July 1, 2018

Kidney Failure in Dogs

I witnessed how my mother suffered from kidney failure. I was there during the worst time. Mama was on peritoneal dialysis everyday which I administered. It was difficult for me to see Mama in that situation. Eventually Mama's body gave up and passed away on April 9, 1993. I was just 20 that time. It was the saddest day of my young adult life.

This year another member of my family is suffering from kidney failure. She is Dengue Mendiola, the 6th member of the Mendiolables.

For the past days, we noticed that Dengue was not eating much, then she started vomiting. It caused alarmed so John decided we bring her to the pet hospital. Laboratory tests, such as blood, x-ray and ultrasound were immediately performed.

After 15mins, the test result came . Clear lungs, normal liver, normal heart and everything else except for Dengue's kidneys, it shrank due to old age. The vet said it is normal for very old dogs to have kidney failure.

We were given 2 options. One, Dengue will be confined for 3 days for further tests. The vet even hinted that they can help by "putting her to sleep without pain". Two, we can bring her home and we must administer a daily 400ml dextrose and force feed medicines twice a day. John and I ignored the first option and opted for the latter. We went home with Dengue and will continue to care for her and love her here right at home where she belongs.

The dog’s kidneys is pretty much the same as human kidneys as it balance certain substances in the blood and filter out the body's wastes as urine. They maintain normal concentrations of salt and water in the body. Kidneys also help control blood pressure, aid in calcium metabolism and sustain phosphorous levels. Additionally, they manufacture a hormone that encourages red-blood cell production. When kidneys don't function properly, toxins build up in the blood and a dog will become ill.

Kidney failure in dogs is caused by different reasons. These include, dogs can develop acute kidney problems as a result of ingesting toxins, including antifreeze, certain medications, tainted foods, etc. Other reasons for this type of kidney failure include decreased blood flow or oxygen delivery to the kidneys, infections and urinary obstruction.

While some kidney problems have an immediate cause that can be treated, chronic kidney disease shows up over a period of time and its causes are harder to determine. This condition develops slowly and affects mostly older dogs. It is often caused by underlying illness and congenital and hereditary conditions. But surprisingly, a main cause of chronic kidney failure in dogs is dental disease. Bacteria associated with advanced dental disease enter the blood stream and invades multiple organs, causing irreversible damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.

Some of the signs of kidney problems in dogs are change in water consumption, hange in volume of urine produced, depression and listlessness, loss or decreased appetite, chemical odor of breath, vomiting, weight loss, blood in urine, mouth ulcers, pale gums, stumbling, acting drunk.

If your dog shows any of the above symptoms, please take her to see your veterinarian immediately.

How Can Kidney Problems Be Prevented?
To prevent kidney problems due to poisoning, make sure your dog does not have access to potentially dangerous substances and that she is supervised at all times when outside. Do not give your dog any over-the-counter medications without instruction by your veterinarian, and make sure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Proper oral hygiene helps to maintain good overall health.

How Are Kidney Problems Treated?
It is important to identify kidney failure and begin treatment in its earliest stage. Your veterinarian can determine if kidney disease is present and start appropriate treatment. Depending on whether the problem is acute or chronic, treatment may include the following:

(Source: pets.webmd.com)

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