Kidney Failure in Dogs

The kidneys play an integral and important function in your dog’s health and survival. The recent dog food recall due to kidney failure and death in dogs who have eaten contaminated dog food has raised awareness about this condition.

Kidneys primarily function to assist in the maintenance of blood chemicals, and act as a filtering system for waste products through your dog’s urine. Kidney also aid in

maintaining the balance of certain chemicals in your dog’s blood .

When your dog’s kidneys fail to work properly, toxins will not be filtered out of the blood system via urine. The result is a build up of toxins and waste, which can be very dangerous to your dog’s survival.

Kidney failure in dogs may be caused by toxins introduced into your dogs system, infection, or hereditary reasons.

According to the Word Small Animal Veterinary Association, acute renal or kidney failure is “rapid onset of azotemia over hours to days (two weeks)…” Some of the consequences “… often are life threatening.”

Some of the symptoms commonly associated with kidney failure in dogs are:

o Dehydration, your dog may be drinking more water than normal

o More urination than normal

o Less urination than normal

o A lack of urination

o Blood in the urine

o Loss of appetitive

o Vomiting

o Lethargy

o Stiff gait when your dogs walk

o Diarrhea

o Poor condition of your dogs coat

What you should do if you see signs of kidney failure in your dog.

Contact your veterinarian immediately. Kidney failure in dogs is a very serious and life threatening disease. Your veterinarian will examine your dog and if kidney failure is suspected he will take blood and urine tests to aid in a proper diagnosis.

Your veterinarian may also recommend other tests in making a diagnosis of kidney failure in your dog such as a radiograph or ultrasound.

Keep your dog hydrated. It is essential that your dog drink as much water as possible if his kidneys are not properly functioning.

Once a diagnosis of kidney failure has been confirmed in your dog, your veterinarian will make additional recommendations with respect to your dogs diet and certain supplements and vitamins that may be appropriate in helping to treat your dogs kidney failure.

In the case of advanced acute kidney failure in dogs, a stay at the veterinary hospital may be in order so that your veterinarian can monitor your dogs condition, assure proper hydration, administer prescribed veterinary medications and make changes to your dogs diet as needed .

In the recent dog food recall, toxins in the form of melamine, a plastic used in the manufacture of plastics has been determined to have been added to wheat gluten, a common protein In many commercial dog foods. Additional problems have now been discovered in contaminated corn gluten and rice protein contributing to kidney failure in dogs as well.

As the sickness and death toll mounts it has become imperative for dog owners to take preventative and proactive measures to protect their dogs susceptible to kidney failure in dogs.

o First, make sure that your dog is not being fed any of the dog food on the FDA recall list. You can see a current list: at

o Second, Find out what’s in your dog’s food to determine if the brand you are using provides a health and nutritious diet for your dog by visiting

o Third. If your dog has eaten any dog food subject to recall or shows any symptoms of kidney failure in dogs, contact your veterinarian immediately. Time is of the essence and your dogs health and life is at stake.