumstances. With that in mind, here are some things you should be aware of.

Identifying Kidney Failure in Dogs

Kidney failure (sometimes referred to as renal failure) is the ultimate outcome of a variety of disorders that affect the kidneys and adjacent organs. It happens when the kidneys can no longer execute their role of filtering pollutants, maintaining a correct electrolyte balance, regulating hydration, and secreting hormones required for red blood cell synthesis.

In dogs, there are two forms of renal failure:

Acute renal failure is a condition in which kidney function declines rapidly (within hours or days). Infections and toxins are the most prevalent causes of acute renal failure in dogs.

Chronic renal failure occurs when the loss of function is more gradual (weeks, months, or years). Degeneration linked with geriatric decline is the most prevalent cause of chronic renal failure in dogs. Although all kidneys have a natural lifetime, some dogs’ kidneys degrade at a faster pace than others.

A major distinction between acute and chronic kidney failure is that acute kidney failure can be reversed with early and intensive treatment, but chronic kidney failure can only be managed.

Kidney Failure: What Causes It?

Any condition that affects the kidneys eventually leads to renal failure. These are some of them:

Bacterial illnesses, such as leptospirosis, can be spread by drinking or swimming in polluted water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Toxicosis, often known as kidney poisoning, causes cell destruction in the kidneys. It happens when your dog ingests medications or toxins (like ibuprofen) (like antifreeze or grapes). These and other common home goods should be kept out of your dog’s reach, according to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center.

Treating Kidney Failure in Dogs

Kidney failure therapy differs based on the underlying reason and the general health of the canine patient. A dog’s recovery from acute renal failure may necessitate hospitalization and extensive care. Antibiotics, fluids, and other drugs administered as an outpatient can be useful in milder instances. Dialysis is an option for a select few whose pet owners can afford the exorbitant treatment costs.
Treatment for chronic renal failure in dogs focuses on delaying the course of the disease and enhancing the patient’s quality of life. Anemia, blood pressure fluctuations, electrolyte abnormalities, fluid imbalances, nausea, and appetite changes are all common complications.

Dietary adjustments and medication are used to treat the majority of these symptoms. After a kidney failure diagnosis, pets can occasionally have an excellent quality of life for years.

Understanding Your Dog’s Risk

The onset of kidney disease is most likely determined by a dog’s genetics. As a result, dogs’ chronic renal failure is virtually preprogrammed to happen at a given age.

Despite this, no unique breed predilection has been identified. Certain kidney illnesses in dogs that can lead to renal failure, on the other hand, might affect certain breeds disproportionately.


Because kidney failure in dogs may affect so many various body systems and lead to illnesses like high blood pressure or anemia, your veterinarian may prescribe specific drugs to address each symptom.

Supplements may be recommended to replenish lost vitamins and to alleviate some of the disease’s secondary symptoms. It’s critical to remember that you should only administer vitamins and drugs if your veterinarian recommends them.

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