Old Dog Kidney Failure
Old dog kidney failure, also known as canine kidney failure or chronic renal failure in dogs, is more common than most pet owners realize.
Although dog kidney failure sometimes occurs due to poisoning (this is known as acute kidney failure), it’s more likely that your dog has developed it over a period of years.
Unfortunately, old dog kidney failure is one of those “silent” diseases. Your dog generally won’t show canine kidney disease symptoms until about 75 percent of kidney function is gone, and by then, it’s too late to do anything that will bring recovery.
As with humans, your dog’s kidneys are designed to filter out toxins and to process fluids in the system. When the kidneys become damaged, they’re no longer able to perform these duties efficiently. Toxins build up and begin to interfere with normal organ function. This begins a downward spiral in your dog’s health.
The first symptom of old dog kidney failure is thirst. You’ll notice your dog drinking a lot more water than he or she has done in the past. This will also result in more urination than usual. As kidney function decreases, your dog will also
experience bouts of nausea
show signs of weakness and fatigue.
Talk to your vet as soon as you can as you begin to notice canine kidney disease symptoms. He or she can administer a blood test and urinalysis to determine if kidney failure has begun.
Old dog kidney failure cannot be reversed, but there are some things you might be able to do to reduce your dog’s discomfort during the process. Your vet may administer fluids, which help the kidneys to function better.
There’s some evidence that giving your dog a low-phosphorus and low-sodium diet may be helpful. There’s a debate about whether a low protein diet is beneficial or not.
Talk to your vet to get his or her opinion. Dry food isn’t recommended. Moist food provides some fluid content and is generally easier on the dog’s kidneys.
Many vets also recommend several supplements for chronic renal failure in dogs, including Omega 3 fatty acids from marine fish oil. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation and may slow kidney deterioration. Vitamin E and Vitamin C also seem to be helpful.